You are unlikely to fall asleep during “Donnie Darko,” showing Friday, Oct. 13, at the Kentucky Science Center.

Binging monster movies is a venerable Halloween tradition that, unlike naughty witch costumes, just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.

This October, so many local venues are getting in on the act, we are running two roundups of where to get your fill of psycho killers and zombies and … inter-dimensional weirdo bunnies. This article covers the first half of the month; we’ll return in a couple weeks to let you know about more flicks as we roll up to the big blood bath on Oct. 31. Be forewarned — they get more grisly as Halloween approaches.

Sunday, Oct. 1
Peter Venkman, professional jerk

• “Ghostbusters” (1984)

2 p.m., The Louisville Palace, $8

The Palace kicks off a month of family-friendly features with the original and, yes, best installment in the horror-comedy franchise. The special effects actually hold up pretty well after all these years, and the effects were never the point, anyway.

Often overlooked is the fact that “Ghostbusters” also is one of the great jerk comedies — if you knew Peter Venkman, you’d want to kill him. And it’s a riot.  Add to Facebook.

Tuesday, Oct. 3

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

7:30 p.m., Cellar Lounge at Decca, 812 E. Market St., free

Wednesday, Oct. 4

“Frankenstein” and “Dracula” (1931)

9 p.m.-2 a.m., The Butchertown Social, 1601 Story Ave., free

The big two from 1931 that launched the Universal Horror legacy. James Whale’s “Frankenstein” is nearly perfect; Tod Browning’s “Dracula” pales in comparison but is actually quite a bit better than modern revisionists want to acknowledge. You think vampire, you think Bella Lugosi. Add to Facebook.

Thursday, Oct. 5

• “Coraline” (2009)

6 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

Probably the best of director Henry Selick’s stop-motion odd-fests (and that is saying a lot), “Coraline” is angst-riddled enough to keep older kids interested. And the Beldam is just downright creepy.

• Horror Movie Night

8 p.m., Air Devil’s Inn, 2802 Taylorsville Road, free

Air Devil’s actually does this every Thursday night, so you might want to keep an eye on what’s screening this month. Add to Facebook.

Saturday, Oct. 7

• “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)

9:30 p.m., Lydia House, 1101 Lydia St., free

Genius on every level, this homage to slow zombie pics from director Edgar Wright is equal parts hilarious and gruesome. One of the best zombie pics ever, and a remarkable counter to the frenetic, over-stylized films — see this year’s “Baby” — that have typified Wright’s work over the last decade. Add to Facebook.

It just seemed scarier when I read “Pet Cemetery.”

• “Pet Cemetery” (1989)

11:55 p.m., Baxter Avenue Theaters, $10

Baxter kicks off a month of Stephen King adaptations with a 1989 entry that may be the most representative of how hard it is to bring King’s work to the screen.

It’s full of really creepy ideas, but the dialogue is just awful and the monsters always look kinda goofy once you see them.

Sunday, Oct. 8

• “Beetlejuice” (1988)

2 p.m., The Louisville Palace, $8

Michael Keaton does his best Robin Williams impersonation in a flick that is long on nostalgia, with some laughs that still hold up. Otho rules! Add to Facebook.

• “Troll 2” (1990)

9 p.m., Seidenfaden’s, 1134 E. Breckinridge St., free

The Louisville Gore Club, which musters every Sunday night at Seidenfaden’s, sort of got the ball rolling on the whole “let’s show monster movies at bars” trend. This screening of “Troll 2” is the kickoff to the group’s seventh “annual” Nilbog Harvest Festival. They will be screening some monster flicks every Sunday, so head’s up. Oh, and by the way, “Troll 2” is just plain awful. Add to Facebook.

Tuesday, Oct. 10

“Beetlejuice” (1988)

7:30 p.m., Cellar Lounge at Decca, 812 E. Market St., free

Thursday, Oct. 12
We still think he picked the wrong girl in “Corpse Bride.”

• “Corpse Bride” (2005)

6 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

Beautiful stop-animation and an emotionally engaging story that Poe himself might shed something akin to a tear over. Just a lovely film for all ages.

