Advertise With Us||Links||
Submission Guidelines||Subscribe to Feed||Contact
by Dan Greene
This week I’m going to make it short and leave the rest up to you. Last post before Halloween and we’re running low on time, so let’s help each other out and talk about the movies that are worth going back to every Halloween. A quick rundown of examples of required viewing.
Like you didn’t see that coming. John Carpenter, Riff Randall, escaped mental patients and William Shatner turned inside out? How can you go wrong? You can’t!
This one was made in 78 and became one of the most recognized horror titles in history. Classified as a slasher film and often lumped in with the likes of Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street, this one had more going for it. Like atmosphere and story, for example. John Carpenter takes his time and builds up the suspense and tension so that you’re biting your fingernails down to the second knuckle by the end. There’s not really anything disgusting in this one, but again, they hold you by the throat until the end of this movie and that’s what it’s all about. As a matter of fact, they hold you by the throat after the movie ends, because you don’t know where the hell Michael Myers went! He should have died from his injuries, but he got up after that fall and walked away. Where did he go? Well, you’ll have to watch the sequel to get the answer to that one.
If you’re going to watch Halloween, then you may as well pick this up too. John Carpenter didn’t direct but he did help write it so we’re still in good company. Jamie Lee Curtis is still on the run and Donald Pleasance is still on the hunt. This movie picks up almost exactly where it left off in the first. Halloween 2 is the set on the same night as Halloween, just later that night. This installment fits the “slasher” model a little better, as there actually is some blood in this one. Most of the movie is set in a hospital and the atmosphere of the first carries over really well into the new setting. This is one of the best horror sequels of all – it ads a lot to the first and doesn’t come off too bad at all.
It’s the 1980 version from John Carpenter I’m talking about here, I haven’t even seen the remake yet. This is another one full of atmosphere, great for Halloween night. Turn off the lights and wait for the ghosts of the diseased to come for you. Don’t know this story? It’s about ghosts and the sea and leprosy, it’s got Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis and her Mom, Janet Leigh (who’s Janet Leigh? She died in the shower in Psycho. You’re welcome). Any movie with hooks is alright in my book.
An American Werewolf In London
This was directed by John Landis and it has a shower scene with a really hot nurse who lets strangers stay at her flat. Yes, it’s got a werewolf as well, I suppose, and a walking meat loaf. If that’s what you’re into. When I was a kid I’d have married Jenny Agutter though, just for biting him in the shower like that.
This is a great movie. Gross, funny, with really good special effects for the time too. They still look good today. The transformation scene is still one of the most recognized special effects accomplishments out there. The story is put together really well, which makes sense because John Landis not only directed, he wrote the screenplay.
The Amityville Horror
Talking ‘bout the original here, not the remake. If I’m ever talking about the remake I’ll let you know. This is another movie without a lot of blood, but with lots of atmosphere to make up for it. Some people say it’s based on a true story and others say it isn’t. I don’t waste my time trying to figure it out. Haunted house stories are the best for that creepy feeling anyway. Outside of mass murder type movies, haunted houses are about as close as we can get to “true” stories. They tend to explore the things that scare us when we’re at our most alone and vulnerable. Not only is this house haunted, but it’s apparently haunted by the forces of hell.
The Serpent And The Rainbow
Here’s a nice little movie from Wes Craven that a lot of people tend to forget about. It’s got a little blood and gore, it’s got zombies, a good atmosphere, and best of all it’s got a good story. It’s mostly set in Haiti and deals with voodoo rituals and zombification. The movie is definitely a horror movie but it also has elements of a murder mystery or a suspense film. As a result you get creeped out and can’t look away until the movie is over and your questions are answered. Highly recommended.
Ah, here’s an 80’s classic for you. It falls under the horror/comedy category so you know it’s going to be fun. Even if the balance isn’t nailed between horror and comedy, you still get to laugh. Who cares if you’re laughing at the right things. It’s got Roddy McDowall and Amanda Bearse (that’s Marcy Darcy from Married With Children) involved in a hunt to prove that one of the neighbours is a vampire. The story is actually pretty good – it’s a date movie with blood – and the special effects aren’t too shabby either. It was good enough to make a sequel…..
So that’s what I have for you. What do you have for me? What movies have you picked out already for watching this week? Did I miss your favourite Halloween tradition?
Dan has never performed a voodoo ritual in Haiti. He only practices voodoo in Hoboken.