If you're gearing up for this most chilling of holidays, here are a few suggestions for films that can help you get your fear on while staying with familiar faces. Plus, you can stick with one or two franchises and watch a film a day until the 31st!
Child's Play - Brad Dourif is an amazing actor but, unfortunately, most of his stardom is limited to being known as the voice of this series' bad boy, Chucky. Even then, he stills shines. It's hard to make such a little body carry so many films, but Dourif makes him fill the screen. Note: Completely skip the third film. It's awful. But replace it with the recently released "Curse of Chucky," which is brilliant, and *spoiler* actually belongs there, timeline-wise.
Elm St - If Freddy Krueger frightens you, definitely watch the entire series of films that made him a household name. Then be sure to watch the remake, which makes the character scary again. Robert Englund lent his one-of-a-kind style to Elm Street's boogeyman, but even his gallows humor and dark one-liners couldn't save the latter end of the franchise.
Saw - I saw the first film four times when it was in theaters. It's that good. So is the second film. But after that it gets a bit sketchy. (Read: another five films that are pretty much drivel. But hey, the public loved them, and they've made over $800 million worldwide.) James Wan is one of the greatest new masters of horror, as demonstrated by this summer's phenomenal "The Conjuring" - OUT NOW - and his buddy Leigh Whannell is an unsung hero of the horror-sphere. Both brought Jigsaw to the big screen, and created one of the new millennium's greatest antiheroes.
Halloween - 35 years ago John Carpenter unleashed his manic Michael Myers on the world, and the public has loved to fear him ever since. As with most franchises, the films get pretty awful towards the end, but find new life as remakes. Rob Zombie's 2007 "reimagining" and its sequel are two films you definitely don't want to miss.
Hellraiser - Clive Barker is one of the greatest people to ever bless the horror genre with his brilliance. He's written over 17 novels and released 6 collections of short stories, all of which are some of the best horror fiction ever produced. He's also given us three films. "Hellraiser" was the first, an adaptation of his novella "The Hellbound Heart." This 1987 masterpiece revolutionized horror and made the macabre mainstream again; its antagonist, Pinhead, rose to the ranks of Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Leatherface. Recently, Clive announced that his latest novel, "The Scarlet Gospels" has been signed for publication in 2015, and will mark the end of everyone's favorite Cenobite. (Note: the last Hellraiser film, "Revelations," has nothing to do with anyone involved in the franchise and should be avoided like the Plague.)