October is finally here and horror fans young and old can climb out of their crypts to head to the theatres for some terrifying good times. There are plenty of great horror films coming to theatres this month, and we’re here to offer you a quick guide to some of the best horror screenings available in the city of Toronto. There’s also a few wide releases that everybody can enjoy, even if you don’t happen to live close to the city.

TIFF Bell Lightbox – 350 King Street West

The Mask

HalloweenOctober 22, 2015 & October 30, 2015

It’s not really October for many horror fans unless a viewing of Halloween happens. The classic film screens twice at TIFF Bell Lightbox so dust off your William Shatner masks and head to the theatre.

The MaskOpens October 23, 2015

Horror fans are in for a treat with The Mask. This 1961 film has been recently restored by TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive and will be starting its run in October. Not only is this an incredibly strange and twisted film, but it’s the first feature length horror film and the first feature length 3D film produced in Canada. Canadian history and horror come together for a great night out.

Island of Lost SoulsOctober 31, 2015

This is the first film adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel, and it was quite controversial when released in 1932. Charles Laughton stars as the mad scientist Moreau, with Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke as the Panther Woman, this is one classic you shouldn’t miss.

Dead AliveOctober 31, 2015

This early comedy/splatter horror film from director Peter Jackson is a must see for horror fans, and it also happens to be a free screening. Get there early for your tickets so you can enjoy the story of Lionel (Timothy Balme), a man who lives with his domineering mother. When his mother is bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey, she starts to turn into a rotting zombie with hilarious and incredibly bloody results.

Dead of NightOctober 31, 2015

This classic British anthology film from 1945 will offer a few lighter chills and thrills for fans. When a group of strangers wind up in the same country house, they begin sharing spooky tales including one about a murderous ventriloquist’s dummy. Filled with some very chilling moments and a couple of laughs as well, this is one of the best anthology horror films around.

Carlton Cinema – 20 Carlton Street

The Beyond

The Final GirlsOpens October 9, 2015

After its recent screening at TIFF, The Final Girls heads to Carlton Cinema for a limited theatrical run. The film stars Taissa Farmiga as Max, the daughter of late horror actress Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman). When Max and her friends attend an anniversary screening of her mother’s film Camp Bloodbath, they find themselves sucked into the movie. Now they’re forced to team up with the fictional characters to defeat the crazed killer stalking them all.

Knock KnockOpens October 9, 2015

This latest film featuring Keanu Reeves tells the terrifying tale of Evan (Reeves), a devoted father and husband who happens to be alone for the weekend. When he lets two stranded women into his home, his life is suddenly torn apart as they begin to try and pull his world apart. Eli Roth, who directs, may have two hits on his hands this month as his film The Green Inferno will also be screening in October.

Ginger SnapsOctober 14, 2015

The MUFF Society presents this screening of the classic Canadian horror film Ginger Snaps. The film played a role in making Katharine Isabelle a Canadian horror icon, and offered up a strong feminist take on the werewolf mythology. Hope for a full moon that night and head out to the theatre.

35mm Double FeatureThe Beyond & PiecesOctober 24, 2015

This is easily the best double feature for Halloween. The Carlton Midnight Society hosts this evening of extreme gore beginning with The Beyond, one of the best films from Italian director Lucio Fulci. When a young woman inherits a hotel in Louisiana, she soon finds out that it was built over an entrance to Hell. Heavily censored on release, this is just the start of the stomach churning evening. Pieces closes the night with a bloody bang. This 1982 film continully outdoes itself through its running time and it’s something you won’t see anywhere else. The story of a killer wielding a chainsaw on a college campus is sure to offer horror fans all the blood and gore they’re hoping for.

Halloween Double FeatureNosferatu & The Satanic Rites of DraculaOctober 31, 2015

The Carlton Midnight Society does it once again with this fantastic classic double feature of historical horror hits. Nosferatu is the earliest surviving film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and it’s easy to see why. The vampire, played by Max Schreck, is still one of the most terrifying looking representations of the monster and this is a must see film for horror fans seeking some history in the genre. Finishing the evening is the Hammer horror film The Satanic Rites of Dracula. Starring Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and Christopher Lee in his final performance as Dracula. Cushing and Lee made these films what they were, so don’t miss the opportunity to see Lee as Dracula one final time.

The Royal – 608 College Street

Return of the Living Dead

PsychoOpens October 8, 2015

The Royal is starting the month off right with an undisputed classic. Hitchcock’s Psycho broke plenty of rules in its day, and it has unquestionably become a part of our culture. Bernard Herrmann’s score, Anthony Perkins performance, and the fact that the film will make you want to shower with the curtain open, there are a number of reasons why you should see this one on a big screen.

Young FrankensteinOctober 20, 2015

Halloween isn’t just about blood curdling screams and dripping gore, it can also be about great laughs and classic monsters. Young Frankenstein will take care of that. Gene Wilder stars as the grandson of Dr. Victor von Frankenstein, who has inherited the castle his grandfather owned. The young Dr. Frankenstein thinks his grandfather’s work was bogus until he comes across a book describing the experiments, which leads to him creating a new monster, with hilarious results.

