Nothing gets me into the Halloween spirit like a good old fashioned horror movie. When I was a teenager, I must have watched just about every singe one available at the local Blockbuster. Remember when you had to actually go to a video store to rent a movie? Man, I feel old. Anyway, here are some of my favorites- if you find yourself jonesing for a fright, check one out.
He'll Always Be Zachary to Me
1. Hocus Pocus: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star as sister witches in this 1993 Halloween comedy. I loved this one as a kid, and I still watch it once in a while. I was about to write a little about the plot and whatnot, but now I'm distracted because I just saw on IMDB that the cat/boy who I always thought was named Zachary Binx is actually Thackery Binx. What!? I couldn't believe it, so I went to Google and typed "Zachary Thackery Binx." The first result was a facebook page dedicated to this very issue. At least I'm not alone- 192 other people firmly believed that his name was Zachary. Ok, now back to the topic at hand. I recommend Hocus Pocus if you want a family friendly Halloween movie that's more funny than scary and/or you'd like to see Bette do a killer rendition of "I Put a Spell on You." Hocus Pocus is going to be on ABC family several times during the next few weeks, if you're interested in seeing it.
2. TheEvil Dead: A young and dashing Bruce Campbell stars as Ash in this early '80s cult classic. Here's a tip for all you campers: if you just happen to find a copy of the Necronomicon (complete with a recorded translation) laying around in your cabin, you should probably just leave it alone. Ash and his friends just had to play the tape and things didn't exactly pan out well for them, what with the demon possession and everything. In spite of its low budget, Evil Dead delivers. It's gory, creepy, and pretty original as well. I also love the sequel/remake, Evil Dead II- in fact, I think I might prefer it. Evil Dead II mixes some humor in with the terror, and Ash is much more of a badass in II than he was in the original. I think I'll be viewing both of them this Halloween- luckily for me, the original is available on Netflix watch instant, and I'm pretty sure I have a copy of II around here somewhere.
They're coming to get you, Barbara!
3. Night of the Living Dead: I know that zombies are kinda played out these days, but I still have a soft spot for the undead. George Romero directed this groundbreaking black and white horror film in 1968, and it's pretty much a must-see for any horror fan. Sure, Barbara's histrionics can get annoying, but NOTLD is still a thoroughly creepy movie. And that denouement? Dark! Romero usually likes to throw a little bit of social commentary into his films, which I enjoy. The next two films in the series, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead are both definitely worth watching as well. The more recent ones... not so much. NOTLD is available to watch instantly on Netflix, and I recommend it to any fan of the genre.
Watch your heads.
4. Sleepy Hollow: You know the story: Ichabod Crane is sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some decapitations, there is a headless horseman running amok, et cetera. What really makes this movie a must-watch for me is the atmosphere and the acting. Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken with some sick pointy teeth.... what's not to like? While it isn't exactly the most terrifying movie ever, Sleepy Hollow is pretty spooky and perfect to watch while cuddled up with your special someone on Halloween.
5. Mulholland Drive: I wanted to put a David Lynch movie on the list because he's one of my favorite directors, and I'm going with this one because I think it's a little more accessible than some of his other films. Plus, it has a scene in it that freaks me out every single time. It involves a dumpster, and if you've seen this one before I bet you know what I'm talking about. I recommend Mulholland Drive for people who like weird, unconventional movies that take some analysis to figure out. If you liked Inception, you might like this. This isn't your typical horror movie- it's more of a mystery, I suppose. Although it isn't terribly scary, it fills me with a sense of dread at points. For example, the performance of Llorando at Club Silencio- what a great scene. If you watch Mulholland Drive and enjoy it, try some of Lynch's other films. Lost Highway, Inland Empire, and Blue Velvet are my other faves.
Well, those are my fave five. What do you plan on watching this Halloween? Any must-see horror flicks I should know about?