Hello there, horror fans! Today we are going to speak to something that is very important to all of us, what to watch on Halloween. Everyone has their own list, and there are so many choices, but this is my chance to give you a list of thirty-one films that work for me: that entertain, make me cheer, and will always be a part of my soul in some fashion That is what Halloween is about, it is about soul, about fun, and about love for everything dark. I have compiled this list which is in no particular order, some of them are newer, some of them much older, many you have seen and maybe a few you haven’t. But this is me opening myself up to you, the fans, to give you my idea of a perfect month of viewing.
It’s The Most Wicked Time Of The Year: 31 Films To Watch During The Halloween Season
31. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)-You can never go wrong with the classics, and the original vision by Wes Craven always delivers. Who doesn’t love Freddy Krueger at his prime, when he was truly terrifying? Not to mention the music, the atmosphere, and one of the most brilliant Final Girls horror has offered fans. There have been many tough females before Nancy Thompson, but never one who read manuals and set booby traps. You should definitely invite Freddy into your dreamscape this month.
30. Re-Animator (1985)-How can you go wrong with a Lovecraftian dead-fest starring Jeffrey Combs and the beautiful Barbara Crampton? The answer is simple, you can’t. The movie truly shows us the mind of the visionary that is Stuart Gordon, has some of the best one-liners in genre history, incredible practical fx, and is just amazing from beginning to end.
29. House Of The Devil (2009)-This throwback offering from Ti West is a slow burning candle that has a wick made of dynamite once the story kicks into high gear. If you are not familiar, it is about a young woman who is charged to come to a house to watch a child (that doesn’t exist). Once she discovers the lie, they ask to stay anyway, and as you can imagine all hell breaks loose, literally. This film is a great homage to films of the 70’s and 80’s, and you will most likely enjoy its evil in this month dedicated to darkness.
28. REC (2007)-Many people remember the remake Quarantine, but the original Spanish language film is a tour de force of action, scares, and blood. It certainly was ahead of its time in regard to the trope that drives people insane, a mass possession by the devil himself. The film definitely plays like ALIENS, with a crack team with many skills that are in over their heads, but the fx are top notch, and there are some really awesome moments throughout. I say to turn on your camera to witness the brutality of evil.
27. Poltergeist (1982)-I know that there are films involving haunted houses and ghosts like The Conjuring and Insidious, but nothing beats an original. What is there to say, this film is the O.G. of them all, with grand fx, some of the most heart pumping scenes, as well as a cast that you believe that they are who they are. The Freeling Family is perfectly fleshed out, the paranormal experts are well written, and the screenplay on the screen is epic in scale. This collaboration by Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg delivers, so be sure to visit sacred ground this holiday season.
26. The Thing (1982)-Many years after the Howard Hawkes classic which involved a lot of time with characters opening doors (watch it, I’m serious), John Carpenter brought it to a much darker place with his own rendition starring Kurt Russell and an ensemble cast that are all powerhouses themselves. The fx by wizard Rob Bottin are timeless, the feeling of claustrophobia, as well as the feeling of distrust is overpowering to the senses, and the moment the invasion begins, it will grab you by the throat and never let go. Find out why The Thing is one of the absolute best films ever put on screen this October.
25. Frankenstein (1931)-I am a massive fan of classics, and there will be a few on this list, beginning with James Whale’s Frankenstein. Based on the novel by Mary Shelley, this was truly the first time we had seen the monster in an iconic sense, brought to life by the great Boris Karloff. The practical makeup fx still hold up to this day, the gothic setting is gorgeous, and the performances are magnificent. It’s a timeless film for a reason, and I highly recommend you resurrect it on a rainy, lightning filled evening.
24. The Final Girls (2015)-This was absolutely one of my favorite horror comedies in the past years, and is definitely worth a watch. It is the story of a young girl who loses her mother who at one time in her life was well known for being a Scream Queen in an ’80’s horror film. When a freak accident happens during a screening, she and her friends are thrust into the campground on the screen, and the comedy kicks in and never stops. The performances are goofy and silly, but a loving homage to the horror of that time, but there are also moments between mother and daughter that will melt your heart. This film has a soul, as well as a killer that is nothing but a love letter to icons like Jason Voorhees. Travel back in time with the Final Girls, you will not regret it.
23. The Hunger (1983)-I cannot describe how much I loved the music and the man known as David Bowie, but this is not the main reason I am recommending this film. The Hunger has bite, and is a vampire story you have never seen before. It involves an aging immortal seeking a cure, stylized cinematography, an awesome soundtrack, and pure sexuality at its core The film directed by the late Tony Scott also has some of the finest old age make-up work the master Dick Smith, and you should definitely sink your teeth into this cult classic.
