This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jarrod Carman.
With Halloween fast-approaching, local movie theaters are looking to get you in the spooky spirit. From scary movie festivals to screenings of classic horror films, here’s a round up of the best horror movie events in D.C., proving that sometimes the old favorites can outshine the newer Hollywood blockbusters.
Oct. 9 to 18
Spooky Movie International Horror Film Fest: If you’re a fan of creaking doors, masked killers and mutated humans who roam the hills, then it’s time to head to the frighteningly literal Spooky Movie Horror International Film Fest. The 10-day fest features over 40 short and full-length films. Genres range from “British Vampire” all the way to “Transylvanian Vampire.” Go see the bigfoot film “Exists,” or cover your eyes during the long-awaited horror anthology sequel “V/H/S Viral.” The closing screening, “The Hills Have Eyes,” will be hosted by Count Gore De Vol of the TV horror series “Creature Feature.”
AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. Oct. 9 to 18. All-fest pass $80, individual tickets $12.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show” at E Street Cinema: A lost couple waltz into a home with a wonderfully mad “transexual from Transylvania” in this musical comedy that shakes up the conventions of horror films with its on-the-nose sense of humor, random musical numbers and nonsensical deus ex-machinas. Cannibalism, alien invasions and singing ensue. Do the “Time Warp” and sing along during this simultaneously spooky, bizarre and moving cult classic, which boasts the longest theatrical run of any film ever made.
E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. 11:59 p.m. $11:50.
“Shaun of the Dead” at AFI Silver: Emotion rings true in this zombie film, but not without some true scares and laughs. Managing to bring gravitas to a subject usually lacking it, “Shaun of the Dead” stars Simon Pegg (“Mission: Impossible 3,” “Star Trek”) and Nick Frost (“Hot Fuzz”), who lead this zom-com that tells the story of two best friends trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.
The sweet and scary film pays homage to horror legends of the past, particularly George Romero, who kicked off the zombie craze with “Night of the Living Dead.” Skip the slow-as-molasses “The Walking Dead,” grab a pair of tissues and bring your best friend to end Halloween the right way. This is also the beginning of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, which reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for other send-ups: the action-comedy “Hot Fuzz” and the alien invasion story of “The World’s End.”
Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 9:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” at Angelika After-Hours: This month, horror film enthusiasts can relive the 1984 slasher film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” But don’t expect to get any sleep after you go home. In this movie, which stars Johnny Depp in his feature film debut, the ghost of serial killer Freddy Krueger stalks seven teens whose families were involved in his death – but only appears in their dreams. As Krueger attempts (and sometimes, succeeds) murdering the teenagers while they sleep, you’ll struggle to distinguish between dreams and reality.
Angelika Film Center, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. Oct. 17 and 18, midnight. $7.
“Carrie” at E Street Cinema: What do pig’s blood, John Travolta and Stephen King have in common? They’re all part of the 1976 horror hit “Carrie.” The Academy Award-winning film, based on King’s novel of the same name (and his first novel at that), follows Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), an awkward 17-year-old with telekinetic powers, and her delinquent boyfriend, Billy Nolan (Travolta), as they navigate the horrors of high school and attempt to extract revenge on the popular kids. Don’t miss this one-night-only chance to see the cult classic on the big screen.
E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Oct. 17 and 18, 11:59 p.m. $9.