Return of the Living DeadOctober 22, 2015

George Romero may have kicked off the zombie genre as we know it now, but it’s Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead that truly perfected it. This punk rock zombie film is why brains have been associated with the rotting corpses. A group of punks winds up trapped in a graveyard with the undead thanks to their friend and his boss unleashing a deadly gas. Trying to fix things only makes it worse, and their chances of survival start getting very slim. Great music, some incredible effects, and a memorable dance scene featuring Linnea Quigley are just a few moments in this amazing zombie film.

The Serpent and the RainbowOctober 26, 2015

Wes Craven gets an unlikely tribute with a screening of The Serpent and the Rainbow. Craven will always be remembered more for films like A Nightmare on Elm Street or Scream, but this film is worthy of the attention those other films get. Less of a horror film than Craven’s other works, this film follows Dr. Dennis Allen (Bill Pullman) as he travels to Haiti to learn about a Voodoo drug that is said to bring the dead back to life. This is a great screening to explore Craven’s work outside of the obvious choices.

An American Werewolf in LondonOctober 28, 2015 & October 31, 2015

John Landis manages to blend hilarious comedy and some brutal gore with his film An American Werewolf in London. David (David Naughton) and his friend Jack (Griffin Dunne) are travelling around Britain when they’re attacked by a werewolf  that kills Jack and causes David to be left with the werewolf curse. With one of the greatest transformation sequences of any werewolf film to date, and that perfect blend of laughs and scares, everybody should catch a screening of this film during October.

CarrieOctober 28, 2015

Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel features one of the most memorable scenes in horror history as Carrie White unleashes her telekinetic powers at the high school prom. Though this scene is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Carrie, the outstanding performances of Sissy Spacek as Carrie and Piper Laurie as her mother make this a truly special film.

Phantom of the ParadiseOctober 29, 2015

Brian De Palma shows up again this month with a screening of his film, Phantom of the Paradise. This rock opera version of The Phantom of the Opera features William Finley as Winslow Leach, a man who is disfigured and has his music stolen from him by Swan (Paul Williams), who plans to use the music when he opens his club The Paradise. Becoming the Phantom, Leach sets out for revenge. This over the top ’70s flick is just the kind of movie cult classic lovers will enjoy.

Halloween 3: Season of the WitchOctober 31, 2015

Avoiding the obvious (and honestly overplayed) choice of the original Halloween film, The Royal is offering fans the chance to see the Michael Myers-less film Halloween 3. The lack of the masked killer ruined the reception of this film when it was released, but time has been a bit more kind to it. The story of a sleazy executive using Halloween masks to kill as many people as possible is outrageous. Throw in a boulder from Stonehenge, an old Celtic ritual, and one of the most annoyingly memorable commercial jingles for Silver Shamrock, the mask company in the film, and you’ve got a very strange winner.

Prince of DarknessOctober 31, 2015

Like so many horror directors who find a hit, John Carpenter is always remembered for Halloween while Prince of Darkness lingers in the shadows. The film follows a research team who are asked to look at a strange vat containing a green liquid in an abandoned church. They find out that the liquid is actually the essence of Satan and all Hell is about to break loose. Prince of Darkenss is underrated when compared to Carpenter’s other work, so it’s great to see something besides his most famous monster hitting the screens for a spooky screening.

Cineplex Yonge Dundas – 10 Dundas Street East

A Nightmare on Elm Street

ScreamOctober 2, 2015

Cineplex kicks off a month of horror films on its Event Screen at Yonge Dundas with a screening of Scream. The recent passing of horror legend Wes Craven broke the hearts of fans around the world but we can still enjoy some of his best work. The month opens up with Scream, his instant meta-classic that brought Ghostface into the world of serial killers. Ghostface has become one of the recognizable icons of horror and it’s not a surprise to see plenty of kids running around on Halloween dressed like the all too real monster.

Army of DarknessOctober 9, 2015

Taking the horror of the first Evil Dead film and the more outrageous humour of the second film, Army of Darkness cemented Bruce Campbell as a cult hero and gave Sam Raimi a trilogy he could actually be proud of. This film sees hero Ash (Campbell) thrown into the past where he continues his battle against the dead while trying to get back to his own time.

The ExorcistOctober 16, 2015

Considered by many to still be one of the most frightening films around, The Exorcist on the big screen is a treat that nobody should miss out on. A grand achievement on numerous levels, the rather simple tale of a young girl possessed by an evil entity has generated hundreds of imitators. There’s nothing quite like the original though.

The ShiningOctober 23, 2015

It’s virtually impossible to pick a favourite film from Stanley Kubrick, but his adaptation of the Stephen King novel is probably a few viewers top choice. With a brilliant performance from Jack Nicholson, along with Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers, this terrifying tale of a family isolated in a hotel for the winter has become part of our culture. Who hasn’t yelled “Here’s Johnny!” while sticking their head through a doorway at least once.

