It doesn’t always work out so well (especially when I’m working out West), but my husband and I have a bit of a Halloween tradition. We try – to the best of our ability – to watch a horror movie every night for the entire month of October. Sometimes it can be very difficult to work one in at the end of a busy day, but it’s never difficult to find a movie to watch, because we own well over 400 of them.
Yes, we’ve seen our share of scary movies, so today I’m going to share a few of my favorites.
Depending on your personal disposition you might not think of the original Evil Dead as being a particularly scary movie, especially since it’s a little older and doesn’t exactly scream “realism!” But it’s one of my favorites because once you know the story behind it’s production you realize that the cost and crew did an amazing job with very limited resources. Evil Dead tells the story of a group of young people who drive out into an old cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release an ancient evil that will never let them go. All of the special effects are done the old fashioned (*cough*fun*cough*) way, and the way that the “evil” is portrayed is both extremely simplistic and totally creepy. It may not scare you half to death, but if you’re a fan of horror movies and you haven’t seen this one, you really should.
I’m a big believer that Americans should pretty much stay away from the impulse to redo Asian horror films, and the reason is that Asians are way better at the genre (when they’re actually, genuinely trying to be scary). An excellent example of this is a spine-tingling ghost story called Shutter. It’s the tale of a photographer and his girlfriend who get into a car accident and thereafter begin seeing strange shadows and faces in all their photographs. But of course, it doesn’t end there. It is creepy as hell, and there were more than a few moments that made me literally yelp out loud. It’s the kind of movie that, once it’s over, you’re scared to get out of bed because you’re imagining all the things that are going to reach out and grab your feet. But if you’re going to watch, make sure you’re looking for the 2004 original, because the 2008 American remake does not do justice to the ghostly eerieness.
Okay, I have to admit right off the bat that this one isn’t exactly scary, but I have to mention it in this post because it’s been one of my favorites since I was about ten years old. Hocus Pocus tells the story of three evil witches who are accidentally brought back to life by an idiotic teenage boy in an attempt to impress a girl. The witches have been brought into the future by the spell and must drink the life from a child before sunrise in order to stay alive and young. Honestly, it’s more of a comedy than a horror, but it has crazy evil witches, a zombie, and a talking cat, and that is plenty enough for me. I watched this movie dozens of times as a kid and continue to watch it every Halloween as an adult. It’s a great one to share as a family!
Now if you want something that’s Halloween-y and can give you a couple of chills, I definitely suggest Trick ‘r Treat. This film is a kind of anthology that moves from story to story as it reveals the Halloween hyjinx of a variety of characters. Each of the stories is delightfully creepy, and the movie has one of the straight-up freakiest little characters of all time. ‘Sam’ looks like a trick-or-treater with a dirty sac over his head as a mask…but oh, he is so much more. I’m not that easily frightened these days, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d never had a creepy dream or two about Sam. Want to experience the wiggins (or, alternatively, let me know that I’m a total wuss)? Check it out! It’s a great Halloween flick to watch during the holiday.
Do you enjoy super-scary movies, or do you prefer the tamer ones? What are your favorite horror movies? Have you ever had a horror scare you so badly that you couldn’t sleep afterward, and how old were you when that happened? 😉 Please share!