I love this time a year. Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday. So it gives me great pleasure to do what I like doing all year (watching horror movies) the special Halloween treatment. There are a few movies I like to partake in during the month of October and since tons of people out there have embraced the 31 Days of Horror, the attempt to watch a different horror movie every day for the entire month of October, I thought I’d crack a High Life and jibber-jabber about the flicks I love watching every Halloween season, either because they have the heart of the season in them, or they’re just solid views each and every year when you want your horror to be at the top of its game.
First off, I love me some Halloween-themed horror movies—these have become my favorite flicks to catch leading up to All Hallows Eve. Brian Doherty’s TRICK ‘R TREAT has become my new go-to Halloween flick over the last few years because it does such an awesome job of retaining the feeling of the Halloween holiday and also delivering some funs spook-filled stories. I don’t watch this movie outside of the month of October—I don’t see how anyone could, but when it is October, it’s fantastic. That said, flicks like HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH is also on my new must-see October viewing. If you don’t think of it as a HALLOWEEN/Michael Myers movie, it’s actually a pretty fun little flick to watch in anticipation of the holiday.
Which leads to my next set of favorites: classic slasher flicks. HALLOWEEN being my number one go-to Halloween slasher flick (who can resist watching Michael Myers stalk his way through October 31st? ), as not only is a great slasher movie, but it’s just a damn fine movie all around. Again, another movie I only watch during the Halloween season. Then there’s the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks that I simply can’t get enough of, as well as other old-school slashers like THE BURNING and HELL NIGHT, as well as some more recent shite like URBAN LEGENDS and I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. All good times for a solid October viewing.
But I also like to go old-school for my holiday as there are some wicked scares and fun times to be had in old black and white horror flicks, maybe even more so than the more recent shite being released. I’m talkin’ NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, I’m talkin’ THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, I’m talkin’ the classic Universal Monster Movies of THE WOLFMAN, DRACULA, THE MUMMY, and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. And who could leave out FRANKENSTEIN? All these flicks are great this time of year, and it may be one of the year times of the year where my respect and admiration for old-school players like Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney come back to the surface. These guys were masters of the genre and their efforts still hold up today.
Haunted houses also hold a place in my heart about this time of year. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and POLTERGEIST are always on my list as they’re just so goddamn creepy and eerie. Maybe it’s the nostalgia working for that era of filmmaking, but I simply can’t get enough of these flicks about now—and POTLERGEIST’s two sequels are also in rotation during the month of me as well. That creepy f*cking preacher gets me every time!
I’m a big fan of Stephen King and for some reason, his movies resonate Halloween more than any other storyteller in the business, which means October equals flicks like STEPHEN KING’S IT, PET SEMETARY, SILVER BULLET, GRAVEYARD SHIFT, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, and the mother of all Halloween horror King flicks, THE SHINING. Part haunted house movie, part King movie, part brilliant filmmaking thanks to Stanley Kubrick, I love this f*cking movie—years ago I caught a midnight showing of this on Halloween night and it was an absolutely fantastic time. So, it makes the cut every year.
Finally, the kids. I like my horror bloody and violent, but I can’t deny that I’m a fife for kid Halloween flicks as they also seem to capture the magic and the innocence of the holiday. My favorite being THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD. I skip the whole MR. TOAD part, but the story of SLEEPY HOLLOW as told by Disney is f*cking classic. I also love me some NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, MONSTER HOUSE, and more recently added to my favorites list, PARANORMAN. Then there’s the classic, IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN which always brings a smile to my face.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I love me some quality horror flicks to watch during the month of October leading up to the greatest holiday of the year. While a lot of people like watching new movies during their 31 Days of Horror, I like keeping shit classic and partaking in movies I know I love—and these are my absolute favorites for the holiday. They’re either classics of the genre, films that encompass all that is great about October, or films that somehow capture the wonder, the magic, and the awesomeness of the wonderful holiday of Halloween. So if you need any ideas as to what flicks to check out this Halloween season, feel free to take on a few of my favorites and have yourselves a happy Halloween!