While some are mourning the end of summer, I’m celebrating it. Not only am I ready for D.C. swamp summers to fade into a few short weeks of gorgeous weather, but I am ready for the best holiday of the year: Halloween. While October is the official spooky month, September is when you can really start those movie marathons. And theaters across the city as jumping into the Halloween spirit early alongside us, catering to us horror obsessives and our need for scares.
Here are some of the best genre films, old and new, playing in D.C. this September.
Directed by Zach Cregger of Whitest Kids U’Know fame, “Barbarian” is further proof that 2022 is a banger of a year for horror. This movie is best seen with little to no knowledge about the plot, but I will say it involves an Airbnb mishap, Justin Long as a Hollywood douchebag and something lurking in the basement. It’s twisted, gory and darkly funny. It’s the perfect way to start off the high holy Halloween season. Rated R. Opens wide in theaters.
“Alienoid” at Angelika Film Center & Cafe
This Korean sci-fi action time travel film is the first of two planned epics from director Choi Dong-hoon. The film follows two gurus from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) on a quest for a special sword. But on their journey, they come across people from the present day who are searching for an alien disguised as a human. Clocking in at almost two-and-a-half hours, “Alienoid” is a Korean sci-fi epic spanning centuries. How does it all resolve? You’ll have to watch to find out. Rated R. 2911 District Ave. Fairfax, VA; angelikafilmcenter.com // @angelikamosaic
“X” and “Pearl” Double Feature at Alamo Drafthouse DC
Director Ti West is back, baby. After a decade of laying low, West brought us “X” earlier this year, a tale of sex workers set on making the next best porn film, only to be massacred by the elder owners of the farm where they’re staying. Now, West’s prequel “Pearl,” about the elderly female character from “X,” is set to hit theaters next week. What better time for a delicious double feature starring Mia Goth as a blood-splattered babe, decimating her enemies with an axe all while looking fabulous with her blue eyeshadow? Rated R. 630 Rhode Island Ave NE, DC; drafthouse.com // @drafthouse
9.16 – 9.24
“Infernal Affairs” Trilogy 4K Restoration at AFI Silver
Okay, “Infernal Affairs” isn’t strictly a horror movie; it’s more of a crime thriller. But its tense atmosphere still earns it a spot on the list. The first film in the trilogy served as the inspiration behind the 2006 Martin Scorcese Irish mob outing “The Departed.” The first film stars Andy Lau, who also wrote and directed the film, and icon Tony Lueng in a tale about undercover cops deeply embedded in a Chinese mob known as the Triad. Spend your week watching these gorgeous restorations of an iconic crime series that inspired the master Scorcese himself. Rated R. 8633 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD; silver.afi.com // @afisilvertheatre
“Medusa” at AFI Silver
Described as “‘Mean Girls’ meets ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’” by AFI, “Medusa” takes place in the dystopian near future. During the day, these girls are evangelical choir girls with a fanatical dedication to the Lord. By night, they make up a vigilante girl group who attack anyone who isn’t a believer. It’s a neon pink-soaked nightmare with some scathing remarks about religion’s puritanical nature and its inherent misogyny. Not Rated. 8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD; silver.afi.com // @afisilvertheatre