If you’re planning your Halloween party or just a night at home with your own horror marathon, here’s a perfect list to draw from to create your perfect Halloween movie night. Or if you just want to get in the spirit while you’re putting up your Halloween decorations, these movies will set the mood.
At the top of any list of Halloween-themed movies it’s no surprise to find the original Halloween movie by John Carpenter. Originally called The Babysitter Murders, this small film made both its director and Jamie Lee Curtis stars. While Rob Zombie put his own spin on this horror classic a few years ago, you have to go with the original on this one.
As an interesting side note, trivia buffs may not know that the mask for Michael Myers was a modified mask of William Shatner, from Star Trek. Another tidbit of trivia for this film is the soundtrack was written by Carpenter himself. Was it born out of talent, or a really low budget? Who cares, because the soundtrack really adds to the suspense and tension.
Halloween has become so iconic it was even featured in the film Scream, with characters from that movie gathered at a party watching Jamie Lee fighting off one of the greatest screen villains of all time.
Zombie A Go-Go
Speaking of Rob Zombie, the metal musician turned horror director paid tribute to a lot of classic horror films and his favorite holiday with his first full-length release, House of 1000 Corpses. Some poor kids break down in the wrong place at the wrong time and find themselves the guests of honor at the Halloween celebration of a homicidal family. And this is a case where being a guest of honor is definitely not an honor or a good thing.
Some horror fans hated the film and accused it of being derivative. It’s a fine line between being derivative and paying homage to the horror films of your youth, but when you cast cult actress Karen Black in a film, it’s fair to give the benefit of the doubt and side with homage.
Go with the Source Material
While most horror remakes pale in comparison to the original, Night of the Demons may have one of the worst remakes in history. You definitely want to go with the 1988 original film where a group of not-so-bright high school kids decide to have a Halloween party in a mortuary. Then they double down by a holding a séance that calls up a demon who begins to possess the partygoers and slaughter everyone else.
A New Halloween Classic
While one should always include John Carpenter’s Halloween in any Halloween movie list, a more recent film has become a holiday favorite among horror fans. Trick ‘R Treat is a horror anthology that intertwines Halloween night stories and overlaps characters, serving up the perfect blend of horror and humor. The film also introduced the world to a brand-new villain, Sam (as in Samhain.)
Due to studio battles, the film almost didn’t see the light of day, which would have been a terrible shame as this has become a real favorite among horror fans. Trick ‘R Treat mixes in some real Halloween mythology into the stories and creates a Halloween street party that someone needs to re-create in real life. Werewolves, witches, zombies, and serial killers — Trick ‘R Treat has at all.
More Halloween Tales
Tales of Halloween wants to be the new Trick ‘R Treat, with an anthology of 10 different Halloween stories. While it fails to rise to its predecessor, there’s no shame in that. It’s a fun anthology of short stories that never lingers long enough on one tale to bore its viewers.
With a huge cast and some of horror’s hottest directors, you know you’re going to rock things old school when a film is introduced by Adrienne Barbeau. Most people know her from the TV series Maude and her rather sexy role in the cult classic Swamp Thing, but Barbeau was once married to John Carpenter, hence her appearance in many horror films of the time.
[Image via Warner Brothers]