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.
At a certain point, I begin to wonder if being a guy who has hated almost everything Wes Craven does but still continues to follow his work for some reason, is any different from being his biggest fan. Maybe I’m just kidding myself? Or is that killing myself!
Anyway, he’s actually directing again! Check out the trailer for My Soul to Take. The original title was 25/8, but presumably Craven couldn’t get funding for that many eighths. It’s pretty much your standard slasher, with the twist that one of the kids may be the reincarnated spirit of the murderer. Kind of a neat idea. I wonder how he’ll screw it up.
[via I Watch Stuff]
If you’ve already listened to me and Logan ramble on about the recent Nightmare on Elm Street remake, and you’re still hungry for more, Arnie Niekamp’s Stupid Nerd podcast rides to the rescue once again.
On the newest episode, I chat about the whole Nightmare series with Arnie and Adal Rifai (who luckily remembered a lot more about the goofy, convoluted details than I did.)
Check it (and all the other great episodes) out on iTunes or listen right here by clicking play below.
It’s been a while since we’ve said anything about the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Last we spoke, we were excited, with a slight hint of doubt. Possibly because we didn’t know much about the actual characters. Now that the film is only two months away, the first trailer has hit the internet (myspace, to be exact), and it’s somewhat of a downer mostly due to the fact that I feel like I’ve seen most of the film already. Sure, it’s not as bad as the Death at a Funeral remake, but there’s enough scenes shot the exact same as the original that I’m sure this is going to make a great drinking game for dateless horror nerds. Judge for yourself and feel free to let us know in the comment section:
- Jackie Earle Haley seems to be playing it pretty well.
- The bed levitation and claw-in-the-tub indicate they’re paying proper homage to the original.
- They’re bringing the nursery rhyme back, complete with creepy jump-roping girls.
- “From Producer Michael Bay”
- “It’s so hot in this fire! I’d better take off my windbreaker and–BOOM! Stripey shirt!”
- The implication that Freddy Krueger may be innocent. Come on, he’s the bastard son of a thousand maniacs.
- The possibility that Freddy Krueger is going to talk like Slingblade the whole movie.
So what do you guys think? Also, side note, this kid is making a career out of dying.
The Wes Craven remake train is once again pulling into the station and look who’s clinging to the smokestack, cackling maniacally! Rorschach is the new Freddy and I’m pretty jazzed.
The rumor that Robert Englund might direct, write, or be involved in some way other than the expected fan-service cameo seems to have been just that. Still, if they’re going to reboot Nightmare, Jackie Earle Haley is a solid choice.
So, the question is: will they go grim and gritty (a la New Nightmare) or will Haley be treating us with some patented Freddy post-murder bon mots?
[Via I Watch Stuff]
Logan’s hand-written notes for this episode say it all: “Intervention, Abortion, AIDS.” Just keep repeating to yourself: It’s only a podcast… REVIEWED: The Virgin Spring, The Last House on the Left (1972), The Last House on the Left (2009) PLUS: Even more ragtime piano than usual.
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