A lot of horror movies in 2014 do not seem to possess the same degree of fear that the slashers (looking at you Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers) and cult classics of the 1970s, 1980s or even 1990s had. Granted, the special effects and things filmmakers can do with CGI and other programs are obviously better (and more awesome) these days, but a good scary movie can give you the chills (and more) based strictly on the storyline and demented characters. As a big horror movie fan, I have been waiting for a movie to legitimately scare me for quite some time. I recommend 2014’s “Deliver Us from Evil,” as that was the only movie released this year that had me quivering on more than a few occasions. Still, call me crazy for actually liking scary movies and desiring just a little bit more from the genre in modern day.
With that being said, plenty of classic horror and Halloween-based movies are shown in local Metro Detroit theaters in October. There have also been a number of spooky movies filmed here—both movies from the past and coming attractions.
For starters, let’s list some venues getting in the Halloween spirit and screening some of our favorite horror movies. Some may be terrifying, some may be family-friendly and some may make you laugh.
The New Redford Theatre is located at 17360 Lahser in Detroit, and will give you both funny Halloween films as well as truly classic horror flicks. On Oct. 10 and 11, all of you “Three Stooges” fans will bask in glory, as the Redford Theatre presents the Three Stooges Halloween Festival. Six films are set to be screened, including “We Want our Mummies” and “Shivering Sherlocks.” Your classic horrors include ‘”Phantom of the Opera,” on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, and “The Wolf Man” on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25. There are others as well, so check out the calendar.
State Theatre, 233 S. State St., is one of Ann Arbor’s well-known theaters and is getting into the Halloween action as well. “The Exorcist,” one of my personal favorite scary movies (one that legitimately scared me the first time I saw it), plays at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18. It is supposedly based on true events (but the film was adapted from novelist William Peter Blatty’s account of the events), and if that is the case, one should be afraid. The best part, you ask? Midnight screenings cost a mere $7 at the State. Another strange cult film, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” plays at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25.
Keep an eye out for The Penn Theatre’s (located in downtown Plymouth) SHOCK-tober Series, featuring “Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” and fan favorite “Ghostbusters.”
The Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak shows a digitally restored version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in perfect timing for the film’s 40th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 11 around midnight. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is part of the Main Art Theatre’s Midnight Movies in October, which shows three other horror movies.
Now that you have some ideas on where you can catch your favorite Halloween-esque movies in the area, maybe you can learn something new. Here are a few movies that were filmed in the good ole’ mitten.
“The Evil Dead” is a 1981 film directed by Michigan State University (go green) alumnus and Michigan native Sam Raimi. The movie’s cast was made up of several Michigan actors (portraying fellow Spartans in the film), including the film’s star, Bruce Campbell. The movie shot scenes in Detroit and Marshall.
“Scream 4” is the 2011 edition of the great slasher franchise that started in the mid 1990s. It was filmed in Ann Arbor, Northville, Plymouth and other places in the metropolitan area. Emma Roberts joined the usual Scream co-stars including Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox. I am a big fan of the Scream series as well.
“Fractured” was released in August 2014 and was filmed all over Metro Detroit. It stars Eric Roberts and Athena Lebessis and is a horror/thriller chronicling the events of a young woman after she finds her boyfriend’s blood-covered scarf after a blackout episode.
There are also a few movies with eerie concepts set to hit theaters in the coming months:
Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, a chilling thriller entitled “Lost River” filmed in Detroit throughout the summer is being released in Denmark this month, just in time for Halloween. Unfortunately for those of us in the U.S., we have to wait until February.
Also, a creepy thriller based on the abandoned Eloise psychiatric hospital near Wayne/Westland (where I grew up), fittingly titled as “Eloise,” will begin filming soon. It stars Eliza Dushku and is yet to set a release date.
There you have it: your holiday horror guide. You are welcome, my fellow Metro Detroit faithfuls. Now go catch a film, or try to be lucky enough to see one filming near you!