Your guide to spooky and scary film screenings in London around Halloween 2021.
Halloween films at Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
Leicester Square's independent Prince Charles Cinema hosts its Horroctober season once again. It's (more than) a month of scary films, and as you'd expect from the cinephiles who run the place, it's not just the obvious horror films. Sure, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Beetlejuice are on the bill, but so are lesser-known movies, ranging from 1983 film Videodrome, right up to 2020 release The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Plus, most of the films are shown multiple times in the run-up to Halloween.
Horroctober at Prince Charles Cinema, 24 September-31 October 2021.
Halloween films at Backyard Cinema,Wandsworth
It's normally decked out in tropical paraphenalia for summer, or snow and icicles for winter, but between the two, Backyard Cinema manages to squeeze in a Halloween season. Head to the former TV studio building for a programme of what many would consider to be the tamer end of the horror genre — think Hocus Pocus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Beetlejuice, with Scream thrown in for slasher fans, and new release Candyman to satisfy those who prefer horror films made in this century.
Halloween at Backyard Cinema, 19-31 October 2021.
Halloween films at Rivoli Ballroom/ Crofton Park Pictures
The beautiful Rivoli Ballroom is London's only intact 1950s ballroom that still remains, but before that, the building was the Crofton Park Picture Palace. It stays true to its cinematic heritage with Crofton Park Pictures, a regular series of film screenings, including a Halloween selection.
Family-friendly screenings include this year's remake of Roald Dahl's The Witches, and 1993 Disney classic Hocus Pocus. Adults can pick from The Crow, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and The Shining. The venue has two bars, and popcorn, ice cream and hot dogs available to buy.
Halloween at Crofton Park Pictures, 27-29 October 2021.
Halloween film screening at The Exhibit, Balham
Balham bar and restaurant The Exhibit (handily located right next to the station) also has a cinema space tucked away inside. A petite space with comfy sofas and a year-round programme, it's once again offering a special Halloween line-up.
Regular screenings take place on Tuesday and Wednesday nights throughout October (Get Out, Halloween, The Silence of the Lambs, The Omen), with some special weekend showings thrown in too. Impressively, The Exhibit also offers Halloween versions of its regular Friday lunchtime parent and baby screenings, with films played at a baby-safe sound level, and the lights less dimmed than in regular screenings — Get Out, Maleficient, Hocus Pocus and Labyrinth are the options for those showings, so nothing too blood-curdling for little ears.
Alternatively, for £30 a ticket, you can take part in Boozical Sundays, and enjoy a brunch item, a bottle of bubbly and a screening of either Little Shop of Horrors of Phantom of the Opera on a relaxed Sunday afternoon.
Halloween films at The Exhibit, 5-31 October 2021.