Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
As a horror fanatic, Halloween is my favorite time of the year. It is the one time of year that I am not judged for loving movies about murder and mayhem. Though I watch horror films all times of the year, there are a select few that I save specifically for Halloween. These 10 movies are perfect for bing watching for the entire month of October.
1. The Michael Myers Collection
If you know about the Halloween franchise, then you know why I decided to title this entry the Michael Myers collection. The third installment of the Halloween movies took a major left turn that left fans of the horror franchise scratching their heads. Apart from "Season of the Witch", these films follow the butcher knife-wielding psychopath Michael Myers as he runs up a body count that delights fans.
Of course, a franchise that is named after the holiday is perfect to watch this season, but this one is also ideal for any time of year. If you are new to these films or on a time crunch with all the other awesome movies and events that happen with this holiday, I would strongly suggest watching them in the order of their release date. If you can't get all the way through Rob Zombie's Halloween II, you won't have missed out on too much.
2. Trick 'R Treat
In my opinion, Trick 'R Treat is one of the most underrated Halloween, or even horror, films ever. I happen to be a sucker for anthology collections so that may skew my perceptions slightly, but this is still a great film on its merit.
The film is based on the comic series of the same name and brings some of those fantastic stories to life. Unlike a lot of other anthology collection that are pumped out, this one had a budget, and it shows in star power (Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker) but also in production quality. One of the coolest aspects of this film is that each scary short story is connected in some way with a big pay off in the end. It is a shame that this one didn't see theaters. Hopefully, the long-awaited sequel will receive more respect. If you haven't seen this one, I would suggest you move it to the top of your list to watch this Halloween.
3. All Hallow's Eve
It's funny; holiday horror films tend to bring out the short story. All Hallow's Eve is yet another anthology collection of shortened films. Though the budget is noticeably low, this one came out of left field to be one of the newer and better Halloween themed horror films.
When a babysitter finds a VHS tape in her kids' candy bags, she regrettably pops it in the VCR. The movie and the movie within the film then take you through an anthology of short horror films all connected by a terrifying clown. As the stories continuously become more gruesome, the babysitter starts to think there is more to this tape than just some Halloween fun. Though this movie is small budget, it is surprisingly good, good enough to have spawned a sequel (All Hallow's Eve 2) with the same general plot.
4. Trick or Treat
This movie is so '80s it hurts. It is chock full of young nameless actors with guest spots by Gene Simmons and The Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Though the movie is painfully cheesy with a plot so generic it may as well have an equate label across the title it is still one that needs to be watched once a year at this time.
A young loner idolizes a dark glam rocker from his old town but is crushed when he finds out that his idol died in a horrific fire. Luckily for him, the rocker left behind a final record to be played at midnight on Halloween, and he has the original vinyl. Unluckily for him, the album holds more than just a swan song and now the entire town, and maybe even the world, is in jeopardy.
5. Tales of Halloween
Tales of Halloween may be the best Halloween themed movie since the John Carpenter classic. It does everything right from makeup and acting to writing and directing. The best part is that it is a series of short stories, so it's like you are getting ten movies in one.
Each story is incredibly unique, and all of them are good. Each entry is its own individual story, but the filmmakers do an excellent job at intertwining characters from other stories throughout to give it a more connected feeling. The stories can be a bit gruesome at times, but I would never say they are over the top and there is just as much humor as there is horror in these stories. If you only have time to watch two Halloween movies this season I would say the Original Michael Myers Halloween first and then this one.
6. The Houses October Built
The Houses October Built is one of my favorite titles ever given to a film; it gives me goosebumps every time I read it. The movie is not as good as the title, but it is still a decent film to catch once a year. Though they rely on the now played out found footage trope the film is good enough to have spawned a sequel that comes out this year.
The Houses October Built is a found footage film following a group of friends as they take off to find the scariest haunted attractions in the country. Tired of fake blood and plastic dolls of normal horror rides, they group looks for a truly terrifying experience. When they are tipped off to the perfect haunt they don't realize that they are in over their heads and the terror they seek may be all too real.
7. Night of the Demons 1988
It is never a good thing when a group of teenagers gets together which is proven once again in Night of the Demons. This movie is a decent little horror film which happens to take place on one fateful Halloween night. It is even in the horror hall of fame as the first horror movie with a female monster.
When a group of kids decides to have a spooky good time at the famous Hull House they bite off more than they can chew. It turns out that the legend of Hull House is real and the reality is worse than the legend. Now the question only question is who will survive and who will succumb to the night.
With a name as inventive as Boo, you would think that this movie was destined to be garbage, but it isn't bad. The special effects aren't perfect, and the acting is B-grade at best, but they manage to tell a decent story despite those facts. Boo is not a movie that I would want to watch more than once a year, but it is fun to revisit around this time annually.
A group of college kids thinks it will be a riot visit an abandoned mental hospital on Halloween night. Knowing that the hospital's third floor has a reputation for being haunted, one of the boys sends one of his friends ahead to set up a few Halloween pranks. Unfortunately for everyone involved, rumors are usually based in reality, and once the kids hit the third floor, all hell breaks loose. Now they must fight paranoia and an evil spirit to stay alive and make it off the third floor.
9. Lady in White
This thriller is a must-see because it is utterly surreal. It bombed at the box office, and for a good reason, it didn't know what it wanted to be. It is one part social justice, and one part horror and suspense. It has the overall feel of a movie aimed towards children and young adults, but its content is much too mature for anyone under seventeen in my opinion. Still, the effects are elite for the time this movie was released, and there are some genuinely spooky scenes that will make you shudder.
When a young boy is trapped in a coat closet, he witnesses the ghost of a little girl relive her final moments. Unbeknownst to him, the murderer is still alive and much closer than he realizes. When a local man is wrongfully accused of the murder, the boy must find out the truth behind the killing before the wrong man is put away. Unfortunately for him, finding out the truth may cost him his life.
10. House of 1,000 Corpses
Rob Zombie's first movie is arguably his best with some twisted imagery and imaginative filmmaking. Anyone who has seen this film may have been too fixed on its brutality to notice that it takes place on Halloween. Its holiday setting is perfect because this is not the kind of film that most people can watch more than once a year.
A group of twenty-something is traveling rural backroads to write a book about strange roadside attractions. On their way home, they make one last stop at Captain Spaulding's an unusual roadside gas station/oddity shop/amusement park. After learning about the legend of an evil doctor, the proprietor of the joint sents the group to the home of the Firefly clan to find out more about the legend. What they don't know is that the Firefly's make the family from Texas Chainsaw Massacre look tame. If you are more of a casual horror fan, you may want to think twice before you watch this one.
There are plenty of horror movies that revolve around Halloween, but there are only so many days of the month to watch them. Whether you are looking for something new or just needed a reminder of an old favorite, this list should have you covered. If there is a movie that I have egregiously left off of the list, I would love to read about it in the comments.