Monstrous fun (part 2): Halloween flicks get serious as the big day approaches

Get Out

A screening and discussion of “Get Out” at the Highlands library is a highlight of fear flicks screening the rest of the month.

As the big day approaches, local venues are upping the blood-and-guts ante with movies celebrating the Halloween season. This roundup covers screenings beginning this week and rolling to the big day itself.

The frightsome fare includes a few staples — really, can you ever get bored with “Young Frankenstein”? — and family-friendly flicks, but most of the films on this list are downright gross, like they ought to be. They’re not for everyone, but if you have the stomach, they are a blast to see with a crowd.

If you care to look back at what films screened the first half of the month, go check out Part 1.

Tuesday, Oct. 17

• “Ghostbusters” (1984)

7:30 p.m., Decca, 812 E. Market St., free

The original is always good fun for bar night.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

• “The Thing” (1982) and “The Fly” (1986)

9 p.m.-2 a.m., The Butchertown Social, 1601 Story Ave., free

The Thing

It actually gets a lot weirder than this in John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

This double-bill is being touted as a body-horror showcase, and the master of that sub-genre, David Cronenberg, is at his corpulent best with “The Fly.” When two hours of Jeff Goldblum rotting on screen can muster a 91 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you know you’ve done something right. Every moment of this movie is more or less perfect; both Goldblum and Geena Davis give among the best performances of their careers.

Nerds might argue that the evening’s other flick, John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” isn’t actually body horror, but it’s damn horrific and stands as one of the great iconoclastic accomplishments in cinema horror. Critics hated “The Thing” when it opened, but over the years it’s earned recognition as an all-time great not only in horror, but also science-fiction. Practical effects are just way scarier than CGI, and both these films took inflatable bladders and latex to all-time heights. Add to Facebook.

Thursday, Oct. 19

• “Hotel Transylvania” (2012)

6 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

Animated flick is family-friendly, but not really all that fun.

• “Get Out” (2017)

6:30 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Highlands/Shelby Park Branch, free

Another highlight for the month. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” absolutely deserves a nomination for Best Picture this year, despite being from the oft-reviled horror genre. Except it’s not a horror film.

It’s a satire of race in America that smartly uses horror tropes to make its points, from which no one is entirely safe. It’s a movie you will want to talk about, and fortunately, there will be a discussion session after this screening.

• “Evil Dead II” (1987)

8 p.m., Copper & Kings Distillery courtyard, 121 E. Washington St., free

Sam Raimi’s black comedy about re-animated girlfriends and possessed right hands is just so groovy. Add to Facebook.

Friday, Oct. 20

• “Donnie Darko” (2001)

9:30 p.m., Lydia House, 1101 Lydia St., free

It’s so cool you have a couple of shots to see it this month. Add to Facebook.

Saturday, Oct. 21

• Some Really Scary Movie TBD

2 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Western Branch, free

We don’t know what it is yet, but it is sure to be terrifying.

• Horror Movie Gong Show

8-10 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

A panel of local judges will test their tolerance for what library director Jim Blanton promises will be some genuinely horrible horror films. The movie screenings will cap off a free night of ghost stories and panel discussions, including one on “The Making of a Horror Movie” led by local filmmaker and UofL professor Remington Smith.

• “Christine” (1983)

11:55 p.m., Baxter Avenue Theaters, $10

Just watch “Maximum Overdrive” (1986) if you want a King flick about cars that come menacingly to life. “Overdrive” is stupid enough to be fun, at least.

Sunday, Oct. 22

• “The Haunted Mansion” (2003)

2 p.m., The Louisville Palace, $8

Surprisingly charming 2003 Eddie Murphy vehicle based on a Disney theme park ride. Add to Facebook

Tuesday, Oct. 24

• “The Shining” (1980)

7:30 p.m., Decca, 812 E. Market St., free

Stanley Kubrick’s demented genius has spawned numerous cults who claim this 1980 classic is a clandestine manifesto on everything from a fake moon landing to the legend of the Minotaur (seriously). In reality, Kubrick was resentful of having to adapt a Stephen King book he didn’t particularly care for, and he packed the project full of so many “screw you”s to the author (see that crushed red VW bug?) that it feels like there’s just something else going on.

And that’s the idea — Kubrick’s film is unnerving, unsettling and meant to raise, not answer, questions. And Shelley Duvall is just nightmarish throughout.

Wednesday, Oct. 25

At least they won’t have to listen to that damn jingle again in “Halloween III.”

