Halloween comes around almost every year, generally near the end of October, and with it usually appears a list of best Halloween films. The films on this list do not need to take place on Halloween or even fall under the “slasher flick” genre. Also, this list is in no particular order, there is no number one or number 10, they are all great choices for an alternative to trick-or-treating and Halloween parties that demand that you wear a costume to get drunk (we can all do that alone, thanks, without the stupid costumes). So, this Halloween, turn off all your lights, make some popcorn, fetch a couple blankets and with a few friends prepare to be shocked and disgusted or just entertained on the scariest of all nights.
The Shining: Let”s just get this baby out of the way already because you knew it was coming. Stanley Kubrick”s horror masterpiece may not be the scariest film of all time but it is probably the most entertaining horror film ever. Jack Nicholson”s decent into madness accompanied by some very startling images (think blood getting off the elevator or costumed hotel guests orally pleasuring each other) make it a film you can”t get out of your mind.
The Exorcist: Another obvious choice, but now there are 11 minutes of additional freaky footage thanks to the “The Version You”ve Never Seen” released last year. Just sit back and pretend you cannot see the wires hanging Linda Blair in the air. The sad fact is that this tale of a young girl possessed by a demon has been parodied for years but there remain many college students who have yet to witness one of the most frightening stories ever on screen. Don”t be one of the unpossessed!
Fire in the Sky: My most obscure pick, thank you very much. A “true” film about alien abduction may not seem appropriate for Halloween, but “Fire” makes the list because there is almost nothing more terrifying than watching D.B. Sweeney cocooned and analyzed by space suit wearing aliens while knowing this is based on fact. No toe-pick here.
The Silence of the Lambs: “Hannibal” may have turned this series into a joke, but do not forget its predecessor. The final scenes of Clarice “Darling” Starling hunting Buffalo Bill in complete darkness as he gazes on with his goggles will give you nightmares for about a week. The exquisitely crafted dark mood and atmosphere, complete with all the shocks and screams of your slasher flick, will entertain and mesmerize.
So I Married An Axe-Murderer: This one is not scary, but it does have the words “axe murderer” and the name Mike Myers in it. Also, any excuse to watch Mike Myers” most underrated comedy classic is well merited.
Alien: Ridley Scott may have made a mess of “Hannibal” but he got this one right. The confined space and odd dimensions of the Nostromo freighter create a creepy, cold setting for the beautiful alien creature and the fine cast it hungers for. “Alien” has inspired a generation of dreadful rip-offs from “Event Horizon” to sequel “Alien Resurrection” but avoid these and scream so loud they can even hear you in space.
Friday the 13th: The only time Halloween and Friday the 13th can occur at the same time is when you watch this fun, gory classic. Ch-ch-ch-ha-ha-ha.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Best movie title ever! This low-budget joke of a horror film was the scariest movie I saw as a child, and it has now grown into cult classic status. If you aren”t scared of clowns yet, you will be after this B-movie classic. By the way, it is also available at your local Kroger store, but hurry up, copies are running out fast.
Edward Scissorhands: A Halloween night is not complete without Tim Burton.