22. Night Of The Demons (1988)-The original film by Kevin Tenney was made for the season, has a killer soundtrack, some of the most beloved moments in horror, including Linnea Quigley’s “Lipstick Scene”, and Amelia Kincaid tearing it up seductively to Bauhaus and their song, Stigmata Martyr. This is not just another film about teens in peril, it involves demonic possession, and is not only scary but fun, Get taken over by this favorite.
21. Scream (1996)-was Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s love letter to classic slashers like Halloween, and was perfectly executed, in tone, comedy, and horror. Not only did the cast become massive stars, but Ghostface became a part of pop culture wallpaper, just like Freddy Krueger before the everchanging killer. It is a tride and true viewing experience that you can watch alone or with friends, and can also make a few non-horror fans very easily. Answer the phone for SCREAM.
20. Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore) (1994)-I assure you, you have never seen a film involving the undead like this one, and this insane journey by director Michelle Soavi is well worth every second. The film centers on a handsome cemetery caretaker played by Rupert Everett who hasa few problems, the first is having rumor spread about impotency, and the other being that some of his dead rise again on the seventh day of their passing. Cemetery Man is also a love story, and when you see the unnamed widow played by Anna Falchi, your heart will palpitate, trust me. Everett’s Dellamore also has a mentally challenged sidekick, Gnaghi, who only says one word and falls head over heels for the Mayor’s daughter, who loses her head in a motorcycle accident, until it is dug up and the two form an innocent relationship. The film goes off the rails many times, but the viewing is definitely enjoyable, and is a must for fans of the odd as well as the gory.
19. The Beyond (Seven Doors Of Death) (1981)-Films by Lucio Fulci are always a winner, but From Beyond is a special one. The film involves a man who is killed for being a warlock, which opens the doors of hell itself at a hotel. The story soon involves grisly murders, demons, zombies, and on of the best and unsung female characters, the blind Emily. The Beyond is another movie which centers on a book of evil, but is nothing like you have seen before. Open the power of the Eibon with The Beyond.
18. Fright Night (1985)-This monster classic by Tom Holland is a simple story, a teenager thinks he is living next door to a vampire and finds help in a horrorshow host he thinks has the answers. Fright Night has legendary monologue, a perfect cast, mindblowing fx, and a lot of heart. Pick up this classic and enter Fright Night…for real!
17. Friday The 13th Part 6 (1986)-There is no question this is a beloved franchise, but when Tommy McLoughlin took the helm it was a love letter to Frankenstein and included black comedy that truly broke the 4th Wall. Part 6 was slapstick mixed with horror, and was ingenious in its execution, Jason Voorhees is truly one of the ultimate killers, but he was never injected with more brilliance, as well as a fresher perspective. Resurrect the icon this Halloween with Jason Lives.
16. House Of 1,000 Corpses (2003)-The directorial debut of Rob Zombie is pure Halloween and a perfect addition to your viewing list. The movie has it all, a psychotic family of serial killers, clowns obsessed with murderers, and labyrinthian mazes filled with creatures like Doctor Satan, Take a trip to Ruggsville with House Of 1,000 Corpses
15.The Fog (1980)-This is yet another John Carpenter classic with a simple premise, a ghost story involving a town that is plagued with a thick mist with something sinister inside, but it is also a tale of revenge. The cast is legendary, the setting and camera work are impeccable, and the conclusion is iconic. Find out what’s in the dark mist with The Fog,
14. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)-I know this is not a horror film, but what better way to celebrate the season than Tim Burton’s vision of Halloweentown and its inhabitants? How could you go wrong, skeletons, monsters, vampires, and sacks filled with maggots? It is a perfect addition, and one of the only selections you can enjoy with the entire family.
13. The Conjuring 2 (2016)-This is one of the few times that the sequel gives the original a run for its money, but James Wan’s vision of the Enfield house is not only horrific, it is a deep, emotional journey that also makes the fictional Warrens a Demonologist Avengers Of Horror. The movie also has one of the most iconic characters in many years in Valak, and is highly entertaining. Journey to England with The Conjuring 2.
12. Hellraiser II (1988)-This sequel by Tony Randell is just an extension to the first film that furthers the mythology, and it does so with the original jilted woman Julia becoming the Queen of Hell. The film also has a great character in Tiffany, a young girl who is the key to the underworld, and Dr. Channard, a man hellbent on finding out all of the secrets of the Leviathan, only to be betrayed and become a mighty Cenobite in the process. The Cenobites of the original return and we learn a little bit more about them throughout Hellraiser II. Feel free to explore with Hellraiser II, they have an eternity to know your flesh.
