A frozen moment from Carla Gannis' animated work "The Garden of Emoji De-lights," part of "Jokes of Nature." (Image supplied by RedLine, Courtesy of Transfer Gallery)

Highlights: Strange and wonderful Colorado happenings Oct. 1-4

Things get real this week — except when they don’t. Ponder the grotesque, get the living s*** scared out of you, or listen to free music while learning something new about a part of town you probably have never visited.

Mile High Horror Film Festival (Oct. 1-4)

Opening night for this year’s Mile High Horror Film Festival at Alamo Drafthouse Littleton (7301 S. Santa Fe Dr.) is a tribute to Wes Craven, and things just get creepier from there with “Cannibal Holocaust,” “Even Lambs Have Teeth” and “The Shining.”

Don’t miss the original “The Phantom of the Opera,” here accompanied by a live score and an in-person appearance by Ron Chaney, grandson of Lon Chaney Jr. Panel discussions and shorts pop up in the mix, as well. Tickets start at $15. Alamo does a nice pizza and serves alcohol, by the way. Click here for details

Stompin’ Ground Games (Oct. 3)

An eclectic group of musicians will play and poets will read their stuff — plus local artist Kenny Be will be on hand to chat and entice with his unique artistic vision — during Warm Cookies of the Revolution’s “Stompin’ Ground Games” at Ruby Hill Park, located at Platte River Drive and Jewell Avenue.

This is the first in an 11-month series aimed at getting folks out to the ‘hoods and supporting growth and change, all while listening to Soul Pros, Venus Cruz, Molina Speaks and more. Free, but a $5 donation is suggested; 3-5 p.m. There will be food trucks. Click here for details

“Jokes of Nature” (through Oct. 25)

This free show at RedLine (2350 Arapahoe St.) explores the grotesque in contemporary art, and that is in the eye of the beholder. More than two dozen artists, from Bill Amundson to Xi Zhang, offer their views of the bizarre, monstrous and abnormal, and some of it will freak you out no matter what you’re on (or not). But it also will make you smile, and possibly laugh out loud, and probably make you think weird thoughts and squirm a little. “Rat with Grapes,” anyone? Yikes. Click here for details