Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Michael Meyers. Chucky. Ghostface. When Halloween comes around, these are the names that immediately pop into our heads, and we take to our televisions to binge-watch the many films in their franchises.
But there are other scary movies that are just as fun to watch and have characters that are just as memorable, even though they don't get the credit they're due. Here are five horror films (in no particular order) that y'all should definitely check out this year, if you haven't already.
I know what you're thinking: "You're playin' with us, right?" Hey, I said these were horror films you had to check out; I didn't say that they had to be scary or even take themselves too seriously. This movie does neither one.
Blacula is a 1972 blaxploitation/horror film that tells the story of Mamuwalde, an African prince who has the misfortune to be turned into a vampire by none other than Count Dracula himself. Fast forward 200 years later to '70s Los Angeles, he finds the reincarnation of his deceased wife and starts raising hell all over town.
With the over-the-top acting, silly makeup and even sillier jump scares, this film will be a delight to watch with some friends at a party.
Best Scene: Blacula killing the club photographer. Hilarious.
2. 'The Devil's Rejects'
For reasons that I will never understand, The Devil’s Rejects received mixed reviews from film critics. As a matter of fact, it only managed to score a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes. Personally, I adore this film. The Devil's Rejects continues the story of the sociopathic Firefly family (who were first introduced in the film House of 1,000 Corpses), who are now on the run from the law – a vengeful sheriff, in particular. This movie has the perfect blend of horror and comedy, and a kickass ending that introduced me to the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd song, "Freebird."
Best Scene: Man, there's so many (including the one in the above GIF). However, my personal favorite isn't even scary; it's the scene where Sheriff Wydell cusses out the film expert for dissin' Elvis.
3. 'Tales From The Hood'
Tales from the Hood is a movie that I've loved ever since I was 14 years old. It doesn't even have to be Halloween for me to check out this timeless piece of cinematic gold. I watch it every time it airs on TV.
Taken from the vein of films like Tales from the Darkside: The Movie and Creesphow (which genuinely scares the hell out of me), Tales from the Hood is basically a series of scary stories, only this time, they’re told by a funeral director who's not all that he appears to be. The not-quite-so-captive audience is a group of drug dealers that soon learn that there’s a deeper reason they crossed paths with the undertaker.
Once again, this movie merges horror and comedy perfectly. When it's meant to be funny, it’s really funny, but when it's meant to be frightening ... it's extremely frightening.
Best Scene: Once again, there’s a lot of great scenes in this film, but the best one has to be the ending, and I'm not spoiling that for y'all. Instead, I'll post a video of the many times the funeral director and the drug dealers dropped the S-bomb.
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4. 'Wolf Creek'
This is the first (and I must admit, only) movie on the list that has little to no comedy in it — it's just straight up scary. Wolf Creek is about three people, one native Australian and two Brits, who go to the outback to see the eponymous Wolf Creek crater, and eventually end up stranded. They have the "good luck" of being assisted by a local man, who invites them to his campground for the night. It's soon revealed that the so-called good Samaritan doesn't have their best interests at heart, to say the least.
Wolf Creek is so eerie that it swore my mother off ever taking a trip to Australia, period. I can't say that my dream of going to Australia has been destroyed by this movie (especially after seeing the Hemsworth brothers) but I damn sure ain't trustin' anyone who offers me a cup of "rainwater from the top end."
Best Scene: The "head on a stick" scene. Scary as hell.
5. 'They Live'
I first watched They Live when I was about eight or nine years old, and I've loved it ever since. It's a true horror classic. The late, great Roddy Piper plays Nada, a homeless man who finds some special sunglasses that reveal some pretty disturbing subliminal messages in magazines and advertisements (and even money), along with some pretty disturbing-looking aliens walking among us.
This film has some extremely funny moments — namely Roddy Piper's classic line uttered midway through — but the message behind They Live really makes the movie creepy (along with the ugly behind aliens). Some of the messages Nada sees are "Obey," "Conform," "Work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours, play 8 hours," and "Marry and Reproduce." The spookiest one is the message found on cash money which reads, "This is your God."
It makes you wonder, Do we actually walk around asleep and refusing to question authority? Do we conform to society and worship money more than anything? I don't know about y'all, but that's enough to send a chill down my spine, especially given the fact that the film later exposes actual humans knowingly collaborating with the aliens just to get paid. This film is highly recommended.
Best Scene: Y'all know what the best scene was.
So what lesser known or underrated horror movies do you enjoy this time of the year? Let us all know in the comments section!