Charlie Boothe mugshot

Charles Boothe

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”

Anyone who wants to hear that line from the classic horror movie, “The Night of the Living Dead,” will have a chance to do so at the Granada Theater on Halloween night.

The Granada will be featuring other classics this month as well for those who love to be kept in suspense and hopefully downright scared.

I saw “Night of the Living Dead” for the first time at the Skyway Drive-in, having no clue if the movie was any good at all. When I heard that line above delivered in a graveyard at the beginning, well, I could not unglue my eyes from the screen. It was non-stop after that until the very surprising ending.

Appropriately filmed in black and white and made on a shoestring budget with no name performers, the bare basics and raw but entirely focused performances create a realism that is about as scary as it gets.

Two of the original horror movies are also on the agenda this month: “Frankenstein” and “Dracula,” both released in 1931,

For those who immediately doubt an old black and white movie can be good, well, just go see both of these. With Boris Karloff as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, the horror movie genre was off and running.

Another black and white classic is also showing and made by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

This is the movie that creates a little lifelong apprehension about how vulnerable you are in the shower.

Yep, it’s “Psycho,” with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh. If you have never seen, don’t miss the chance. For those who have, or several times like I have, see in on the big screen for the first time.

Another Hitchcock classic is playing and a movie I think is the best example of how to build suspense: “The Birds.”

When star Tippi Hedren is sitting on the bench beside the school, smoking a cigarette and listening to the children inside sing an appropriate song for the scene but not necessarily for children, “Risseldy Rosseldy,” we all know something is going to happen.

The repetitiveness and cadence of the song helps enhance the element of danger gathering behind Hedren on the playground, the juxtaposition of innocence and the inevitable end of that innocence.

The sequence remains my favorite example of how to build suspense.

Another movie considered a classic is also on this month’s bill, and made by another of my favorite directors, Stanley Kubrick, who delved into the genre only once, with “The Shining.”

I do not consider the film a horror movie as much as a mystery with a little madness and supernatural thrown in. It just was’t scary to me, but certainly interesting and a bit creepy, especially the lead character, played by Jack Nicholson.

Along with all of these older films, a new one is also on the agenda, “Werewolves Within.”

I had not heard about this movie and looked it up. Pretty good overall reviews and a blend of horror and comedy.

One thing did catch my eye, though, was the lead actress, Milana Vayntrub, or as most people probably know her, Lily Adams on the AT&T commercials.

Some children’s movies are also featured this month, including “Munster, Go Home,” “Casper” and, one of my favorites, “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit.”

For those who enjoy being scared, I would also recommend some other movies not playing this month at the Granada, including “The Haunting,” starring Julie Harris and based on the Shirley Jackson story, “The Haunting of Hill House.”

Another one came up the other night when I asked my youngest son, who also loves horror movies, to watch it with me again since we both have seen it before.

“No,” he said. “I can’t handle it. It’s just too creepy.”

For those who really like to be creeped out, watch the original Japanese movie, “Ju-On.”

Sequels followed plus an American version, a pretty good one too, called “The Grudge.”

But, as usual, the original is best.

That’s just me, though. See if for yourself, if you dare.

And see as many as you can this month at the Granada. Take advantage of this great community asset.

Charles Boothe is a reporter for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and can be reached at

Contact Charles Boothe at

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