I love horror movies, even the craptastic horror movies, so I couldn’t wait for this week’s Fandom 5 post: 5 must-see horror flicks for this Halloween. Here’s my list, in no particular order. Let’s get to it:
1. The Conjuring
This movie is a must-see for all lovers of horror. The Conjuring is an allegedly true story (I’m always dubious when horror films say this) starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as real-life demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are most famous for their work on a haunting that would come to be known as The Amityville Horror–in fact, they even allude to this at the very end of The Conjuring, with Ed and Lorraine talking about heading to New York for a new case. The Conjuring is scary start-to-finish, and paired with the filmmaker’s choice to give the movie and the score itself a real throwback feel to horror flicks in the 60s and 70s, the movie has a unique feel. This is also the film that introduced us all to Annabelle, the creepy-as-hell doll (who now has her own film that is still in theaters). Creepy dolls, classic horror throwbacks, and a genuinely terrifying story makes this a must-see for this and any Halloween.
2. Wait Until Dark
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It stars Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin, and is brilliant in how simplistic yet utterly terrifying it is. The set, as you can see, is very minimal. The entire movie takes place here, in Susy’s (Hepburn) apartment. Susy is blind, and the entire movie is Susy trying to find and evade a “trio of thugs,” as IMDB calls them, that are in her apartment. The plot is pretty basic, the set is minimal, and the filmmakers used things like light and darkness to add to the audience’s suspense. In fact, when it was in theaters, there was a portion of the movie where Susy turns out all of the lights in her apartment, and the theater would turn out all of the lights to add to the effect. The thrills in this movie are basic but highly effective, making it a perfect one for Halloween.
Also, I’ll just include this totally unrelated Halloween tip: remember Rule #2:
3. Shaun of the Dead
This movie is an amazing mashup of horror and comedy. It’s got zombies, British humor, characters you truly invest in, and a story that pulls you without relying too heavily on the “OMG, ZOMBIES” factor. Also, if you’re a fan of the show Spaced (which if you’ve never watched it you should remedy that ASAP), nearly the entire Spaced cast is in the film–some in zombie form, like Tyres–and it’s even said the film was inspired by an episode of Spaced.
4. 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later
The 28 Days films are two of my favorite zombie movies. The story is simple, it uses the “dude wakes up in a hospital after zombies have wiped out the earth” theme, but instead of a rising of the dead, the “zombies” are created by an infection of the Rage Virus. Though the movie is nutty, taking an infection route rather than a “the dead are rising from their graves” route gives the story a bit of creepy credibility. Because of that, I probably wouldn’t recommend watching this if you’re super freaked out about Ebola right now. I think these films have great scripts and great characters, and, of course, there is plenty of gratuitous horror gore. Both movies are great for a Halloween movie marathon!
First of all, it’s Alfred Hitchcock, you guys. Second, this movie is basically the father of the big twist ending in horror. Psycho is horror royalty, and should probably become required Halloween viewing for all horror fans. Maybe they can do a 24-hour loop of this film like they do a 24-loop of A Christmas Story on Christmas. Okay, maybe not, but still. This film is horror gold.
Paranormal Activity Films
While I never saw Marked Ones, I’m such a fan of the Paranormal Activity movies. I’m a big fan of the “found footage” horror film (V/H/S, Blair Witch, Rec, Quarantine, stuff like that), so I love the Paranormal Activity franchise. Though I don’t think any of the sequels were as good as the original, I still think they’re all a ton of fun to watch–and they do genuinely freak me out.
What movies are on your Halloween must-watch list? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out the other 5 Fandom Friday posts by following the hashtag, #Fandom5.