Written by: Scotty
October is one of my favorite months, not just because of the leaves changing colors but one of my favorite holidays is upon us, Halloween. Growing up, I remember the long nights of going out with my friends and a couple of their fathers, ringing door bells and yelling trick or treat. It was all about the candy, I will not lie about that. Our group would always hold competitions on who would get home with the most, but living in Colorado, we were not always guaranteed the greatest of weather, so some Halloweens would be spent in a friend’s house. It was about the costumes, the candy and the hanging out with friends.
Getting older, Halloween has not lost its hold on me. Not being about the candy and dressing up anymore, most people seem to think that I do not have a grasp on the holiday, but I still do. One of the things that I enjoy more than anything is sitting back and watching scary movies…with some candy of course. There is no better way to celebrate the upcoming All Hallows’ Eve than with some horror movies.
There are more than a few movies I try to catch at this time of year. Most of them are modern classics that just get better with age and still leave me with a little chill running up my spine. Getting into the mood for our upcoming event, here are a few movies that I would recommend that you catch before Halloween.
Let's start off with the light hearted movies first for the squeamish.
Ghostbusters – ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghost.’ Just a fine movie all around that will leave you laughing and wondering if you could really date a girl that has turned into a dog.
Shaun of the Dead – The first Pegg/Frost movie to hit American soil, paying homage to the Romero greats. A legit zombie flick that keeps you on the edge of your seat with blood splatter, but enough levity in the situations to keep you laughing and coming back for more.
Army of Darkness – ‘Give me some sugar, baby.’ One of the most marketable movies of the Evil Dead Trilogy with great effects, decent acting and some of the most unforgettable one liners you will be left repeating for years to come.
Demon Knight – A great movie presented by the folks that brought you Tales from the Crypt. All-star cast with a strong storyline showcasing the everlasting battle between good and evil. Fantastic acting along with fine effects allow you to enjoy all of the gore without freaking out too much.
Now, on to some films that will get your blood curdling.
House on Haunted Hill (1959) – Although this is an old movie, it still is able to give you the thrills of a horror movie today. More of a thriller as a husband and wife fight with each other over who is supreme in their relationship, but when the house comes into play your hair will stand on its end.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – A deranged family of cannibals are ready for dinner as five college students enter their home looking for help. Leatherface is more than willing to help them the only way he knows how, by using his chainsaw.
Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2 (1981/1987) – Both being the same movie with a group visiting a cabin the woods and stumbling on an ancient text, the storyline is great. Reading the Naturon Demoto out loud brings the house and woods to life preventing anyone from leaving alive.
Drag Me to Hell – Sam Raimi’s throwback to the 80’s genre horror flick. Demeaning or upsetting gypsies is never a good idea as they have the ability to curse you. Having a demon pursue you until the day you die until you are able to relinquish the item that they are chasing makes for a very good story and life lesson.
The Devil’s Rejects – The second installment of Rob Zombie's frightening story of House of 1000 Corpses focuses more on the crazy family, rather than a deranged doctor you only see for a matter of seconds. With the family on the run from the heinous crimes they commented in the past, they remain together until the bitter end.
Poltergeist – A family moves into their dream home, when things start to change for the worse. A strange force takes over the house, stacking chairs, throwing things around along with stealing the youngest child. Clowns still freak me out after this film.
George A. Romero’s Dead Series – Dawn, Day, Land, Diary or Survival of the Dead. Each movie will frighten you in its own way. It is not necessary to watch all of these in order, but with zombies being killed in each and every way and the battles survivors have to deal with on an everyday basis keeps you shaking your head with delight and fright.
The Shining – Although many of the younger people I talk to these days say they laugh at this film, I think they are all crazy. This is my favorite horror movie to date, a hotel that comes alive to attack a caretaker along with his family in the dead of winter, along with tormenting them to the point of mental breakdown is a true horror story within itself.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The movie that started it all. ‘They’re coming to get you Barbra.’ The start of the zombie movement as you follow strangers being held up in a house, trying to get along without killing each other along with trying not to get eaten alive by the undead threat just outside the locked doors.
The Exorcist – A teenage girl is possessed by an unknown entity as two priests try to relieve her of this burden. The demon is much more powerful than anyone could have expected as faiths are challenged and the townhouse is torn apart by an unexpected power.
So many good movies to watch in so little time. Watching these movies help to get me in the mood to deal with the evil spirits, ghouls and zombies that could come knocking at my door on Halloween. There are many movies left off of this list, and at least two that could be very questionable, but this is what I like to watch. With new movies coming out every year, along with remakes of the classics, this list is subject to change. Stay scared out there, as there is no better way to feel alive than to have the tar scared out of you. Happy Halloween!