Published in this months issue of Filmwire, we've shone the spotlight on Halloween

Just like Christmas, All Hallow’s Eve seems to get earlier and earlier every year. Spooky screenings are littered throughout the month of October, beginning in the very first week and even extending into November in some venues. Check out our Halloween picks below, separated into classics, curios and kid-friendly spookfests.

Kidderminster gets its own revamped independent cinema this month, as the Lume Cinema (formerly a Reel site) opens its doors on Green Street, and they’re going all in on Halloween, beginning with Brian De Palma’s original Carrie on Oct 5, stopping off along the way for some Gallic cannibalism courtesy of Julia Ducournau’s Raw on Oct 19 and running all the way up to Oct 31, when Wesley Snipes pops along to a blood rave in Blade. Showcase Cinemas know you can’t have Halloween without a spot of J-horror, hence their showings of Takashi Miike’s genuinely nauseating Audition on Oct 22 and 26 at their Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham sites, whilst those looking for some old school black and white horror are spoilt for choice, with F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu at the Coffin Works in Birmingham on Oct 22, Bride Of Frankenstein screening in an actual Coventry cemetery on Oct 30 and Lon Chaney bringing The Phantom Of The Opera to life on Halloween night itself at Birmingham Town Hall. Elsewhere in the West Midlands, Daisy Dukes Drive-In Cinema have prepared three days of drive-in horror at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke between Oct 29 and 31, including The Exorcist, the first chapter of the recent It adaptation and a 25th anniversary showing of Wes Craven’s genre-changing Scream. They’re also (weirdly) screening The Greatest Showman, which really is horrifying.

Nobody expects the seventh instalment of a horror franchise to be any good, which is why Cult Of Chucky is such a rare treat, and possibly the only film ever made in which an actor (Fiona Dourif) plays a character possessed by another character played by her real-life father (Brad Dourif). Screening Oct 15 at Derby Quad, Cult Of Chucky is the twisted appetiser to Quad’s twelfth Dead & Breakfast all-nighter on Oct 30, which includes such creepy classics as The Shining and Argento’s Deep Red. Trash Film Club rears its ugly head in Coventry on Oct 31 for live and sensible analysis of Nicolas Cage fighting off bees in The Wicker Man remake, whilst Nonsuch Studios in Nottingham stage a foodie screening of Ana Lily Amirpour’s super-stylish black-and-white horror A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night on Oct 21. Jim Henson fans will be in heaven/hell on Oct 30 as The Night Owl in Birmingham hosts an immersive ‘Dark Labyrinth’ Halloween party - paying tribute to Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal - whilst Birmingham’s Cine-Excess festival returns in online form from 19 to 24 Oct, with a number of exclusive screenings and Q&As with filmmakers Prano Bailey-Bond and Brandon Cronenberg.

Disney’s Hocus Pocus will be showing literally everywhere there’s a screen during October, but there are some other family friendly options out there. Nottingham’s Bonington Theatre will be hosting a free screening of the Julia Donaldson short Room On The Broom on Oct 29, whilst The Core Theatre in Solihull screens Aardman Animation’s claymation feature Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit on Oct 27. Kidderminster’s newly opened Lume Cinema will be screening the CG animation Paranorman on Oct 10 and the actually-pretty-darn-freaky Roald Dahl adaptation The Witches on Oct 17 and 21, plus Pixar’s gorgeous Day Of The Dead animation Coco gets a drive-in showing in Nottinghamshire at the Newark Showground on Oct 30 and the Steven Spielberg produced Casper haunts Stourbridge Town Hall on Oct 30.

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