Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: October 24th, 2014

This week's 5 Fandom Friday theme is: My must-see list of Halloween movies!

Watching scary movies is one of my favorite things to do at Halloween, and I usually spend the whole month of October watching as many as I can.  Since we got cable, I have easy access to all the marathons, but previously I would rent movies or borrow from the library in an effort to see all my faves.

While I like most scary movies (not slasher porn) there are a few that I must see every year, otherwise it just doesn't feel like Halloween.  You might notice that a couple of these stories take place on Halloween, too, which makes them perfect to watch on the day.  My must-watch films include:

1. Halloween (1978)
It has to be the original, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance.  "Halloween" is the story of a girl who is being hunted by a masked killer while she babysits on Halloween.  It has the perfect combination of scare, suspense, and gimmick, and is the granddaddy of all those awful 80s slasher flicks.  It's just not Halloween if I don't get to watch this classic.

Pro-tip for the inevitable "Halloween" movie marathon on TV - skip Halloween III. Seriously. It has nothing to do with the story of Michael Myers and has the most annoying earworm played throughout the movie (a jingle for a commercial selling evil masks that are going to, I don't know, kill the kids or something? But it WILL get stuck in your head and you WILL hate it.)  Go do the dishes or take a walk or something while it's on, because it suuuuuuuucks.

2. The Exorcist (1973)
Another classic, this movie is based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, and was billed as the scariest movie of all time.  It's about a little girl who becomes possessed, and her mother and a priest working to save her from the evil force that has possessed her.  I love this one because of the casting, the story, and the hollow feeling I'm left with at the end when they show the cost of the exorcism and the power of the evil force.  So good.

3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This one is not very scary, because it is a kid's movie, but it is just perfect for Halloween.  There are witches, a talking black cat, a zombie, and musical numbers.  Basically, the story is some kids accidentally raise the witches from the dead and must save their town.

This one is so much fun to watch, and will always be a favorite of mine. I remember being about 9 years old when I first saw it and wishing witches and events like the movie were real.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The original zombie film, this is a classic by George A. Romero and is the first time zombies are featured as mindless eating machines.  Prior to this, zombie movies were about mind control and a witch using drugs to turn people into "undead" slaves, like in the Caribbean tradition of zombies.

Night of the Living Dead also has some fantastic social commentary (you might not understand this until you reach the end of the movie), and spawned the zombie genre, which I LOVE.

5. The Omen (1976)
The American ambassador to London begins to suspect his child is the anti-christ after a series of mysterious deaths.  The remake is pretty good too, but the classic is so much better (Gregory Peck!)

(If you want a lighter take on the same concept, read "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's one of my most favorite books.)

Honorable mentions (because I really like scary movies):
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil - a teen slasher film flipped on its head, kinda gory but very funny
The Craft - witches are perfect for Halloween
Sleepy Hollow - I love the aesthetic of this movie, and it's based on a classic American story
Nightmare On Elm Street - a slasher classic
The Haunted Palace - Vincent Price, need I say more?
Nightmare Before Christmas - family friendly and the songs are so catchy
Cry Wolf - better than your average teen horror flick, the twist is unexpected
Orphan - I watched this one with my mom and we were definitely scared by the end
Friday the 13th - another classic slasher film
Rosemary's Baby - demon babies, cults conspiracies, all that good stuff

Did I miss any?  :-)


  1. I forgot Casper and Ghostbusters! /facepalm

  2. I can't believe I forgot to add Night of the Living Dead to my list! So many movies, so little space!