We all know that the greatest movie to watch for Halloween is Hocus Pocus (1993). But with so many movies out there, we at ScifiPulse wanted to offer suggestions for other movies that people could enjoy for this holiday. As such, below are some incredible movie recommendations from ScifiPulse’s Dominic “Big D” Walsh, Ian “May-Or-May-Not Have an OnlyFans account” Cullen, Benjamin “Always looking on the bright side” Cassidy, and myself, Nicholas “Where Did My Life Go Wrong” Yanes.
If you have any suggestions, make sure to comment below.
Also, there are some hidden messages in this piece. Let us know if you found all of them.
Body Snatchers (1993)
Although I’m not familiar with classics such as Nightmare on Elm Street or Night of the Living Dead, one film that stands above all others for sheer fear factor is 1993’s Body Snatchers. This film is brilliant because there is no happy ending, just the inevitability of succumbing to sleep and becoming one of the clones. Just the scene of the cloned mother (Meg Tilly) screaming at her human family as they flee their suburban home was enough to fill 8-year-old me with primal terror. There is however something of a hope spot in the scene where the pod people surround Forest Whitaker, who states “The individual is always the most important” before committing heroic suicide. The final narration spoken in the film is the most disturbing of all: “Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere…cause there’s no one like you left.”
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
More of a meta-commentary on the horror genre and on its audience, The Cabin in the Woods took all of the classic horror tropes (a group of friends stay in an old cabin over summer, relationships form, they are attacked by monsters) and turned them completely on their heads. It is revealed at the film’s climax that the people we are watching are pawns in a grand conspiracy to appease ancient hell gods and prevent them from destroying the world (SPOILERS: which fails). There is Whedonesque humour aplenty in this offering. This film achieves the singular feat of being incredibly watchable as well as deeply unsettling, as we see ourselves reflected in the ordinary employees of the conspiracy and their reactions to Kristen Connolly’s struggle to stay alive. Evil ultimately prevails, but Connolly and Fran Kranz’s characters retain their humanity.
This is one of the more surreal horrors out there but is still amazing. Several different people wake up to find themselves in a series of interlocking rooms shaped like cubes. Most of the rooms contain a deadly danger. The characters work out the size and shape of the complex they are trapped in and formulate a plan to escape. In what was for the time a great example of neurodiversity on screen the prisoners realise their plan is doomed to failure but for Andrew Miller’s character’s ability to calculate prime factorizations in his head. Each of the characters’ personalities are subverted throughout the film; the seemingly heroic Maurice Dean Wint is unstable, the nihilistic David Hewlett and scrappy Nicky Guadagni form a friendship, Nicole de Boer finds herself the leader of the group as Wint’s sanity starts to slip away and Miller’s character survives in the end.
Follow Dominic on Twitter @dominicwhovian5
“I was very much a child of the 80s. Which is in my view a great time for horror films with many of the modern horror icons coming out. So unsurprisingly. My three Halloween choices come from that era” – Ian Cullen
My first choice is An American Werewolf in London, which sort of falls under horror comedy as it knowingly pokes fun at the classic Werewolf film. The story focuses on two American backpackers who are traveling around England until they are attacked by a Werewolf. One dies while the other survives the attack and becomes a Werewolf, but is in denial about it until he starts being haunted by his dead friend. Directed and written by John Landis. This is a classic that I revisit every year.
I’m not talking about the shitty 2005 remake with Tom Welling. I’m talking about the original John Carpenter version from 1980, which starred a rather young Jamie Lee Curtis who was supported by Adrienne Barbeau and the legendary Janet Leigh. The film revolves around a mysterious fog, which rolls over a coastal town exactly 100 years after a boat sank in its waters. The coming of the Fog is the sailors that went down with the boat seeking their revenge. It’s a slow burning ghost story with some great acting performances and fantastic direction from John Carpenter.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Wes Craven really created an Icon when he created Freddie Kruger. And this first movie is by far the most frightening of the series, which is thanks to a great performance from Robert Englund as well as a scary concept of a monster that can get you through your dreams. I also enjoyed the third movie in the series, The Dream Warriors.
