Creepy Crawl / Teenage Terrors / Dark Classic Fantasy
Nitehawk Cinema, Metropolitan Ave., nr. Berry St., Williambsurg; 718-384-3890
Brooklyn’s best theater for boozing in your seat is covering all its bases with three events. As part of its normal midnight series, there are two screenings of Sam Raimi’s bold debut, The Evil Dead, which is more terrifying than its two comedic sequels (10/19–10/20). For brunch shows, there are the pre-Pattinson vampires of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (10/20–10/21) and The Lost Boys (10/27–10/28). Finally, the Dark Classic Fantasy lineup offers two silent films from the twenties, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (10/26) and Nosferatu (10/27), and 1932’s Island of Lost Souls (10/27–10/28), a twisted, bestiality tinged tale of a scientist turning animals into humans.
When: October 19–28
Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 E. Houston St., nr Eldridge St..; 212-358-7709
Everyone’s favorite crazy dad is back to chop down some doors and talk to ghosts in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The following weekend, Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, featuring demonic possession, girlfriend-decapitation, and loads of humorous gore, is required viewing if you’ve never seen it in a theater.
When: October 19–20; October 26–27
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 145 W. 65th St., nr. Broadway; 212-875-5601
The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual festival of slasher flicks is generally the best in the city, and this year is no exception. The twelve-film lineup, seven of which are New York premieres, includes a remake of the grindhouse classic Maniac starring Elijah Wood; agoraphobia and parental paranoia in Ireland’s Citadel; a killer clown in Stitches; and even Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth, filmed in an eerily deserted Rome.
When: October 26–31
6 Degrees of Hell
reRun Gastropub Theater, 147 Front St., nr. Jay St., Dumbo; 718-797-2322
Horror-film nerds, take note: This new release about a tourist attraction that unleashes an evil spirit upon a Pennsylvania town is packed with Easter eggs and references to classics of the genre, plus it’s got Corey Feldman. What more do you need?
When: October 31–November 3
Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., nr Sixth Ave.; 212-727-8110
Roman Polanksi’s 1965 black-and-white masterpiece offers a particularly acute brand of terror for city dwellers. Alone in a London apartment, the lovely Catherine Deneuve gets abused by phone calls, terrifying flies, and hands that reach through walls that suddenly tear apart. It’ll make you not want to go home alone afterwards.
When: October 31–November 8
Films of Tim Burton
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave., at 41st St.; 212-340-0863
If you prefer style to scares, stop into the New York Public Library as it concludes its series of the director’s films with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and always popular The Nightmare Before Christmas. Both screenings are free and at 2 p.m., so arrive early if you want to beat out all the other Jack Skellington fanatics.
When: October 21 and 28
For Demon Lovers
BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave., at Flatbush Ave., Fort Greene; 718-636-4100
Branch out with this trio of films linked by nothing more than the word demon in their titles. 1979’s Demon Pond, from Japan, is a creepy, kabuki-inspired tale set in a land of mythic creatures, while 1977’s Demon Seed pits Julie Christie against a sex-obsessed super-computer. For something meta, try Demon Lover Diary which goes behind the scenes of the low-budget horror flick The Demon Lover.
When: October 31–November 1
Hair-Raising Laughs: Halloween Comedy
Gilbert Gottfried heads up a night of stand-up at The Bell House’s Tell Your Friends! Halloween Spooktacular!. For sketch comedy, head to Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for Monster Night Live, a ghoulish riff on SNL, or stop by sister venue UCB East to see two improv teams battle it out for the best Mitt Romney jokes in Cagematch: Mormons vs. Witches. If you think you have the best jokes, put together a hilarious costume for Matt & Meghan’s HaLOLween Party at Littlefield, where stand-up comics Matt Koff, Meghan O’Neill, and others will make fun of you but also give you cash prizes if your humor impresses them. Or you could just sit back and drink every time “Monster Mash” is played at Monster Smashed!, a night of comics telling their scariest stories at the PIT.