Halloween is at the end of the month! Yay!
It’s my favorite time of year. The weather is FINALLY cooling, the leaves are changing, horror movies are coming out in droves, and pumpkin flavored everything are the shelves. So this year I am going to do a special blog tribute to fall and Halloween with the 31 Days of Halloween.
I have challenged myself to post every single day this month. The posts will range from movies to book to real life ghost stories to haunted locations and even some Halloween history. It should be fun. Plus I will have two new releases this month too. All in all October will be awesome.
So let’s get started.
Day 1: 31 movies to watch before Halloween (I will do a more family friendly one later):
1. Shaun of the Dead- It is important to ease yourself into the season, not to completely max out your limit for the gruesome in the first week. I recommend this delightful British dark comedy spoofing Dawn of the Dead. Here we meet Shaun a delightfully clueless man trying to get his family and friends to the safety of a local bar when there is a zombie... I mean life challenged, outbreak.
2. Rocky Horror Picture Show- Ok, so this isn't scary other than in how awesome it is. It is an October must see because the quirky, over the top nature will leave you completely enamored or you will hate it. This movie shows best with an audience so I would suggest if you see that it is playing somewhere locally definitely attend. It will be a movie going experience unlike any other.
3. Evil Dead/Army of Darkness- Another cult classic. I am less obsessed with these one than some of the others. The graphics are horrible in Evil Dead (let me just say Claymation is used), but when I watched it as a kid it creeped me out enough I had to turn it off, which was a rare occurrence. It is definitely over the top, sassy, and has the right ingredients for a fine movie. Mainly, it made this list because a true horror movie watcher should see both of these at some point.
4. American Psycho- Join the delectable Christian Bale in this story through the eyes of a maniac. It is an extremely dark comedy, finding its humor in the absurdness of the main character and his increasing unabashed desire to kill. This movie is a slightly tamed version of the novel, but still walks a fine line between hilarious and horrific.
5. Poltergeist- I have eased you into the Halloween spirit with some of the lighter and funnier flicks of this genre. Now it is time to introduce the movie that has made generations of children afraid of clowns, closets, and staticy televisions, maybe you are one of them. This movie still delivers a punch and will gear you up for what is to come.
6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose- This is the best exorcism movie that has been made since the Exorcist. It is intelligent, creepy and does not go for to much. Laura Linney leads the cast with her own charm. Watch the tale and trial that surrounds Emily Rose a college student who died while being exorcised by a local priest. Decide for yourself if possession is based in fact or fiction.
7. Dead Calm- This Australian classic has a very young Nicole Kidman trapped on a yacht in the middle of no where with a very psychotic Billy Zane. The movie is a suspense filled cruise that will make you never want to help a stranger.
8. Children of the Corn- Taking children and a cornfield then producing it into a movie that will make you sleep with the lights on, may not be an easy task, but one that was deftly done. This movie leaves you scanning any passing cornfields from little zealots planning the demise of all adults.
9. Occulus- This movie is sort of like the Inception of horror movies. It is strange and twisty and kind of awesome. Plus it has Lucas from Empire Records and Amy Pond from Dr. Who.
10. The Identity- A story that would make Alfred Hitchcock jealous that he hadn't thought of it first. A well thought out movie that can be figured out if you are paying attention, but remains enjoyable and eerie.
11. Silver Bullet- An energetic werewolf movie. The movie isn't light on the jokes or the brutality. It may not be the best movie you have ever seen but it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
12. The Collector/The Collection- I actually watched the second movie in this series before I saw the first. I hadn’t even heard of the first one and didn’t know I was going to see part two or I probably wouldn’t have let my friend talk me into it. I had super low expectations going into this movie that I knew nothing about. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the result. It is a fast-paced action horror movie with creepiness in spades, edge of your seat, and imaginative horror. Start with either movie, but both are worth watching.
13. When a Strange Calls- Few things are more frightening then someone being in the house with you. I am not sure if the movie or the urban legend came first but this movie will make you check the locks.
14. Saw- What would you do to save your life? This movie poses many uncomfortable questions with gruesome answers. It is a little bloodier, but it is the sort of movie that makes you think.
