Maybe it’s because the wind outside is less friendly than recent summer breezes. Maybe it’s because newly stripped tree
branches stand out starkly against an autumn moon. For whatever reason, each year the season leading up to Halloween provides a great excuse for curling up with a cup of hot cider and reading spooky stories or watching creepy movies. A gazillion horror stories have been written; a gazillion horror movies have been made. Here are some favorite films and stories for the Halloween season. And yes, this has nothing to do with staging or design but falls in the category of fun and interesting…& cheap entertainment for the working class…good enough for me. Werewolves: An American Werewolf in London 1981, rated R, combines humor, horror, & a great soundtrack, high gore-score
Vampires: The Lost Boys 1987, rated R, combines humor, horror, & a great sound track, high gore-score 30 Days of Night 2007, rated R, really high gore-score but the scariest vampires ever, (I doubt these vampires sparkle in sunlight) Ghosts: Poltergeist 1982, rated PG, classic horror with moderate gore-score, spooky! The Orphanage 2007, rated R, a Spanish film with English sub-titles, suspenseful with mild gore-score except for one truly gruesome auto accident injury Creatures: The Birds 1963, suggested rating PG-13, there has to be at least one Alfred Hitchcock in the mix & The Birds gets my vote, low gore-score Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954, suggested PG rating, little gore The Fly 1958, approved rating, still creepy after 50 years The Fly remake 1986, rated R, high gore-score The Thing 1982, rated R, high gore-score
Classics: Halloween 1978, rated R, moderate gore-score, of the numerous sequels, try Halloween II & Halloween H20 with Jamie Lee & high gore-scores in both. The Fog 1980, rated R, I thought the film was more campy than creepy but I was outvoted, low gore-score Carrie 1976, rated R, must have at least one Stephen King, high gore-score Village of the Damned 1960, unrated, English film that’s fun and creepy, zero gore-score Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978, rated PG, moderate gore-score Sleepy Hollow 1999, rated R, high gore-score Horror Comedies: Young Frankenstein 1974, rated PG, Mel Brook’s parody of the classic Shelley tale, low gore-score Shaun of the Dead 2004, rated R, a parody of zombie films with nearly as much gore as the originals
Zombieland 2009, rated R, high gore-score
Children & Family Films: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown–1966
Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny Halloween Special– 1978
Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow-1949 Hocus Pocus-1993, rated PG, The Addams Family-1991, rated PG13, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial–1982, rated PG, it may not be a horror or Halloween film but it has a great trick-r-treat scene, is great family fun, and how can you ever go wrong with Spielberg. Stories & Books: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow–1820, Washington Irving story (available to read on-line) We Have Always Lived in the Castle–1962, Shirley Jackson novel Dracula–1897, Bram Stoker novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus–1818, Mary Shelley novel ‘Salem’s Lot–1975, Stephen King novel Carrie–1974, Stephen King novel Interview with the Vampire–1976, Anne Rice novel Rosemary’s Baby–1967, Ira Levin novel The Lottery–1948, Shirley Jackson story, available to read on-line I had to leave off many fun films & books because the original list was 3 pages long. Please share your favorites in the comment section. for information about movies including cast, crew, awards, trivia, ratings, reviews, and much more, visit IMDB’s terrific website (should be sub-titled “everything you always wanted to know about movies”). If you don’t own a book/movie that you would like to see/read, can’t borrow it, don’t have cable, can’t afford Amazon, and it’s not listed in the tv guide, try your local library. Most libraries have dvd’s that can be checked out and they are FREE.