• “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)

8 p.m., Copper & Kings Distillery courtyard, 121 E. Washington St., free

Hollywood fell in love with the Devil after Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic; nobody does claustrophobic psychological horror better. There’s almost no violence in this film (except a jarring demonic rape scene, of course) because there doesn’t need to be. And, oh yeah, Ruth Gordon. Unnerving, even 50 years later. Add to Facebook.

Friday, Oct. 13

• “Friday the 13th” (1980)

8:30 p.m., Levee at the River House, 3015 River Road, free

The Louisville Film Society is co-presenting this 1980 franchise launcher. It’s not great, but much better than the dreck it spawned. Add to Facebook.

• “Donnie Darko” (2001)

7 p.m., Kentucky Science Center, $10

This overtly weird (and kinda strained) time-travel yarn starring a mega-creepy bunny has become a cult favorite since its release in 2001. And now you can see on the Science Center’s giant four-story screen. Those ears have to be, what, a story and a half? Note: Showing elsewhere later in the month, but not nearly as giant. Add to Facebook.

It just gets creepier in “The Ring.”

• “The Ring” (2002)

9:30 p.m., Lydia House, 1101 Lydia St., free

The Japanese horror film snob in me wants to say pass on this American remake, but I can’t. It’s excellent, particularly Naomi Watts in the lead. But, be sure to see “Ringu” (1998) — Japanese soaking wet ghost kids are just scarier somehow.  Add to Facebook.

• “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

5 & 8 p.m., UofL Floyd Theater, $3

Before he became really, really cool, Hannibal Lecter was just damn terrifying in this 1991 masterwork, the only true horror film to win Best Picture. Later Lecter iterations scrubbed away the guilt you should feel — he only eats rude people! — for grinning as he outsmarts the feds and totally mind-Fs agent Clarice Starling. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are immaculate in the leads, and Foster wins bonus points for turning down the crap sequel. The Floyd is screening “Silence” in tribute to director Jonathan Demme, who passed away this year.

“Nosferatu” screens at Baxter.

• “Nosferatu” (1922)

11:55 p.m., Baxter Avenue Theatres, $5

F.W. Murnau’s unauthorized (and really quite loose) adaptation of “Dracula” was almost lost to copyright suits, but fortunately for us, the film proved as immune to death as Count Orlock himself. “Nosferatu” is not only an early classic of the horror genre but a masterwork of impressionist cinema — Max Schreck creates the most wretched and haunting vampire to ever defile the screen. The special screening is promotion of Great Lake Brewing’s The Nosferatu seasonal ale; beers come with a complimentary and pretty cool glass.

Saturday, Oct. 14

“Cat People” and “I Walked With a Zombie”

7 p.m., Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, free

A highlight for the month, this double-bill highlights the work of director Jacques Tourneur, who along with producer Val Lewton defined the “less is more” approach to suspenseful monster movies. “Cat People” (1942) is the better film, but “I Walked with a Zombie” (1943) is in its way more memorable — it’s Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” with voodoo.

The screenings are part of the library’s Wild & Woolly series, and W&W co-founder Todd Brashear will be on hand to discuss the flicks.

Christopher Walken has a bad time in a good Stephen King flick, “The Dead Zone.”

• “The Dead Zone” (1983)

11:55 p.m., Baxter Avenue Theaters, $10

The best of the King adaptations, less Stanley Kubrick’s decidedly anti-King version of “The Shining,” this story of a man cursed with the ability to see the future is more tragedy than horror.

Director David Cronenberg steps away from his body horror fixation for the first time, and the results are a patient film that still hits hard when it hits. The cast is exceptional, particularly Christopher Walken being just weird enough as the tortured protagonist.

• “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

5 & 8 p.m., UofL Floyd Theater, $3

See above description and enjoy with a glass of chianti.

Sunday, Oct. 15

• “Hocus Pocus” (1993)

2 p.m., The Louisville Palace, $8

People love this movie for some reason. Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy are always great, but here they have very little to work with, even for a live-action Disney kids flick. In fact, the two actresses are most often the butt of mean-spirited and dumb jokes. Add to Facebook.

This story has been updated. 

Ken Hardin is a business consultant and freelance writer based in Louisville.