There are so many good horror movies that just feel like a good Halloween watch, so, instead of amking a list of a top ten, this year I’m just going to pepper the month of October with lists of horror films that I enjoy watching this time of year.
Because it was one of my favorite traditions as a kid, every Halloween, I’m going to start my list with a little “Nightmare on Elm Street” and work my way through a short sampling of films. I chose to start with a Freddy flick because it was a series that my mom and I always used to watch on Halloween and it really sparked my horror interest at a young age.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” (1987) –
Picking up where the original Nightmare left off, Nancy has grown up and become a psychiatrist specializing in dream therapy. She meets a group of children at a local hospital facing Freddy Krueger, the same demon she once encountered in her sleep. One of them is Kristen, who has the power to draw other people into her dreams. Working with a male doctor assigned to the case, Nancy helps the kids realize their special abilities within the nightmare world. When Freddy captures one of her charges, she leads a rescue attempt into Krueger's domain, in hopes of putting his spirit to rest once and for all.
“Friday the 13th V: New Beginning” (1985) –
10 years after killing the goalie hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees, Tommy Jarvis has grown up in various mental hospitals unable to get over the nightmares about Jason's return. When Tommy is sent to a rural halfway house in California for mentally disturbed teenagers, a series of grisly murders begin anew as another hockey-masked killer begins killing off all people at and around the residence. Has Jason returned from the dead to re-start his killing spree? Has Tommy decided to take over the reign of Jason, or has someone else?
“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers” (1988)
It's October 30, 1988 and Michael Myers has been in a coma since his pursuit of Laurie Strode, 10 years ago, was finally stopped (events of H1 and H2). However when he is transfered from Richmond Mental Institute to Smith's Grove he awakes when he hears that he has a niece in Haddonfield and after killing the transfer crew he escapes. In Haddonfield, the niece, Jamie, has been adopted by the Carruthers family but keeps having nightmares about Michael (but she doesn't know who he is). On Halloween night, Jamie goes out trick and treating, little knowing that her murdering Uncle is following her and her step-sister Rachel. Rushing to her aid is Dr. Loomis and with the help of Sheriff Meeker starts to search the town for Michael and to find Jamie to protect her. But can anything stop Michael this time? Also, the first appearance of scream queen, Danielle Harris, in the franchise.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills...
“The Exorcist” (1973)
A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal sickness. And, book-ending the story, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy.
“House of 1,000 Corpses” (2003)
In "House of 1000 Corpses", two young couples take a misguided tour onto the back roads of America in search of a local legend known as Dr. Satan. Lost and stranded, they are set upon by a bizarre family of psychotics. Murder, cannibalism and satanic rituals are just a few of the 1000+ horrors that await.
“Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” (2006)
The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them.
“Idle Hands” (1999)
Seventeen year old slacker Anton Tobias wakes up one Halloween morning to discover that both of his parents have been turned into two headless Halloween decorations. After speaking to his equally irresponsible friends, Mick and Pnub, he discovers that his right hand has a blood-thirsty mind of its own and is hell-bent on wreaking havoc whether he likes it or not.
“Hatchet III” (2013)
A search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and Marybeth learns the secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades. Another film graced by horror icons, Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder.
And to round off this little list, an obvious choice for Halloween themed horror films:
“Trick ‘R Treat” (2007)
Five interwoven stories that occur on the same block, on the same night. A couple finds what happens when they blow a jack o' lantern out before midnight, a high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer, a college virgin might have met the right guy for her, a group of mean teens play a prank that they take too far, and a hermit is visited by a special trick or treater.
Well, this should get you started, it’s a pretty generic list, but it has some great films that should get your horror juices flowing just in time for Halloween! I’ll put another list up soon, so get watching!