When people think of Halloween, they think of horror movies. They might think of Vincent Price movies, like The Pit and the Pendulum or House of Usher, classic horror films made in the ’50s and ’60s. Or they might think of slasher flicks, classics like the Halloween series, or other series like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or even the more recent series Saw.
But what if someone has grown tired of watching the same old movies? Here are a few great movies to watch at Halloween that people might not have thought of the first time.
Watch a Funny Zombie Movie
Shaun of the Dead, which came out in 2004, brought British actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to American audiences. Shaun is kind of a loser, in that even though he holds a steady job and has a steady girlfriend, he has no real plans for his life. His girlfriend Liz is fed up with him, and he enables his buddy Ed to simply eat, drink, and be merry, playing games all day, simply living off Shaun. However, when zombies take over the world, Shaun turns out to be resourceful. Shaun is full of fun, laughable moments, but that doesn’t dimish the zombie action. The characters and the dialogue have made Shaun of the Dead an instant classic.
An older (and somewhat dated) funny zombie movie is 1985’s Return of the Living Dead. The movie begins with an employee at a medical supply warehouse training a new employee. They go to the basement where they accidentally release a toxic gas that, when released upon the town, brings the dead back to life. Even though the movie has a definite ’80s “feel,” it has a funny charm. For example, several of the medical cadavers in the warehouse (like one half of a display dog) re-animate.
Watch a Contemporary Gothic Horror Movie
There are plenty of older Gothic horror movies, ones that have a dark, terrifying (but particularly ungory) feel, and 1994’s The Crow captures the Gothic feel, but in a contemporary way. It too is dark, terrifying, and – at times – brutal. At its heart, it is a love story. A young couple is viciously murdered, and a year later, the man comes back to life for a short time to exact revenge upon the killers.
Why is it a must-see movie? It is truly a perfect movie in that there are no loose ends, no unanswered questions, and justice prevails. And while the movie is set in modern times (for example, Eric is in a rock band), it has a timeless Gothic quality. From the architecture (pointed spires and gargoyles ornamenting buildings) to the gloomy mood of the movie, The Crow is a Gothic film that should be on everyone’s list of must-see movies.
Other Unusual Halloween Movies
Scream, made in 1996, is an exciting horror film that changed the genre. The film is quietly self-aware, with one character in particular telling the other characters the “rules” of horror films. The movie establishes and then breaks the rules, making it enjoyable even today.
John Carpenter is known for making many classic horror movies, such as Halloween and The Fog (both of which he directed and co-wrote), but many people haven’t seen some of his other lesser-known frightening films. One in particular that, while somewhat dated, still raises goosebumps, albeit with an unusual theme, is 1987’s Prince of Darkness.
Finally, another unusual Halloween movie is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, a re-imagining of the Nightmare series, showing Freddy Krueger and the “real” world, in which people like Heather Langenkamp play themselves.
Everyone has a favorite horror movie, but try one of these films on for size. They are not usual Halloween fare but enjoyable just the same. Holidays, like Christmas, are made for movie watching.