Tomorrow is September and I’m already in the fall mood. Mainly because of harvesting my garden, cooler weather, and well Halloween. Thanksgiving is good too but Halloween is a great holiday for me, since I love horror films and candy is my favorite. I’ll admit I indulge on candy when this holiday comes around; hey its Halloween you have to. I know this is early but here’s my guide to movies to watch on Halloween.
1. Dracula (1931)
A must see when Halloween rolls around. Dracula is so famous and such an appealing vampire film. The great Bela Lugosi plays Dracula, which with the accent does well. A classic that should be shared with the ones you love.
2. Wolf Man (1941)
Larry Talbot goes back to Wales to see his father that he hasn’t seen in a long time. Unexpectedly, he becomes a werewolf and ultimately is killed by his own father. Larry is a tragic character, and the most depressing of the universal monsters. The Wolf Man is a great film, the remake is also great.
3. Eyes without a Face (1960)
This French horror film is about a surgeon, Dr. Genessier, who kidnaps young women. He removes their faces and tries to graft them onto the head of his beloved daughter, Christiane, who’s face was damaged by a car accident.
4. Pet Sematary (1989)
Young Gage is run over by a truck, very sad indeed. Well his father couldn’t take the pain of his son’s death. So he buries him in an Indian Burial ground, and little Gage comes back, but not the sweet little boy he was. Truly terrifying in its own right.
5. Hellraiser (1987)
I love this film, which probably makes me a little weird. This is where Pinhead gets his start. It all starts with Frank, who unleashes the cenobites. The Cenobites kill him, but Frank comes back from the blood that his brother Rory sheds from an accident. Julia, (Rory’s wife) loved Frank, so she helps him come whole again. Well Kristy (Rory’s daughter, Frank’s niece) figures out exactly what is going. She meets the Cenobites, she takes them to Frank, and then literally all hell breaks loose. Did I mention this is all because of a box?
6. The Legend of Hellhouse (1973)
A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, (why would you go there then?) and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House. This didn’t need special effects to make it scary. I think the cast and the house itself made the movie weird. The Haunting was wonderful so times that by two and that makes The Legend of Hellhouse.
7. Halloween (1978)
Of course I have to add this film. Halloween is about Halloween. Michael Myers shows that he won’t rest even on a holiday. John Carpenter’s masterpiece, not too much gore and it was more suspenseful than other slasher films. The young Jamie Lee Curtis shines as our Heroine.
8. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
A Vietnam veteran is haunted by his dead son, and otherworldly creatures. The thing about this movie, he isn’t dreaming.
9. Near Dark (1987)
A farm boy gets in trouble with a group of vampires that love to kill. Three words, the bar scene, that scene is brilliant with Bill Pullman, as the crazed vampire who slices a guy throat with his cowboy boots. That part is disturbing but it does show that these vampires aren’t sissies.
10. Dead Ringers (1988)
Identical twin gynecologists played by yours truly Jeremy Irons, lose their self control and end up going mad. See they share everything, so why not share craziness. It’s a dark disturbing psychological thriller that would add a neat touch to your Halloween party.
11. Nightbreed (1990)
Another Clive Barker movie, which is fun to watch. A lot different than Hellraiser, this is based on his story Cabal. It’s about a man who gets murdered because his own doctor gets him in trouble with murder. David Cronenberg plays the evil doctor. Well we get to meet these monsters that live in the cemetery, because our main character is linked to them. It’s a very imaginative movie and story.
12. Phantasm (1979)
A teenager is being haunted by a tall man who works at the cemetery. This movie is very dreamy and the ending is a little touchy. It’s pretty different than most horror films and it did spawn sequels, but the first one is the best.
13. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
A National Emergency grips the country, the corpses of the recently dead are returning and preying on the living. Four people manage to secure themselves in a mall and are armed with supplies. But of course all is not well, when scavengers open the doors and let in the zombies.
14. Subspecies (1991)
The vampire Radu comes back to his homeland of Prejnar and kills his father for a bloodstone. Also while this happens three women are doing a report on Romanian Culture. Radu takes a liking to them especially Michelle, but his brother Stefan saves them. Great series and has a large fan base. A cult classic.
