Courtesy Amblin Entertainment

’Tis the Season

The majority of movies in theaters at the moment are indie-ish fare like Brandon Cronenberg’s freaky Possessor, small mainstream films like War With Grandpa starring Robert DeNiro and anniversary re-releases of movies like the Bette Midler family comedy Hocus Pocus. As we creep closer toward Oct. 31, drive-ins and theaters will be showing even more classics.

This weekend, you can catch Linda Blair spewing pea soup and obscenities at a hapless priest when Summerville’s Woodlands Drive-In screens The Exorcist (10/23). They’ll also show the delightfully dark and sweet film The Corpse Bride the following evening. The family friendly Hotel Transylvania will also be shown (Holy City Drive-In 10/23, Woodlands Drive-In 10/23, Terrace 10/23-29). One Frederick Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street will terrorize the Woodlands for one night (10/24). Terrace Theater will let him scare folks poopless the same week (10/23). Lovely misunderstood Samara from The Ring will emerge from the Holy City Drive-In (10/23) while Get Out will sink into the Moonlite Drive-In (10/24). Speaking of the Moonlite Drive-In, they’ll present the most Halloweeny of Halloween movies this Friday evening.

Ray Parker Jr. once asked the question, “Who ya gonna call?” and the entire population of the United States yelled, “Ghostbusters,” which is also playing this year (Woodlands Drive-In 10/30,10/31). Busting makes one feel good but if they ever began indiscriminately zapping monsters and ghosts, they could accidentally zap a friendly one like that kid Casper, who will also show up in the Lowcountry (Moonlite Drive-In 10/30). What kind of message would that send to monster-friendly people like The Addams Family (Holy City Drive In 10/31)? What would people that attend monthly showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Terrace Theater 10/29 -10/31) think? It would be really crappy to lump casual monsters and misfits in with mindless killing machines like Michael Myers from the 1978 film Halloween (Terrace Theater 10/30,10/31). 

Sure, we have plenty of choices this year, but we want to highlight one family friendly flick and one for the adults to watch this year.

Take the kids and social distance in the car this year with family-friendly flicks like Halloweentown and Casper | Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Halloweentown (Moonlite Drive-In 10/23)

Anyone who spent their formative years in front of the tube in the late ’90s may remember this Disney movie fondly. As one of the first original Disney Channel films, Halloweentown helped establish the channel as a force to be reckoned with. The film follows Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown), Sophie (Emily Roeske) and Dylan (Joey Zimmerman), as they secretly follow their Halloween-positive grandma, Aggie (Debbie Reynolds), to the mysterious Halloweentown. When they arrive, they meet a colorful cast of characters, like Benny the Skeleton, and learn of a hooded demon that threatens the good townsfolk. Fun fact: before director Duwayne Dunham worked his magic on Halloweentown, he edited Return of the Jedi and Blue Velvet, and directed episodes of the completely abnormal Twin Peaks. As Grandma Aggie once said, “Being normal is vastly overrated.”

The latest Halloween film made Michael Myers terrifying again | Courtesy Rough House Pictures

Halloween (2018)

The Rough House Pictures sequel to the 1978 original was a treat for horror fans and Charlestonians alike. Watching the film as a local adds that little extra creepiness that you wouldn’t feel anywhere else. This weekend, On Set Cinema, a traveling film series that screens movies at the filming locations, will host a sold out screening at the Hanahan gas station where Myers iced folks in a dingy bathroom and reunited with his beloved mask. That’s kinda rad in its own scary way. Speaking of scary, one of the best elements of Halloween (2018) is that it made Myers terrifying again. The most recent memories of Myers before that were him as a hulk bent on overkill in Rob Zombie’s interpretations or, even worse, as the clumsy oaf that got his ass kicked by Dangertainment founder Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes). Instead, we were given something akin to what Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) feared — a man with a blank, pale, emotionless face and the devil’s eyes. A person that had no conscience or understanding or even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. A badass Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) never hurt either. 

This Halloween weekend, the Woodlands Drive-In will show Halloween (2018) on Friday and Saturday while the Holy City Drive-In will present the film as a double bill with the original Friday the 13th. Meanwhile horror fans can watch it this weekend at the Terrace Theater with a special screening (introduced by director David Gordon Green himself) this Friday to benefit the late Anthony Woodle, Terrace general manager, to help pay off medical bills.