Happy Halloween, folks! If you’re like me, Halloween has transformed over the years from an excuse to dress up and bug people for candy to an excuse to sit at home and watch scary movies. And eat candy.
Recently, some friends asked me to put together a list of thriller/horror movies that I recommended. I was pretty happy with what I came up with, so I’m sharing it with you, in case you needed some inspiration for your own All Hallows’ Eve celebration. Feel free to disagree in the comments.
SOME REALLY GREAT AND PRETTY GOOD THRILLER/HORROR MOVIES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER EXCEPT THE LAST ONE!
- Psycho (thriller/slasher) Obviously. First and best slasher.
- Three…Extremes (Saam gaang yi – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – This one’s great for a party because it’s composed of three short stories, all creepy. None of them are blow-you-away-awesome but they’re each fun and disgusting in their own way. Gets very gross.
- The Evil Dead Trilogy (horror/horror comedy/action adventure) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Obviously a must see. The second one’s the best, but they’re all great and better as a marathon.
- Psycho Beach Party (horror comedy) My favorite horror comedy of all time. Gidget meets Hitchcock.
- Re-Animator (horror/dark comedy) – Crazy college student discovers Frankenstein serum, creates super disturbing zombies. Jeffrey Combs is amazing in this.
- Dead Alive – (horror comedy-ish) aka Braindead. Early Peter Jackson does Evil Dead.
- The Frighteners (horror comedy-ish) later Peter Jackson does Ghostbusters
- The Mist (thriller) – Most of the movie is an awesome and faithful adaptation of the Stephen King novella. Then the end…oh man, the end. Different from the book but AMAZING.
- Undead (horror comedy) Probably my second favorite horror comedy. Australian zombie flick with kickass action and a really weird plot twist. Succeeds both in the comedy and the horror which is rare.
- Infection (Kansen – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Some weird infection makes people kill people in gruesome and awesome ways. The story’s not stellar, but the suspense and effects are pretty great.
- Identity – Remember this? John Cusack….anyone? I liked it.
- Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 remake) I wasn’t a fan of Romero’s original but this remake is pretty good.
- Premonition (Yogen – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – NOT the Sandra Bullock version. Very cool film.
- The Omen (the original)- Watch Instantly from Netflix – Awesome suspense film made even better by giving you the opportunity to do Gregory Peck impression’s the whole time. I’ll get you started:
- “I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he’d rather I’d shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted – if I could hit ’em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird…”
- The Howling (horror/dark comedy) – Early Joe Dante’s take on werewolves mixed with some weird social commentary. If you watch this, you must PROMISE me that you’ll be deathly quiet when the female lead is searching the dark office. Because the best thing ever is about to happen.
- The Descent – Spooky thangs in a cave.
- Creepshow (cheese factor) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Adaptation of several Stephen King short stories. The one King himself stars in is hilarious.
- Final Destination (cheese factor) Though I secretly like this movie on a non-ironic level. Avoid all the sequels.
- Gremlins and/or Gremlins 2 – Again, an obvious one.
- The Thing (John Carpenter)
- Black Sheep (horror comedy)
- The Eye (Gin gwai – subtitled) NOT the Jessica Alba version.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original) – It’s not stellar but it did invent the chainsaw maniac as well as the documentary style horror movie.
- The ‘burbs – Watch Instantly from Netflix – (horror/comedy)
- Silent Night, Deadly Night (cheese factor) Got to get a Christmas one on the list. See Logan’s detailed review here.
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space (cheese factor/horror comedy)- Watch Instantly from Netflix
- The Wickerman (original) Two words: Christopher Lee.
- Child’s Play (slasher) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – The series is really hit or miss but the first one is pretty solid.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Series (slasher) – Most of these movies aren’t “good” per se, but they’re kind of required viewing of the genre. The worthwhile entries are:
- Friday the 13th Series (slasher) – Most are even worse than the Elm Street movies. The first Friday the 13th is reasonably good and has a nice twist that everyone already knows. And Freddy vs. Jason is actually pretty awesome (a highlight for both characters). Also, despite Logan’s protests, I thought the Michael Bay produced remake was surprisingly good. The others are only good for their comedic value. Particularly…
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Funny for not being the final chapter, and containing the antics of both Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover.
- Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – Hilarious for NOT taking place in Manhattan.
- Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Jason is killed when the FBI sets up a “sting” for him that consists of a naked chick in a cabin. Then his demon possesses the black guy from X-Files.
- Jason X – Jason IN SPACE!
- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (horror comedy) – Now you’re ready for this one. The horror comedy that becomes an actual horror movie as it goes along.
Sorry for the exceedingly late post, kids. Real life got in the way today. To make up for it, enjoy this 15 minute short film. It’s not really very good. But Rider Strong’s in it, so you can pretend it’s a Cabin Fever sequel and it’s suddenly brilliant!
Here are some things that happened recently that I never got around to posting!
Shia LaBeouf wasn’t thrilled with the last Indiana Jones either, and he refreshingly blames himself. To be fair, it certainly wasn’t all (or even mostly) his fault. Uninspired writing and terrible CG did most of the work. But it’s still nice to read this:
You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven. But the actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault. Simple.
Speaking of travesties wrought by George Lucas, the director recently had some words of advice for the produces of Lost:
Congratulations on pulling off an amazing show. Don’t tell anyone … but when ‘Star Wars’ first came out, I didn’t know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance.
It’s nice of him to share his trade secrets, but it seems unnecessary. From what I’ve heard, the writers of Lost have already usurped Lucas for the title of laziest hacks in the business.
In happier news, Critical End! favorite John Landis is reportedly going forward with a biopic of Bill Gaines, the man behind E.C. Comics and Mad Magazine. I can’t think of a better director for the project. Hopefully this, along with Burke and Hare will represent a return to prominence for Landis.
And finally, this re-imagining of the classic Sesame Street Pinball Number Count (AKA “11, 12!”) is a must-see. Have a great weekend, kids!
Ya got me. I’m pretty psyched for Machete.
Remember Death at a Funeral, that Frank Oz sleeper comedy from two years ago? While I didn’t think it was an amazing film, I did enjoy it as a fun British farce, which is really all it set out to be. Well, less than two years later somebody in Hollywood thought, “You know what? I think we should remake that funny little British film…but with black people.”
Needless to say, this REALLYpisses me off. Not only is the original film close to still being on the “New Release” wall at Blockbuster, but was there something in it that really screamed “Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, and Tracy Morgan vehicle!”?
I’ve decided to put the trailer on here, but let me just save you the trouble of watching it: It’s literally, and I really, really, REALLY want to stress literally, exact scenes from the original film but with Asian jokes, “Daaaaaaaammmnn”‘s, and Tracy Morgan.
Hollywood, I officially hate you.