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Happening this week: Halloween from your car, the return of TCFF, and off-brand 'Harry Potter' fun

'The Falconer' screens via Twin Cities Film Fest

'The Falconer' screens via Twin Cities Film Fest

Things are getting spooky here in the Twin Cities, because we need fake scares to offset the real ones we’re trying to get through in 2020. Check out these three distractions happening this week.

Twin Cities Film Fest

For the next 10 days, the Twin Cities Film Fest is here to offer you a blessed respite from the crap you’ve been streaming on Netflix, Prime, and other “more is more” streaming services. This year, this enduring event will be moving online for a highly curated series of special screenings. The lineup is especially loaded with a selection of timely documentaries.The Falconer follows one man’s quest to open a bird sanctuary in his poor, mostly Black community, introducing teens to the transformative power of rehabbing animals. Through the Night follows two overworked single mothers trying to make ends meet, relying on an at-home childcare center to take care of their kids. Black Boys aims to highlight how our nation dehumanizes African Americans through telling their story with kindness, while Coded Bias explores how things like AI, facial recognition software, and other tech continue our legacy of racism.

More flicks worth checking out are Paper Spiders, starring Lili Taylor, and At the Video Store, a love song to the dead industry, featuring film buffs Gus Van Sant, John Waters, and Bill Hader. There are around 70 works to choose from, and over 20 of them are free when you RSVP. Otherwise, it’s $9 per screening, or $50 for an all-you-can-watch pass. Check out twincitiesfilmfest.org for the full schedule and other details. Thursday through October 31

Boom Island Goes to Hogwarts

Well, it turns out that J.K. Rowling is trash. Lately, she’s been doubling down on her transphobia and her support of human dumpster fire Johnny Depp. And let’s be real honest here: Fantastic Beastsis a shit movie franchise. So what is a Harry Potter stan to do? If you’re not ready to let that piece of your childhood die, we’ve found a bit of a workaround: Try enjoying non-affiliated Harry Potter events. There are tons of them around town, and attending one means you’re supporting a local business, not Rowling or Universal Studios.

Perhaps the most accessible example is this weekend’s party at Boom Island. Wizarding World attire is encouraged (and masks are required, of course). During this chill celebration you’ll find an intriguing mix of brews on tap: Polyjuice, an IPA with cherries and mango; Wolfsbane, a porter with chocolate and chiles; and Felix Felicis, a blonde with vanilla and coffee. For the kids (and the curious) Butter Beer (aka Northern Soda Butterscotch Root Beer) will also be available, and Full Belly Happy Heart food truck will serve up eats.

Other not-official Harry Potter-themed happenings this week include a trivia night (Thursday) and a themed cocktail class (Friday) at Royal Foundry Craft Spirits, and the Union Depot is hosting a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets drive-in movie night (Friday). Noon to 10 p.m. Free. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minneapolis. Saturday

The Deadly Drive-In

Yeah, living through COVID-19 quarantine is terrifying. But it’s also super boring. Enter the Deadly Drive-In, a haunted trail-of-terrors type of experience you can enjoy from your car. You know how some of the scariest and most suspenseful horror-movie moments are just people panicking in their car? The Deadly Drive-In is hoping to tap into that energy.

This season, ghouls, zombies, serial killers, and probably some other spectres will be taking over a loading dock/parking lot formerly used by Herberger’s in Rosedale Center. Basically you will sit in your car and freak out as things come at you. The Drive-In will be a 30-minute terror experience a little in the style of the notorious Haunted Basement. Waivers will be signed, kids need to be 14 and up, the driver must be 18, and they don’t recommend you attend if you’re pregnant (unless you’re Rosemary and you’re having a baby).

Oh, and this should be obvious, but in case it’s not: If you plan on partaking, don’t take your convertible to the event. You’ll need to keep your windows fully rolled up to enjoy this bloody car wash. Tickets to this event have been selling out quickly, but Flip Phone has been adding times and dates, so keep an eye on flip-phone.ticketleap.com for additional shows. Nightly from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Rosedale Center, 1595 MN-36, Roseville. Through November 1