October is upon us, and with it the start of what horror buffs like to call “the haunting season” leading up to Halloween. This year there’s a ton of fun, spooky stuff coming to both the big and the small screen. Herewith, a preview…
Nightmare: Killers-I’ve long dismissed New York’s pricey haunted house as an overhyped train wreck, but 2012’s edition is garnering solid word of mouth and has an intriguing focus on real world serial killers. Dahmer, Gacy, and the Zodiac killer all get their due, but I’m most intrigued by the inclusion of Ed Gein, the grave robbing psychopath who inspired Norman Bates. I’ve read that the production values are solid and the scares are brutal, so I might just give Nightmare another chance.
Frankenweenie-Tim Burton returns to stop motion animation following The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride with this expansion of his early short film about a boy who brings his dead dog back to life. The new movie includes tributes to all the classic Universal monsters, and like their films, it’s in black and white.
V/H/S-This buzz-y horror anthology (it made someone faint at Sundance) is in limited release after being released on demand. Having seen the movie last month, I can honestly say it’s extremely entertaining and scary, pulling off the seemingly impossible task of making the found footage genre, as well as some of horror’s hoariest clichés (ghostly kids, haunted houses), fresh again.
Sinister-James Wan’s gleefully creepy Insidious was one of my favorite scary movies of the last decade, and this one looks to follow in its footsteps. Ethan Hawke plays a new home owner (never a lucky role in horror) who discovers a cache of creepy home movies tied to a demonic presence. The trailer gave me goose bumps.
American Horror Story
I was absolutely obsessed with the first season of American Horror Story last season. The combination of Ryan Murphy’s outrageously kinky Nip/Tuck sensibility with elements from most of the great horror films made for an intoxicating witch’s brew. This season’s installment, “Asylum” reboots with a crumbling institution that’s home to a domineering nun (Jessica Lange again), a sex addict (Chloe Sevigny) and, apparently, aliens. Murphy even promises another Halloween episode following last year’s two-parter. I’ll be watching.
Burnt Offerings at Chelsea Clearview Classics-I’m a big fan of Hedda Lettuce’s series of vintage movies at the Chelsea Clearview, particularly how they pile on the horror every October. Tonight’s offbeat haunted house flick—totally disturbing and bizarre—stars Bette Davis and Karen Black. Two interactive shows follow on the last two Saturdays of the month: Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Carrie. Get ready to scream, queens!
Halloween Re-release-John Carpenter’s classic horror tale returns to the big screen at the Chelsea Clearview, the AMC Empire 25, and the Landmark Sunshine on these dates. Besides being my favorite film of all time, Halloween is perfect theater viewing with its outstanding widescreen cinematography. If you love it, or (gasp!) haven’t seen it yet, this is the way to watch.