Happy Halloween!

Posted: October 31, 2009 by Rebecca in Horror Movies, Lists
Tags: , , , ,

Many people have a tradition on Halloween of watching scary movies, including myself of course, but what are the best movies to watch on Halloween?  Just any old horror movie, or a horror movie dedicated to the holiday itself?  In my horror movie watching history, I have come across few movies that really pay respect to Halloween, and fewer that evoke the feeling that I associate with Halloween, rooted in the Halloween celebrations of my childhood.  So what do I associate with Halloween? Trick or treating, Jack O’ Lanterns, costume parties, scary stories, horror movies, and of course candy.

In tribute to Halloween, here is a list of Halloween themed movies that you may want to add to your own Halloween horror movie watching tradition.

  1. Halloween (1978)- Well of course Halloween has to be included on this list, for me it is the quintessential Halloween movie. This movie has it all- trick or treating, pumpkin carving, horror movie watching (in this case The Thing From Another World), and of course the BOGEYMAN!!!! Now I like to watch the original on Halloween, but certain sequels to this original would do as well….Maybe watch Halloween 4 or 5 which has Michael Myers terrorizing Jamie Lloyd two years in a row, or Halloween H2O. This is one of my favorite in the series, despite the fact that the entries past Halloween II in the series have been disregarded, and despite that fact that there is no Dr. Loomis.

2.  Trick ‘R Treat (2008) – A new entry into Halloween themed horror, this movie has finally been released on DVD and just in time for the holiday. Set up as an anthology with four stories, inter-linked with some characters, settings, and overall theme. This movie really embodies what Halloween is really about- tradition. It includes some history of Halloween, as told by our Halloween expert, Rhonda- “Samhain, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, also known as Halloween. Predating Christianity, the Celtic holiday was celebrated on the one night between autumn and winter when the barrier between the living and dead was thinnest and often included rituals that included human sacrifice”.  This movie really makes you want to respect all Halloween traditions, because someone or something will get you if you don’t!  So don’t extinguish your Jack O’ Lanterns before the night is over, don’t smash them, and ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CANDY!  I found that this movie is best viewed multiple times because you will pick up something new every time you watch it!

3. Night of the Demons (1988) – On Halloween night a group of teenagers have a party at an abandoned funeral home, “Hull House”, built on EVIL land, and where the whole Hull family was massacred years before. There are of course the requisite stereotypes, and some mean-spirited humor, and some awesome 80’s music.  Of course the teens decide to have a séance, causing a demon to be released, which ends up possessing most of them…..then the death starts!  Another reason to watch it is for the amazing dance scene- its like a demonic version of flashdance, of course to much darker music.

4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – Now, I’m including this entry separately for obvious reasons. It was made as an entry into the Halloween series, due to the fact that originally this was going to be a series of films about Halloween, an anthology, rather than a series about Michael Myers. This was the only one made with the anthology in mind, before the “man” decided that Michael Myers was much more popular.  Due to the lack of Michael Myers, this is a controversial entry in the series, and is frequently dismissed as sub par. I admit, I too dismissed it until fairly recently. I have watched it since, and realized that it is much better when viewed as its own individual film, and you’re not just wondering “when is Michael going to show up?”  It really does evoke that sense of waiting for Halloween, the countdown to Halloween…and that Silver Shamrock song will be running through your head for days after.  I do find it a weird, but entertaining film, and it is a scary thought that wearing one of these Halloween masks can kill you,  One question though…..why only 3 masks? I find it really strange that the kids only get three choices.  It seems to me that when I was growing up, I was always trying to find a costume that not everybody else was wearing, but oh well, it’s just a movie.

5. House of 1000 Corpses (2003) – So this movie isn’t really about Halloween per se, but it does take place on October 30 and 31st, and there are some disturbing scenes involving a really creepy and disturbing Halloween show put on for the guests by the Firefly family.  I think that its gruesome, sinister, troubling, and supernatural nature makes it a worthy selection for watching on Halloween.

    And a very special selection:

    Hocus Pocus (1993) – So this is really a family/kid’s Halloween movie, but it’s one of my childhood favorites.  This is one of my Halloween staples, about a kid (Max)  who hates Halloween (How is this possible?) who has moved with his family to Salem, Massachusetts. On Halloween night he lights the black flame candle, and because he happens to be a virgin, brings some witches- the  Sanderson sisters – back to life. Now he, his sister, and his love interest have to find a way to get rid of them before they suck the life out of all the children in Salem. Thora Birch (American Beauty) is hilarious in this movie as the little sister. Also starring in this movie is Vinessa Shaw from the remake of The Hills Have Eyes.

    ~Emily

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    Comments
    1. The Patastic Adventures of Sinbad says:

      I’m watching House of 1000 Corpses, and it is pretty badass. Damn cool. I may have to revise my opinion of Rob Zombie pre-Halloween.

    2. The Patastic Adventures of Sinbad says:

      Can’t write women, though. Are there any female directors of horror movies? I mean, besides the Saw guy (hahahahah). (Because he’s lame)

      • rebemily09 says:

        There really aren’t many, most horror directors are men, but there are some exceptions. Here are 7 I know of- Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Amy Holden Jones (The Slumber Party Massacre), Mary Lambert (Pet Semetary 1 & 2), Rachel Talalay (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Ghost in the Machine), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), and Jennifer Chambers Lynch (Surveillance)- and she is David Lynch’s daughter!

    3. Charles says:

      Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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