There’s nothing quite like the experience of watching a horror movie in a cinema right? If you’re a bit of a horror movie buff like I am, then you’ll be ecstatic by all the offerings that our cherished capital is throwing up this spooky season. From an all-night horror movie marathon at the Prince Charles Cinema to a screening of the Little Shop of Horrors hosted by a drag king, here’s our roundup of the best Halloween film screenings in London:
1. FrightFest Halloween at the Cineworld, Leicester Square
Kicking off this roundup of the best Halloween film screenings in London is none other than the legendary ‘FrightFest’ event, which first kicked off back in 2000 at the famous Prince Charles Cinema – more on that one later. It’s running this year on Friday October 27 and Saturday October 28, and there are nine different films on the bill this year.
This horror-themed event is designed to showcase films which aren’t really mainstream, so if you’re a real horror movie buff like me, then this one’s for you! Highlights this year include the international premiere of He Never Left – which follows a federal fugitive and his girlfriend who inadvertently become targets of the notorious ‘pale face’ killer – and The Last Video Store – which tells the story of a woman who is in possession of a legendary ‘cursed tape’ that holds the power to connect the real world with another dimension… sounds intriguing!
📍You’ll find FrightFest Halloween at 5-6 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NA.
🚇 Nearest station is Leicester Square.
2. HorrOctober at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
Told you this one would come up! Named after the King of the UK (duh), it’s the West End’s only independent cinema and is a favourite of Hollywood legends Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright and Kevin Smith, who are all big fans.
Everything about this place is practically bursting with film folklore, and for film lovers, this may just top the list of the very best cinemas in London. For the whole month of October, they’re playing an array of horror films, ranging from a Friday the 13th marathon, Halloween, Seven and It Follows. Don’t miss their beloved ‘Horror Movie Marathon’ all-nighter on October 28 – which features Halloween, Alien, A Nightmare On Elm Street and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Scary movie date night perhaps?!
📍You’ll find the Prince Charles Cinema at 7 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BY.
🚇 Nearest station is Leicester Square.
3. Witching Hours at Screen on the Green, Islington
With a pretty unbeatable location right on Upper Street, the Angel institution Screen on the Green is a part of the prestigious Everyman chain of cinemas. A luxe gem, it’s got some of the comfiest seats in the city, with sofas, footstools and even a bloody licensed bar set right at the back of the auditorium. You can even order pizzas here – winner, winner!
This Halloween they’re putting on an event billed as ‘Witching Hours’ throughout the whole month of October which features Saw X, The Shining, Beetlejuice, Hotel Translyania for the kiddies and the latest instalment in The Exorcist series. Just maybe don’t read the reviews for that one…
📍You’ll find Screen on the Green at 83 Upper Street, London, N1 0NP.
🚇 Nearest station is Angel.
4. Halloween Fright Night Cinema at the Rivoli Ballroom, Crofton Park
As pop-up cinemas go, nowhere in London can rival the Rivoli Ballroom’s vintage features. The barrel-vaulted space is over 100 years old, and the decor has been wisely frozen around the 1950’s, with a golden ceiling, crystal chandeliers and luscious scarlet furnishings dotted about everywhere you look – making it the perfect backdrop for a bangin’ Insta pic.
It’s actually the only intact 1950’s ballroom remaining in the whole of the capital, and has featured in many music videos and films too, such as the Tom Hardy-starring Legend and even bloody Avengers: Age of Ultron! This year for Halloween, they’re showing cult classics including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Lost Boys, The Shining and family-friendly films such as Ghostbusters (1984), Casper and Hocus Pocus. Sign us up!
📍You’ll find the Rivoli Ballroom at 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, London, SE4 2BY.
🚇 Nearest station is Crofton Park.
5. Halloween at the Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel
Set right in the heart of Whitechapel – where infamous murderer Jack the Ripper stalked the streets – the Genesis cinema puts its clear love of film right to the front and centre. They offer tickets here for just a fiver (!), and there’s a lovely bar, kitchen and café which offers tasty pies and creamy mash. Plus there’s also two luxury screens with sofas, blankets and even a bar!
This Halloween they’ve got a range of different films on the bill, including the iconic Carrie and even Killer Klowns From Outer Space!
📍You’ll find the Genesis Cinema at 93-95 Mile End Road, Bethnal Green, London, E1 4UJ.
🚇 Nearest station is Stepney Green.
6. Rooftop Film Club at the Bussey Building, Peckham
Now we happen to love ourselves a rooftop here at Secret London, but a rooftop cinema? Now that’s really ticked all the right boxes. Since starting back in 2011 at the Queen of Hoxton, the Rooftop Film Club have become a veritable London institution, gracing the rooftops at Roof East and atop the Bussey Building Summer after Summer with their comfy deck chairs, vast screens and state-of-the-art wireless headphones.