15. From Hell (2001)
I enjoyed this film because of the story about Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper, is the most notorious serial killer and having a film with Johnny Depp trying to catch him is pretty neat. This is based on the comic book by Alan Moore. It’s very graphic, but the scenery of 19th Century England is amazing and creative.
16. Suspiria (1977)
A young woman goes to a Ballet school, in Europe. But her school isn’t as perfect as she thinks it is. It’s actually a coven of witches that kill innocent people. This Italian Horror film made by Dario Argento, is one of his most famous and best films. The music does make the movie too, thanks to the Goblins.
17. The Order (2003)
A Heath Ledger film that deserved a little more recognition. It’s about a young priest that tries to destroy the sin eater. The head of his order was killed and he travels to Rome.
18. The Tenant (1976)
In Paris a shy man named Trelkovsky moves into an apartment, where the last tenant committed suicide. Trelkovsky then believes that his landlady and another tenant are trying to make him commit suicide.
19. The Seventh Seal (1957)
I know this isn’t a horror film, or at least bit scary. But when a Knight plays chess with Death, that’s just weird enough to be on this list. Seeing medieval Sweden and the plague, just gives it a grim setting. Reality can be scary enough for some. But I think more people should watch Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal for Halloween.
20. Strait-Jacket (1964)
Joan Crawford plays Lucy Harbin who murdered her husband and his mistress with an axe. 20 years later, she is let out of the mental hospital, and tries to reconnect with her daughter, that is soon to be married. But the question is asked, is Lucy repeating her past, when heads being to roll again? I don’t want to spoil that part, so watch it.
21. It’s Alive (1973)
Every parents nightmare, when their baby starts killing off people as soon as their born. I don’t know but call me morbid when my sister had her baby I just thought of that film. Gruesome flick that I wouldn’t recommend for the weak hearted.
22. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Young Rosemary is happily married and is about to have a baby. Well not is all great though, this baby is the son of Satan. After Satan had made love to her in her sleep. It’s a weird dream sequence. Oh by the way, the local Satanists are very happy by what Rosemary is carrying.
23. Tales of Terror (1962)
Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, all three played in this Edgar Allan Poe based stories. Terrific, fun, creepy, there are so many words to describe this show. It’s long but never boring. Each story has its own touch of madness.
24. Psycho (1960)
Norman Bates is the ultimate mama’s boy. He gets all crazy because of his mother, and he kills people. He owns a motel and well kills his customers. That would have been poor Janet Leigh. The most famous scene, the shower scene.
25. Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father’s grave causes Sardonicus’ face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction. That gives even more grotesque results. So he has to wear a mask. Another William Castle original may I add.
26. The Resurrected (1991)
This is based on a H.P. Lovecraft’s short story. The film is about a wife that pays a Private Investigator to see what her husband is up to. Well he’s up to resurrecting bodies and working on some experiments that would make the devil himself freaked out. Not a blockbuster, but it’s a 90s horror film that you probably don’t want to miss.
27. Antichrist (2009)
Lars Von Trier film about a grieving couple retreats to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. Let’s just say nature is a bitch in this film.
28. Riget (The Kingdom, 1994)
This is an eight episode show from Lars Von Trier. It takes place in a hospital that is full of supernatural forces. Udo Kier stars in this flick.
29. The Changeling (1980)
A ghost story with political intrigue. George C. Scott moves into a house that is haunted by a child. Not just any child, a child that was murdered because he was sick. I say political intrigue because that child was replaced by another and he became a senator. This ghost story is sure to bring shivers down your spine, remember the part with the red ball?
30. The Crow (1994)
This urban fantasy/horror film is a tour de force of love and vengeance. Eric Draven and Shelly are a happy married couple, until thugs viciously murder both of them. Eric comes back from the dead and gets his revenge. This is just more than a film for your gothic teenager, it’s a look in violence in a culture and it raises question what if you could come back from the dead, and take back what you lost?
Sources: Clive Barker’s A-Z Horror by Stephen Jones.