Follow Ian on Twitter @SciFiPulse
The Frighteners (1996)
Written, directed, and produced by Peter Jackson, who would go on to be known for some franchise about rings and small creatures, The Frighteners is a fun thrill-ride of a movie with genuine scares and a lot of heart. The film centers on Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox), who has developed the ability to communicate with the dead after his wife’s murder. Bannister befriends two ghosts and makes a living by having these ghosts haunt a house, and then Bannister charges the homeowners to cleanse the house of spirits. This changes when Bannister realizes that there is a ghost murdering people and only he can stop these murders. Trust me, take the time to see this classic.
I learned about this movie from Youtuber, Amanda the Jedi. She gave this film a positive review because it is an amazing movie. With filmmakers across the globe struggling to figure out how to make movies without exposing the actors and crew to COVID, director and co-writer Rob Savage, along with co-writers Gemma Hurly and Jed Shepherd, figure out a way. With so many people staying in contact with friends and family with Zoom and similar software, Host uses this the COVID pandemic as a backdrop for a brilliant horror movie.
Centering on a group of friends having a weekly group chat via Zoom, one of them introduces a medium she hired so that the group can have séance. The idea is to make this chat different and fun. Sadly, due to the friends not being in the same physical space, the protections placed by the medium aren’t enough and the friends are soon attacked by something. At its core, Host is just a new interpretation of the found footage genre, but it is a well made and terrifying film.
Also, if you don’t mind spoilers, check out this review of Host by Amanda the Jedi.
Ready or Not (2019)
Simply put, Ready or Not is a fantastic movie that will become a cult classic. Samara Weaving in a bridal gown that has torn and dirtied after a night of surviving murder attempt after murder is an iconic image that should be replicated by cosplayers at every comic con. The premise for the movie is that Weaving plays a newlywed, Grace, who finds herself forced to play a game with her husband’s family on the night of their wedding. While she thinks it is a simple game of Hide-and-Seek, she soon finds out that her in-laws are hunting her down with the intent to kill her. The movie seamlessly moves from horror to comedy to suspense back to horror. It is a roller coaster, and like all great roller coasters, Ready or Not leaves you wanting to ride it again.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NicholasYanes
A great film is a great film, regardless of age. The Omen (1976) will be fifty years old, soon. Sadly, most of the stars of this brilliant film have now passed away. This is a chance to see them really shine. Lee Remick deals with her character’s emotional trauma expertly. Patrick Troughton plays one of his best parts, perhaps. He gives a reminder of how fine an actor he truly was. Mostly, though, the film belongs to Gregory Peck, and his slow descent into terror and psychological despair. Couple this with an award -winning soundtrack, some stunning cinematography from Richard Donner, and you have a chilling horror classic. Not forgetting Harvey Spencer Stephens as the child menace, Damien. An incredible performance for such a young actor. The sequels couldn’t repeat the dark magic of the original, so it remains as the standout offering.
Always most remembered for the death of its main star, Brandon Lee, The Crow (1994) as a piece of powerful cinema sometimes gets overlooked. Though, not by its army of fans. Few films have spawned such cult following, in the modern era. The movie really does feel like a graphic novel on screen. Truly Gothic. There are many theories about how the entire project was “cursed”, including of course Lee’s tragic, fatal accident. There were numerous projection problems, and potential derailments. Fortunately, the film was made, and is a testament to Lee.
Michael Wincott provides a fine evil villain, so necessary for this film. He helps to make the whole thing a battle between good and evil, love and hate, dark and light. A really good film to watch one Halloween night. If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for an absolute treat. Again, the sequels weren’t able to replicate the original spark.
The original modern slasher flick. In horror films that have teenagers as the characters, there’s a rule: have sex and you die! John Carpenter is responsible for that being so hugely used. It had happened before, in Black Christmas (1974), a film that heavily influenced Halloween.
Michael Myers is a phenomenally significant figure, in the “cat and mouse” horror genre. A fine invention, and well thought out. No reasoning. No talking. Just a desire to kill. And incredible ability to survive, again and again! Another common trope of the killer Carpenter’s responsible for, in countless movies.
Over the years the film has been criticized for aspects of it being misogynous and excessively violent towards women. Understandable. As a film, however, Halloween is outstanding, for its artistry. Great camera usage, brilliant tension, and a seriously creepy soundtrack. Oh, and it launched the career of one Jamie Lee Curtis, too. The original movie remains the best, though it spawned a still growing franchise. The next installment is out next year. Just in time for Halloween, of course.
So, what did you think of our list? Did you find all the secret messages? If you have any comments or suggestions, post them below.
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