I’m kind of a purist when it comes to Halloween. When you watch horror movies all day, every day, the spookiest time of the year tends to be an opportunity to either go classic or to go party, depending on one’s mood/company.
If a marathon is in the cards, then I’d pack as many favourites into the day as possible. For a party atmosphere, it would have to be classics interspersed with fun, festive flicks to keep everyone entertained through the night.
The following is a mixture of both, for the perfect Halloween:
Scream is one of the greatest slasher movies of all time, and one of my own personal favourites, too. Scary, funny and endlessly entertaining, it’s self-referential without being smug, gory without being over the top and, in spite of the fact it’s nineties as hell, it never seems to age–it also boasts one of the most legendary, jaw-dropping opening sequences in the horror history.
What’s a Halloween movie marathon without the Halloween horror movie? I’m not one of those lunatics who thinks Season Of The Witch is some sort of masterpiece. Halloween is arguably the greatest horror movie of all time and almost every sequel that followed it pales in comparison (2 is decent, but still doesn’t really compare). It’s the go-to. Always.
Mix it up: Check out Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake from 2007, which attempts to do something different with the Michael Myers mythology (at least for half of its run-time) and is unfairly derided by elitists purely for existing. Ignore the hatred and give it a go.
Trick ‘r’ Treat
Up until this year, Trick ‘r’ Treat was the ultimate Halloween anthology movie. Now, following the release of the terrific Tales Of Halloween, its reign as the festive anthology must-watch may be in jeopardy. But, until we all, inevitably, add Tales to our collections/holiday rotation, Trick ‘r’ Treat is still a fun, exciting and scary little Halloween treat that will make you fear opening the door in case little Sam is behind it.
Mix it up: This time, next year, Tales Of Halloween will be the go-to for spooky anthology movies but its fellow new, Halloween-y release Hellions may be gaining traction by that stage too–it even features some super-creepy, Sam-esque trick-or-treaters of its own.
I’m kind of cheating with this one because Hocus Pocus is my go-to movie every day of the year, whether I’m sick, bored, tired or just unsure of what to watch in general. It’s a classic, which is kind of surprising considering just how bloody weird it is. Hilariously funny, festive and surprisingly dark in places, this is one of those movies that gets better with each and every re-watch. A Halloween classic, any time of the year.
Mix it up: The Nightmare Before Christmas is officially a Halloween movie, according to comments recently made by its director. But, any self-respecting anti-Christmas, pro-Halloween fan already knew that. Besides, is there any better Halloween song than “This Is Halloween?”
Ending the night on a high is important, because chances are you’re going to be bummed out Halloween is over for another year. You can’t go wrong with a classic from a horror master, and Carpenter’s The Thing has somehow managed to get even scarier over the years. The practical effects are still spot on, Kurt Russell is still brilliant as MacReady and the ending is still just as simultaneously frightening and sad as always, if not more so.
Mix it up: Considering most of us will likely be honouring our dearly-departed Wes Craven this year, you can’t go wrong with A Nightmare On Elm Street. If it’s body horror you’re after, Cronenbergian classic The Fly makes for a gooey Halloween treat that’ll make you sicker than eating too much candy before dinner.