It’s Halloween, and anyone who’s not stealing candy from their friends and neighbors tonight is probably planning to spend the night with their favorite seasonal films. (The luckiest among us will make time for both!) After watching a total of 41 horror flicks this month in preparation for my favorite holiday, here are my seven top recommendations for those who love their classics.
7. Fright Night (1985)
A teenage horror film junkie begins to suspect that his new neighbor is a vampire. It’s a premise that’s been done to death in various TV shows and books, but man, somehow, it really retains its originality in movie form. Also gives you a new brand of vampire, a type that’s not quite sparkly dreamboat and not quite mind-bending Dracula, but a new sort of space in between. The protagonist isn’t the most likable guy in the world, but it’s a fun film with some scenes towards the end that definitely made me shudder.
6. Magic (1978)
A rising-star magician/ventriloquist makes his choices based on the will of his dummy. Anthony Hopkins is a treasure (You know him from The Silence of The Lambs, and to a lesser extent, How The Grinch Stole Christmas), and I loved him in this. It’s even better when you watch it knowing that he played the part of the dummy, too. That abomination of a doll. Eep. This movie’s a creepy, suspenseful kind of love story as well as a horror flick, and it represents both genres well. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a watch.
5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
A young pregnant woman begins to believe that the baby inside her is not of this world. Watch this one if you’re settling down for a serious movie night; it’s a long one, and a disturbing one, and it’s a bit slow to be truly scary. However, it’s got a quality I can only describe as a patient, lurking, evil. If you’re willing to stick it out until the end, it’s really an enjoyable film.
4. Evil Dead II (1987)
A man battles terrible demons in a secluded cabin in the woods (again). There’s Evil Dead, and then there’s Evil Dead’s stoner cousin, Evil Dead II. This movie’s presence in my post isn’t to say the original shouldn’t be right up there with it; I just want to call special attention to the sequel, my favorite of the trilogy. I think of it as the Road Warrior of the Evil Dead franchise. This, friends, is the one where Ash gets some crazy in his eyes; the one where the iconic chainsaw makes its debut. And…so much else. The whole ordeal is a bit like seeing Evil Dead through the eyes of Tim Burton, and that’s pretty kickass in the end.
3. Black Christmas (1974)
A sorority is terrorized by a horrifying home-invader, with no knowledge that their stalker is inside their house. This movie, in short, scared the horror junkie out of me. The antagonist made the blood slow in my veins, honestly, just chilling. Watch it on Halloween, or on Christmas, it’s equally seasonally appropriate!
2. Misery (1990)
A novelist is recused from a car crash by a nurse who claims to be his biggest fan. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, but I’d never heard of this one until I watched it this month. Fantastically suspenseful, hits way too close to home. 10/10 would watch again.
1 . Re-Animator (1985)
A medical student discovers a serum that brings people back from the dead. A terrifying Lovecraftian thriller with the perfect amount of gore-scares. I was trying to get homework done while I watched this, but to no avail. I was too involved in the plot!
What are your favorite classic horrors?