Sunday, October 14, 2007

Crafting a List of the Best Halloween Movies Ever

So in the last week I've been asked a surprising number of times, both in person and through email, what are the best Halloween movies? I am honored that everything believes me to be an authority worth listening to on this subject, even if the rest of the year nobody takes my movie suggestions seriously.

With that in mind, I have decided to make a list of the top ten Scantabulous-recommended Halloween movies. Unfortunately, with so many (good?) choices out there, I can't just spout off the original "horror" films and expect everyone to approve, saying "Hmmm, yes, Exorcist...what an artful choice!" when I don't even really like the Exorcist that much, even though it has some great parts (The power of Christ compels you!).

So we need to make some stipulations for this list to abide by, because invariably someone will suggest 'Shaun of the Dead' as one of the top 10, and while it is an excellent film, I have decided right off the bat to not consider comedies on the list. This, sadly, negates my favorite movie of all time, ARMY OF DARKNESS, which I consider more comedy and less horror. But I'm sure Bruce understands. Anyway, here's the my caveats to the 10 Best Halloween Movies List of All Time:

1) No comedies. While the movie can have funny parts, it must remain primarily a horror/thriller film (Slither, Fright Night; not Killer Clowns from Outer Space).

2) No "one-hit wonders." Even though a movie could be good the first time you watch it (Blair Witch Project, Final Destination), it must withstand the test of repetitive showings (28 Days Later).

3) Originals are not necessarily better than their remakes. Recommending movies should be determined on their individual merit, not on who originally came up with the plot idea (Dawn of the Dead 2004).

4) The movies must deal with something related to the Supernatural, Otherworldly, or to Halloween itself. Halloween is about being afraid of the slavering beasts in the dark forest, it is not about Kevin Spacey cutting off his fingertips and forcing a dude to eat spagetti-o's until his gut ruptures (although that was pretty horrifying).

5) You can't name a movie as in the top three until you've watched it again to make sure. Just because you may have made out with Sally Sexpot in 8th grade while watching 'Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan,' does not mean that that movie is probably as good as you remember.

With all that in mind, I will now list what I consider contenders for the top ten Halloween movies of all time, in no particular order. I welcome commentary on those movies, comments giving your own lists, and suggestions for other movies to better refine my list, and will present the results after all the top contender movies have again been watched.
  • - Night of the Living Dead 1990 Remake
  • - The Thing
  • - Candyman
  • - Fright Night
  • - Hellraiser
  • - Lord of Illusions
  • - Braham Stoker's Dracula
  • - Children of the Corn
  • - Poltergeist
  • - Aliens
  • - House of 1000 Corpses
  • - Evil Dead
  • - Dawn of the Dead 2004 Remake
Movies I need to see because I don't remember whether I've seen them, but people seem to love them:
  • - Cemetary Man
  • - The Omen
  • - Night of the Deamons
  • - Pumpkinhead
Whew! I've got a lot of watching ahead of me, thank goodness for Netflix's online "Watch it Now!" Any other suggestions out there?