It's Halloween, and it's your turn to be stuck at home, handing out candy to the trick or treaters. You sit in front of the television, but you really don't want to watch the same old thing, like Night of the Living Dead or any of the Halloween movies for the millionth time, so what is there to do?
If you subscribe to Netflix (and with the ridiculously low price of $7.99 a month, why don't you?), you already have access to a wealth of great movies streaming on demand, but how do you separate the gold from the garbage? Look no further, for I am here to help you sort through the flotsam and find the fortune of fright films you may have missed at first.
6. Satan's Little Helper (2004)
This one was a welcome surprise when I found it on DVD in 2004. It's the story of a little boy who makes friends with who he thinks is a video game character come to life on Halloween, but is really a masked maniac who slaughters people at random. Aided by his gorgeous sister (Katheryn Winnick) and quirky mother (Amanda Plummer), they find that the killer may just be the devil himself in this highly underrated gem by Jeff Leiberman, the man who brought us Squirm and Just Before Dawn.
5. Son of Frankenstein (1939)
You've seen the original, and you've seen Bride, but have you ever seen Son of Frankenstein? Lauded by some to be the best of them all, this one stars not only Boris Karloff as the creature, but Bela Lugosi chewing up his role as Ygor, Basil Rathbone as Doctor Frankenstein's son Wolf, and Lionel Atwill as Krogh, the constable with the prosthetic hand parodied in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein. Do not miss this one.
4. The Last Exorcism (2010)
Finally, a movie about demonic possession with some scares. Eli Roth produced this one, which flew in under everyone's radar. Just when I was getting tired of the "found footage" movies (which seem to be the soup du jour), here's an entry that has some decent acting, great special effects, and an interesting plot: about a man who brings a film crew to debunk a man's claims that his daughter is possessed and killing his livestock. What transpires next would make Linda Blair cringe.
3. I Sell the Dead (2008)
Lord of the Rings hobbit Dominic Monaghan, Ron (Hellboy) Perlman, and Angus (Phantasm) Scrimm star in this bloody good ride about a couple of 19th century would-be grave robbers who fend off the living dead is sort of a cross between Burke and Hare and Evil Dead 2. If you like a lot of camp in your horror, this one's for you.
2. The Devil's Carnival (2012)
If you're a fan of Repo! The Genetic Opera, then you'll be very happy to hear that Darren Lynn Bousman made a follow-up. Just like the original, this one is a horror musical, not unlike Rocky Horror or Phantom of the Paradise. Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley, Ogre, and Paul Sorvino are all back, and this time, screenwriter Terrance Zdunich shows us a group of people who find themselves in the most unholy sideshow ever.
1. Insidious (2011)
Do not let the PG-13 rating fool you; this is one damn scary movie. I rate this up there with Poltergeist as being one of the most frightening horror films I wouldn't mind my horror-loving kids watching. Without giving anything away, it's about a young family (Patrick Wilson and Rose, and Ty Simpkins) who are being haunted by supernatural entities beyond their comprehension. Lin (2001 Maniacs) Shaye steals the movie as a paranormal investigator. James Wan knows how to scare us without being vulgar, and that's a rare thing in films today.
I hope that there are at least two films in the list that will provide you with the scares you'll need to make your Halloween a fun one this year.