Saturday, October 01, 2011

100 Recommended Halloween Movies, Series, and TV

Halloween is my very favorite holiday.   Coincidentally, I am a bit of a nut about horror movies too.   I have actually spent a considerable amount of time amassing a list of movies that I can call upon each Halloween.  

Halloween is serious business, and this is no time to be watching crappy horror movies or sifting through the really bad ones hoping to find a gem.  I need sure things for my holiday month (yeah I said it, month NOT day).  My big escape over the years has been the good horror movie, and that is why I have seen so many of them.   Way more than a hundred, but these are the ones that I deem worthy of recommending based on orginality, a plot I like, a twist ending that I did not see coming, or because they are "quirky".

On the culmination of the month and on the day, I surround myself with all the candy I could want, and dive into a horror movie marathon.   The whole month though, I try and decorate each day and watch a horror movie to honor the holiday.

Here is what I like in a good horror movie, so you might get an idea where my tastes reside:
  1. It's never about the gore with me, though there may be gore in horror movies that I like.  I usually do not like the gore, but it's something about the storyline that I like.
  2. I typically like a background story, though with some movies the mystery (the original The Fog for instance) does not need to be spelled out so much.  It's a tricky balance.
  3. Since I have seen so many, I like an unusual bent or angle to the horror movie.
  4. I like when the characters we have come to know live at the end.  In other words, the best happy ending that a horror movie can have.
  5. I prefer if no animals are killed (or tortured) in the horror movie (though can not promise that all my picks stick to this).
  6. I am not a zombie or werewolf fan, but am more of a Vampire or Serial Killer fan.   Not to say that some of my movies may not have these.
  7. It's rare that I like a remake OR a sequel, but it happens:)
  8. You may find it hard to believe from my list, but I do not like hardcore violence (ala Last House on The Left or Clock Work Orange---sorry that I ever saw those oringals).
  9. If I have seen a documentary on how a low budget horror movie was made (ala Texas Chainsaw Massacre), that may explain my fascination with it later LOL.  I never wanted to watch this movie until I watched the documentary on it.  Knowing what the actors were going through, and this was not made by a bunch of people that necessarily knew how to get a special effect (never mind safely).
  10. I love gothic movies with old creepy houses in them.  If I can check out the house in the movie, I am a happy camper.
  11. I love horror movies that can also add comedy.   However this is a tricky mix, and some movies try this but fail horribly.  It is the very rare movie that does this well.
  12. As in my horror books, I like when  everything looks innocent on the OUTSIDE but INSIDE it is NOT AT ALL.
  13. I grew up on "Creature Double Feature" so I like the good horror giant monster, but am more particular about the special effects LOL.

Without further ado, here are my Halloween recommendations for you (in no particular order-next year and to segment to descriptive tags next year):

