A symphonic Psycho screening, a Wes Anderson–inspired ball and eight other things to do this Halloween weekend
Even if you’re too old to go out trick or treating on All Hallow’s Eve, the city offers a huge selection of scary options. Here are our picks of Halloween weekend’s best screenings, parties and concerts.
A screening of Psycho accompanied by the TSO
The horrifying shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller is one of the most enduring cinematic moments of all time, thanks in no small part to its signature soundtrack of screeching pizzicato violins. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra does the honours here, providing live accompaniment to a screening of the spine-shivering film. Saturday, October 31. $20–$72. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., tso.ca.
A spooky edition of Friday Night Live
The ROM’s monthly art party series gets a Mexican makeover in this Day of the Dead edition. Prog-folk band The Mariachi Ghost and Spanglish rapper Los Poetas provide the tunes, Fidel Gastro’s handles the grub, and curators Doug Currie and Sebastian Kvist bring out bloodsuckers, parasites and other creepy crawlies for attendees’ terrified amusement. Friday, October 30. $15. ROM, 100 Queen’s Pk., rom.on.ca.
Hush Hush, a bookish library bash
This classy ball fills the beautiful Bloor-Gladstone branch with characters ripped from the pages that fill its shelves. The event features street food from Matt Basile (Fidel Gastro’s) and raises funds for the Toronto Public Library’s youth programs. Saturday, October 31. $135. Bloor-Gladstone Library, 1101 Bloor St. W., tplfoundation.ca.
Death to T.O., a spooky cover-band concert
Even if you haven’t heard of these indie-rock bands, you’ll know all the acts they’re pretending to be: Biblical play The Who songs, Doomsquad and Dirty Frigs cover No Doubt, and Greys channel Smashing Pumpkins. Friday, October 30. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., leespalace.com.
A zombie-infested school dance
As if prom wasn’t terrifying enough already: now the zany organizers of Zombie Survival Camp are inviting Toronto’s walker population to this zombie extravaganza. Arrive ready in dapper undead dress or take advantage of the on-site makeup station. Saturday, October 31. $30–$40. Palais Royale, 1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W., zombieprom.ca.
The blanket fort of your childhood dreams
Bocce and shuffleboard bar Track and Field is turning its entire 5,000-square-foot space into a Where The Wild Things Are–themed blanket fort, tricked out with a smoke machine, lasers and an infinite loop of the tragically horrible cult film Troll 2 (Rotten Tomatoes score: six per cent). Saturday, October 31. $15. Track and Field, 860 College St., trackandfieldbar.com.
A wacky wonderland of Wes Anderson characters
Wes Anderson’s catalogue of quirky, comical characters is a seemingly never-ending reservoir of Halloween costume ideas. This weekend, the Gladstone Hotel is transforming itself into the Grand(stone) Budapest Hotel, a wacky wonderland of Futura fonts, saturated colour schemes and Andersonian players: Tenenbaums, foxes, private school students and a whole lot of people dressed up like Bill Murray. Saturday, October 31. $35. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com.
Phantom of the Opera, complete with live organ
Toronto’s Orpheus Choir is technically the star of this show, given that they’ll provide an original choral soundtrack to Rupert Julian’s 90-year-old, 100-minute-long silent film. But everyone in the audience will be waiting for the moment the organist blares that unmistakable descending motif. Friday, October 30. $35. Grace Church-on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd., orpheuschoirtoronto.com.
Dudebox, a sweaty party in support of Syrian refugeess
The, um, dudes behind Dudebox have earned a reputation for throwing wild parties for worthy charities. The Halloween edition, held at the relatively new Super Wonder Gallery, is no exception; a portion of the night’s proceeds will support Lifeline Syria. Costumes are mandatory, and the organizers have even provided a few suggestions. To wit: “dressing up as True Detective season two, then just disappointing everyone.” Saturday, October 31. $10–$15. Super Wonder Gallery, 867 Bloor St. W., facebook.com.
Rocky Horror Picture Show, an enduring Halloween tradition
Toronto dance troupe Excited Mental State has been shadow casting Jim Sharman’s campy cult hit for what seems like forever. The film is muscle memory for them now, and the crowd gets as into it as they are. Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31. $16. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., hotdocs.ca.