Instead of selecting my top 5 horror films to watch around Hallowe'en (that may be a list coming next year), I picked 5 movies that were set on or around the year's best holiday and that give off a vibe that I think fits the season.
So, without further ado...
5. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Originally, the Halloween series was intended to be a different story with each release and not just be about Michael Myers until the studios released Halloween III and the public screamed for more Myers. Now, because of that, I know there are a lot of naysayers around this single entry in the series that doesn't feature the iconic slasher. It does, however, capture the feeling of excitement and dread around the holiday with a cheesy zesto that can't be denied. The story revolves around the giant conglomerate Silver Shamrock Company who is planning to kill tons of people via magical Hallowe'en masks. Plus... it has one of the most catchy Hallowe'en tunes ever put to film. "No more days 'til Hallowe'en... Sil... ver... Shamrock!"
4. Night of the Demons
It's Hallowe'en night and a bunch of kids have decided to skip out on the "popular" party and instead head to the supposedly haunted Hull House for a party hosted by the high school's resident creepy girl, Angela.
Angela has a seance planned to see if she can contact the spirits in the abandoned funeral home. Sure... what can go wrong there?
The movie is a cliched, gorey, and twisted ride through everything that I think makes Hallowe'en so great. It's got demons, candy, a haunted house, trick-or-treaters, girls in skimpy outfits and kids messing with all the spooky things that they shouldn't.
It's sheer Hallowe'en cheesy fun!
3. Monster House
Why is a kids' movie on this list? It may be animated but it's still one of the best horror stories put to film in recent years. DJ and his pals think the house across the street is haunted and one Hallowe'en night decide to find out once and for all. It's a great flick for the whole family! And even better... it's actually scary!
2. John Carpenter's Halloween
It's sad that I feel the need to call this Carpenter's Halloween but I definitely don't want it confused with that atrocity from Rob Zombie. Since it's release in 1978, the white-masked Michael Myers has haunted many Halloween nightmares. This masterpiece was, for many years, THE essential Hallowe'en-themed movie until...
1. Trick 'r Treat
This little horror flick slipped under the radar after taking for.ev.er. to actually be released! It's got all the tricks and treats that anyone could ever want for Hallowe'en. It's a throwback to the anthology horrors of the mid-80s but with the twist that they're told in an out-of-order Tarantinoesque style. It's got ghosts, goblins, slashers, murder, vampires, werewolves, jack-o-lanterns, psycho-kids, trick-or-treaters smashing pumpkins. If you associate it with Hallowe'en, it's probably in this movie. Heck... there's even a Charlie Brown reference! If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it tonight.
As an added Hallowe'en treat, here's the short animated film that my #1 pick was based on...