Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October!

Winter is a time for sharing. During the spring hearts are filled with love and a feeling of awakening. Summer is dedicated to all things sunny and outdoors. But fall means one thing. Terror.

To me, nothing says fall like getting the bejusus scared out of me. Sure the leaves are changing, and you can pick apples, but for me the month of October, is strictly dedicated to Halloween and all the accoutrements that accompany it. Candy, horror movies, haunted houses, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, parties, lame TV show specials (Like when they cover the Wheel of Fortune Set with spooky spider webs and junk), and anything else related to the Holiday.

So, seeing as how it’s October 1st, I’m going to go through my Halloween movie must list. These are movies that are left on my shelf (or hard drive as of late) but don’t get opened until October creeps around.

15.) Saw, Saw II, Saw III

To me, the Saw franchise was nothing more but shock value. When it first cam out, it truly was a disturbing and grotesque creation. Then came the hundreds of copycats that followed. Although I loved the first movie (the first time I saw it), as the sequels kept coming, they started to be very formulaic. How many different times can I be grossed out by the way someone is dying? Regardless, they are great October staples because they are nothing but gross out, jump –out scares, just what I want in a Halloween movie, or a haunted house.

14.) Scream

Wes Craven made slasher movies cool again, by making fun of them while still making one hell of a scary movie. While the first one is a classic, the sequels are just as fun for cheap thrills. The only bad part? The hundreds of people who still think it’s cool to dress like ‘ghostface’ for Halloween every year. Really people?

13.) The Typical, Textbook-Formulaic, Horror Remake or Sequel. See Dawn of the Dead (2004), House on Haunted Hill, or any of the several Jason, Freddy, or Mike Myers Sequels.

While far from original, these movies always give me a good time if not a good scare. Plus, they make perfect background noise while carving pumpkins and drinking pumpkin ale.

12.) Child’s Play

While being one of my least favorite of the big slasher stars, Chucky is still terrifying. If I ever woke up to find that doll anywhere near me at night, I’d be freaking out. While the sequels inevitably got lame and comedic, this original still scares me. Chucky’s death scene, where he melts and screams, is a classic horror villain death.

11.) Shawn of the Dead

My favorite zombie movie by far, but let me also say, I don’t like zombie movies. While I love the originality of this movie, the last ¼ of the movie, turns into a typical zombie runaway movie. Still a must to watch in October.

10.) Classic Horror. See Suspiria, Pet Semetary, The Exorcist.

Although awesome in their own way, these are the must have movies that I typically interchange from year to year. They don’t have the must-watch-annually feel that some of the other movies on my list have. In fact I saw Susperia last year, and don’t want to watch it for another ten years, not because it’s bad, but it’s so disturbing, I couldn’t handle a repeat watching so soon.

9.) Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2

You’ll notice I left of Army of Darkness and yes, I did so on purpose. I just don’t like it, sue me. To me it’s the equivalent of Spiderman 3 to the ‘Spiderman’ series. However the first two are masterpieces of horror because they were done so low budget, yet still remain scary. The second one is great because it’s essentially a remake of the first movie rather than a sequel, yet different enough and awesome enough to hold it’s own. Plus how many great movies involve tree rape.

8.) The Descent

By far the scariest movie to come out for a while. Not only does it work on those that are afraid of claustrophobically small places likes caves, but it also works for us monster lovers. Kinda like Dusk til Dawn in a sense, as you didn’t realize it was a monster movie until halfway through when it switches gears dramatically.

7.) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 & 2003)

The original slasher movie. I enjoy both of these for different reasons. The original, for its originality and creepiness (remember this came out before Freddy, Jason and the others), the remake for its jump-out scares and updated effects. Plus the dude from Full Metal Jacket is just fun.

6.) Foreign Horror. See Ju-On, Rec, The Audition, Let the Right One In, The Orphanage

Some of the biggest surprises for me in horror over the last few years are how much better foreign horror movies are then they’re quickly, badly made American counterparts. Movies like Rec and Ju-On are much scarier than Quarantine and The Grudge. Do yourself a favor and see Let the Right One In and The Orphanage before we remake it (both are in production).

5.) Mel Brooks Horror Comedy

Both of these are great comedic parodying of classic horror monsters the way that only Mel Brooks can do. I dare you to not laugh when Frankenstein lights his finger on fire or when Remfield eats a bug. I dare you. Plus you need a few laughs with your scares.

4.) Poltergeist

Several of the scariest scenes are in this movie. Trees come to life, toy clowns bare teeth and some dude’s face melts off. From Tobe Hooper, one of the best director’s of horror. Plus it has Coach’s Craig T. Nelson.

3.) The Shining

The best Steven King book is also the best movie adaptation. This one is just pure creepy. It doesn’t need jump-out cheap scares to get you with this one. Teddy bear BJ’s, elevators pouring with blood, and bartenders that are bad influences. Do I also have to add that Scatman Crothers is in this?

2.) Sleepy Hallow

Now I know this one seems odd to you. But for me, I haven’t gone a single Halloween without watching this Tim Burton classic. It’s got Johnny Depp and the super hot Christina Ricci, plus Christopher Walken is the horsemen (when he has his head). Full of blood, suprises and lots of Halloween goodies, to me, it’s a must.

1.) Halloween

I know, big surprise right? But it really is the best movie to watch on Halloween. The very best slasher film ever made. Rob Zombies version doesn’t even come close. Don’t waste your time and stick with the classic.

So that’s my list of must watch Halloween movies for this October. Update your netflixes, grab some pumpkin ale and enjoy my friends. I know I will.

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