Its that time again, OCTOBER!!! The best month of the year is here! With that comes my tradition of watching one horror movie a night for the entire months course and each year i change up the list so things don't get stale so i thought id share this years in hopes of re-introducing fans to some classics aside from the most common ones known along with perhaps new ones for some and for gods sake to steer you clear of some of the current bland boring sh!t out now.
1 ) SHOCKER
A Wes Craven early classic about a serial killer who gets the chair only be able to come back to do more killing through means of electricity and body jumping. A must watch for any old school horror heads.
2) DEEP RISING
A great fun b-movie style sea monster movie with Treat Williams and Famke Jannsen. A lot of practical gore effects to appreciate in this '98 flick.
3) THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSCARE 2
Im leaving off the king of them all TCM original because i watch it every year but want to show love on what i consider the only good sequel and stars the late great Dennis Hopper! Also some may not know Tobe Hooper came back to direct this as well and features some of the best set pieces in a horror film along with INCREDIBLE effects provided by the master himself Tom Savini. If you want to see some crazy shit in a great 80s vibe do not miss this one. They don't make them like this anymore, what a shame.
4) EVIL DEAD 1 & 2
Yeah this is a double billing that rocketed friends Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell to stardom. The first is a simple retreat to a old cabin for a weekend of fun to where they discover the book of dead and a audio recording that awakes the evil. The second picks right back up to where we find Ash still trying to survive in the cabin while the cabins owners daughter shows up to continue her fathers research on the book and his findings, needless to say things don't go her way. A lot agree that Evil Dead 2 is far superior to its first and i agree but both demand to be watched back to back for the full groovy experience. Those camera angles!
5) THE FOG
John Carpenters insanely awesome chilling tale of revenge from victims of a ill fated ship wreck coming back to unleash hell on a town and the synthesizer heavy set score alone is worth the watch.
6) THE ORPHANAGE
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children in which her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend. You need a bit of patience for this one as its a slow burner but its worth it, delivering some true chilling scares presented by Guillermo del Toro.
7) THE BURNING
A early 80s cult favorite slasher flick, after a prank gone wrong happens, the victim comes back to seek revenge against those at the camp but with rusty gardening sheers!
Dario Argentos best or one of them anyway (brilliant lighting use) , centering around a girl who joins a ballet school only to find others starting to die she soon discovers the terrifying history of the place. The gory Black Swan if you will. A must watch!
9) DONT LOOK NOW
This one...this one is creepy. The great Donald Sutherland portrays a father along with his wife who lost their daughter in a tragic death and go to Italy for his work to help restore a church in which they befriend two sisters, one of which claims to be a psychic and gives warning that all is not right from the beyond.
10) BLACK SUNDAY
Barbara Steele stars in this Italian classic witch flick about a vengeful witch and her servants return from the grave starting a bloody campaign to possess the body of the her beautiful look-alike descendant but complications arise when the girl's brother and a doctor stand in the way.
When two circus members try to pull one over on another, the rest of the freaks retaliate against them. If you can find a copy i highly suggest you check out Ted Brownings 1932 classic.
David Lynches masterpiece story on Henry, a man who lives alone but finds out the girl he had a brief fling with is now pregnant with his child does the right thing and has her move in with him to take care of them only to discover when the child is born, its not human at all... a very well crafted staple in cinema history, not just horror.
13) JUST BEFORE DAWN
Another 80s slasher with a simple premise of a group of friends going up to the mountains to check out a piece of property they bought but are warned by the local forrest ranger that a maniac with a machete has been reported in the area terrorizing people in which of course they ignore and go on their way...disappearing one by one. (NO GIF FOUND)
Yet another Dario Argento film! Super simple set up, a man returns from Rome back to New York to his sisters apartment but its satanic. This movie features some of the best flowing camera movements along with great color use and sound effects for all to appreciate.
The incredible Stuart Gordon gave us this gem in 1987 and also scared the shit out of me when i watched it years later as a kid. If you don't like dolls then don't watch this one! Drifters seek shelter and are welcomed to stay over night at a odd couples mansion filled with dolls only if they knew their intentions...
16) PUPPET MASTER
Full Moons greatest hit and spawned 9 more sequels and counting but nothing beats the original centered around Andre Toulon who was a puppeteer back during WWII who brought smiles to children with his puppets that were animated and alive with his discovering of an old Egyptian serum only for it to be stolen by the Nazis and ending in his suicide. The beloved puppets though have a plan for the future and those who interfere with it.
17) 28 DAYS LATER
Good ol' Danny boy Boyle back in 2002 gave us our proper zombie film for this generation thats a bit more realistic from what we've seen before starring Cillian Murphy waking up in a hospital from a coma to unsettling silence all around him until he explores more of his surroundings. Plenty of well delivered chilling scenes with the emptiness of London and beautiful visuals as well throughout this must see flick.
18 ) THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW
One of Wes Cravens finest films with Bill Pullman as a anthropologist that goes to Haiti to research an alleged black magic that turns the deceased to living zombies. A personal favorite of mine.
