Tonight is the night when everyone will either be stalking the streets holding out a bucket or pillow case collecting all different varieties of sugar filled goodies, indulging in an adult beverage while dressed like today’s pop culture icons, or staying in to pass out the sugar filled goodies and watch some scary movies. I fall into the latter category and I intend to have quite the night full of creature features, slashers and ghost stories to fill the space between door bell jingles. Halloween is a perfect holiday for horror movie enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike; a night to flip on a DVD and allow yourself the thrill of being scared. It’s also a night to partake in the cheesy classics of old as well, so no matter what your tastes happen to be it’s time to kick back and let the blood flow on screen! To help with those tough decisions on what to watch when you’re stalking the video store or scanning through your own DVD collection here is a list of movies that I plan to visit as the night goes along and for more choices of what to watch check out Michael’s list [10 Best Horror Movies to Watch on Halloween]!
The Monster Squad – This 80’s flick is a perfect example of the old cheesy classics; it’s full of terrible but fun dialogue, one liners and loads of monster glory. THE MONSTER SQUAD has just about everything you can ask for in a fun Halloween watch; Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein and more all take up plenty of screen time. The flick is also only PG-13 so it’s a good movie to sit down with your reasonably aged kids to enjoy before heading out to collect candy and to wind the night down.
Feast – If you need more monster horror to indulge your senses, FEAST is another perfect choice to fit your need for laughs and bloody carnage. As far as modern creature features go this is a step above your typical Hollywood affair as it mixes in loads of politically incorrect humor and tasteless gore and gags that will have you cringing in disgust and laughter all at once. FEAST goes against the grain around every corner and plays perfectly against your expectations.
Dracula – For anyone looking to get a vampire fix and don’t want the balls to the wall gore and violence, I personally love the 1992 incarnation of DRACULA. It features a particularly gloriously deranged performance by Gary Oldman as Dracula and the film has a very dark and sexy feeling to it. It also features Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing. It is a relatively slow artful vampire flick with flashes of violence and a very gothic aesthetic.
Deadgirl – I’m not sure how many people are familiar with this very unique and weird tale of high school sexual frustration and deviance, but those familiar and the un-initiated alike I strongly recommend DEADGIRL. It is a film that will not please people of all tastes due to the disturbing nature of the material, but I think the film is immensely entertaining and fascinating to watch. It’s a unique twist on the zombie genre and an intriguing look at a descent into madness that threatens a friendship.
Quarantine/[Rec] – I am lumping these two films together because essentially they are nearly one in the same, just in different languages and different interpretations to the same script. QUARANTINE is the American version of a news crew that job shadows a group of firemen as they are called to an apartment complex and are locked inside when a strange viral outbreak is discovered. [REC] is the Spanish version of the same concept but with a different twist on the outbreak. Both of these films are have moments where it feels like you’re watching people walk through a haunted house with things coming at you from out of the darkness and both feature a really tense and frightening night vision sequences.
Zombieland – Another fun zombie movie with loads of blood and laughs abound. This movie is perfect to have on in the background of a party with people sitting around and occasionally pointing out parts of the movie everyone loves. It also has moments of genuine tension when it’s not being laugh out loud funny. Another plus is that it features a cameo by one of our favorite Ghostbusters and the title credits are insanely fun to watch over and over.
Army of Darkness – I could have gone the other route and recommended the first two EVIL DEAD films, so I’ll preface the following by saying you should watch those too. However, I really love ARMY OF DARKNESS, I can’t get enough of Bruce Campbell’s wise cracks in this film. It has lots of undead witchery afoot and an awesome battle with walking skeletons, so grab you boomstick and enjoy!
Cold Prey (Fritt vilt) – As much as I love John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit. So if you’re like me and want some slasher action but are somewhat tired of revisiting the classics like HALLOWEEN or FRIDAY THE 13TH, then the Swedish film, COLD PREY is a very good way to fill that space. It is very reminiscent of those familiar slashers but in a remote location with no help but in an even more frightening below zero setting.
High Tension (Haute tension) – This is another alternative to the slaher affairs, Alexandre Aja’s HIGH TENSION. French horror has been gaining lots of notoriety amongst American audiences looking for something to save the beloved genre being overrun by terrible Asian remakes and an overabundance of torture porn movies that SAW has inflicted upon us. Alexandre Aja presented us with this gem before going on to do a slew of remakes and HIGH TENSION is something to behold. It is tense, interesting and brutally violent. You will have to do your best to forgive the ending but as a whole, the film is fantastic.
The Orphanage – I love PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and while I plan on watching that as well, it’s always nice to vary things up a little. Ghost stories are sometimes hard to pull off and movies like THE SIXTH SENSE and THE OTHERS have a tendency to lose their luster after multiple viewings over several years, as many movies tend to do despite how much we continue to love them. THE ORPHANAGE is a perfect movie for anyone looking to have the hair on your neck stand on end and chills sent up and down your spine. As ghost stories go this is a great choice and even had the stamp of approval from Guillermo del Toro, who has his own great ghost story under his belt in THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE.