It’s the best time of the year to be afraid! Because scary is fun! While Netflix and its streaming cousins are chock to the brim with spooky films, it’s nice to get out and see something frightening on the big screen. So invite all your friends and make a real night of it. After all, scaring is caring.
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AFI’s Latin American Film Festival isn’t solely highlighting and celebrating Latin American filmmakers, it’s also a one stop shop for your spooky fix. Catch a perfect pairing of “Huesera,” a paranoid jaunt into motherhood and pregnancy with a body horror bend, and the short “Los Huesos,” brought to you by the same terrifying team who created “The Wolf House.” Having seen neither of these films and having been completely mesmerized by both trailers, this is my dream screaming. If you want to start October off right, start right here. AFI Silver: 8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring; afisilver.afi.com // @AFISilver
When I was 15 I watched “Candyman” on a bored whim in a friend’s basement and that movie has lived rent free in a corner of my head ever since. Its urban legend core and oppressively tense atmosphere make it a horror classic, and the larger than life monster (played by the hypnotic Tony Todd) keeps me coming back. Don’t get me wrong, “Candyman” has its flaws (including a straightforward white savior plot), but it’s also a slasher gem. When you think of Michael, Jason and Freddy, don’t forget Candyman. Suns Cinema: 3107 Mt Pleasant St NW; sunscinema.com // @sunscinema
LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH! If you’re looking for a movie that’s slick and stylish while also being gorey and psychologically unnerving, “Videodrome” delivers in spades. Starring Debbie Harry (yes, from Blondie) and James Woods who pulled into a surreal hunt for a mysterious snuff film TV channel, Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” is a not-so-subtle look at society’s obsession with sex and violence. Among other things. Really, LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH is all you have to know. E Street Cinema: 555 11th St NW; landmarktheatres.com // @EStreetCinema
This is the perfect Friday Halloween movie date. Grab some dinner and a pre-movie drink at Denizens and then slide into your seats at AFI Cinema, where you’ll be greeted with this black and white 1922 vampire classic scored by a live orchestra. How classy? How spooky? How… romantic? Do your best vampire impressions as you skulk down to The Quarry House for a dimly lit post-movie nightcap. “Nosferatu” might not give you nightmares, but it will give you an appreciation for the genre at large. AFI Silver: 8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring; afisilver.afi.com // @AFISilver
Burned out from a weekend of partying? Tapped out after buying a last minute costume at Spirit Halloween and racking up a horrifying bar tab? Slip into a dark, quiet, and completely free screening of “Us” at the National Gallery of Art, and send off October the best way possible. Director Jordan Peele needs no introduction, and his follow up to “Get Out” sets up a dark and bloody fairytale that will worm its way deep into your dreams. National Gallery of Art: 6th and Constitution Ave NW; nga.gov // @ngadc