The emails have been sent and the industry contacts have been tapped up. And with the incoming responses collated here's what you can expect from your cinema and television purveyors to keep you entertained during the Halloween season. Keep checking back here for regular updates as and when we receive replies.
- Cineworld continue to offer a cinematic experience more attuned to the real wants of movie fans, something which is great to see from one of the large cinema chains. Offered up is a superb opportunity on Tuesday 28th October to see the classic Ghostbusters (1984) in its 30th anniversary year. With the announcement this week that the long awaited third film in the series will offer a reboot of the series, there's no better time to remind yourself how brilliant the original is; get in quick before its legacy is ruined. On the 30th November the Cineworld offer up an opportunity to see Benedict Cumberbatch tread the boards in a live showing of Danny Boyle's stage adaptation of the Mary Shelley classic Frankenstein. One for gothic horror fans not to miss.
- Odeon are also upping their game this year and are going head to head with Cineworld by offering what might be the perfect cinematic experience for 31st October, a showing of John Carpenter's masterpiece Halloween (1978). If there is one film that needs to be seen on the large widescreen canvas of a modern cinema screen its this all time classic. Book your tickets now, they will sell out fast.
- Vue provided a less inspiring response, merely stating that cinema schedules aren't worked out until a week before hand (like any movie fan didn't already know that) so information on plans for Halloween aren't available yet. The sort of standardised response that doesn't fill fans with much hope, I wouldn't bet on Vue making much effort, though one wonders why not, especially when their competitors seem to be more than capable of such forward planning.
- The unofficial home for hardcore movie fans in London, the Prince Charles Cinema (just off Leicester Square for the uninitiated), have a typically ram packed schedule that makes the most of the All Hallows Eve season. On 25th October the cinema in conjunction with Film Four are offering a special Halloween All-Nighter showcasing some of the finest new horror releases with Extraterrestrial (2014), ABC's Of Dead 2 (2014), Last Shift (2014), The Pact 2 (2014), and The Editor (2014) combining for a night of guaranteed frights. The 26th October sees The Thing (1982) arriving in town, while Creepshow (1982) joins the party for a showing on the 28th October. The 29th October sees a performance of Wes Craven's A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), the 30th October provides a showing of Ghostbusters (1984), while Halloween itself sees the Carpenter classic Halloween (1978) offered again. And for those who fancy keeping the scares going into the weekend, Saturday 1st November sees the PCC offering up a creature-feature double header with Tremors (1990) and Jaws (1975) getting together for a delicious partnership.
- Channel 5 continue to provide great value for Halloween fans, giving viewers the willies on the 31st with a showing of Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist (1982), while the sister channel 5* will be hosting a Halloween Takeover season packing the run up to All Hallows Eve with a feast of films including Jeepers Creepers (2001), White Noise (2005), Drag Me To Hell (2009), Final Destination (2000), and Halloween II (1981).
- Sky have focussed their energies on the 31st October itself with a whole host of film delights to enjoy on the big day On Sky Movies Premiere at 10pm you can catch Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), and at 11.45pm American Mary (2012). On Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror there is a full day of classics starting at 10am with The Haunting (1963), 12pm The Frighteners (1996), 2pm The Amityville Horror (1979), 4.15pm The Conjuring (2013), 6.15pm Mama (2013), 8pm Ghostbusters (1984), 10pm Ghostbusters II (1989), 12am The Conjuring (2013), and to finish the day at 2am the fright film to end all fright films The Shining (1980). The fun continues on SM Sci-Fi & Horror on Saturday 1st November with the "Infected Quadruple" featuring at 9pm 28 Days Later (2002), 11pm 28 Weeks Later (2007), 12.45am Dawn Of The Dead (2004), and at 2.30am Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014).
Rounding out the weekend on SM Sci-Fi & Horror on Sunday 2nd November is a Gremlins double and the "Found Footage Triple" featuring at 7pm Gremlins (1984), 9pm Gremlins 2 (1990), 11pm V/H/S 2 (2013), 12.45am Willow Creek (2013), and at 2.15am The Borderlands (2013). If that wasn't enough on Sky's "Livingit" channel there is a full day of Ghost Hunters episodes for the non-sceptics to seek their teeth into on All Hallows Eve.
- Elsewhere on the televisual front, Channel 4 stated that schedules for the Halloween period aren't published until 15th October, but were quite accommodating in inviting an enquiry next week for the lowdown on their plans. Similarly ITV and BBC stated that their schedules wouldn't be confirmed until ten days prior and advised contacting again nearer the time. We await hearing from the remaining mainstream and major channels.
Updates to follow...