With Halloween close upon we thought we would ask our staff what spooky seasonal favorites they plan to pop on their screens this year:
My favorite Halloween movie and horror movie is definitely "Saw. " I remember being so disturbed by it and writhing in fear and discomfort. I'm getting the jeepers creepers just thinking about it. I don't remember the details, but I remember the feeling, and that Saw II wasn't as good. Who wants to rewatch it with me? Alternate pick one: Get out. Friggin Brilliant and creepy. Alternate pick two: The Wizard Of Oz. The Wicked Witch was so friggin perfectly horrible.
I’ve always loved the mix of humor and horror, few have done it as well as Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. The key to this movie’s success is a perfect blending of the legendary comedy duo and the iconic monsters. The monsters are treated totally seriously, they are in a horror movie that just happens to collide with the wacky antics of Abbott & Costello. I’ve seen this movie a million times and it still makes me laugh every Halloween when I pop it on.
Honestly, this movie can cover the holiday season from October through December. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, realizes that there are other holidays, and tries to break his ennui by diversifying his holiday fun. This fun film is a Tim Burton classic with excellent songs and a great cast of characters. A “spooky” movie the whole family can enjoy!
Allow me if I may to make the absolutely obvious, necessary, and, for me anyway, only choice: John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece Halloween. It’s not just that this one film turbocharged a type of horror film that barely existed outside of Leatherface and his clan. It’s not just that without Michael Meyers, we would never have met Jason, Freddy, Chucky or Ghostface. It’s not just that no film before or since has so successfully melded the all-too real threat of home invasion and mundane, unmotivated murder with just a hint of the uncanny and supernatural. It’s that Halloween perfectly encapsulates the very specific spirit (no pun intended) of the season. It’s primarily a holiday for children, a time of candy and costumes and safe, mild scares, a holiday that teens and adults use as an excuse to indulge in safe, mild mischief. It’s only the illusion of danger, a playground spookshow. What Carpenter did so effectively was introduce a real threat hidden amongst the crowd of giggling children in rubber masks, a large, adult trick-or-treater - a silent, knife-wielding Shape - who would remind the jaded, comfortable grown-ups of Haddonfield, Illinois (a.k.a. Everytown, USA) that they have as much reason to fear the Boogeyman as the kids they humor.
My favorite Halloween movie? Y’know, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t have one. I spent so many years working retail, that most holidays have little to no meaning for me anymore because I never got to celebrate them - I always had to work. Then I lived with an abusive alcoholic with dreams of being a scream queen, so horror movies were basically forced on me by an angry drunk woman for four and a half years, which largely turned me off to the whole genre - the only horror films I have positive feelings for were those I found and enjoyed prior to the relationship, but I don’t associate any of those with Halloween, specifically. However, all that aside, what I can attest to is my favorite movie released at Halloween: Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, released October 27th, 1996. Not only is it my favorite movie released on or around Halloween, but it’s the best film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet ever made.
What interests me most about this movie is its thematic elements rather than the horror aspect side. It seems to emphasize the psychological more than the horror as it tackles quite a few resounding themes that we all have encountered at least once in our lives: depression, loss, grief, even heartache. We see the main character Amelia Vakan (played by Essie Davis), tackling such issues by continuing with raising her child while still struggling with the death of her husband. We see her struggle with this trauma, eventually (more or less) materializing into the creature known as the Babadook and overcoming it. As a person who grew up with a single mother, it was interesting to see this side of single parenthood addressed on the big screen. I recommend this movie, not just those who grew up in a single household but those who struggled with these types of traumas as well.
I love a good subvert-the-popular-trope story, especially in horror movies, and especially when those tropes are outdated and problematic. Tucker and Dale takes place in the classic dilapidated cabin by a lake, but the villains aren’t who you expect. In fact, the story is told from the point of view of the two “dangerous hillbillies” who would normally be the suspected killers. The teenage campers have obviously seen a number of horror flicks and simply mistake themselves to death. This story is surprisingly sweet and full of heart. And there’s a twist ending! Don’t get me wrong, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil exhibits plenty of gore, but viewers will often find themselves laughing as hard as they cringe.
A film adapted from my favorite comic book of all time. It features one of the heaviest all original soundtracks ever & the production as a whole embodies the spirit of the 90's! Goth or not, there is something you can take away from it that could impact the way you see the world! Rest in love, Brandon.
"Buildings burn. People die. But real love is forever!"
A man out of time. A hero who’s morals clash with those of the land he finds himself in. One who would defeat a festering evil that he himself is tied to. No, I’m not talking about Captain America. I speak of Ash from Army of Darkness (1992). Bruce Campbell’s final movie chapter of the Evil Dead saga (followed years later by the television series), finds our square-jawed everyman and his beat up ’73 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale flung back in time to a Medieval Europe (somewhere) in order to combat the nightmarish forces of the deadites. He brings with him his sardonic wit, his can-do attitude/cowardice as well as a shotgun and chainsaw. If you’re looking for campy gore, undead armies and Campbell’s iconic one-liners, search no further and speak the ancient words! “Klaatu Barada Nik*indistinct coughing*!”
Spaced Invaders is a kid’s movie, let’s get that out of the way first, but at the same time, it opens in that sort of 80’s way with a guy getting zapped into a pile of bones and ash. The opening scene seals the deal by showing us that it’s both a comedy and to kind of take this plot seriously, but that the Martians are also dangerously incompetent. Eventually the plot happens involving the Martians trying to escape earth when they, and their enforcer drone, find out Orson Welles’ invasion broadcast was all a practical joke. There is a cute old man with a cute old dog and a subplot about all that but whatever. All the details create a fantastic setup for a movie and a perfect depiction of Halloween. Yes, it’s much too long by a good 20 minutes and yes, it’s a little clunky, and yes it feels like 90% of the budget went into the costumes and not much else, but if you want to know what Halloween is, Spaced Invaders has you covered.
When I was a kid, I looked forward to the Disney channel showing Halloweentown every Halloween. As an adult, I still enjoy watching it during the Halloween season. It is my favorite Disney channel original movie. Kimberly J. Brown is an absolute delight as thirteen-year-old Marnie. I wanted to go to Halloweentown just as much as she did. The always amazing Debbie Reynolds is perfect as the fun, loving grandma who brings candy and costumes for her grandkids. Halloweentown is an entertaining Halloween movie that the whole family can enjoy.