See Oscar contenders at Film Fest 919, plus look for a month of horror classics

Michael B. Jordan, left, and Jamie Foxx star in “Just Mercy” about a lawyer who hopes to free a wrongfully convicted man from death row.
Michael B. Jordan, left, and Jamie Foxx star in “Just Mercy” about a lawyer who hopes to free a wrongfully convicted man from death row. Warner Bros.

This weekend’s highlight is Film Fest 919, which screens films that have debuted on the festival circuit to critical acclaim.

To get folks in gear for Halloween this year, area theaters are screening some of the scariest films around. Here’s a look at this month’s highlights, plus some other films for those who prefer not to be spooked.

Film Fest 919

Film Fest 919 returns for a second year at Silverspot Cinemas in Chapel Hill. There will be 38 movies this year, mostly drawn from the world of independent and foreign films. Plus there are panels and special events. Films include Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson; “The Two Popes” with Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins; and the highly anticipated thriller “Parasite” from Korean director Bong Joon-ho, which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes.

Other movies on this year’s slate include “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “The King,” “Clemency,” “Just Mercy” and “Pain and Glory.” See website for schedule.

Details: Oct. 9-13. Times vary, and most films screen twice. Silverspot Cinemas, University Place, 201 S. Estes Drive, No. 100, Chapel Hill. Tickets: $18.50 general admission, $12.50 for students with ID. Silverspot.net or filmfest919.com

Splatterflix Film Series

The Carolina Theatre in Durham is hosting the third annual film series Oct. 11 to 13, featuring 16 cult classic horror films from 1968-2002. Titles include “The Return of the Living Dead” (1985), a special 30th anniversary screening of “Leviathan,” “Student Bodies” (1991), “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982), “Venom” (1981), “Pieces” (1983) and “Hocus Pocus” (1993). That last one is more fantasy comedy than horror, but it still fits the theme.

Details: 919-560-3030 or carolinatheatre.org.

‘Home is Distant Shores’ Film Festival

On Oct. 16, the N.C. Museum of Art is hosting the “Home is Distant Shores” Film Festival — a three-part series about the experience of immigrants and refugees in the United States and the Triangle. A reception with series participants and filmmakers follows the screening.

Details: 919-715-5923 or ncartmuseum.org/calendar

Salma Hayek Frida.jpg
In the 2002 film “Frida,” Salma Hayek plays artist Frida Kahlo, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Lions Gate

N.C. Museum of Art Fall Film Series

On Oct. 18, the N.C. Museum of Art’s Fall Series is presenting “Mad Love” (1935), featuring Peter Lorre’s American film debut.

On Oct. 25, look for “Frida,” the 2002 film starring Salma Hayek, whose performance as artist Frida Kahlo earned her an Oscar nomination. The screening helps kick off the exhibit, “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.”

Details: 919-715-5923 or ncartmuseum.org/calendar.

Sick Chicks Flicks Film Festival

From Oct. 12 to 13, The Cary theater hosts this fourth annual showcase celebrating female-driven indie films from around the globe — all in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres. Day-passes and weekend ticket packages available.

Details: 919-462-2051 or thecarytheater.com.

Horror favorites

The Cary will show some scary favorites like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1931), “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987), and the 4th annual Zombiepalooza featuring local filmmakers’ zombie short films. Finally, on Oct. 30 and 31, they’ll show both the original 1978 “Halloween” and its 2018 sequel.

The Carolina Theatre will host its second annual ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Halloween Ball Oct. 30 and 31. The Durham theater boasts that the ball will be “more than a movie screening,” but a “full-theatrical, FX-driven, light show-blazing, fog-blowing, call-backing, motion picture extravaganza!” The ball is 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $12.

The Alamo Cinema Drafthouse will offering up a roster of horror favorites, including “The Evil Dead” (1981), “The Bride of Frankenstein” (1935), “Death Becomes Her” (1992), “The House of the Devil” (2012), “The Craft” (1996), and “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). Check the Alamo’s website for showtimes and ticket prices. drafthouse.com/raleigh.

Oct 21, The Rialto Theater will show “Poltergeist” (1982) as part of the Monday at the Movies series. 919-834-2233 or ambassadorcinemas.com.

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