19) JACOBS LADDER
Perhaps one of Tim Robbins best pieces of work aside from The Shawskank Redemption respectively; mourning his deceased child, a haunted Vietnam war veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death. Pay attention to the ending because another famous movie that came out in 1999 ripped off a certain aspect of it. Excellently executed scare tactics used here and just a real great film all around.
A cable TV programmer played by James Woods becomes intrigued by the hardcore S/M movies he is beaming down from satellite which eventually later gains a pulsing vagina-like slot in his stomach through which he can be programmed by. Oh yeah theres good stuff here making it an early '83 hit for David Cronenberg.
21) THE DESCENT
A large relentless scale of suspense packed into 99 minutes of darkness where friends go exploring in the bottom of a unknown cave to find that its already inhabited resulting in things going horribly horribly horribly wrong. A really fun smart disturbing film and an all women cast for once provided by Neil Marshall!
22) THEY LIVE
Another John Carpenter gem with the late Roddy Piper leading the fight against aliens that have taken over Earth. A extremely underrated film that correlates with our media and government control on us. A awesome fun flick to throw on with popcorn and bubble gum, if you're not out of it that is.
23) THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
A piece of cinematic artistry, this silent horror film has vivid expressionistic imagery which brilliantly reflects the nightmarish emotional states of the characters. Francis' investigation of his friend's murder leads him to suspect that the killer was a zombie-like sleepwalker under the hypnotic control of the diabolical Dr. Caligari. The styling here is beyond creepy.
24) THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN
An astronaut is transformed into a murderous gelatinous mass after returning from an ill-fated space voyage. Yeah thats the gist of it in this '77 flick featuring one of the most spectacle practical effects gag on screen.
25) HENRY: THE PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
A film that always lands on one of the most disturbing movies ever list and one that Roger Ebert himself give a 3.5/4 rating still holds up to this day but definitely not for everyones viewing eyes as the true original version is rated X and the fact that its shot on 16mm makes it look like a snuff film much like the original TCM so be warned and to make it worse, its based off the real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. You wont ever think of Michael Rooker the same again after this one.
A psychopath (played by the great Joe Spinell), troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. This one pissed off a lot of people upon its initial release due to its graphic depiction of the killings thanks to once again Tom Savini's wonderful FX work including the infamous disco boy death scene shown below in which made Gene Siskel walk out of the screening.
27) DONNIE DARKO
Ok so maybe its not a true horror film but it does have its moments along with a Halloween party so I'm counting it in as its one of my all time favorite films and a mind fuck of one at that by a very young Richard Kelly and serving as Seth Rogens first film role ever and one of Jake Gyllenhaal's best performances as a disconnected teenager plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident with a supporting cast of great talent including the late Patrick Swayze and some awesome music to fit it perfectly. Theres two versions being the theatrical cut and the directors cut, id suggest the directors cut.
28) THE CHANGELING
Nooo not the Angelina Jolie one, this one is from 1979 by Peter Medak and stars the talented George C Scott. Old fashioned in the best sense of the phrase, Medak’s oft-neglected supernatural thriller uses pure cinematic technique to scare the hell out of you. The magisterial Scott plays a well known composer who, following the death of his wife and son in a tragic road accident, takes up a teaching job in Seattle and moves into an eerie, haunted beautiful Victorian house. Even the most hackneyed scenes, such as a séance in which a scribbling medium attempts to contact the unquiet spirit of the murdered boy, are staged with consummate skill and emotional conviction. Guillermo del Toro maintains that the best ghost stories all have an undertow of melancholy and that’s certainly true here. A must see for real horror fans to appreciate.
29) AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
What’s always been most striking about John Landis’s classic is the brilliant way it veers from comedy to terror and back again, in the blink of an eye which some still try today but mostly fail miserably. Figure in the services of make-up legend Rick Baker (still the best werewolf transformation to date), some of the most inventive shocks imaginable (those zombie Nazis!) and a superb selection of moon-related radio classics makes this in my opinion and many others the best fucking werewolf movie ever made and an instant staple in the horror genre. If you haven't watched this then you cant call yourself a true fan of horror just yet so go track it down and watch it NOW! Thank me later.
Theres been an abundance of vampire movies but how many have actually been good? Exactly. Allow me to introduce you to the 1922 German original that started horror cinema itself and thats still the scariest version to this day and its all so simplistically done and effective through expressionism. You may notice that Count Orlok is not named Count Dracula, this is due to Bram Strokers Dracula's authors widow not selling the rights for FW Murnau's wish to make it an adaption so he changed the names and still made it in which later resulted in her suing and all copies ordered to be destroyed making us very lucky that prints still exist. You can find a copy yourself here with this link to YouTube.
Oh you knew it was coming, my favorite franchise of them all and the best one of them all too in the sense of continuity and story arch and villain at that. Mikey is the king of the slashers. Sure Psycho and TCM came out first but it was Carpenter to credit for the genre defining film that we all know and love. On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, he escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill. Everything in this film exemplifies what horror should be. One of the best if not the best horror movies ever made, plain and simple.