A Nightmare on Elm StreetOctober 30, 2015

If Scream brought Wes Craven back to horror fans, it was A Nightmare on Elm Street that started his journey. By far one of his greatest films, this series created the most iconic horror villain in history in Freddy Krueger. Haunting the nightmares of teenagers and killing them while they slept, Freddy has gone from frightening to funny and back again over the years, but this is the film that started it all, and he’s never been more scary. There probably isn’t a better way to remember the late director than by watching this film in the theatre.

Opening in October

Goosebumps

Attack on Titan: Part 1October 5, 2015 Attack on Titan: Part 2October 22, 2015

This live-action adaptation of the manga series, Attack on Titan: Part 1 (followed by the second part later in the month) mixes more traditional elements of horror with the over-the-top nature of anime and manga. In a devastated future, humans are living inside of walled cities to protect them from huge, monstrous Titans. These massive human-like creatures eventually smash their way into the city, forcing the humans inside to rise up and fight against them. That synopsis barely captures the insanity of this series, so fans are in for a real treat and some impressive special effects.

Crimson PeakOctober 16, 2015

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, this film tells the story of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), a woman trying to escape a traumatic past. She ends up marrying Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and moves into the home he shares with his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) only to find out that the home is filled with spirits. This cast and crew could basically sit in a room and make it compelling so it’s sure to be a chilling experience for viewers this October.

GoosebumpsOctober 16, 2015

You can’t forget about the kids during the Halloween season, even if this film probably appeals even more to the adults that grew up on this series. Jack Black stars as R.L. Stine who lives in a small town with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). When Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves next door, he accidentally unleashes the monsters from Stine’s books on the world when he opens a locked manuscript where Stine had been holding his creations. This film looks like a lot of fun for kids big and small, so be sure to share your love of monsters with the little ones.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost DimensionOctober 23, 2015

Billed as the final instalment in the series (until it makes a pile of money and they inevitably return to the story), another Paranormal Activity film may not be high on critic’s lists, but fans have loved this series since it began. There’s sure to be plenty of jump scares and spooky kids, so audiences should get everything they expect when they buy their tickets.

The Last Witch HunterOctober 23, 2015

Calling this one horror may be stretching things a little. This is more an action film with monsters in it. Lots of CG monsters actually. It does look a little bit corny, but who doesn’t want to watch Vin Diesel as an immortal witch hunter saving the world alongside Elijah Wood and Rose Leslie. Probably more fun than terrifying, but you can’t ignore witches when it comes to Halloween.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseOctober 30, 2015

Be honest, that title alone is enough to make you want to watch this one! The setup is simple. A boy scout troop on a weekend camping trip has to protect an island town from zombies while also saving the local girl scout troop. Zombies are an easy sell, and the only thing that would make this one sound better is if the girl scouts had to save the boy scouts. This one should definitely bring plenty of laughs and gore together.

Now Playing

Hotel Transylvania 2

There’s no guarantee that all of these films will be screening for the entire month of October, but if you get out to the theatres early in the month, chances are good you’ll be able to add all of these films to your Halloween viewing.

The Visit

Director M. Night Shyamalan has taken a lot of heat over the last few years, but The Visit seems to be pleasing most audiences. It may not be The Sixth Sense, but nothing ever will be. It’s time to be a bit nicer to Shyamalan and take a trip to grandma and grandpa’s house.

Cooties

Flesh eating kids, Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson. What more could you ask for? Hilariously inappropriate, Cooties is a great Halloween flick if you’re looking to have a few laughs mixed in with your blood and gore.

Goodnight Mommy

Incredibly tense, brutal and terrifying, this Austrian film about two brothers who take drastic measures when they believe their mother is actually a different person after surgery will haunt your thoughts for weeks afterwards.

Hellions

The latest horror film from Bruce McDonald could become a Canadian Halloween cult classic. It’s got a strange and unique look to it, but falls apart a little towards the end. It’s not perfect, but you won’t see anything quite like this film in October.

Hotel Transylvania 2

Another great choice for the kids this month. If you love monsters, and happen to be raising a few little creatures of your own, this is a great way to spend an afternoon with them. Dracula and his gang of monsters return to try and help Dracula’s grandson get his fangs. Obviously more cute and funny than frightening so there’s not much point in going unless you’re accompanied by someone under the age of 8.

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth’s second film for October, this one had been left in limbo for far too long. A fantastic modern cannibal film that sticks close to the genre it comes from, but manages to actually create a story that you’re interested in.

There you have it horror fans. If you’re looking for something to keep you up at night, fill your evenings with bloody adventures, or want a few laughs among all the gross gore, these are the movies that will do it. There’s never been a better offering of horror films in October before, so take advantage of an evening out. Just don’t forget the silver bullets and garlic.