halloween is drawing near, so it’s time for this year’s edition (series four) of the spooky film series!
as film aficionados, we try to select five movies that have a deliciously horror or spooky vibe, because i know i’m tired of watching hocus pocus year after year. this year we’ve got films ranging from the 1950’s to this decade. i chose two, alex chose two, and our halloween night film was chosen together.
i rate the films on a scale of one to five ghosts depending on how “halloween-ish” i feel the movie is, but also accounting for quality.
week 1: the addams family values (1991), barry sonnenfeld
my pick. this one isn’t exactly obscure, but it is undeniably a wonderful halloween-season watch. maybe a bit “spicier” than the first, who doesn’t love the whole “summer camp” sub-plot? there are also plenty of hilarious morticia lines. it’s a classic. a bit more mainstream than our typical picks, but i haven’t seen it since i was a kid so it seemed like a great time to re-watch.
4/5 ghosts – worthy of halloween night viewing, for sure.
week 2: it follows (2014), david robert mitchell
alex’s pick. i didn’t really know what to expect with this one, but it was better than the trailer made it out to be. nineteen year-old jay is continuously haunted by “the thing” which slowly follows her wherever she goes. as someone who doesn’t love the horror genre, i found this film a perfect middle ground between creepy and haunting and a very “adult” teen drama with excellent character development, and also being absolutely beautifully shot. another bonus is all of the interesting detroit-area filming locations, as the story takes place in the detroit suburbs. highly recommended – will absolutely watch again.
5/5 ghosts for light horror, excellent cinematography and story. (but beware: it may haunt you dreams just a little bit)
week 3: house of usher (1960), roger corman
alex’s pick. oh, why was it only this year that i was introduced to the brilliant gothic world of vincent price films?! the house of usher couldn’t be more halloween-appropriate. set vaguely sometime in the 20th century, a man visits the haunted house of the usher family where his fiancé has been living recently to receive some terrible news about their future together – he has to make it past the overbearing older brother first in a strange turn of overprotective sibling drama with a huge secret. based on a story from edgar allen poe.
5/5 ghosts for a foggy haunted house, undead themes, crypts & more. this has got it all.
week 4: idle hands (1999), rodman flender
my pick. when i saw there was a late 90’s teen horror comedy starring devon sawa and seth green set during halloween night that i had somehow missed in my youth, i had to see it. loose plot line: a stoner high school student realizes that his hand (yes, his hand) has become murderous. jessica alba (in her first film role) plays the girl next door love interest. i can only really recommend this film if you seriously LOVE late 90’s teen comedies. this film oozes 1999 from the soundtrack, clothes, references… it’s a time capsule. it’s not exactly a great film or anything (so try to have no expectations), but there is a fantastic cameo from the band the offspring that surprised and delighted me.
2/5 ghosts – undeniably halloween appropriate BUT couldn’t recommend to just everyone based on quality
halloween night: house on haunted hill (1959), william castle
because i couldn’t get enough vincent price goth fabulousness (see ‘house of usher’ above) the original version of house on haunted hill absolutely fits the bill. the plot seems perfect: “a millionaire offers $10,000 to the guest that can outlast the others, staying in his haunted house”. it sounds like a reality show and 1950′s horror all in one! i’m in.
what are you planning on watching this year? if you are celebrating, hope you have a wonderfully spooky halloween!