70s scares at the Light House’s Waking Nightmares season

The 1970s saw the arrival in cinemas of some of the greatest horror films of all time, resonant evils that still linger in the minds of viewers a half century later. This spooky season, these scares will return to the screen in Smithfield, as the Light House Cinema’s Waking Nightmares programme offers homage to some truly harrowing films, just in time for Samhain.

The 1970s was the decade of global crisis, trauma, resistance, and rebellion. This explosive social and political culture fuelled our collective nightmares and inspired a new generation of filmmakers to channel their spirit of rage and revolution into a new era of modern horror. This autumn Light House unleashes a programme of Halloween horror films from the 1970s that changed the genre as we know it.

Light House Cinema

The Waking Nightmares season gets started next Wednesday 11th October, as The Exorcist screens in time for its 50th anniversary. Classics from masters of the genre including John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, George Romero, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper and more form the 17 features that make up the season.

The selection spans various subsections of great films of the decade, from legendary giallo Suspiria, to the blaxploitation of Blacula, to the camp sexuality of midnight movie Flesh for Frankenstein. Mel Brooks’ classic pastiche Young Frankenstein and Japanese fever dream House, there’s something for every kind of horror fan here.

The deep dives are some of the most interesting parts of the programme. Like Ganja & Hess, Bill Gunn’s indie horror masterwork uses the vampire mythos to explore a legacy of African American assimilation, violence, and trauma via a sensual and experimental story of vampiric lovers.

The Aussie thriller Long Weekend is another example, serving as a precursor to the environmental anxieties that engulf us today. A self-serving vacationing couple who fails to treat their environment with the proper respect are confronted by a series of increasingly violent encounters with the natural world. Nature fights back and we’re on its side.

The season closes off on Halloween day itself, with a second screening of The Exorcist that afternoon, followed by an evening screening of – what else? – Halloween

Tickets for Waking Nightmares are on sale now from the Light House Cinema HERE. See the full list of screenings below.

The Exorcist (50TH ANNIVERSARY)

Wed 11 Oct 3.45pm

Tue 31 Oct 3.35pm


Sat 14 Oct 8.35pm

Don’t Look Now

Mon 16 Oct 8.30pm

The Omen

Wed 18 Oct 8.45pm

The Crazies

Thu 19 Oct 6.35pm

The Hills Have Eyes

Thu 19 Oct 9pm

The Brood

Fri 20 Oct 9.50pm


Sat 21 Oct 9.50pm

Long Weekend

Tue 24 Oct 7pm

It’s Alive

Tue 24 Oct 9pm


Wed 25 Oct 6.45pm

Flesh for Frankenstein

Wed 25 Oct 9pm

Ganja & Hess

Thur 26 Oct 9.15pm


Sat 28 Oct 8.30pm

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Sun 29 Oct 9.15pm

Young Frankenstein

Mon 30 Oct 3.30pm


Tue 31 Oct 9pm

Where to watch The Exorcist

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