Gores Truly has compiled a short list of flicks we enjoy and think everyone should watch this Halloween. We each chose three picks sure to add a bit of spooky flavor to any queue for festive viewing whether you’re looking for some spine-tingling thrills, gore, horror-lite, comedy, or a classic.
Boris || When I think about Halloween, monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night are what immediately come to mind. Sure, people can be monstrous and aliens can be scary as shit but save it for any other time of year. Bring out your (un)dead, lure out the vampires, let the werewolves howl, the demons possess, and the ghosts haunt!
Don’t let its PG-13 rating fool you, Insidious is a solid haunted house flick packed with lots of familiar techniques used in horror – creaky doors and floors, dramatic suspense building music, cacophonous sound effects to maximize the scare tactics, heavy fog, shadows, mirrors, ominous closets, and jump scares. There are also quite a few tips-of-the-hat to flicks like Poltergeist and other classics.
Drag Me to Hell (Unrated) (2009)
Dark, excessively gruesome, and absolutely hysterical. Sam Raimi’s glorious return to the savage genre where humor meets horror is not a let down. It’s certainly no Evil Dead but the nefarious demons and mischievous spirits abound in this flick. Tongue-in-cheek thrills and plenty of cultural and horror in-jokes to enjoy throughout, Drag Me to Hell makes for a good time while still providing some disturbing sequences.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
A delicious breath of fresh air for those of you who are like me and wish that Halloween and all its related festivities were more celebrated. Keep the Halloween traditions alive – if you want to keep yourself alive, that is. This is one of the best Halloween movies presented in anthology form. It’s got the gore, monsters, haunts from the past, and creepy characters. Trick ‘r Treat deserves to be in anyone’s queue or pile of DVDs to watch every Halloween season. Right there next to Creepshow.
Meg || No matter what advertising tells you – Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year. The weather is perfect, the fall flavored foods are amazing and? It’s the perfect time to indulge in a few of your favorite horror flicks.
If werewolves had a godfather, An American Werewolf in London would be Vito Corleone. Although classic films starring the Wolfman came before it, American Werewolf helped defined the genre of lycanthrope and to this day still stands on its own two haunches as a hell of a film showcasing one of the top transformation scenes of all time. David and Alex’s plight is a mix of pure comedy, drama, and terror and guaranteed to be a great way to kickstart any werewolf marathoning you may be planning.
The Collection (2012)
The Collection is the sequel to 2009’s The Collector and definitely a modern horror film you should eagerly indulge in. It has one of the best opening scenes I’ve seen since Ghost Ship. Through barbarism and grit The Collector is paving its way as a new cult series in the horror scene. And one can only hope that Marcus Dunstan follows up and provides a third film to package this series into the trilogy format it deserves.
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
It’s not officially Halloween until you watch an Evil Dead film. Evil Dead 2 is by far my favorite of the series. Comedy, horror and some of the most ridiculous special effects you’ll ever see. Thinking flying eyeballs. It’s the film in which Ash finally grows a pair and starts evolving into the anti-hero we’ve all come to love. Bonus points if you follow it with a little Army of Darkness action.
Tiney || October really is the month where you can start cozying up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. Then you throw in some spooky movies leading up to Halloween and you have a formula for awesome. There is no better way to get into the Halloween spirit.
The Shining (1980)
With practical effects and a stellar cast, The Shining is classic horror you never forget. I always find an excuse to watch it and Halloween is as good an excuse as any. The film has a superb balance of suspense, shock, and the supernatural as Jack Nicholson’s character slowly descends into madness and hunts down his family while they’re trapped in a massive and creepy hotel.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
I fell in love with Shaun of the Dead after the first time seeing it. The perfect blend of comedy and horror with a tinge of humanity makes this zombie flick a must-see. The writing is clever and funny in making comparisons of the walking dead with our zombified society and there are a ton of homages to classic zombie movies à la George Romero. Other than that, it’s a just a fun ride to watch Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and friends fight their way through London.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This isn’t a scary movie by any means, but it’s a Halloween movie and it’s a good one you can share with your family. It’s got witches, ghosts, a zombie, a black cat, curses, spell books, potions, and takes place in Salem, Massachusetts. You can’t get more Halloween-y than that!
Fox || As a kid, autumn was the season when I could finally justify watching my favorite movies. From It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to The Nightmare Before Christmas, October was the time when I could finally coerce my mother into picking up my favorites from our local video rental shop. Now I’m an adult who doesn’t rely on video rental stores (whatever those are) or a time of year to be able to pick up my favorite scary or gory films, but there’s still a certain level of nostalgia associated with Halloween-time that justifies checking out some of my less frequently watched horror movies.
Scream was one of the first Horror movies I owned and I usually run through it at least once in October. The movie, for all its 90’s goofiness, has just the right mix of hilarity and scary to make it a fun, festive watch for Halloween season.
This movie has gore and Cenobytes, which is pretty much all that I can hope for in a film. This is my serious fright and gore film that is always a must watch around this time of year.
The Grudge (2004)
The Grudge is my creepy, spooky Halloween must watch. It has enough creep elements and jump scares to get my heart rate up and keep it there, despite the fact that I’ve watched this movie countless times. It’s also fun to watch in a group so that way for the rest of the evening you can make throat noises at one another. (Everybody wins!)
Nightshade Nash || I’m a fan of the classics and avid watcher of the TCM’s Halloween marathon.
London After Midnight (1927)
Considered to be Lon Chaney’s lost masterpiece, all known copies of this movie have been lost to the ravages of time. It follows the suspicions of vampires being responsible for an unsolved murder and shows off some truly incredible practical and make-up effects. But how can you watch it if it’s been lost to time? It has been painstakingly recreated from more than 200 still photographs by archivist Rick Schmidlin and rescored by Robert Israel. It will be shown for the first time in any format for over 50 years on TCM on Halloween day at 6:00 am. So set the DVR for this one. It’s considered to be one of the most terrifying silent films of its time.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
There’s not much I can say other than this movie is just a classic. Despite the low budget, this film maintains eerie terror by embracing its minimalist plot and gruesomeness. A group of strangers find themselves trapped in a farmhouse as a slow-moving horde of zombies (created by – of all things – radiation from a Venus Space Probe . . . seems logical) endeavor to break in and eat them. It’s George Romero at his finest.
The Devil Doll (1936)
This is one of those movies that falls into the dementedly bizarre category of the horror films from the 1930’s and 1940’s. It revolves around the story of a wrongfully convicted business man, Paul Lavond, and mad scientist, Marcel. They escape from a prison called Devil’s Island – Lavond is hell bent on seeking revenge on those who wrongfully accused him. Marcel and his wife apparently have some secret formula that allows them to shrink living things. So, they open a toy shop where they begin a reign of terror shrinking people and inching closer to the revenge Lavond seeks. This movie is bizarre and has a twisting plot that centers around obsession with shrinking people and exacting revenge. Also a part of TCM’s Halloween marathon.