Forget H.R. Giger, forget Jim Henson—the greatest monster maker of the modern day is Neville Page, whose film creations populate J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield and Super 8, James Cameron's Avatar and Ridley Scott's Prometheus. But Page's work isn't just a reason to go to the IMAX theater; he's also a reason to head up the coast to Oceanside. Two years ago, the Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way) brought Page and his sketches to town and we're stoked that they've decided to give him another show this year, just in time for Halloween. The Beauty in the Beast: Crafting Creatures, which features early sketches, final digital concept designs and 3D models by Neville Page opens Friday, Oct. 26, and coincides with OMA's quarterly Art After Dark party, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. This year's Halloween theme is "Come As You Are," and guests are invited to attend dressed up as altered versions of themselves. There will be a costume contest, as well as music from The Creepy Creeps and DJ Danny Massure, live art, food and interactive projects. Tickets are $30 and include cocktails and appetizers.
Point Loma’s throwback hotel and lounge The Pearl (just named by CityBeat readers Best Hotel Restaurant and Best Local Hotel) is celebrating Halloween with some good old-fashioned pumpkin carving, a costume contest with prizes and festive flicks on the big screen for its Fourth Annual Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza. The event is free and happens from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, poolside at The Pearl (1410 Rosecrans St. in Point Loma) with carving supplies, and pumpkins provided—just make sure to RSVP (email@example.com) so there’s enough to go around. Craft cocktails and local brews will be flowing, and on a tasty note, executive chef Jaison Burke just rolled out his fall menu with comfort food ranging from fried Brussels sprouts with house-cured bacon, pecorino cheese and pickled peppers, to the more substantial ginger-braised short ribs with duck fat mashed potatoes.
If horror movies have taught us anything about home decor, it’s that human remains can double as a very useful table lamp. It’s not just the teen-slashing killers in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre house that have taken on this design aesthetic. Religious sanctuaries around the world also use human bones for decorative purposes. Learn about this macabre art form on Thursday, Oct. 25, when author Paul Koudounaris discusses his book, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. The book features beautiful photography of various sites, some of which have never been photographed, with research on how these places came to be covered with human skulls and bones. If you’ve got a bit of a morbid side, this free lecture will be incredibly fascinating. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Mission Hills Branch Public Library (925 W. Washington St. in Mission Hills).
The annual Sherman Heights Dia de los Muertos celebration has a saying: "In Mexico, we decorate the graveyard. In Sherman Heights, we decorate the neighborhood." From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27 and 28, the Sherman Heights Community Center (2258 Island Avel.) is the hub for the nearly two-decades-old neighborhood celebration featuring food, vendors, entertainment and, of course, lots of altars honoring the dead throughout the neighborhood, including in front of historic homes like Villa Montezuma (that's their 2011 altar to the left). There'll also be indoor altars on display at the Community Center Oct. 27 through Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.