• “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982) and “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007)

9 p.m.-2 a.m., The Butchertown Social, 1601 Story Ave., free

There are bad horror movies, there are offensive horror movies, and then there is “Halloween III.” Just so you know, the movie has nothing to do with the rest of the franchise, but instead tries to horrify you with those nightmarish Druids as they conspire to turn kids’ heads into dung beetle factories. Really, it’s that bad.

The night’s second feature, “Trick ‘r Treat” (2007), is actually a very enjoyable portmanteau starting Anna Paquin and a creepy pumpkin head doll. The bar is suggesting a drinking game — knock one back each time you see a jack-o-lantern. You should be feeling no pain about 9:45. Add to Facebook.

Thursday, Oct. 26

• “Paranorman” (2012)

6 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

A very cute and underappreciated animated film. Check it out with the family.

• “Scream” (1996)

8 p.m., Copper & Kings Distillery courtyard, 121 E Washington St., free

Josh Whedon wishes he ever wrote anything remotely as clever as director Wes Craven’s seminal “meta” slasher flick. Funny, self-aware and downright scary in its own right, it’s been often imitated but never even close to duplicated. You hear me, “Cabin in the Woods”? Add to Facebook.

Friday, Oct. 27

Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” remains timeless.

• “Dawn of the Dead” (1974)

5 & 8 p.m., UofL Floyd Theater, $3

After creating the modern zombie pic in 1968 with “Night of the Living Dead,” George Romero perfected the genre with this follow-up. Humanity’s greed, distrust and self-destructive nature are elegantly satired as a group of survivors hole up in a shopping mall. And skulls get smashed by helicopter blades.

“Dawn” is not technically as gross as some of the other films on this list, but it’s every bit as disturbing as it is funny. There have been other really good zombie flicks in the following decades, but they’ve never come close to Romero’s big two.

Saturday, Oct. 28

• “Frankenweenie” (2012)

1:30 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Portland Branch, free

A labor of love for director Tim Burton, this 2012 full-length version of his amazing 1984 short subject is cute, but — in true Burton form — a little scattered and oddly maudlin in the mist of all that gloom. Great animation and just scary enough for the kids.

• “Dawn of the Dead” (2004)

2 & 5 p.m., UofL Floyd Theater, $3

It just won’t stay dead.

• “Carrie” (1976)

A bullied revenge in “Carrie.”

11:55 p.m., Baxter Avenue Theaters, $10

Sissy Spacek was nominated for Best Actress for her turn as a bullied teen who you’re be better off not bullying. She’s amazing, but Piper Laurie (also nominated) steals the show as her religious nutjob mother.

“Carrie” stands up pretty well to the test of time, but it does bog down when Spacek and Laurie are not on screen — ’70s high school gym classes just aren’t as exciting as you remember them. Hugely influential. No killer in a teen horror movie stayed dead for the next two decades.

Sunday, Oct. 29

• “Halloween” (1978)

About 8:30 p.m., Levee at the River House, 3015 River Road, free

Not the first, but the best of the slasher flicks of the ’70s and ’80s. All the now-worn tropes are there, but somehow John Carpenter and his writing partner Debra Hill piece them together in a film that remains enormously entertaining and grounded enough to still be pretty scary, even if you know what’s coming. And you will know what’s coming. The only completely unbelievable aspect of the film is Jamie Lee Curtis being cast as an unattractive, retiring bookworm. Add to Facebook.

• “Young Frankenstein” (1974)

2 p.m., The Louisville Palace, $8

How to praise Mel Brooks’ 1974 masterwork in a way you haven’t heard before? If you can get an audience to laugh out loud when a village maiden literally rolls in the hay, you’ve reached new heights. So lowbrow it’s genius.

Monday, Oct. 30

Not your Scooby-Doo variety werewolf in “Goosebumps.”

• “Goosebumps” (2015)

6 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Shively Branch, free

This spinup is a worthy addition to the R.L. Stein kid horror juggernaut. It’s actually pretty darn scary in spots; that werewolf is no joke. Jack Black portrays Jack Black in the adult lead, but given the material, it works out just fine. Be forewarned — this is unapologetically a PG flick and may be a little intense for younger kids.

Tuesday, Oct. 31

• “The Exorcist” (1973)

6:30 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Middletown Branch, free

The LFPL site says “costumes welcome” for this screening of what remains, more than 40 years after its release, one of the most genuinely horrifying films ever made. Leave the pea soup at home, please.