Retro Horror Series Returns to Ayrsley Grand Cinemas

 By Jonathan Shuping

September 6, 2017

October is right around the corner and that means it’s almost everyone’s favorite time of the year to scare the neighborhood children, eat way too much candy, drink some Oktoberfest and, of course, watch a few super-scary movies. While it’s one thing to stage a viewing in your living room, with the light switch a few comforting steps away and a pause button at the ready, the truest horror fans know, the scariest screenings of all take place… In. The. Theater.  

No pause button. No light switch. No telling what evil lurks in the darkness. Only the chilling screams and shudders of your fellow moviegoers courageously attempting to survive the experience alongside you.

If you love a good ghost story and getting jump-scared and creeped-out is your forte, then Ayrsley Cinemas has you covered with their Retro Horror Film Series, a collection of cult classics and vintage horror fan faves that lasts all month long, and for a radical, retro $5 ticket price as well. There’s a link to the full schedule below, but here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see at Ayrsley Cinemas’ 2017 Retro Horror Series.  

September 29 – October 5  

Dracula (1931)

In this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel, Bela Lugosi is all grins and eyebrows as the mesmerizing, menacing Count Dracula, a role later portrayed by the likes of Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, and Gary Oldman, among many others. This vampire tale about the battle between Dracula and his nemesis Professor Van Helsing is considered to be the root of most modern vampire mythology and the inspiration for such beloved contemporary fiction as the Twilight saga and HBO’s True Blood. Along with Frankenstein and the Wolfman, Dracula is in development to be incorporated in Universal Pictures’ upcoming Dark Universe series of films which began with this summer’s The Mummy.

Best Line:  “I never drink… wine!”

Frankenstein (1931)

Based on the novel by Mary Shelley, in which mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein brings his monster to life by combining various parts of dead bodies, is the ultimate torches-and-pitchforks cautionary tale of mob mentality and the tragic results of man’s unseemly scientific experimentation. Horror icon Boris Karloff (aka the voice of The Grinch in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas) is unforgettable as the misunderstood monster who went on to inspire classic takes like Mel Brooks’ spectacular spoof Young Frankenstein. Javier Bardem is rumored to be playing the not-so-good doctor in the Dark Universe remake.

Best Line:  “It’s alive… it’s ALIVE!”

The Wolf Man (1941)

The third in this trio of Universal monster movies stars Lon Chaney as the titular werewolf who transforms from his human state in the event of a full moon. This classic led to some modern favorites including Jack Nicholson’s outstanding Wolf, Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf and, of course, Michael Jackson’s howlingly horrific music video for Thriller. In the Dark Universe, the role of the Wolfman has reportedly been given to Dwayne Johnson. Far superior to the 2010 Benicio Del Toro remake, The Wolf Man is sure to be enjoyed by NC State fans of all ages.

Best Line:  “All astronomers are amateurs.  When it comes to the heavens, there’s only one professional.”

October 6-12 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This initial entry to director Wes Craven’s flagship franchise spawned six sequels, a crossover with Friday the 13th, a 2010 reboot, and a decade-long insomnia epidemic. Freddy Krueger, with his seared skin, fedora, striped sweater, and clever one-liners showed that movie monsters could be characters too, not just mutilating mutes, as he stalked teenagers (including a young Johnny Depp) in their dreams with a glove made of knives.  

Best Line:

Cop:  “What the hell did that, Lieutenant?”

Lieutenant:  “I don’t know.  What’s the coroner got to say?”

Cop:  “He’s been in the John puking since he saw it.”

Scream (1996)

Horror auteur Wes Craven perfected the post-modern horror subgenre with this hilarious and haunting masterpiece. After developing decades of horror tropes and clichés, Craven subverts them all by shifting the universe to a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek murder mystery that pokes fun at the genre itself while remaining steadfast to its terrifying roots.  

Best Line:  “I’ll be right back…”

October 13-19 

Christine (1983)

For anyone who has ever become obsessed with their car, this one’s for you. Christine is vicious, brutal, demonically possessed, and just so happens to be a 1950’s Plymouth Fury. When a nerdy high schooler becomes her new owner, his life is forever changed by his beloved killer car. Directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) and based on the novel by Stephen King, it’s neither genius’ best work, but there are some pretty impressive visual effects. If you don’t think a car can be terrifying, think again. Christine gives new meaning to the term vehicular homicide.

Best Line:  “You better watch what you say about my car.  She’s real sensitive.”

Friday the 13th (1980)

You won’t see the iconic hockey mask that eventually became the symbol of this horror franchise. This one’s just a good, old-fashioned slasher in which the killer isn’t actually seen/identified until the end. The counselors of Camp Crystal Lake (including Kevin Bacon) get picked off one by one courtesy of someone who feels it is very insensitive to reopen a summer camp where Jason Voorhees drowned just a few years earlier.

Best Line:  “Jason was my son, and today is his birthday.”

October 20-26 

Pet Sematary (1989)

Another adaptation from the Master of Terror Stephen King, this thriller about an ancient burial ground that resurrects pets (and maybe loved ones) is full of jump scares, freaky visuals and features quite possibly the creepiest cat in cinematic history.  Losing a pet is hard, but looking after a zombified version of them is harder.

Best Line:  “Sometimes dead is better.”

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Horror master Wes Craven once again returns this time to tackle the zombie subgenre in this visual feast starring Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) as a Harvard scientist who travels to Haiti to investigate a rumored medicine that turns people into zombies because, hey, of course Big Pharma is interested in mass producing this. There’s Voodoo, snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, quicksand, and a scrotum gets nailed to a chair. Good times.

Best Line:  “Don’t let them bury me… I’m not dead.”

October 27 – November 2

Carrie (1976)

Stephen King’s first published novel was also the first to be adapted for the big screen. A horrific version of Breakfast Club-meets-Star Wars, it’s the story of an angsty teen (Sissy Spacek) who is bullied at school (by John Travolta and friends) and abused at home until she discovers that she has force-like telekinetic powers. Director Brian De Palma (Scarface, Carlito’s Way) steadily mounts the intensity culminating in positively the worst prom ever. This is why shame closets are frowned upon, parents.

Best Line:  “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”

The Shining (1980)

This Stanley Kubrick/Stephen King collaboration is horror at its finest. A seriously disturbing Jack Nicholson becomes caretaker of a haunted hotel and develops an extreme case of cabin fever, to the point where he decides to pursue his annoying wife (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son (Danny Lloyd) with an axe.  One of the first films to employ use of the newly invented Steadicam, it’s as engrossing as it is unsettling. The ultimate creepfest.

Best Line:  “Redrum.”

Ayrsley Cinemas’ Retro Horror series kicks off September 29 and runs through November 2. Check out the full schedule at

*CLTure is a proud ad partner of Ayrsley Grand Cinemas’ Retro Horror Series*

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