Halloween has and always will be my favorite holiday. Michigan is absolutely beautiful and there are endless fall activities to enjoy this time of year. My favorite however, is to dim the lights, and put on a great horror flick. Whether it's an old fashioned gore fest or a cheap scare film, they're all fun. Here's a list of my 6 must watch movies for the Halloween season.
Fun fact: This film was the first to introduce the idea of the brain eating zombies (BRAAAAAINSSSS). This is a great light hearted zombie film. At a medical supply warehouse, military drums containing the remains of a botched military experiment are accidentally delivered to the warehouse. When the foreman accidentally releases the gases from the drums this leads to the accidental release of a brain hungry horde of zombies. The film tells the story of the 2 warehouse employees, a mortician, and a group of teenage punks and how they deal with the hordes of the undead. Now, of course you could put just about any of the "of the dead" films in this list (Night, Dawn, Day, Return) but this one is the most fun to watch of the bunch (I love all of them however). The perfect blend of scares, guts, and laughs.
A group of research scientists are stationed on a remote base in Antarctica when they find remains of a an extra terrestrial which still has active cellular activity. The creature is capable of assuming any shape, including human form which leads the scientists to grow increasingly paranoid. The effects are fantastic for the era of this film and the paranoia and sense of dread that overcomes the viewer throughout the film makes this a movie watching over and over again.
This is one of those old fashioned gore fest I was talking about. It's 50% gore, 50% cheese, and 100% fun. Herbert West is a genius college student who's ultimate goal is to find a cure for death. His experiments begin small on animals (cat dead... details later) but then his drive leads him to experiment on "fresh human subjects." It doesn't go as planned... well, sort of. As of today (10/31/2016) I believe this is still available to watch on Netflix.
Note: The sequel, "Bride of Re-animator" is equally as fun and much gorier if that's your thing.
Another gloriously gory/cheesy addition to this list, is Michigan's own, The Evil Dead. A group of Michigan State college students venture to the Tennessee hills to a cabin in the woods for a spring break vacation. Our hero Ash Williams makes the big mistake of opening a book found in the cellar of the cabin (now know to be the Necronomicon), and playing a recording of ancient incantations which unleashes evil spirits. What follows is a wonderful thrill ride of suspense, blood, gore, and cheesy 80s special effects that will leave any horror fanatic grinning from ear to ear.
Ok, so this isn't necessarily a horror film, it doesn't really fall into any film genre, it does contain some creepy undertones, however, and a very compelling (confusing) story line which will make you want to go back to this film time and time again. Story goes, nobody quite knows the actual interpretation of this film, and director David Lynch has stated that nobody has ever given an accurate interpretation of the film. It seems to me that the film is mostly about the human condition and how humans react to specific emotions (lust, dread, fear, disgust, etc.). The fun of this film is that every time you watch it you can come up with a new interpretation to the meaning of the film. Perhaps you can be the one that figures out Lynch's original interpretation?
Come on, you knew this was going to be number one on the list. You simply can't make a list like this without Halloween somewhere in the list, and in my opinion, it belongs at the very top. You can normally find some television channel streaming this entire franchise all day long on Halloween, and you have to at least watch this one. The original, the introduction of Michael Myers. The soundtrack alone makes this film worth watching, I know the theme song popped in your head as soon as you saw Michael on this list. I'm hoping that you already know the story of this film because you've watched it so many times, but here it is in a nutshell. 6 year old Michael Myers is institutionalized after stabbing is teenage sister to death on Halloween Night. 15 years later he escapes to return to his home in Haddonfield on October 30th. On Halloween night the bodies begin to pile up and it appears, nobody can stop Michael in his killing spree.
Note: If you're going to watch the entire franchise, never skip Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Although it's the only Halloween film that doesn't feature Michael Myers, it's still a great campy Halloween film from the 80s and that makes it worth watching.
Well that's it, I hope you were able to find one or two films that you haven't seen and add them to your Halloween time movie list! What are some of your "Must watch" Horror films for Halloween?