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Your top Halloween movies


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I'm having a movie night this Halloween (well, the day before, Halloween is a Sunday). I'm trying to decide what to watch. My audience will most likely range from people who like Transformers 2 to the modestly 'cineliterate'. Let's just say however, that if I stuck on anything too demanding, they'd get arsey with me (as evidenced during last years disastrous Eraserhead viewing).

I've got a few ideas already:

Halloween: Yeah, obviously

Let the right one in: Because I just bought it on bluray

The Orphanage: As above

Trick R Treat: Fun, silly halloween themed horror. Doesn't take itself seriously. Quite lowbrow.

Remember, we're looking for creepy rather than out and out horror. Halloween related is a big plus.

Also, it's vital none of the films feature vomiting. One of the girls coming has a massive vomiting phobia and will freak the fuck out if anyone vomits onscreen. (Remember that bit in 28 days later when they have a zombie in the back garden, and it vomits everywhere? Yeah, so does she, and everyone else that came last year).

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Definitely The Orphanage if you all haven't seen it already.

The Woman in Black will become a Halloween staple in my house and it is likely that most of your guests won't have seen it.

Black Sabbath is another good choice as a portmanteau horror is always good on Halloween.

A recent film, The Loved Ones*, is another good shout.


The Loved Ones - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1316536/

When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.

This was a hit at FrightFest this year and for once I can see why. Whilst the film would fit in the torture porn genre its closest reference point would probably be Carrie crossed with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm not a fan of the recent trend of violent horror films, not because of the level of gore but because they are just plain rubbish. They are nasty little films with nothing else of note and when they try and say something greater (such as Martyrs) they fall flat on their faces. However, this little Australian film is the first in the genre that I genuinely liked. The film gets a number of things right that this genre normally gets so wrong. First, it has proper characters in it both that you care about and hate. They aren't necessarily anything more than the typical archetypal characters but each one is distinct and believable (worryingly so in the case of Lola and her disturbing Oedipal relationship with her father). Secondly, the violence is no where near as graphic as films such as Inside or the aforementioned Martyrs but it is more disturbing and wince inducing here because of the sparing use and investment in the characters. In fact the film refrains from showing some of the truly dodgy moments of violence and is all the more successful for doing so as sound and hints of visual violence (smoke coming from a household drill in a particularly nasty scene, for example) works so much better. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the film is full of black humour that perfectly contrasts and compliments the horror. In any one scene you are likely to squirm and laugh and I think this is very tricky to get right in a horror film as if you skew it too far in either direction then the other aspect suffers (for example, Shaun of the Dead works well as a comedy but falls flat as a horror for this reason).

The whole cast are very good but particular mention must go to Lola and her Dad who are disturbing but still the sort of characters that would function in society without anybody noticing what they were doing. The subplot involving a policeman's daughter and her pothead admirer might seem like pointless padding but these scenes are full of humour and surprising warmth as well as nicely mirroring the scenes inside Lola's house. Is it scary? No, but this sub-genre never is. What it is though is a very well executed horror film that will no doubt gain cult status in the coming years.

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Yep, Halloween III is the one I'll be watching on the 31st this year.

Last year I did a triple bill of Young Frankenstein, Trick'r'Treat and Descent, which worked quite well. Escalating levels of creepiness.

You may find that Let The Right One In kills the Halloween mood a bit because it's really not that much of a horror film. Also subtitles and Transformers fans don't mix.

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The suggestions of Carpenter's Prince of Darkness is a really good one. It seems to be one of Carpenter's forgotten film but is every bit as good as his best films.

In the Mouth of Madness is also criminally underrated (although thankfully not on this forum).

And a personal favourite (which is not a Carpenter film) is The Gate. It is bags of fun, not particularly scary seeing as it is aimed at a slightly younger audience, but ideal material to break up the tension.

Or Society

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Ive decided to mostly rewatch the classics this year and will be watching -

Halloween (original)

Texas CSM (original)

Dawn of the Dead (2004 remake, personally I love this)

Alien (as its my favourite movie ever)

House of the Devil (only watched this a few months back, keen to show it to the gf)

Hoping to see Paranormal Activity 2 in the cinema also.

Ill have to add Halloween 3 to that list, last saw this as a kid and that Shamrock song haunted the hell out of me.

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Re-Animator - It's a great horror movie, but it's tongue is firmly in (what's left of) it's cheek.

Creepshow. Great movie and, again a lot of fun.

Or go for one of the Amicus portmanteau's: Vault of Horror, Tales From the Crypt, And Now the Screaming Starts, The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum are all ace.

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Another vote for In The Mouth of Madness, that really freaked the hell out of me when I was younger. Freaked the HELL out of me, you see... meh heh hehhhhh...

Also, if the girl's not fond of vomiting then you might want to leave Trick R Treat out as doesn't that feature a rather unpleasant bit when

the guy feeds the poison candy to the tubby kid?

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That trailer for Prince of Darkness has brought all the horror back, I saw the trailer when I was 8 or so in front of a martial arts rental and only got around to seeing it two years ago. Great ending and some proper chilling moments.

This year we're doing Night of the Creeps, Halloween (original) and a toss-up between Deadgirl (unfortunately one of the attendees IMDB'd the synopsis and said "this sounds psychotically insane" and is reluctant to attend if it's on the programme) or Paranormal Activity (y'know, for the kids). Last year's troika was The Fog (Carpenter, obv), Nightmare on Elm Street and The Exorcist.

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DLNY, have you seen Deadgirl yourself yet? If not I really wouldn't bother. Not only is it a bad film it really isn't a proper type of Halloween horror film either, certainly compared to the rest of your list.

I have, it's a grotesque little effort (I blame my affinity for micro-budget horror on Troma and the writer is an alum to boot) but I think you're right, it doesn't really fit the Halloween vibe. I think Paranormal Activity will probably be fine after we've all appreciated Night of the Creeps.

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I might have an Exorcist marathon. I hear the third is pretty good. Adam and Joe bleat on about it, anyway. I also want to see A New Nightmare and Halloween 3.

The third one is a bit slow and heavy going in places, but it has one moment of horror genius that's beautifully set up and delivered.

The scene in the hospital corridor... CRASH ZOOM AAAARGH!

Exorcist 2 is nuts though. And sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a "...really?" kind of way. It's been years since I've seen it, but I still vividly remember a scene where she goes to a group therapy session and has dialogue along these lines, delivered absolutely straight-

MAN IN GROUP : What was your problem?

LINDA BLAIR : (casually) Oh, I was possessed by a demon but I'm okay now.


And it's got a ridiculous scene where Richard Burton over-acts beautifully whilst wearing Christmas tree lights round his head.

edit: he wears the Christmas lights on the head in the trailer. Result.


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