Horror lovers like us love Halloween because it’s fun. Candy, costumes, decorations, parties, and a month-long celebration of all things spooky. But when it comes to movies, whether it’s making lists or sharing favorites, it seems like every year we focus on what the scariest movies are (which is totally fine; I do it too).
This year though, Wicked Horror is taking a sidestep and showcasing some of our contributor’s favorite scary movies to watch on Halloween. Skip the obvious choices like watching classics old (Halloween) and new (Trick r’ Treat) again and watch some flicks that are just plain fun, whether you’re flying solo or having friends over. The following selections, creature-features that cover the ‘90s from start to finish, are all a total blast and among my faves to pop in on the big day. So sit back, relax, and remember a time when Hollywood produced mid-budget, R-rated monster movies.
Boasting pretty awesome creature effects by Stan Winston and some great monster action in a classy Chicago museum, The Relic recalls a time when studios were trying to replicate the success of Jurassic Park and find their own Michael Crichton. While it wasn’t a huge box office hit, it’s a perfectly respectable action/horror flick that holds up really well. Also, in 1997, Tom Sizemore made for a credible lead, believe it or not.
This is hands-down one of my favorite ‘90s movies. The spectacular cast is a who’s who of B-actors and almost stars, like Treat Williams, Wes Studi, Djimon Hounsou, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor, Cliff Curtis, and Anthony Heald. Yes the CGI is dicey and dated, but the extremely talented Rob Bottin handled the special effects, and it delivers in the blood & guts department. It also has a cool location and healthy sense of humor. It’s pure goofy fun and if you haven’t seen it in a while, there’s no better time to revisit than this Halloween season.
OK it’s not very original, but that’s easily overlooked. It’s got a great cast, including two Oscar winners (Ben Kingsley and Forest Whitaker), a should-have-been big star (Michael Madsen), and a young Michelle Williams. The supremely gifted Steve Johnson did the creature and special makeup effects, and the legendary H.R. Giger designed monster. It moves swiftly, there are a few well-executed set pieces, and there’s enough red stuff to satisfy gore-hounds during the Halloween season or any time of the year for that matter.
More comedy than horror movie, genre veteran Steve Miner was behind the camera for this one, and it’s frequently hilarious. Come for Betty White and stay for the giant crocodile eating people (Stan Winston did the creature effects in this one too). White, Oliver Platt, and Brendan Gleeson are outstanding, and the 80 or so minutes fly by. And despite leaning more to the comedy side, it doesn’t skimp on the gore. Easily one of the best horror/comedy hybrids and a great choice for Halloween viewing.
Even though it pales in comparison to the original, as easy-to-digest entertainment this one goes down smooth. Danny Glover makes for an acceptable hero, and it really is action-packed from start to finish, never letting up and packing a lot of well-staged mayhem in the streets of Los Angeles. It’s gritty and very violent, and the titular villain remains one of the biggest badasses to star in a creature-feature. It also serves as a reminder that once upon a time Gary Busey was a welcome presence in movies. Be sure to give this one a look this Halloween!