15. Friday the 13th- It is important not to hit a mid-month slump in your build up to Halloween. So Friday the 13th is a natural choice. The first movie in the saga is the best and the last one to have even a hint of realism. It also has the best final scare of any movie ever made.
16. Helter Skelter- The original 1976 TV movie to this day makes chills travel down my spine. This horrific true crime tale shows us that real monsters do exist.
17. 28 Days Later- This is a strong movie in the zombie grouping. It has good actors, an interesting story, and doesn't go too far. It uses visual stimulus or lack there of to set a tone of terror.
18. Amityville Horror- Based on the book of the true crime/tale of the former residents this movie tells the story of a house that is bursting with evil intent. It seeks blood by torturing and eventually possession members of the house hold. Whether or not you by the story it is creepy especially since an entire family was killed in the house by one of their sons.
19. Nightmare on Elm St. - One two Freddy coming for you. If you die in your sleep do you die in real life? According to this movie (Johnny Depp's first role) you do. Watch as the children of Elm Street are attacked in their sleep by an unavoidable enemy.
20. Session 9- I group of construction workers are working on a, abandoned mental hospital. Their stories weave in and out leaving you guessing on whom or what is hunting them.
21. Scream- This movie can be most appreciated after watching several horror movies. The writers of this movie obviously had a strong liking for the genre and make numerous references. It mixes humor with cheap thrills perfectly. It is a classic example of what a horror movie should be.
22. Psycho- Having one of the most copied and chilling scenes in all of film this movie and changed the way we all view road side motels and showers. It is creepy and engaging. A true classic on any list.
23. Silence of the Lambs- Sir Anthony Hopkins at his best... and most creepy. He delivers a performance that makes you forget you are watching the lovable Welshman. It is a game of psychological torment and murder best served with some fava beans and a nice Chianti
24. The Exorcist- One of the most visually disturbing films ever made. It leads you down the path of demons, possession, and the Catholic Church in a movie that will leave you feeling like you might want to attend your church a little more often. Exceptional graphics for the time in which it was created.
25 The Shining- Jack Nicholson is phenomenal in this subtle Stanley Kubrick film. You watch Jack lose his grip on reality and plummet into a very dark place where there is no hope of return. The horror he inflicts on his family is the stuff nightmares are made of.
26. The Believers- No is the time to start with the classic themes in Halloween. The first theme is witchcraft/voodoo. Martin Sheen stars in this journey into the realm of voodoo and the occult. There are some horribly creepy scenes that will stick with you (the one with the spiders, that's all I am saying). Follow this movie through the twists and turns for a horrifying ride.
27. The Orphanage- This is a beautifully yet eerily done Spanish movie (do not let the subtitles scare you after ten minutes you don't even notice them.) The Orphanage is one of the absolute best horror/suspense movies I have seen in the past 5 years. It is creepy without being over the top or gruesome. It is poignant and touching while keeping you on the edge of your seat. This ghostly tale will satisfy our second theme of paranormal and will leave you wanting more.
28. Pet Semetery- My third theme is that of Frankenstein. You may have noticed Pet Semetery is not a Frankenstein movie; however I am choosing this mostly because I am not all that fond of any of the Frankenstein movies that have been made. This Steven King classic enjoys many of the same themes: man against nature, father against son, the dangers of going against the will of God. Basically it is reminds us of our place in the universe.
29. American Werewolf in London- Nothing says Halloween like getting a like wolfie. Another great werewolf movie that molds thrills, guilt, pain, and blood into a symphony of Halloween is this classic An American Werewolf in London. Down to the incredibly bizarre dreams this movie remains one of the most classic wolfie movies of all time.
30. The Conjuring- This is a surprising creepy and well done possession movie. In the recent string of possession movies trying to capture the magic of the Exorcist this one come the cloest to being legitimately creepy.
31. Halloween- the original masterpiece is all that is needed to secure your evening fright fest. Even if you are hosting a Halloween Party play it in the background for the music alone is enough to make you spine tingle with anticipation. The body count is relatively low and the thrills are high in this ultimate classic Halloween movie.