Here we are, back again, for the next 10 in the list of movies to watch this October in preparation for Halloween. Without further ado, let’s kick this off with
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
More style over substance, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is still a very good film. The performance by Gary Oldman is a thing of legend. Anthony Hopkins over the top Van Helsing is also wonderful. Of course, Keanu Reeves doing a British accent is nowhere near convincing. Keanu does not detract from this film, which at times is revolting. I love this film. It is in my top 10 vampire films of all time. It is a great watch for Halloween.
Bela Lugosi played the ultimate Dracula in this 1931 horror classic. Suave. Debonair. Calculating. Evil. This is a classic film that needs to be seen, especially on a dark October night. While it may not be as bone chilling as some of the other films on this list, if watched right, it will give you the heebie-jeebies. Turn down the lights, bar your doors and windows, and bask in this wonderful film.
This is a creepy movie. No doubt about it. I have seen it a few times now, and every time it gets a little more creepy. From the modern master of haunted house movies, James Wan, The Conjuring is ghost movie with scares to spare. Wan directs his films uniquely, and this is no exception. He uses strange camera angles and sound to throw off the viewer and create a sense of unease, which then translates to being shocked or frightened by something he shows you on screen. It is very effective and you would probably never even notice his subtle manipulations if they hadn’t been pointed out to you. Read my review here.
‘If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw‘. That’s the tagline that the last few films have used. While the quality on the films slowly degraded into something of a twisted, torture porn soap opera, the first film is still a singular piece of horror film making. James Wan made his feature film debut with the first film and firmly established himself as one of the great horror directors of our time. The first film is fascinating in it’s message and execution (pun intended). It is not an easy film to watch, but you have to admire that the man made us squirm by showing us very little. Yes, it is gory. Probably not as much as you might remember, though.
Read my review here. This film is notorious for having the worst, gut punch of a scene that you never see. My friends and I used to have conversations about the worst scene in any movie. We always came back to this film. Ironically, the scene shows nothing but a bloody shoe rolling down the highway. That is enough. As a father, re-watching this film fucked me up. I’ll be damned though, if it isn’t an underrated horror gem that needs to be seen. If you have skipped this one over the years, or just didn’t watch it because it’s old now, do yourself a favor and check it out. You will not be disappointed.
Read my review here. A young woman getting her period. A savage werewolf attack. Yes, Ginger Snaps has a lot to say, some of it heavy handed. Dammit, though, this is an amazing film. The transfer on this Blu-Ray has to be seen to be believed. I absolutely adore this film and have since it was originally released. Odd are that you haven’t seen this one. Despite the premium price for the Blu-Ray, you should pick this up. It is a great film, not just a great horror film.
Someone is going to argue with me that this is not a horror film. I just know it. And they will be wrong. This is a horror film disguised as a crime thriller. Yes, David Fincher, I am on to you! I see what you’re up to! Ok, all sort of kidding aside, this is a frightening, at times revolting, film. It is also magnificent. In my opinion, Fincher has yet to top this as his best film. Both Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman became household names with this film. Kevin Spacey as well. I know you’ve seen this one. It’s time to revisit this horror classic.
I grew up watching Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When I saw Psycho, I was thoroughly underwhelmed. What was the big deal? It was old. It was in black and white. It wasn’t scary. I was maybe 12. I revisited this film a year or two ago and it is magnificent. While it is still not terribly scary, it is a remarkable film that is head and shoulders above any of the slasher films that have been released since. I do consider this the grandfather of slasher films, since so many of them have ripped this off over the years.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This is a horrifying film. No question about it. While the remake was decent, this is the granddaddy of all ‘OMG!’ movies. You know what’s crazy? There is no gore. It is all implied. The idea was enough to get people freaking out. Personally, I find this film so effective because it looks like a documentary. It was filmed on the cheap, and that cheap created a documentary feel. You feel like you are watching something you shouldn’t see, that you are a witness to a violet crime that actually happened. Despite what anyone will tell you, this DID NOT happen. It was inspired by Ed Gein from Wisconsin. INSPIRED BY. You know what? The last entry, Psycho, was also inspired by Ed Gein. The only similarity these two films have is that they are horror films.
The Monster Squad
Read my review here. Ok, time for a little breather. We’ve went pretty intense in this series of horror films, so we need a small break. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, and Gillman, though, does it? Of course not! What!? You’ve never heard of The Monster Squad!? How dare you! Basically, this is The Goonies with monsters. A bunch of kids find out that monsters are in town to find an amulet that will cover the world in darkness. Of course, the adults don’t believe them, so it is up to them to stop the monster invasion. It is a fun film, but is a little harsh for youngsters. It does have some foul language and a bit of gore, so be warned before you pop this in for your 4 year old (yes, I made that mistake).
There you go! 11-20 of our Halloween Horror must watch list. Stay tuned, as I will be back next week with the rest of the list. 21-31 will be in chronological order. The next films will also have Halloween double features, so be ready to go into Halloween with a bang and a shriek!
Don’t forget to click the cover art to head over to Amazon where you can pick these titles up and add them to your collection.