The Scariest Films to see in Manchester this Halloween 2019

The best thing about Halloween is the movies.

By Manchester's Finest | October 15th '19

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We’re talking Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas and dozens of other popular picks, but this year Manchester has really upped its game by hosting a ghoulish series of Halloween movie nights. From family favourites to terrifying tales that’ll leave you hiding behind cushions, are you even celebrating if you don’t go to at least one? Nah… Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ with a live score Thursday 17th October @ RNCM Based on Charles Bennet’s 1928 play, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1929 adaptation of ‘Blackmail’ will be played at the Royal College of Music, accompanied by a mesmerising live score. The story follows Alice White after she kills a man in self-defence when he tries to rape her. When her partner Frank - a Scotland Yard Detective - discovers her glove at a crime scene and decides to conceal the evidence from the investigation, a villain named Tracey learns of their secret and blackmails them in order to gain favours. Buy Tickets   Fright Night Friday 18th October We're talking about the old Fright Night here, not the most recent one where they put David Tennant in eyeliner and let him mince around the film set for hours. This is the original and best one - the tale of a young lad who moves in next door to a vampire and then decides it a good idea to get a guy off the telly to help him sort it all out. It's all pretty ridiculous but there's a fair few scares in there and the make-up and effects are ace. It's even better on the big screen too. Buy Tickets   Ghostbusters Saturday 26th October Okay - so Ghostbusters isn't really that scary AT ALL. It's certainly more of a comedy than a horror and as soon as you see Dan Aykroyd receive a sex act from a ghost - you just know you're not going to get scared. But there is ONE bit in the film that is truly frightening and that's the bit at the beginning in the library. The build up, the librarian, the fact that she's creepy as hell - it's brilliant and also manages to perfectly sets the scene for the rest of the film. Watch it on the big screen at the Odeon this Saturday 26th October. Buy Tickets     The Witches Sunday 27th October @ HOME There may be a remake coming this year featuring a top-quality Hollywood cast, but the iconic 1990 adaptation, starring Anjelica Huston, will never be topped, I’m sure you’ll agree. Roald Dahl’s book follows a young boy, Luke on holiday to England with his grandmother. Stumbling across a convention for witches, he discovers their plans to turn children into mice when he himself is caught and becomes one of their victims. Now a tiny little creature, he and his friends must come up with a plan to defeat the witches and stop their evil plot from ever taking place- but do they succeed? I guess you’ll have to find out. Buy Tickets   The Lighthouse @ HOME Sunday 3rd November Director Robert Eggers' much-anticipated follow-up to his folk-horror debut The Witch in 2015, The Lighthouse looks set to be more of the same period eerie-ness that everyone has now come to expect from him. Many considered The Witch to be a little slow, not at all relying on the typical horror tropes of jump scares or gore - but to me it was a welcome surprise. The Lighthouse looks set to be similar as Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play lighthouse keepers battling elements, isolation, inner demons and 'more'. Book Now   Halloween (with Bottomless Booze) Thursday 31st October Of course, you have to watch Halloween on Halloween - it's the rules. It's also very advantageous that it's an absolute corker - a vision of fear and madness at the hands of one of cinema's greatest directors - John Carpenter. From the moment it starts and you get a 1st person view of the horrors of Mike Myers - you know that you're in for a wild ride. As soon as he starts stalking people on Halloween night, stabby-stabby away - you're shitting yourself and probably double-checking you locked the front door. This screening also has BOTTOMLESS BOOZE. Thanks. Buy Tickets   The Conjuring @ Victoria Baths Thursday 31st October What is quickly becoming a modern horror classic, The Conjuring follows the story of real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren as they investigate the very frightening happenings at a farmhouse in Rhode Island. It's basically the same story of the Amityville Horror but is about 10x scarier and around 11x more impressive. Expect lots of possessions, creepy kids, a horrible doll and a lot of talk about God. Buy Tickets   Knife + Heart @ Cultureplex Friday 1st November It's great to hear that Make A Scene Film Club have found a permanent home in Cultureplex - that, of course, means that we get much more of their brilliant immersive screenings of cult classics. This Halloween they'll be screening Yann Gonzalez's horror thriller Knife + Heart - a queer horror experience that's just perfect for a few jump scares. Set in the summer of 1979, Paris-based filmmaker Anne is a producer of third-rate gay porn movie. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet but when one of her actors is brutally murdered by a masked killer targeting gay porn stars, Anne gets dragged into a hypnotic investigation. Buy Tickets   Beetlejuice @ Victoria Baths Friday 1st November A masterclass in the macabre, even though there's a fair whack of comedy in Beetlejuice, it still manages to create a slow, creeping sense of dread throughout - primarily down to the fantastic designs from director Tim Burton. Winona Ryder is the goth (with a heart of gold) that she was born to play, a pre-obese Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are the put-out dead people while Michael Keaton manages to steal the whole show with about 4 minutes of screen time. Watch it at Victoria Baths this Halloween complete with street food and a DJ afterwards. Buy Tickets   Clive Barker Double Bill: Hellraiser & Candyman Friday 1st November This year, Grimmfest and the Gothic Manchester Festival have teamed up to bring the people of Manchester an unmissable horror experience. Dr Xavier Reyes (lecturer of Gothic Studies at Man Met), will kick off the night with a special introduction to Clive Barker’s work and will dissect the masterful works of this celebrated writer and film director. The talk will be followed by the first screening of the night, Bernard Rose’s 1992 adaptation of Barker’s short story, ‘The Forbidden’- Candyman. Next, the 1987 adaption of Barker’s most famous story, Hellraiser, will be aired, topping off a night of discussion and true horror. FREE Tickets     The Wicker Man @ HOME Saturday 2nd November Edward Woodward heads to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. Instead of clues and helpful villagers he finds Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland and a whole host of absolute nut jobs who want to put him inside a big wicker man and set him on fire. It's nowhere near as good as the 2006 remake starring Nicholas Cage but that's because it's not got Nicholas Cage in it. Obviously. Book Now   Daniel Isn’t Real @ HOME Saturday 2nd November Nobody tell Elton John because it seems that Daniel just isn't real. Sorry, terrible gag there - I'm just trying to lighten the mood a little bit in light of all of his horror. This horror film comes from the producers of Mandy and stars Patrick Schwarzenegger as imaginary-friend Daniel who returns to life to "raise hell" and generally cause a bloody ruckus. Book Now