Soon, Halloween shall be upon us. That time of year when people indulge in a little creepiness and a plethora of treats. Some go out to trick or treat, some enjoy the festivities of a Halloween party. For me, I enjoy curling up with a good horror film. Now, when it comes to horror movies for Halloween, I don’t pick the greatest or the scariest. Rather, I pick horror movies to fit that holiday: they have some scares, but with a sense of fun to the proceedings. After all, Halloween is a time for a playful acceptance of scares. What better way to spend the holiday than a horror movie that fits the day? Now, before I list my choices, let me be clear that this listing is in no particular order or ranking. Now, with that out of the way, time to list my recommendations for horror movies on Halloween.
1.Trick ‘r Treat
Set in one town on Halloween night, this anthology film explores four stories which tackle a variety of elements from the holiday. It’s perfectly made for the occasion, embracing all sorts of aspects of the holiday. From checking your candy to local legends to even the importance of a costume, this horror movie stands as one of the modern go-to choices for watching on Halloween. It also gives us Sam, a trick or treater with more to him than meets the eye and a fascinating addition to modern horror figures.
2.The Cabin in the Woods
The premise is a simple and familiar one to horror movie buffs: five college students head out to a cabin in the woods for some good times, only to meet a horrifying fate. However, there is much more to it than that, giving an excellent deconstruction of modern horror that is also hilarious. I won’t say much more, except to let its twists and surprises unfold for yourself.
3.Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Made as an affectionate parody of ’50s alien invasion movies, this movie tells the tale of a small town that comes under attack from a group of alien beings who bare a striking resemblance to clowns. There are a lot of imaginative ideas on display here, from guns that wrap up people in cotton candy to a big top spaceship to even the warped visuals of the Klowns themselves. Complete with a rockin’ theme song, the result is a goofy film that’s a fun treat with some creepy tricks from its Klowns.
From the mind of Tim Burton comes this adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. However, this take on the tale reimagines Ichabod Crane as a police constable called in from New York City to investigate a series of beheadings some believe to be caused by the Headless Horseman. The result is a movie that’s a delightful throwback to Hammer Horror with a touch of macabre comedy in its path.
What do you get when George A. Romero and Stephen King decide to make a movie together? The result is Creepshow, an anthology film that also pays tribute to the horror comics of the 1950s. With bright singular colors and tales that feature the sort of lurid twists most frequently seen in the pages of stories from EC Comics, the film has a strong showing as tribute to this style. Strongest of the five stories within the batch is its final tale, a bug-centric story called “They’re Creeping Up on You!”.
6.Night of the Creeps
Another entry in the list that riffs on ’50s sci-fi horror, this one offers an excellent balance of comedy and horror. This time, it’s a story of a pair of college students and a police detective with a haunted past who have to save their town from zombies animated by alien slugs. It does a strong job with its balancing act, poking a bit of fun that this type of story while also staying earnest and true to its B-movie inspirations.
7.Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
When it comes to a list of horror movies that are funny and scary, the work of Sam Raimi would have to show up at some point. It was actually hard to pick which one to go with, but I confess I’ve fallen onto the safe choice of his blood-soaked spectacle that is Evil Dead 2. Within this tale of an accidental demon summoning in a cabin in the woods are gallons of blood, grotesque deadites, cartoonish madness, and the wit and charm of Ash Williams.
8.An American Werewolf in London
Though most of his output has been comedy, John Landis has perhaps earned his mark in horror with what I consider to be one of the best werewolf movies out there. Telling a tale of an American traveler cursed with being a werewolf, the film captures the terror of becoming such a monster along with incredible visual effects for the werewolf transformation and form. It also has a sense of humor with tongue firmly placed in cheek, whether through more broad moments of humorous action or its soundtrack which goes full-in on songs with the word “moon” in the title.
9.Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Now, here’s another familiar horror set-up: a group of college students go out to have a good time camping in the woods, when they are attacked by psychotic hillbillies. Now, what if the situation were flipped? What if the hillbillies were simply a pair of nice guys trying to repair a shed, while these college students start dropping dead from accidents and paranoia? That’s the case here and it unfolds to a funny and bloody end.
Well, those are my recommendations for horror movies that have a bit of a scare and a bit of fun to them. I hope you all cook up a nice patch of popcorn, grab a big handful of Halloween candy, and have yourselves a happy Halloween.