They’re actually also open for Halloween too in Peckham, and they’ve got everything on the roster this year from The Exorcist and Jennifer’s Body to The Craft and Hereditary – one of this writer’s favourite horror movies. The question is will you be able to tear your eyes away from the panoramic city views, or the delicious street food and cocktails from the rooftop vendors? You’ll have to head down and find out for yourself…
📍You’ll find the Rooftop Film Club at 133 Copeland Road, Peckham, SE15 3SN.
🚇 Nearest station is Peckham Rye.
The legendary team at Clapham Grand are transforming their 123-year-old haunted Victorian theatre into the freakiest cinema known to ‘ghoul-kind’ (sorry) in this pretty damn epic Rocky Horror Picture Show movie night! Newspapers? Check. Rubber Gloves? Check. Confetti? Check. Water Pistol? Check. Toast? Check. Toilet Roll? Check. Now you’re ready to watch one of the most iconic Halloween movies.
Expect singalongs throughout, a mahooooosive 25ft screen, dream team hosts, Ginger Johnson of Drag Race UK putting on one hell of a drag show, costume competitions, cauldron cocktails, hotdogs, nachos and plenty more. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also bag yourselves free entry to the afterparty where DJs will spin the decks until the wee hours. Phew! So strap yourselves in and ‘let’s do the time warp’… Cop your tickets here.
📍You’ll find the Clapham Grand at 21-25, St John’s Hill, London, SW11 1TT.
🚇 Nearest station is Clapham Junction.
8. Fright Nights at The Exhibit, Balham
The Exhibit has been at the centre of the Balham nightlife scene for over 20 years now, and it’s a late night bar-come-restaurant-come-events space. As well as karaoke, life drawing, pub quizzes and bottomless brunch, they also have regular pop-up cinema events, including this Halloween when their ‘Fright Nights’ rolls into town.
Running over three consecutive October nights (Wednesday 25, Thursday 26 and Friday 27), you’ll get to watch a film and get a burger, a beer or a cocktail and popcorn to boot too. The films are as follows: Get Out (October 25), It 2017 (October 26) and Scream (October 27) – though we’re not actually sure if that’s the reboot or original… still, you’re in for one hell of a ‘scream’ whatever (sorry).
📍You’ll find The Exhibit at 12 Balham Station Road, London, SW12 9SG.
🚇 Nearest station is Balham.
9. The Shining at The Ritzy, Brixton
“Hereeeeeeee’s Johnny!” Arguably one of the best horror films of all time, The Shining has enthralled audiences since it was released all the way back in 1980 and, well, scared the bejesus out of us too. This year, Brixton’s beloved Ritzy – which has been welcoming visitors since before World War I by the way – is showing the original cut of this 80’s masterpiece on Halloween itself, and A Nightmare on Elm Street with an added Q&A on the relationship between horror films and LGBTQ+ culture too.
📍You’ll find The Ritzy at Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW2 1JG
🚇 Nearest station is Brixton.
10. Queer Horror Nights at the Rio Cinema, Dalston
Strictly for adults only, Queer Horror Nights returns to our favourite Rio Cinema on Friday October 27 for a thrilling ‘Halloween Monsters Ball’ hosted by drag king Loose Willis and cult-film night Token Homo. The costume theme for the night will be ‘Bring your freak’, so kink and fetish-friendly clothes are more than encouraged.
As well as a late-night bar, there will also be an ‘interval gore show’ by genderless drag creature Co Kendrah. Sounds intriguing, no? Oh – and the film in question? None other than Frank Oz’s masterpiece the Little Shop of Horrors – the Director’s Cut! Other films on offer throughout the Halloween period include Don’t Look Now and The Wicker Man.
📍You’ll find the Rio Cinema at 107 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB.
🚇 Nearest station is Dalston Kingsland.
11. The Carlton Tower of Terror at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, Knightsbridge
Rounding off the best Halloween film screenings in London is none other than The Carlton Tower Jumeirah – one of the capital’s most beloved five-star hotels. This Halloween, they’re transforming themselves into a spooktacular picture house billed as ‘The Carlton Tower of Terror’, showing an array of films and movies that are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine, unlock hidden nightmares and frighten all who dare to enter. On Saturday October 28 and Sunday November 2, they’ll be showing exclusive screenings of Halloween favourites including The Addams Family, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scream and of course cult classic, The Shining.
The films will be shown on the first floor in the hotel’s fancy ballroom, having been decked out with plush seating, footrests, popcorn stands, pick and mix and a state-of-the-art sound system. Tickets are £55 per screening and include a welcome drink – a signature Halloween cocktail, a glass of wine, a beer or a soft drink – mini burgers, vegan hotdogs, popcorn, and sweet treats to boot too.
📍You’ll find The Carlton Tower Jumeirah at 1 Cadogan Place, London, SW1X 9PY.
🚇 Nearest station is Knightsbridge.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best Halloween film screenings in London this year. So whether you want to watch Hereditary from a rooftop in Peckham or enjoy a marathon of all the Friday the 13th films – then you’ll be more than happy with this lot listed above. Just make sure you bring something (or someone) to hide behind…