Friday, October 15, 2010

10 Movies For Halloween PTSD


A repeat of a classic (well, by my weak standards) post.

Halloween season is upon us . Since it falls on a weekend this year, you’ve rented an old dark house way back in the woods for you and your friends to hold a weekend retreat. You’ve gone to the trouble of lugging in that enormous 180 inch plasma screen TV, now you need some fright flicks to show your guests. That’s why you are here. Here are ten recommendations for that spooky weekend which will get even with those who have tormented you entertain your loved ones.

Usual disclaimers: This is not a ten best, they are presented in no particular order, the opinions are my own, gimme a break. Spoilers may appear, so you’ve been warned. You know it’s one of my stupid lists because there’s an exclamation point in the title.

1. The Thing (1982) – John Carpenter’s ice-bound gory paranoia masterpiece is perfect to watch with a large crowd of friends, particularly on a cold night. For added fun, once the tension mounts, excuse yourself briefly, and come back with a glassy expression and project a sense that there is something wrong. Your friends won’t know whether to sit next to you or hose you down with a flamethrower. If it is the second option, you don’t need the rest of the list.

2. The Blair Witch Project (1999) – Hype drove the movie to an amazing box office, and is also responsible for a considerable backlash. Putting all that aside, it remains a creepy, effective little low budget film that works well with a small group of friends watching with the lights out. For an added bonus, you’ll get conversation afterwards, as you try to figure out what the ending meant.

3. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The one that started the zombie craze, it is constantly imitated, never surpassed. You’ll have to ask those friends that won’t watch a black & white movie to wait outside.

4. The Mist (2007) – You’re isolated with those so-called friends of yours, so this movie about people isolated by hideous creatures should hit home. You don’t have to wait until the weatherman reports heavy fog rolling in, but it would be a nice touch. Be prepared for a lot of bitching about the ending, though.

5. R-Point (2004) – You probably have at least one cineaste in your circle of friends, and they always insist that movies with subtitles are better, so show them this Korean ghost story set in the Vietnam War.

6. Re-Animator (1985) – It’s nice to include at least one romantic film for the ladies.

7. 30 Days of Night (2007) – There’s also going to be at least one Twilight fan in the group. Show them this one so they will know what Edward looks like when he’s not primping for the cameras.

8. Evil Dead 2 (1987) – For a little comedy mixed with the horror, this innovative film is essentially the first Evil Dead remade with a bigger budget.

9. The Call of Cthulhu (2005) – Remember those friends who pitched a fit and stood in the hallway during #3 because it was in black & white? Gig them again with this one, in black & white and silent to boot.

10. Halloween (1978) – You didn’t think I was going to skip this one, did you? John Carpenter’s second film on the list set the template for a thousand inferior imitations to follow. It goes without saying, watch this one on Halloween night.
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3 comments:

Rabid Fox said...

The whole Evil Dead trilogy would be a good pick--interesting you single out the second film.

The Thing, absolutely.

Haven't seen R-Point or Re-Animator yet, so I should watch out for them.

KentAllard said...

You can't go wrong with any of the Evil Dead movies. I chose #2 because it's essentially #1 with better production values. #3 is great, but it's a litle more camp, little less horror, IMO.

Rabid Fox said...

True. I'm probably partial to the third one because I saw that before the first 2.