Are you struggling to decide what to rent this Halloween while ghosts and goblins go door-to-door seeking out tricks or treats? Maybe you plan on staying up after the pint-sized ghouls have their bags full and are fast asleep.
Well, here's a list of some scary flicks that are sure to make your All Hallow's Eve a memorable one. The list is divided into two categories, Classics and New on DVD.
What constitutes a classic? Does it have to be in black and white? Well for me it just has to do with how memorable the film was in my mind and how much of an impact it left on me. Each one of these films is a favorite of mine for watching on Halloween night. I am sure you have seen one or two of these films but maybe there is one you haven't.
The classic horror sci-fi film from 1979 is still regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Have you gone back in the recent years to see this film again? Have you seen the new cut of the film? From the chest-bursting dinner sequence to the eerie spine-tingling ending, Alien is sure to bring back memories and delight audiences every Halloween for years to come.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
New Line Cinema is still regarded as the "studio that Freddy built", and there is good reason for that. Nightmare is one of the greatest horror films of the 1980s and its many successful sequels created a frenzy that built a studio. Robert Englund, in his landmark performance, is still regarded as one of the greatest horror characters ever conceived. A new DVD of the film has just been recently released and this new version has all sorts of extras that are bound to enhance your Freddy library.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Lately, with the resurgence of the zombie genre, I always find myself returning to the classic 1968 film that spawned it all. I am not sure if it is the best of the series but the landmark film is still worth looking back at with awe. If you haven't seen the director's cut of the film or the 1990 remake, I really recommend you do so since it just adds more intensity and excitement to this wildly popular genre.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
Yes, pod people make my list. Why? Because this 1978 remake was the first horror film to really give me chills. The film is dated, but dynamic performances from Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy make this film memorable and a must see. There still seems to be a new fascination with "pod people" ever since the cloning debate arrived, and to further our interest in pod people a new film called The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig is coming to theatres in 2007.
Sleepy Hollow makes this list because I still think it's one of the most underrated films of all time. In my mind, I consider it Tim Burton's masterpiece. Burton still hasn't made a film that compares to the perfect execution of this film and until he does I will keep screaming for more people to embrace this film and the magic that is Tim Burton.
Slither is one of 2006's hidden gems. It is every horror fan's dream come true and the perfect movie for Halloween night. It will give you chills, make you jump, make you laugh, and gross you out. Every horror element that makes these kinds of films so much fun is in this film. I highly recommend this film.
The Descent is another one of those diamonds in the rough that is sure to make your Halloween all the more enjoyable. It's scary, intense, and is sure to make you jump out of your seat. If you haven't seen the unrated edition, seek it out before settling on the Blockbuster version.
Feast is one of those films that slipped through the cracks when it came to releasing the film. I haven't seen the film, but the word is the film is one of the best monster films to come around in a long time. It's the movie I will have in my DVD player this Halloween.
If you are a fan of the B-movie and weird occult hunters and investigators, then I recommend you seek out Voodoo Moon. The film stars Charisma Carpenter of TV's Buffy, Eric Mabius, John Amos, and the always credible Jeffrey Combs. Written and directed by ex-comic book writer Kevin Van Hook, this film is one of those films where a group of misfits and rejects are brought together to combat an all-powerful evil. It's just a lot of fun, great cast, and a great midnight movie.
The only reason this film made my list was because it's the only film on record to star Lance Henriksen and Jeffrey Combs. The film is about an insane and very hungry sasquatch that stalks and torments a wheelchair-bound hero (Matt McCoy) during his vacation in the mountains. Who thinks of these things? This film is so bad it's hilarious at times, and is definitely something you should watch after 2am, after those first half dozen beers are gone. I can imagine the drinking games that could come from this film.
Well, hopefully this list will help with the scares and the chills this Halloween. Have a great Halloween and remember, skip Saw III and seek out something a lot more enjoyable at your local video store.
Note: Voodoo Moon and Abominable are now available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. For more information on this column or on Soothsayer Reviews, email firstname.lastname@example.org.