In keeping with tradition…..wait, who am I kidding? We weren’t even around last Halloween. Let’s call it a new tradition. During evil pagan holidays like Halloween (evil in that they cause normally rational adults to lose all sense of reason and eat candy the way zombies dine on human flesh) we will keep things light for the most part.
So on this Halloween, and as a huge fan of horror/slasher films (I’ve seen every Friday The 13th movie in the franchise), I present to you the Top 5 Movies you should watch during Halloween. It was difficult because the list should be longer, but I like a challenge. Plus it is bound to spur some arguments about what did and didn’t make the list. Let us know in the comments! In no particular order:
I forced myself to do a Flickchart type contest between Carpenter’s classic and one of the slasher films that started it all, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ ‘Halloween’ wins out because I asked myself, “If both of them were on, which one would you watch?” And I immediately answered ‘Halloween.’ John Carpenter, had one of the best runs of any director in the 12 year span between 1976 (Assault on Precinct 13) and 1988 (They Live – yes it was awesome). Everything about Halloween was pretty much perfection. The casting, the direction, the music with the creepy 5/4 time signature and of course, the Captain Kirk mask that was used for Michael Myers signature look. A “slasher” film in genre only, the movie really had little gore and relied heavily on suspense and tone to make it scary. Carpenter’s use of the first person viewpoint of Myers aided in that suspense.
Friday The 13th
This was the one that not only spawned a ton of sequels bearing its name (or the name of Jason Voorhees), it also was the catalyst for a whole host of slasher films (most of them poorly done) and creating something entirely new: the slasher franchise. Friday the 13th was released in 1980 and featured 7 sequels by 1989. The original, filmed in and around Blairstown, NJ is still the best, despite the fact that Jason Voorhees is not the killer. Mommy is and Betsy Palmer was awesome at it. Unlike ‘Halloween’, Friday The 13th is a true slasher film, relying quite a bit on gore and gruesome killings for effect. Kevin Bacon, before he was a star, was the victim of an arrow through neck as his punishment. Still….the “ki ki ki….ma ma ma” sound that Harry Manfredini is classic.
28 Weeks Later
I know some people will freak out over this because, “ZOMG! How can you pick this over the original?” Easy. I liked it better. Don’t get me wrong, 28 Days Later was great but I happen to think the improved budget set the stage for a better movie experience overall, and this one was great. The ’28 Weeks’ franchise did away with classic zombie genre we had known for so long. Zombies were always these slow, lumbering types that relied more on sheer numbers and victims being dumb than anything else. These zombies however, are fast. The opening of the movie where Don (Robert Carlyle) is running from the hordes of zombies is super tense.
Evil Dead 2
This was another one where I struggled. I was going to go with ‘Army of Darkness’ which is a classic in its own right. I had also considered ‘Zombieland’ but I had a zombie movie already and if humor and gore was to be included then, ‘Evil Dead 2′ is the way to go. Not so much a sequel as it is a retelling of the original movie, ‘Evil Dead 2′ is an absolute classic. Gory as anything but so funny as well. If there was ever a slapstick horror film, Evil Dead 2 fits the description. Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams is perfectly cast and provides a slew of great one liners.
Paranormal Activity 3
These movies are almost like an acquired taste. People either love them or hate them. I didn’t much care for the first one. I did like the clever use of special effects and how they were able to pull it off despite the illusion of using video cameras. That being said, the acting was so bad that it reminded me somewhat of the awful ‘Blair Witch Project.’ Paranormal Activity 2 was an improvement, but damn it was too long. Nearly 2 hours of home video footage to watch? No thanks. That’s why ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ works the best. Running time is a mere 84 minutes, the acting is much better and it’s really frigging creepy. How about Grandma Lois, huh? A true nightmare mother-in-law.
So there you have it. You should watch all of these.
You agree? Disagree? Which ones would be on your list?