|The ‘Halloween III’ Silver Shamrock masks appear in ‘The Guest’.|
While most scary movies tend to qualify by default as good viewing material for the Halloween season, each of these recommendations actually takes place on or right around the big day and embrace the most wonderful time of year.
– Halloween: Resurrection
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to play Laurie Strode a fourth and final time, Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal returns for a direct followup to Halloween H20, and Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield in the eighth installment of the Halloween film franchise. The new crop of young victims includes our friend Daisy McCrackin (read our interview), along with American Pie star Thomas Ian Nicholas, Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff, and America’s Next Top Model diva Tyra Banks.
– Burying the Ex
This horror comedy comes from the director of Gremlins and The ‘Burbs is about an obsessive ex-girlfriend who comes back from the grave to be with her true love, even though he has happily moved on and found his actual soulmate. It takes place during Halloween season, with a climactic scene of the zombie girl going trick or treating and looking for “something good too eat”.
– The Blair Witch Project
A landmark film, it created the “found footage” sub-genre, and perhaps more impressively, it remains its greatest example of how can be done properly. It takes place in late October and has the look and feel of authentic backwoods Halloween.
– The Crow
It technically takes place on the night before Halloween (“Devil’s Night”), but the ill-fated marriage of Eric Draven and his fiance was to be on Halloween day, and this tale of righteous revenge features plenty of visual nods the season of the dead, when one’s soul could walk among the living one last time, if only to right a terrible wrong.
– The Nightmare Before Christmas
An absolute masterpiece for all ages, this seasonal classic introduced us all to “The Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington and gave us the greatest Halloween song ever written with the timeless “This Is Halloween”.
– The American Scream
This heartfelt documentary about three neighboring home haunters whose talents are matched only by their passion for Halloween will make you tear up with joy and kick your ass to get your own decorating done.
– The Guest
One of the best movies of 2014, The Guest is a badass synth-driven trip into a hyper-realistic world that would make John Carpenter proud, set during the days leading up the big Halloween dance, featuring not only substantial seasonal imagery but also thematic elements of identity versus disguise that lend well to the holiday, the highlight (for me) is a climactic visual homage to the Silver Shamrock masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
– The Houses October Built
A group of friends decides to film a documentary as they search for the most extreme Halloween haunts out there, filmed largely on location at a number of real life attractions. Needless to say, they find everything they are looking for and much more in this unnerving and relentless ode the haunt industry and its rabid, insatiable fans.
– Sleepy Hollow
The word “Halloween” is never uttered once, but this is undoubtedly one of the greatest “Halloween time” movies ever made, drenched in the seasonal atmosphere . Pretty much anything directed by Tim Burton could be added to this list, but Sleepy Hollow is the dark director’s ultimate homage to the Hammer horror classics.
– Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
What better way to celebrate this year’s 20th anniversary of the sixth film in the Halloween movie series than re-watching this often misunderstood and quite controversial entry into horror’s most hallowed film franchise. Plus, it features future Ant-Man Paul Rudd fighting Michael Myers!
– Dreamworks’ Spooky Stories Collection
The perfect family friendly option is the collection of animated specials, including Scared Shrekless, which features tributes to Psycho and The Exorcist, among others. My favorite of the bunch, however, is Monsters vs. Aliens: Attack of the Mutant Pumpkins, in which John Carpenter’s classic Halloween theme is used to great effect.
What did we miss? What will you be watching this Halloween season?