In honor of the upcoming holiday, I decided to throw together a list of fun flicks to celebrate Halloween. Note that I’m not going by how scary, but the overall entertainment experience.
1) Paranormal Activity
I won’t go into detail about my love for this film (go ahead and check my write up under my Watch Instantly journal), but Paranormal Activity is great for a few scares during a Halloween marathon. It’s light on gore and heavy on tension, which is a good for those weak in stomach that are still looking for some chills. For Best results turn out the lights and crank up the volume. Then watch as you friends jump and scream uncontrollably and the fun ensues. Waring: You may not be sleeping well for a few days.
Gotta give Hofstra a little love on this list. But Hatchet doesn’t make the list just because of the director Adam Green and his educational background. This particular film brought the original essence back into the slasher film. It was a perfect mix of gore and humor that was an overall fun watching experience that might even get a few scares out of the terribly squeamish. Villain Victor Crowley was even called the next big name in horror, following in the shoes of such names as Jason, Freddy, and Michael. It’s a slasher for my generation, something we desperately need to combat the numerous low-quality reboots of classic horror.
The only better first person horror movie than Paranormal Activity? [REC]. This zombie “found footage” film tells the story of a quarantined apartment building, but what the tape reveals is much different from what the government believes. It’s not an infection the tenants have to fight…it’s the infected. It’s also the film Quarantine was copied from, except [REC] puts its American duplicate to shame. This movie is the tops taking intensity, storytelling, and insanity into consideration. This is easily my favorite zombie movie to date, which means a lot coming from a lover of the entire zombie genre as myself. It’s also the only recent horror film I can actually say was a successful movie as a whole, not just a mere entertaining horror watch.
4) Dead Snow
Speaking of zombies, did anyone say Nazi zombies?? Oh yes, this film really exists. This Norwegian spectacle chronicles a vacation that goes horribly wrong when these feisty German zombies show up. There’s a lot of references to zombie folklore and American cinema that will cause a chuckle, and as far as zombie insanity goes, Dead Snow is far more impressive than multiple other entries in the genre. Trust me, it lives up to everything you could ever want out of a Nazi zombie film.
Take every preconceived notion you carry about horror films, and then throw them out the window. Horror movies usually follow a set of rules that have become reused movie after movie. The minorities die first, never have sex, never EVER split up, the virgin is always the savior; the list goes on. Well, Feast tells these rules to shove it and keeps you guessing the entire time. Along with the balls to the wall horror action, Feast isn’t afraid to show a little monster junk. It presents an entertaining cast of characters who almost make you pity them before they’re face raped by a tiny little monster. Oh yea, and my recommended drinking game for Feast: For anyone who hasn’t seem the movie yet; pick who you think will live and die, and for every incorrect answer…take a shot. Enjoy!
6) Drag Me To Hell
Sam Raimi’s brand of horror is extremely unique. Take Evil Dead or Army of Darkness. It relies heavily on humor and over the top situations, like a man maniacally laughing at his furniture as it laughs back at him. But, after taking a horror hiatus for Spider Man, he returned with a vengeance. Drag Me To Hell features just as much of Raimi’s unique brand of horror-tainment, including a demon-possessed goat and the worst nose-bleed in the history of mankind. A chilling tale of curses and why you avoid gypsies at all cost.
7) Dawn Of The Dead
Nothing wrong with a zombie heavy list. Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead “remake” started the influx of new impressive zombie films, introducing us to the even more terrifying zombies who no longer lumber, but speed at their victims in a deadly rage. It doesn’t follow directly to Romero’s original, but the idea of survivors trapped in a mall is still there. Snyder assembled a great cast though, and really vamped up the intensity for the zombie genre. This again is one of my favorite zombie movies to date, and a great watch for anyone in need for a scare or two.
8) From Dusk Till Dawn
While looking for horror entertainment, look no farther than a Tarantino/Rodriguez collaboration. From Dusk Till Dawn features the likes of Geroge Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Salma Hayek, Juliette Lewis, and Danny Trejo. But that isn’t the best part. The plot? A strip club turns out to be run by vampires, who lock everyone inside and start a feeding frenzy. Sound utterly amazing? It should, because it is. There’s tons of gore, hilariously outrageous situations, and easily my favorite Clooney character to date.
9) Trick R’ Treat
Trick r’ Treat is actually the only Halloween themed film on my list, but oh does it belong here. The whole plot is made up of four intertwined sub-stories that are told on their own, until the end when they’re all tied together. It’s good old Halloween fun that teaches people to respect the holiday, never to short kids their candy, and always be careful of where your candy comes from. With the likes of Anna Paquin and Brian Cox, this lesser known Halloween treat pulls no tricks and delivers some spooky chills with all the fun of Halloween horror.
10) 28 Days Later
What happens when you mix Danny Boyle with an infection that causes people to turn into zombies for lack of a better term? A horrifying vision of England where danger is always lurking. People have become infected by a disease that turns them crazy, transforming them into fearless killing machines. It’s got all the terror of a good horror movie mixed with he stylistic vision from the director of such films as Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting. A great telling of a near zombie tale, which really makes u feel the loneliness of being one of the last living people left in your city. No thank you!
Honorable Mention: If you can find a copy of The Loved Ones, I would recommend a viewing. Dead Alive is also an amazingly gory film from the early mind of Peter Jackson that is a much watch for any horror geek. Then there’s always your Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Streets, so you have plenty of movies to choose from. Hope you enjoyed the list and take some of these for your own horror movie marathons, but most of all have a Happy Halloween!