Top 10 Halloween Double Features
Whether you are going out or staying in this Halloween, there are thousands of horror movies to choose from to celebrate the holiday. But, in classic scary movie fashion, why not make it a double feature? Here are ten double features that you could throw on Halloween or this weekend or any time you are looking to get scared shitless. Some are fun, some are horrifying, but all are a good time. If you have a recommendation for a good horror double feature, feel free to add it to the talk back below.
The found footage genre has gained a lot of steam since the 1999 release of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, but few films have been able to do it as well as that indie hit. Sure, some people will say that BLAIR WITCH isn't scary, but if you watch it late at night and let the atmospherics sink in, you will never feel okay camping in isolation. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is the best pairing as it takes the same "realistic" style and throws the horror into a haunted house. Between these two films you will question what is just creaking floorboards and snapping twigs and what is really evil lurking in the shadows.
Take the kings of the slasher franchise and throw them in a row for a fun night of horror. John Carpenter's classic HALLOWEEN is the grandaddy of the sub-genre, but Wes Craven's Freddy Krueger took the concept of a dream killer and changed horror forever. Watching these two almost unstoppable killing machines back to back will give you a good drinking game opportunity to spot the tropes that would go on to become cliches, but also remind you why slasher horror was never as good as it was back in the late 70s/early 80s.
James Wan was almost written off as a one trick pony with the SAW franchise. That is until he hit us with the one two punch of INSIDIOUS and THE CONJURING. Neither film is a revolution in the genre but both use the existing tricks of the horror movie and use them to full effect. Forget gore, nudity, or violence, Wan's films successfully give old school, jump out of your chair scares that will make your heart race. If only more horror movies were made like these. They don't try to be more than they are, but they do a damn good job of scaring you shitless.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND are more than just a couple of funny horror movies, they are better than most serious zombie movies from the last twenty years. By having a smart sense of humor and a romantic streak, both movies are very fun to watch and just happen to have some kickass zombie mayhem. SHAUN OF THE DEAD is rooted in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's geek sensibility while ZOMBIELAND is a close American equivalent. Both films back to back will definitely make sure your Halloween is gory and funny.
David Fincher has made lots of movies that you could consider horrific, but SEVEN and THE GAME may be his most frightening. One features a serial killer and the other is a Hitchcockian nightmare. Both back to back will leave you feeling uneasy through the night. Halloween may be fun because of ghosts and demons, but if you want to watch a couple of films that could really happen, that may be even more scary.
Stephen King's name is synonymous for many with horror and these are two prime examples why. As novels, they share a lot of similar themes, but as movies, they are very different kinds of scary. Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING is a master class in slow burn tension and the expert way to use music and visuals to totally f*ck over the viewer. PET SEMATARY is a much more straight forward gore and death horror movie, but both films will leave you with images that will keep you up late at night.
Italian horror is a very underrated genre and many ignore it because of bad dubbing and outdated special effects. But, there are quite a few gems if you give them the chance. A pair of favorites are Lucio Fulci's bizarre THE BEYOND (a favorite of Quentin Tarantino) and Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA. Both movies feature iconic images that have become templates for dozens of directors. They also showcase some of the most creative and gory scenes of horror from any movie. Give them a chance and I bet you will definitely make some new fans of the genre.
How often do you get a movie and a remake that are both very good in totally different ways? George Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD is a brilliant metaphor for the consumerist nature of America in which we are all a sort of shopping zombie. Couple that with some creative zombie kills and you have a master class in horror movie making. Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD is full of fast-moving undead mayhem and none of the subtext that Romero had. But, you are left with a slick, violent, and awesomely gory zombie reboot that ignited a whole new generation to love the genre.
ROSEMARY'S BABY is one of those movies that can scare you without showing you anything. Almost nothing in Roman Polanski's movie is shown, but you still think you saw every terrible thing. The paranoia runs rampant through your mind and you swear to god you saw the horrible devil baby's eyes.
While I just said I liked the remake of THE OMEN a bit more than the original, I do still love Richard Donner's film, especially when paired with the immortal THE EXORCIST. Both films are landmarks in the genre and represent the highest form of studio horror that can be made. Outside of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, we have not had a studio release a prestige horror movie of the caliber of either of these. So, sit back, pop in the Blu-ray for each, and scream all night long. Happy Halloween!