Every Halloween, a cluster of scary movies hits the multiplex. They run the gamut from interesting and innovative (V/H/S) to family-friendly (Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania) to the churned-out sequels to whichever horror movies made enough money to warrant them last year (Paranormal Activity 4 and Silent Hill: Revelation).
This Halloween, don't forget about the classics—even the campy, silly ones. On October 30, for the first time, two Dark Shadows movies—House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows—will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Why should we care—especially when there was a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp Dark Shadows adaptation that came out earlier this year (and didn't do very well, at that)? Unlike the newest remake, these early-'70s films were shot at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. The gothic mansion stood in for the series' great house, Collinwood. You can see it in the first few seconds of the House of Dark Shadows trailer. (Warning: This trailer contains a lot of monster-movie-style screaming, and a good dose of fake blood—best not watch it if people are looking over your shoulder.)
This summer, Lyndhurst celebrated its connection to the movie by hosting a Dark Shadows festival. (You can see photos, of course, on the Blog of Dark Shadows.)
But even though the stars of the series have all left town, you can still check out a part of spooky cinema history. Now through Halloween, the mansion is doing "Lyndhurst After Dark" tours, where you can explore the home of the Collins family to the moody accompaniment of live organ and piano music, (For those equally interested in the Goulds than the Collins family, there's also "Historic Tours with a Twist," which are daytime, guided tours.) Oh, and if you happen to have a Jonathan Frid costume hanging in your closet, you're encouraged to wear it.
Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.