Sarah's Halloweekend List, Oct 30-Nov 1
Here is something you can do for free - while physically distanced - on Halloween: catch the Hunter's Blue Moon. It's called blue, because it's the second full moon this month - a rare occasion. While you are stargazing, look for the red star close by - that's Mars! And before you head to bed, make sure you turn back your clocks by an hour - or let your phone and digital clocks do the work. And don't forget the Royal Canadian Legion's poppy campaign has just kicked off, so if you don't spot a seller, find a way to give this season.
Want to see an outdoor haunted house? There is Scott Trainor's three-Tempo 'tunnel' in St Lazare and the Scary Dahlia home in Dorval. And on Balmoral Street in St Hubert, artist Maxime Duval has gone with a Marvel theme for his annual display: see a 10-foot Hulk, Wolverine, Doctor Strange and more of your favourite superheroes and villains.
And since this year is a little special and not everyone will be dispensing candy and chocolate, we can thank Halloween hero Sarah Jolicoeur for figuring out how to make trick-or-treating a bit easier. This young woman has compiled maps and lists of homes who are participating for cities all over Quebec. Over 7,000 homes are listed... see her Google doc list here or her website with maps here.
MainLine Theatre is Montreal's home for the live Rocky Horror Musical. They are getting in the spirit by hosting a Rocky lip sync competition on Friday, 8pm and a Rocky watch party and Q&A on Saturday at 7:40pm. The online pass is a fundraiser for the theatre, which is temporarily closed for shows. You can watch the actual Rocky Horror on Crave, or check out Tenacious Ds parody cover of The Time Warp; Susan Sarandon, Ezra Miller and Elizabeth Warren and more lend a hand for this voting PSA.
Cavalia's Illumi is a colourful escape through a 3-kilometre labyrinth, starting with spooky skeletons, meandering through pleasant forests to icy fields and a spooky town. Your drive includes a stop with food trucks at the midpoint. It's kitschy, but fun for kids and anyone who just really needs a safe adventure outside the house. In Laval off Boulevard des Souvenirs, until January. They have added extra shows for this weekend!
Royalmount Drive-In Theatre has a full slate of Halloween programming, from Scoob! to Scream to The Addams Family (1991). Also, KISS coverband Scream in the Night performs Friday night alongside the screening of Scream, to raise funds for Summit School.
The folks at literary fest Blue Metropolis are sharing a scary story for kids, from author and quilter Riel Nason. See her reading The Little Ghost Who Was A Quilt online as of Friday, 5pm. Further Halloween reading recommendations here.
I'm taking part in a pumpkin carving contest on my pal James McGee's Twitch talk show, At Home with James on Saturday at 8pm.
The last time comic and former SNL writer John Mulaney hosted was last decade, in February 2020. Well, some stuff has happened since then - and now he's back! Gotham rockers The Strokes are the musical guests. Saturday, 11:30pm.
Scary stuff to watch: CTV Sci-Fi has a Halloween marathon starting at 4pm with hits like Sleepy Hollow and Poltergeist. On Crave, catch The Shining, Letterkenny's Haunting of Modean's II, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice and more classic Halloween flicks. The Great Pumpkin is on Apple TV. The Haunting of Bly Manor, Unsolved Mysteries, the new Rebecca reboot and Hubie Halloween are on Netflix. And for a laugh: please see What We Do In The Shadows, the mockumentary series based on the Kiwi film about vampire roommates, on Showtime.
Other new buzzy things to see: season two of The Mandalorian has debuted on Disney+. And Borat Subsequent Moviefest is on Amazon Prime.
Explore McGill and get a thrill with a virtual escape room compiled by the university's librarians, archivists and game developers. A mysterious poisoner is on the loose, and you have to track them down! Starting at the pathology lab, then solving puzzles (based on McGill and Montreal history) all over campus. You can play Raising Spirits with a browser. The game got a fresh update this week! For ages 12 and up.
Rufus Wainwright takes fans through all nine of his studio albums, one album side at a time each week. Check out this week's show, Friday, 5pm.
This Opéra de Montréal is kicking off its new season by is re-airing its 2011 performance of La Boheme. An all-Canadian cast brings to life Puccini's story of starving artists palling around at Christmas in Paris. (The inspiration for Rent!) Stream anytime until November 5.
The Royal Montreal Regiment and Le Royal 22ieme Regiment look back on the October Crisis through the eyes of soldiers deployed after the kidnapping of James Cross. This virtual exhibit is geared to students and teachers, but anyone can check out The October Crisis 1970 online.
Tiny Plateau arthouse Cinema Moderne is still releasing new content, including one Korena feature film about a woman in her 40s who has to reinvent herself after she loses her job. Check out the full list here.
Festival du Nouveau cinéma has moved its films online, streaming until October 31. See Philippe Falardeau's 1994 film Octobre, about the October Crisis, for free. Other films stream for $10, like the macabre Polish animation Kill It and Leave This Town
Other things you can do online that will be more enriching that scrolling endlessly through your Instagram feed...a bevy of Canadian museums are putting their offers online: Winnipeg's Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau are making their works and exhibits available online. The Calgary Zoo is also sharing their Panda Cam, where you watch their two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, frolic for a few hours every day.
International museums like the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the British Museum in London and the Hermitage Museum are also online. The Metropolitan Opera has a nightly stream. And visit Yayoi Kusama's mesmerizing Infinity Mirror installation.
And if you're looking for something different visit Open Culture, a fantastic website that lists hundreds of free books, audio books, movies and online courses. The selection here is a mix of the classic, indie and the offbeat. Pick up a Jane Austen novel, watch the original A Star is Born or browse through videos of poets like Maya Angelou reading their work.