  1. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? 1962
  2. Portrait of Dorian Gray 1945
  3. Wicker Man 1973 (the remake 2006 was very good as well)
  4. Sixth Sense 1999
  5. Invisible Man 1958
  6. Diaboliques 1955
  7. Silence of the Lambs 1991 (also Thomas Harris book)
  8. Hannibal 2001
  9. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte 1964
  10. Single White Female 1992
  11. Fatal Attraction 1987
  12. (Duh) Carrie 1976 (and great Stephen King book)
  13. The Ring 2002
  14. Poltergeist 1982 (the first one IMHO)
  15. Sleepy Hollow 1999
  16. Dead Zone 1983 (also great Stephen King book)
  17. The Fog 1980 (the original only IMHO)
  18. The People Under The Stairs 1981 (funny comedy horror)
  19. House of Wax 1953(remake 2005 is campy sort of crap, but I liked the back story that they gave to it, and it had nothing to do with the original Vincent Price House of Wax)
  20. Motel Hell 1980 (I don't know how I forgot this one)
  21. The Thing 1982 (sci fi horror)
  22. It 1990 (Stephen King)
  23. Alien 1979 (sci fi horror & great book)
  24. Jurassic Park 1993
  25. Black Christmas 1974(the orginal, not the remake)
  26. The Vanishing 1993
  27. The Bad Seed 1956
  28. The Good Son 1993
  29. Magic 1978
  30. Stranger in Our House or Summer of Fear 1978
  31. Secret Window 2004 (also great Stephen King book)
  32. (OMG) The Baby 1973-Talk about a twist ending!!!!
  33. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978
  34. She Creature 2001
  35. Vacancy 2007
  36. Rebecca 1940
  37. Let's Scare Jessica to Death-classic [don't want to ruin the surprise] movie 1971.
  38. Original Halloween I and II (1978 & 1981), of course. II only thrown in there to continue the story, not as good as one. (I think of one and two as the same movie.)
  39.  H20 (1998) , which is Halloween 20 years later.
  40. Rob Zombie's Halloween (first one not the second one---second one was too much in line with the actual)
  41. The Audition, Japanese Horror Movie 1999. Quite a take on your submissive Japanese woman (NOT!!!!).
  42. Godzilla, the remake 1998. A totally American movie doing a fresh new (and sometimes funny) look at Godzilla and how he came to be here. I own this movie, I loved it so much.
  43. The whole Subspecies series. The production company that actually did filming in Romania went bankrupt and out of business, but I so loved these. Yet another different and twisted look at vampires. Subspecies came out in 1991, which I thought was the weakest of them and I actually saw it last. Bloodstone, Subspecies II, came out in 1993. Bloodlust, Subspecies III, came out in 1994. And finally the last (boo hoo) came out in 1998 Bloodstorm, Subspecies 4.
  44. Red Dragon, of course, because I have read the Thomas Harris books. The film came out very well in 2002, I thought.
  45. Blind Beast 1969 is a good Japanese horror film that I recently did a review on. Very, very creepy.
  46. The Burbs 1989. Comedy horror at it's best. Tom Hanks plays a neighbor, who is suspicious of the new neighbors in town.
  47. The Lost Boys 1987. A vampire movie that I always still enjoy when it's on. I like the plot of the younger brother helping out the older brother. Grandpa gets in on the act as well.
  48. Showtime Master of Horror Series. I didn't like them all. The very first one is probably my favorite due to the surprise ending, and just overall creepiness of it. Plus, you are never really sure where you are going......really.
  49. Ghost Story 1981, good book and I think good movie. Actually, if I remember correctly, I might have enjoyed the movie more than the book.
  50. Intensity 1997 (Dean Koontz book first, loved botht he movie and book)
  51. Hideaway 1995 (Dean Koontz book, but changed the story a little bit)
  52. Demon Seed 1977 (Dean Koontz book---can you guess one of my favorite authors LOL)
  53. Lady in White 1988 - this one might be okay for children, but there is a definate reference to a pedophile---be warned.   Good mystery ghost story that I think was targetted for children as well.
  54. Burnt Offerings 1976
  55. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 2006 --Totally Gothic and creepy, not sure how I felt about the ending, but a terrifically creepy movie.
  56. Series of about 12 Dark Shadows The Revival (though it doesn't end there, but production was cancelled, so it's a bit frustrating after episode 12)
  57. Hostel I 2005 and II 2007. II is even better, but I wouldn't discount I at all!!!
  58. Spider Babies 1968
  59. Quills 2000  Really, really gothic.  Strong sexual themes and some violence.  Really great adult horror movie though.
  60. The Omen 1976 (I HATED the remake) and Damien: Omen II 1978
  61. Children of the Damned 1964
  62. Psycho 1960
  63. The Shining 1980 (not as true to the Stephen King book, but Jack Nicholson's role) 
  64. The Shining 1997 (true to the Stephen King book)
  65. Jeepers Creepers 2001
  66. Jeepers Creepers II 2003
  67. Joyride 2001
  68. The Other 1972 (also an excellent book, and the movie is pretty true to the book) 
  69. King Kong 2005 (one movie where I like the remake much more than all the others before it)
  70. Creep 2004
  71. Misery 1990 (also great Stephen King book)
  72. The Haunting 1963
  73. Changeling 1980
  74. Sweeney Todd 2007
  75. Prom Night 1980
  76. Frailty 2001
  77. Strangeland 1998
  78. American Psycho  2000
  79. Cloverfield 2008
  80. Day After Tomorrow 2004
  81. True Blood Series 2008
  82. Dexter Series  2006
  83. Reaper TV Show 2007
  84. Wolf Creek 2005
  85. The Blob (always loved this movie) 1958
  86. Godsend  2004
  87. Cape Fear (remake with DiNero) 1991
  88. Communion or Alice Sweet Alice 1976
  89. Rosemary's Baby 1968 
  90. Interview with A Vampire 1994
  91. House of Wax (Vincent Price) 1953
  92. House of Wax (Paris Hilton LOL) 2005  a beginning scene in this really did it for me!
  93. The Ring 2002
  94. Three Extremes 2004
  95. Yoga 2009
  96. What Lies Beneath 2000 (I like how the beginning starts, and helps with the twist ending)
  97. Scream I, II, & III (and looking forward to IV) 1996 1997 2000
  98. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974
  99. Dream Home 2010
  100. The Burrowers 2008 ---very creepy old west meets horror


