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Halloween films

Ten Halloween film pop-ups to book now

From an unholy happening in a church to a gut-spilling pyjama party

By Cath Clarke
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Chills in the chapel

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Where better for a spooky screening than a church? For three nights, St James in West Hampstead will be decked out with cobwebs for a mini-season of horror classics. There’s something for all horror tolerance levels. Giggle along to ‘Beetlejuice’ or chew your fingers in fright at ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘Saw’.

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‘Halloween’ drive-in

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America invented drive-in cinema and Halloween (the trick-or-treat, eating sweets bit). Now the two come together in an unholy union, with a screening of John Carpenter’s watch-behind-the-sofa-scary ‘Halloween’. The venue is a new pop-up drive-in cinema at Brent Cross, with a giant screen and roller girl waitresses.

Apocalypse in Camden

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They’re promising live zombies (if that’s not a contradiction) and Swat teams before these screenings in Camden Lock Indoor Market. Films are a mix of horror classics (‘Evil Dead’) and new films (‘World War Z’ and ‘I Spit on Your Grave’). The Backyard Cinema crew is big on food and booze, so expect craft beers and posh burgers with your frights.

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Edible Cinema at the Electric Cinema

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The edible cinema concept is simple: tuck into boxes of mystery food while you watch a movie. What’s in the box matches what’s happening on screen. Sounds gimmicky, right? Wrong, it’s a fun, brilliant way to watch a familiar classic. Horror buff Jonathan Ross has curated ‘An American Werewolf in London’ for Halloween. He’ll be at the Electric in Notting Hill in person on Saturday. Can’t wait to see what they serve up for the man-eats-deer scene.

‘The Lost Boys’ in Hyde Park

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Okay, so ’80s-tastic teen movie ‘The Lost Boys’ isn’t the scariest ever. It’s the location that’ll spook you with this one – the Lost Boys cave recreated in an eco-building hidden away in a copse in the middle of Hyde Park. Wear sensible shoes. Garlic and holy water optional.

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Sing-a-long-a ‘Rocky Horror’ at the Prince Charles

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The Prince Charles is the home of the raucous sing-along. Their ‘Rocky Horror’ knees ups are legendary and so popular they’re staging it twice on Halloween night. If you feel the urge to burst into song or slip into suspenders, this is for you. Arrive 30 minutes before the film for a warm-up and fancy dress competition. If that’s all a bit tame, there’s a late night screening of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’.

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‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ in Hoxton

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Pop-up experts Nomad put on London’s best outdoor film events, popping up in cemeteries and all sorts of odd nooks and crannies around the city. Over winter, they’re cosying down with monthly screenings in The Hoxton Hotel’s Apartment – a fancy-pants flat inside the hotel. They’re calling it ‘Slackers Movie Lounge’ and the Halloween screening is ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. You’ll get a gruesome welcome with a free blood-red cocktail and homemade popcorn.

Gothic at the BFI

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Arthouse lovers more interested in movies than fake blood should head to BFI Southbank, where the Gothic season is in full swing. On Halloween, you’ll catch two vampire classics, Carl Dreyer’s 1932 ‘Vampyr’ and Werner Herzog’s ‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’, plus Kathryn Bigelow’s creepy ‘Near Dark’ and Hammer Horror’s ‘The Mummy’. And not a Freddie Krueger mask in sight.

Hungry for more horror?

The 100 best horror films

Film

Horror cinema is a monster. Mistreated, misunderstood and subjected to vicious critical attacks, somehow it keeps lumbering forward, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. For some, horror films are little better than pornography, focused purely on evoking a reaction. For others, they're just a bit of fun. Here are the 100 best horror films, as chosen by those who write in, direct, star in and celebrate the genre.

See the 100 best horror films
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