Things to Do

Halloween in Washington 2013: Scary Movies, Silent Dracula, Spooky Theater, and More

Not a fan of costume parties or bar crawls? Here are some cultural ways to get your scare on.

AFI Silver Theatre screens horror shorts, classics, and more this Halloween season. Photograph by Flickr user randomduck.

The Spooky Movie International Film Festival returns for its eighth year with ten days of more than 40 shorts and features of new horror cinema from all over the globe. The festival runs October 10 through 19 with all shows presented at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. An all-fest pass is available for $125; tickets for individual showings are $12. 

Before Edward Cullen fell for a human, before Buffy began slaying, and even before Dracula jumped from the page to the screen, there was Nosferatu. The 1922 silent German film is an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and is considered to be the first appearance of vampires in cinema. A screening of the film will be accompanied by an original live score from the “Not-So-Silent” cinema quartet at the Artisphere’s Dome Theatre in Arlington on October 26 at 8 PM. Tickets are $15.

In the Forest, She Grew Fangs is local playwright Stephen Spotswood’s new take on Little Red Riding Hood. The play promises elements including: unrequited love, burning passion, and brutal vengeance. It’s presented by the Washington Rogues performing arts collective, and runs through November 3 at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint. Tickets are $15.

Get in some learning with your Halloween fun at the National Symphony Orchestra’s family concert, Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel! on October 27 at 1 and 3 PM at the Kennedy Center. Tickets for the 60-minute concert are $15 to $18. If you show up early you can go to the musical instrument petting zoo, and if you stick around afterward, young audience members are invited to ask the concert artists questions.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of one of the most important years for horror movies, 1973, AFI Silver Theatre is screening nearly 20 films from the era, including classics such as The Exorcist and The Wicker Man. Celebrate Horror ’73: An Annus Horribilis with these landmark films from October 20 through November 26.

For both a classic scare and a contemporary laugh head to the Alden Theatre in McLean for a screening of the 1920 German expressionist film about a diabolical doctor, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as well as the 2011 horror comedy Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will be shown on October 30 at 7:30 PM; tickets are $10. On November 2 at 8 PM the theater will show Tucker and Dale vs. Evil for free.

Do the time warp again (and again and again) this month with DC’s only Rocky Horror Picture Show shadowcast, the Sonic Transducers, at E Street Cinema. Tickets are $9 and show times, including a special show at 8 PM on Halloween, are available online.