Local theaters flooded with horror classics this weekend to celebrate Halloween

Oct 27, 2023, 5:38 PM

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SIFF Cinema Egyptian in Capitol Hill (Photo courtesy of SIFF Cinema)

(Photo courtesy of SIFF Cinema)

Halloween is in full swing this weekend, with local, indie theaters playing a profusion of horror classics throughout the city to get the Puget Sound region into the holiday spirit.

Just north of Seattle, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Frank Oz’s abstract comedy horror musical, is playing at McMenamins Anderson School Theater in Bothell this weekend, while “The Wolf Man” (1941) is playing at The Edmonds Theater.

For those who skipped the 2023 sequel of “The Exorcist” in favor of the original, they can catch it at The Beacon in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.

Seattle’s Grand Illusion Cinema is using this weekend to show both “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) and “Hausu” (1977), while “The Lost Boys” and “Hocus Pocus” are both having frequent showings at Central Cinema.

Seattle’s SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Uptown are showing multiple viewings of the 1962 horror classic “Carnival of Souls,” “The Bride of Frankenstein,” the Korean horror film “Train to Busan,” and Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-nominated box office hit “Dracula.”

Finally, AMC Pacific Place 11 in Seattle is hosting special screenings of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to celebrate Halloween while also simultaneously kicking off the holiday season.

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And, as the Halloween season comes and goes — with a slew of Oscar contenders waiting for the calendars to flip from October to November — now is the time to delve into 2023’s offering of horror and thrillers, both in theaters and on streaming. National Horror Movie Day was Oct. 23 after all.

In theaters

Five Nights at Freddy’s,” a theatrical adaptation of a video game series of the same name, follows a down-on-his-luck security guard working nights at a kid’s arcade called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. It doesn’t take long for the protagonist to get wrapped up in the secrets and horrors of what happened at this perverse children’s gallery. Those with automatonophobia — the fear of lifelike robots or animatronics — will have their thirst for thrills quenched in this Emma Tammi feature. Starring Josh Hutcherson (All four “The Hunger Games” movies), the film opens this weekend just in time for the Halloween season.

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

The Exorcist: Believer,” the sixth film in the iconic franchise and the first in 18 years, serves as a direct follow-up to the original. Ellen Burstyn reprises her role for the first time since the original. In the latest installment, a photographer is forced to confront a demonic, supernatural evil after his daughter and her best friend are possessed. New age horror aficionados Blumhouse Productions produced the film, with David Gordon Green (the latest “Halloween” franchise) helming the project. Blumhouse’s parent company, Universal, is attempting to bring back “The Exorcist” for a trilogy, with the second film, “The Exorcist: Deceiver,” set to arrive in theaters in April 2025. Universal spent $400 million to purchase the rights to the franchise from Morgan Creek.

Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Saw X” has become the highest-reviewed film of the franchise (79% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer, 89% audience score). The movie follows the infamous serial killer John Kramer, after discovering a newfound purpose, plotting some of the series’ most deranged and ingenious traps to turn the tables on a series of con artists. Tobin Bell‘s performance has been celebrated and crowned as one of the franchise’s best as the gruesome horror portrayed parallels the series’ most genuine emotions and heart from its cast.

Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

The Killer,” the newest film from David Fincher (“The Social Network,” “Gone Girl“), pits Michael Fassbender as an assassin on an international manhunt. With Tilda Swinton co-starring, this film may not be the prototypical Halloween flick, but with its Netflix release not due for another few weeks, Landmark Theaters in Shoreline is using this holiday weekend to debut Fincher’s latest neo-noir thriller. The film is adapted from a graphic novel written by Matz and Luc Jacamon.

Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

On Netflix

Fair Play” pits Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) and Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) in a psychosexual showdown after one gets promoted over the other at a job that forbids their romantic relationship. This is writer-director Chloe Domont’s debut feature after directing episodes on numerous television shows including “Suits,” “Ballers” and “Billions.” Netflix’s newest erotic thriller is the perfect date night watch this weekend for those seeking a thriller with a little less gore.

Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

The Fall of the House of Usher” is the newest show Mike Flanagan is spearheading for the streaming service after past successes in “The Haunting of Hill House,” “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” “Midnight Mass” and the sequel to “The Shining,” “Doctor Sleep.” Eight episodes in length, the series follows the Usher dynasty, a powerful family forced to face past secrets once the heirs to the empire start dying in mysterious ways. The show is loosely based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This project acts as Flanagan’s swan song with Netflix, as he and partner Trevor Macy have signed a multi-year deal with Amazon Studios.

Runtime: 8 episodes

On Hulu

Skinamarink” is a film that captures the singular fear and powerlessness that comes from childhood, according to debut director Kyle Edward Ball. It focuses on two children who wake up during the night to discover their father has disappeared. Despite being made on a budget of about $11,000 (CA$15,000), “Skinamarink” stands as one of the most powerfully visual films in the horror/thriller genre, with audiences begging to tear the frames of the house apart to reveal everything unseen. The film originally leaked online due to a technical glitch during its run at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, causing it to spread like wildfire on social media and build up even more hype and acclaim.

Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Infinity Pool,” written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg (David Cronenberg’s son), follows a married couple James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em Foster (Cleopatra Coleman) enjoying a beach resort vacation until a perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism, unprecedented violence and surreal horrors is finally exposed. The film also stars Mia Goth (“X,” “Pearl”), one of Hollywood’s most exciting actresses. Goth recently signed on to be the Bride of Frankenstein in Guillermo del Toro’s “Frankenstein” — also starring Andrew Garfield and Oscar Isaac.

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

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On Max

Barbarian” is a story about an Airbnb visit gone wrong, as a woman (Georgina Campbell) becomes stranded with a man she doesn’t know (Bill Skarsgård) due to an unsettling misunderstanding. Also starring Justin Long, “Barbarian” finished on many top 10 lists as one of the great movies of 2022, and is the perfect watch for a Halloween weekend … from the comfort of your own couch in a house you’re not staying in temporarily. Featuring memorable characters, incredible tension and many twists, “Barbarian” has been considered one of the decade’s strongest entries in the genre.

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

The Menu” is ranked as the most popular horror film on streaming, according to a new study by Reelgood. For those who haven’t seen it yet, use this weekend to watch Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) get more than they bargained for when visiting a secluded fine-dining restaurant. With quintessential moments like the cheeseburger scene, an inventive premise, and the twists and turns the central characters encounter, “The Menu” caught the attention of moviegoers nearly a year ago and has yet to relinquish its grasp.

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

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Local theaters flooded with horror classics this weekend to celebrate Halloween