I’m not the first to put together a stupid list like this and I won’t be the last. However, that does not mean that the films I list have been selected lightly. These are what I consider to be five of the best Halloween movies you should watch this October.
The Wicker Man (1973)
This is basically a horror version of Hot Fuzz (2007). Or rather Hot Fuzz lifts a hell of a lot from this movie: A creepy town that smacks of conspiracy, a frustrated policeman, weird British idiosyncrasies and Edward Woodward.
The film follows policeman Sergeant Howie, who is looking for a girl who’s reported missing. Suffice to say, a brilliant performance from the late Christopher Lee- who considered this his favourite film of his own- and a climatic ending which is spoiled in the same way as Planet of the Apes is by its bloody movie poster. Still, a great movie if you don’t mind some slow pacing this Haloween.
A boiler suit. A white mask. The suburbs. Teenagers. Halloween. The simple but extremely effective recipe that creates the John Carpenter classic.
Micheal Myers, (no, not the guy who played Austin Powers and Shrek) escapes from a mental hospital to return to the town that he murdered his sister one fateful Halloween in 1963 when he was six years old. Now he’s back to murder a young Jamie Lee Curtis and her promiscuous babysitter friends in one of the most electrifying and groundbreaking slasher films ever committed to film.
This is how you set up the premise to a horror movie: you make your movie a ‘sequel’ in the sense that the backstory is explained to the audience at the start of the movie. Audiences understand that Micheal murdered his sister when he was six, so we know he’s crazy and scary already as soon as he enters the film’s main story. Not to be watched alone, and certainly not over the phone with your babysitter buddies.
Not to be watched alone, and certainly not over the phone with your babysitter buddies.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
One of the best things about this film is that it’s actually in the public domain, meaning that you have no excuse to not give this movie a go this Halloween. It’s admittedly dated, and corny at times, but you have to remember that this is basically the first ‘modern’ zombie film. George A. Romero essentially developed the type of slow walking, flesh- eating, undead zombie that we now see in so many modern interpretations of the zombie.
Although these days there is a penchant for the ‘infected’ rather than the undead- AKA the unkillable- this film is an important piece of film history that thankfully we can all enjoy and use for free due to the copyright claim being incorrectly submitted (no internet to research that shit in the 60s).
Th movie also benefits from featuring a lead black actor in the motherfucking sixties, a rarity in and off itself, especially with modern black actors often struggling to find decent lead film roles beyond, White leads compassionate black friend, breif which so many great black actors are wasted on these days.
The original slasher film to which John Carpenter’s Halloween owes a lot. This movie is so iconic that it also suffers from its heightened position within film pop culture. They even made an average Hitchcock biopic a few years ago with Antony Hopkins playing Hitch that seemingly ran on the fumes of the original film over 50 years later. The film follows a young lady called Marion played by Janet Leigh who steals money from her boss and goes on the run. She stays at the Bates Motel and the film evolves from there. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must surely be aware of the infamous ‘shower’ scene’,
The film follows a young lady called Marion played by Janet Leigh who steals money from her boss and goes on the run. She stays at the Bates Motel and the film evolves from there. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must surely be aware of the infamous ‘shower’ scene’, needless to say, the film grips you and engages you in a more effective way than most modern films tend to do. There’s a reason that people call Hitchcock the ‘master of suspense’, although this does not mean I would recommend all of his films.
Janet Leigh is also the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis, who played the lead in Halloween, which just goes to show that its who you know in Hollywood that matters in the end…
Mulholland Drive (2001)
David Lynch presents one of his creepiest and unnerving films ever with this one, and that’s saying something when you think this is the same guy who made Eraserhead (1977) and Blue Velvet (1986). To attempt to explain the plot would be to trample on first-time viewers of the film, so in short, the premise is Naomi Watts plays an aspiring actress and moves into her Aunt’s house in L.A. She discovers a mysterious woman who does not remember her name or how she got there.
There, that’s all I’m giving you, you’ll have to watch it and discover yourself why this film is so creepy. Although not a strict horror film in the same sense as the others in this list, this film is likely to intrude your thoughts while you make your cup of coffee weeks and weeks after seeing it. So if you fancy some confusing, upsetting and unresolved scenes this October, then check out this film.