I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to horror, I am a huuuuuuge wimp. I am strong enough to keep staring at the screen in times of horror but I am not above leaving the light on that same night at bedtime. Despite this, there are a number of Halloween films that even wimps like myself can enjoy despite the puddles of urine that pool beneath us in terror. So without further ado here is RDR’s top ten Halloween films. Grab your blankies kids.
Starting out of the gate strong is John Carpenter’s Halloween. Starring a much younger Jamie Lee Curtis, this spooky reel got more thrills out of its’ tense atmosphere than over the top blood and gore mushing on screen. Halloween tells the tale of Michael Myers, a serial killer infamous for the slaying of sister when he was only six years old. When he grows up, he escapes the police and decides to return from whence he came to find new delicious victims. Really a defining moment for the slasher genre, Halloween inspired years of copycats and even more screams.
- Evil Dead (1981)
Some of you might have heard of a new show coming out called Ash Vs. Evil Dead. Well that is a sequel of the good ol The Evil Dead film from 1981. Bruce Campell’s adventure in the woods was the moment that the classic “horny teens go out to a cabin alone” story really took off. Along with the scares, Evil Dead is actually pretty damn funny and is marked as a perfect marriage between horror and comedy.
Can’t beat the classics. Though old timey vampire Nosferatu might be tame by today’s standards, he was still a crazy scary mother****er back in the day. Though this film is completely silent in terms of dialogue, the errie quiet matched with the equally sinister score makes chills raise on your spine. Remember to wear garlic kids.
- The Nightmare before Christmas
Though it may not technically be a horror film, Nightmare is easily one of the greatest Halloween films of all time. I mean seriously, who would’ve thought that Halloween and Christmas together would have made such a wonderful pair? Besides Jack Skellington of course. While mainly accredited to Tim Burton for creation, Nightmare benefited greatly from its composer and singing voice of Skellington, Danny Elfman. The film marked the beginning of the beautiful relationship between the two, and they have continued on for over a decade now.
- The Exorcist
Oof. This one… this one hits hard. The Exorcist as you might imagine follows an exorcist in his attempt to banish a demon back to hell by removing it from its’ host. Another film with an horrific score, The Exorcist seems to have a knack for getting under even the toughest skin. I mean, who can forget the 360 head turn though.
Everyone’s favorite white bread, picket fence killer, Norman Bates makes his spectacular debut in Hitchcock’s Pyscho. Played in a fascinating performance by the late Anthony Perkins, Pyscho really explores the idea of how a killer may not always look like a mass murderer. Sometimes they come off as completely normal, maybe quiet people. Until one night when you decide to take a shower… and then some things about your seemingly normal neighbors reveal themselves.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
Not all Halloween movies have to be super creepy! Some can in fact be rather charming. Take the best TV special around, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown for instance. Charles Schulz’s little gang of boys and girls decide to romp around the streets for candy and a possible sighting of the mystical great pumpkin. Of course, nothing can ever go quite right for Charlie and the gang and some things take a bit of a wrong turn. This is the perfect film to check out for families or those (me) who can’t take the more harsh side of the Halloween spirit and show that there is some levity to a day filled with goblins and ghouls.
- Night of the Living Dead
Of course we can’t have a Halloween list without some damn ZOMBIES! And they are the good kind coming from the mind of legendary George Romero too. Night of the Living Dead is and will always be what zombie movies hope to live up to. Before everyone and their mother started using CGI, movies used practical effects to make some truly disturbing creatures. Most notable horror practical effects horror users are Romero and previously mentioned John Carpenter. Nothing quite gets as creepy as seeing body parts literally fall off as the living dead slowly shamble their way towards you. They may not be fast, but what they lack in speed they make up for in numbers. As they shamble ever closer… and closer…
Who you gunna call? Hopefully Bill Murray in his best movie ever along with fellow stars Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis. After these unlikely scientists lose their respectable jobs, they do what any sane, repeatable person would and decide to hunt ghosts. Being one of the funniest films ever, there should really be no question as to why its up so high on the list. But while it is fantastic it’s not exactly scary, despite all the ghosts. No, to be number one, you have to be scary, funny and just downright awesome. Something like…
Delightfully funny, scary, and self-aware all at the same time, Scream set the bar for the modern day horror. Of course when we all watch a scary movie we always shout things like “Don’t go down there!” or “Why are you having sex in the middle of the woods where literally anyone or anything could be stalking you!” The stars of this particular film have heard our complaints and try to be smarter than their fellow horror counterparts. Though being aware of their horror movie setting is charming, the film packs in plenty of scares in surprising places which will have plenty jumping for the nearest person to hug. And isn’t that what makes horror great? But hey, that’s just our opinion.
What are your favorite Horror movies? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments.