My Halloween Favorites

It’s Halloween again! If you’re like me, a movie marathon is in order. So grab some popcorn, candy, and soda and check out my list below.

Rockula

This little known comedy is the king of camp. Rockula is a satire about a vampire who is forced to live his life over and over again always loosing the woman he loves. This generation he vows not to loose her and creates a band to woe her. This ‘80s film features vampires who always have fangs and musical numbers culminating in a performance by Toni Basil. Hilarious and not your average vampire movie, this movie has me quoting it all year. So watch out I will threatening you with a ham bone soon. Available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

 

 

Nightmare Before Christmas

This movie plays in my house from the beginning of October all the way to New Years. This stop motion classic of holiday mixing gone awry is the thing my father and most bond over. I still remember going too see it with him after the Iron Bowl, and it still holds a dear place in our hearts. As a child I often wondered what it would be like if my two favorite holidays were switched, and then magically it come out of Tim Burrton’s mind. With a wonderful story, unique characters and fabulous musical numbers by Danny Elfman, this movie that Disney originally didn’t wanted to be associated with is now one of its staples.

 

Hocus Pocus

 

I didn’t like horror movies as a child; they were something I had to grow into. But when I was young I loved this movie, and it became a gateway to scary movies. Packed with zombies and witches, this hilarious kid-aimed movie delighted parents as well. In fact we saw this movie many times at the dollar theater. As an adult, I still quote the movie (“Amok? Amok, amok, amok, umph!”) and look back on it with sweet nostalgia.

 

 

The Omen

This movie frightened me the first time I saw it, and it still scares me to this day. This familial tale of the devil’s spawn is more compelling than Rosemary’s Baby. The Omen packs more of an emotional punch because you actually see the child. Tackling other radical sociological ideas of the time (motherly apathy towards her child, the affects of a father who is rarely home), The Omen goes beyond physical scares to psychologically creep up on you. When Thorn goes to kill his own child, it’s one of the most heart breaking scenes you’ll ever see. But the creepiest part? Evil wins.

 

Dracula 2000

This is personally my favorite retelling of the Dracula story. Taking few plot points from the original story, it really goes in its own direction and becomes a fascinating story all its own. The explanation of where Dracula came from is a brilliant piece of story telling. The movie finds a good balance between gore, story, and casting. Introducing me both to Jonny Lee Miller and Gerard Butler, this film helped the career of many of the up-and-coming actors. This updated spin on an old classic is always on my favorites list.

 

 

Psycho

This is the best horror movie ever. Forget the Exorcist; this psychological thriller proves that you can scare the pants off of someone without nudity, cussing, or gore. We all know the tale. Woman steals money and runs away. The cute but awkward motel keeper’s mother kills her in the shower. Her sister comes to look for her, and it turns out it’s been the innkeeper all along. Zone of Hitchcock’s best, the score, directing and sets give the perfect atmosphere for this Bates tale. The genesis for all multiple personality or schizophrenic killer tales, Psycho and Anthony Perkins’s creepy smile stays with you forever.

 

Watch This Not That Halloween Edition

John Carpenter Film

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The Ward

A fabulously spun psychological thriller places Amber Heard in a haunted mental ward. Tight writing and plot twists keep you guessing the entire time through out this movie. More than anything, the final moments of the movie are the scariest and will be carried around with you for days.

…Not That

Vampires

I hated this movie. It joins the ranks of B-movies every where. There was gratuitous gore, violence, cussing and nudity. It was a spectacle instead of a story. Anyone wanting  a no holds bar horror movie of flesh and rampage would do well for this, but other viewers should beware.

Stan Winston Studio Creature Fest

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Wrong Turn

A throwback to ‘70s horror films, Wrong Turn uses tension and release in tandem to scare the pants of the viewers. The Stan Winston Studio creatures are grotesque in bred humans and terrifying in their own right. Add in talented young actors (Eliza Dushku, Desmond Harrington), and it’s a horror film worth watching.

…Not That

Darkness Falls

This uninspired horror movies is neither good nor bad. It fails to draw viewers into their world. The evil tooth fairy is very frightening in look but due to the lack of excitement in the story, her psychological fear is minimal. Darkness Falls lacks the urgency, character relation, and tension needed to a good horror movie.

Clive Barker’s Book of Blood Adaptation

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Dread

One of my friends calls Dread the “best worst movie ever.” The plot is so psychologically twisting that the terror lies more in the decisions of the killer instead of his actions. I dare you to look at a steak the same way ever again. Staring Jackson Rathbone and Shaun Evans, the film looks into the idea of fear and comes to the conclusion the only way to get over your fear is to face it.

…Not That

Midnight Meat Train

I love Bradley Cooper. I love Leslie Bibb. I love Peter Jacobson. I hate this movie. One of Barker’s more odd tales about beings that devour humans, Midnight Meat Train is full of blood and gore and it down right depressing. The short story is actually better, minimal zing many of the things that make the movie so bad. Like men with hammers on a train? Like creatures from the center of the earth that need sacrifices? Watch this movie.

Classic Horror Movie Remake

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The Omen

It takes handwork to keep something true to its source material. The Omen does well giving a modern twist on several scenes while keeping the spirit and the spookiness the same. Well cast actors help as well, and only Liev Schreiber could pull off the famous Gregory Peck role. While not as good as the 1976 original, the new version gave quite a spook on 6/6/06.

…Not That

Psycho

This “shot for shot” remake is horrible. Why Gus Van Sant thought this was a worthwhile project I don’t know. Why Vince Vaughn was picked to play Norma Bates is beyond me. This version gives a modernized spin adding masturbation and graphic violence where there is no need. The original 1960 version didn’t need it, so I’m not sure why the 1998 version did.