Halloween is no longer Fright Night so much as Amateur Night. (Impossibly high expectations drowning in cheap booze likewise ruined New Year's Eve years ago.) Satisfy your primeval need for cathartic autumnal chills mid-month, courtesy of legendary Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer and Siouxsie and the Banshees co-founder Steven Severin.
Reincarnated in the last decade as a go-to composer of moody, keyboard-based film scores, Severin returns to town for two performances of his entrancing original soundtrack to Vampyr (1932), Dreyer's almost wordless dreamscape about innocent villagers menaced by shadowy creatures who feast on humans after dark.
Made after his intimate and intense The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Dreyer opted for a soft-focus approach that emphasizes the dislocation of the main character (a novice occultist trying to solve the case of his life). Blood stands in for other fluids, of course, in this saga of primal urges and the struggle between fate and free will. Mystery, eroticism, thick atmosphere -- this is the territory Severin has staked out for years. Tonight's shows, co-presented with San Francisco Cinematheque, present art as an eerie elixir.
Vampyr begins Oct. 15 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Roxie, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $15.