11. The Evil Dead (1981)-Many swear by the sword of Evil Dead II, but nothing will compare to the low budget terror of the original visit to the cabin. The first adventure of Ash Williams is gory as hell, and works on a scale of its own making. Stephen King called it one of the most horrifying films he had ever seen and there is a reason for that. Enter the cabin with The Evil Dead.
10. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)-George Romero’s black and white classic still stands and rises from the dead and grabs hold. The atmosphere is enclosed, and you feel exactly like the characters, desperate, deserted, and alone. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking and will always be an important film, as well as a powerful one.
09. The Shining (1980)-Stephen King wrote the book on the Overlook Hotel, but it was the direction of Stanley Kubrick that made the cinematography epic in scope, a painting with the lens, and gave you a feeling of eeriness and desperation. The cast is above and beyond greatness, and the hotel was a character unto itself. This movie still puts a chill in many, and is a beast unto itself. Book a room this season with The Shining.
08. Phantasm (1979)-This franchise is very near and dear to my heart because I knew the great Angus Scrimm, but it is also the most inventive, science fiction blended with pure fear. When Angus Scrimm is on the screen, he is a tower of power and a true nightmare on the screen, but the film is also a story of family, and honestly, what film series had a more badass ice cream man in Reggie? Watch out for the flying death sphere that is Phantasm.
07. Carrie (1976)-Stephen King is a master of many things, including delving deep into the mind of a troubled girl, and this was very evident when Brian DePalma brought his tale of high school to the screen. It is a tale of the teen population of its day, but also the life of Carrie White, a young woman with extraordinary powers. It shows moments of pain, of redemption, and shows us all that even family can be the villain, but Carrie has a powerful punch that will always be legend when it comes to the third act. Don’t mess with Carrie and book your ticket to the prom.
06. Trick R Treat (2007)-There have been many films that centered on Halloween, but none so perfect than Michael Dougherty’s Trick R Treat. The film is an anthology that blends together a world created by Sam, a childlike, mysterious being that controls and protects Halloween. The film has serial killers, multiple child murders, vengeful dead kids, werewolves, and is a new modern day masterpiece. Follow the rules and watch Trick R Treat.
05. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)- This a tour de force of horror, and in its documentary style you feel that you are one of the victims. The Sawyer Family is pure insanity, the scenes are chilling, you can almost smell the stink in certain moments, and Leatherface is a rabid monster who will stop at nothing to feed his kin. Not to mention, it also includes one of the most amazing, and psychotic performances by the great Marilyn Burns. Witness the greatest crime in the annals of American history with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
04. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) -Once again, not horror, but something that should be watched every Halloween season. It is a fun watch, entertaining in all forms, and is a beautiful and wild homage to films of Universal. The cast including Tim Curry are majestic, the sets are gorgeous, and the songs are catchy and true legend. Enter the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter with The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
03. Nightbreed (1990)-Even after all of the studio interference, Clive Barker’s world of Midian has wonderful creatures, an iconic serial killer, an environment that lives and breathes, along with a conclusion that is massive in scope and is action-packed. Find out if Oz is over the rainbow with Nightbreed.
02. The Hills Run Red (2009)-This is kind of an obscure one, but is one of the best independent slashers in modern years. The film centers on a group that go searching for one of the scariest films ever made, and enter a world that becomes real, in its danger and terror. There is also a character that is iconic in his own right named Babyface, and features surprising performances by Sophie Monk and William Sadler. Search for your own death with The Hills Run Red.
01.Halloween (1978)-I tried not to be too generic with this list, but let’s be real, is there anything better equipped for the season than this film? Michael Myers is the echelon of Halloween, he is the almighty, and the film, even in its deficiencies is just the absolute best. Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis is the Queen of the Final Girl, and the supporting cast have become iconic even in their murders. It keeps the brutality behind the curtain, making it one of the most brutal horror films ever made, depending on your thought process, Michael Myers is Samhain, there is no one that holds his throne, and The Shape will always lurk in our subconscious, because he is everything, and he is everywhere.
Well, that’s it, a list of sinful cinema that pleases my senses, and I hope it does for all of you as well. That’s it for me, come join me next time, Happy early Halloween, and remember,
The only thing that can impale your dreams is your own negativity. Do what you want, live how you desire, and follow your goals and dreams.
Until next time, I will scare you later.
You can also follow Rob DiLauro at Rue Morgue Magazine, follow him on Facebook at Rob DiLauro, and check out the latest selection of books at his horror publishing company Fear Front at the official website, FEARFRONTPUBLISHING.COM