mulderfan said...

Having taught elementary school for 33 years, like a lot of teachers I HATE Hallowe'en! The mounting excitement followed by a crowd of little kids, high on sugar, was something I just wanted to survive without harming one of the little buggers!

My daughter, on the other hand, has a collections of 1,500 movies that probably contains more horror than I'd care to count. She still lives with me (which I love!) and Hallowe'en is her all time favourite "holiday". At twenty-nine she still goes to great lengths with her costume. (I admit, I enjoy sewing the costumes!)

Maybe she could come and visit you for the month of October!

winterskiprincess said...

When we lived in Worcester, children were literally bused into our neighborhood from the projects. The only thing I minded was the rude parents actually (and the adult men peeing in our driveway).

If I was alone giving out candy, I would have my Dobermans ,Jazz and Neptune at the time, in a sit stay behind me:) So I was very safe (even if my dogs would have never gone into protective mode), because who is going to F with a lady with two Dobermans behind her on Halloween LOL.

Where we live now, you get zero trick or treaters. It is a nice change now. We used to go through nine bags of candy back then, and would have to shut off the lights pretty early in the evening.

Winterskiprincess said...

Anyone who will travel with 1500 horror movies is welcome to come spend Halloween MONTH here with me LOL.

mulderfan said...

When I'm home alone I answer the door accompanied by a German Shepherd and Dutch Shepherd and it works like a charm. In the past when I had two Collies and a Golden Retriever it was a complete FAIL!

My daughter and I both noticed you didn't include the SAW movies...not a fan? I love all the intricate gadgets!

Winterskiprincess said...

Actually, I liked the very first Saw movie, which was pretty orginal (it seemed) at the time. I haven't been a fan of the continuing sequels though.

PWC said...

What a great list! I look forward to checking some of these out.

BTW, have you seen Ringu? It's the original from Japan and much scarier/creepier than The Ring, IMHO.

Winterskiprincess said...

I have to watch Ringu again. I did see it, but it wasn't as "spelled out" as in the American version. I don't like to necessarily have to think a lot when I am watching a horror movie LOL. The foreign ones are difficult sometimes because of the cultural and language differences. I like when there are CC, but NOT voice overs. I think the voice overs mask much of the acting that says a lot more than verbal. Plus, with the language differences, it does not necessarily illuminate it as the translation tends to be literal and not americanized:)

Winterskiprincess said...

If I really thought about it, there are probably 50-60 more that I could add LOL. Saw, Hush, Ringu, Ju On (or something like that), Dream House (I may have put that in there, this was pretty orginal and timely), Christine,... Really I could list on and on. Kalifornia (Yikes w/ Brad Pitt)

There is this one that I thought had Carole O'Connor in it. These kids are hiking, and come across this "helpful" family with two slow hill billy sons and a daughter. It does get a little violent for me after that, but not a horrible story line (I mean horrible in the best sense of the word of course LOL) underneath it. Creeped me out for sure, but I have never been able to find it again.

Winterskiprincess said...

Case 39 almost made this list for a couple of scenes. Poltergiest (the first one anyway)...

Winterskiprincess said...

Oh man Breakdown should be on there as well!

Winterskiprincess said...

Let Me IN---a recent vampire movie that I saw which was pretty good as well...

Winterskiprincess said...

Dead Calm....don't know how I forgot that one, it scared the heck out of me!