Monday, October 3, 2016

31 Horror Movies To Watch In October

Oh sweet, wonderful and evil Halloween.  You are so special.  I look forward to you all year long.  Not only is Halloween my birthday, but October truly is the start of the holiday season.  Now, I am a horror movie fanatic, so I watch horror movies all year long, but in October, they are a little more special.  This year I decided to compile a list of 31 horror movies that I feel should be watched in October.  These movies are guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit.  I was sure to include some classics along with some movies that are only a few years old to make sure I wasn't limiting the list to just certain eras.  This list is in alphabetical order.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The Elm Street series is the most successful slasher film series ever.  The reason why is because Freddy Krueger is the only killer to have personality.  While Krueger became funnier later in the series, in the first film, he was dark and sinister.  It is a joy watching Krueger torment his victims in a way Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees can't.  He's an evil little tease.

Bram Stroker's Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola directed this amazing adaption of the Bram Stroker novel and it is the last great film of his career.  This movie is part horror story, part love story and it works on both levels.  The movie excels with its incredible special effects, set design, costume design and one of the best musical scores ever.  The acting by everyone other than Keanu Reeves is excellent and Coppola does a great job behind the camera.  In my opinion, this is the best Dracula film ever made.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This sequel to the original Frankenstein came out four years after the original and the advancement in special effects and sound is very impressive.  While the movie isn't as good as it predecessor, Boris Karloff's performance as the monster is really special as the monster speaks in this one.  The movie also added a great humor element to the movie which I really enjoyed.

The Changeling (1980)

No, this is not the movie of the same name starring Angelina Jolie.  That 2008 film has nothing to do with this 1980 Canadian horror classic.  If I had to choose, The Changeling is my favorite haunted house story.  It's plot is a great mystery and the scares are all suspense based.  The movie also has the greatest seance scene ever filmed.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring is a haunted house story that mixes elements of The Exorcist and Poltergeist.  In my opinion, a good haunted house story is difficult to pull off and The Conjuring does so perfectly.  The movie has great acting, a killer musical score and Jame Wan proves himself to be the new master of horror with this movie.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

While it is Romero's Night of the Living Dead that started the zombie genre as we know it, it is this sequel that is the best zombie movie ever made.  I can't imagine anyone would have ever thought that a zombie movie could ever be over 2 hours and work, but this movie does.  There is no other zombie film that has influenced The Walking Dead more than Dawn of the Dead.

Dead Alive (1992)

Before Peter Jackson became an Academy Award winning and blockbuster delivering director, he made some horror movies and the best of those is Dead Alive.  This is a horror movie that never takes itself seriously and it blends over-the-top gore with comedy in a way that is very enjoyable.  Any movie that has a character killing zombies with a lawnmower is worth watching in October.

Dracula (1931)

This is the movie that really started the horror film genre in the United States.  It also began the amazing string of Universal horror movies of which four are on this list.  The Gothic look of this movie still holds up today, but it is Bela Lugosi that makes this movie so great.  When people think of the Dracula character, it is Lugosi's Dracula they think of first.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Before the aforementioned Dead Alive, there was Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.  It also mixed over-the-top gore with humor in a way that made for a great horror experience.  Along with the over-the-top gore, there is Bruce Campbell great over-the-top performance that is just gold.  Bruce Campbell is groovy baby.

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is not only the best horror film ever made, it is one of the best movies ever made.  Enough said.

Frankenstein (1931)

The same year Universal released Dracula, they released Frankenstein.  This movie caused people to run out of the theater and one scene in particular bothered audiences so much, they had to cut it out.  I saw this movie on the big screen a couple years ago and that was an awesome experience.  The main musical theme for this movie is amazing as well.

Friday the 13th (1980)

The success of the film Halloween created a new genre of slasher films and the Friday the 13th series became one of the most successful ever.  The first film in the series is by far the best and it has a nice twist to its story that will surprise those new to this 80's classic.

Halloween (1978)

Arguably the most influential horror movie of all time and the most obvious choice for people to watch during October.  The story, the suspense and the musical score make it a perfect horror movie experience.

Halloween II (1981)

By the time Halloween II had come out, there had been several other slasher films that had come out and found success.  You can see their influence on this movie as it was a little more gory than what the original was.  Luckily, the movie still had that Halloween magic and Jamie Lee Curtis was as great as she was in the original.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

In my opinion, Halloween 4 is the best of all the Halloween sequels.  The reason why is because the makers of this movie went back to what made the original so good, suspense.  The movie has the same look and feel of the original and it's ending is awesome.  Several years ago, I saw Halloween 4 on the big screen and the film holds up just as well as the first one does.

The House of Devil (2009)

This film was written and directed by Ti West and it is a film that I instantly fell in love with.  This is a horror film that it is all about atmosphere.  It is a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat because of the feeling of impending doom that surrounds lead character.  It is a movie that reminds me of Rosemary's Baby, which is one of my favorite horror movies.

Insidious (2011)

Director James Wan makes the list again with the excellent Insidious which is a movie you think is going to be a haunted house story, but instead it turns out to be a movie about a haunted child.  Again, Wan casts the film well and scares are great.  The music score is amazing and the Darth Maul looking demon is killer.

The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys is more of a horror/comedy than a horror film, but it is a must watch.  The movie stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jason Patrick and Kiefer Sutherland.  In a world of Twilight vampires, it is great to be reminded that vampires can be badass.  The movie is filled with great humor, performances and a real fun story.  Finally, there is only one time in history that the mullet actually worked and it was on Sutherland's character in this flick.

The Omen (1976)

The story of the anti-christ being born and protected by evil forces is one of the best horror films ever.  The movie has an excellent cast which features Gregory Peck who is just awesome in the movie.  The plot, characters and scares are just top notch.  The movie also features a music score that won the Academy Award for best score.

Pet Semetary (1989)

There have been many horror movies based on books by Stephen King, but none are better than Pet Semetary.  I recently showed this movie to my oldest daughter and I was shocked to see how well this movie holds up.  The movie's plot will suck you in, take you on a wild ride and scare the daylights out of you.  Lesson learned from this one, cremate your pets.

Poltergeist (1982)

On this list I've had what I feel is the best haunted house movie (The Changeling) the scariest (The Conjuring) and now it is time for the most fun.  Poltergeist is a blast because the characters are so fun, the special effects are great and the story really works.  While it didn't make this list (maybe next years?), Poltergeist II is also a fun one to see.

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Pumkinhead was horror movie that was released in theaters and was pretty much ignored by audiences; however once it hit VHS, the movie became an 80's cult classic.  This movie is directed by Stan Winston who is one of the greatest special and make-up effect creators in film history.  The Pumpkinhead creature looks amazing and the movie is pure 80's horror greatness.

Return of the Living Dead (1985)

While Romero's Dead series are the greatest zombie movies for zombie purists, Return of the Living Dead is the most fun.  This was the first time a movie had fast running zombies and it also has zombies that talk!  The movie is filled with great scenes and humor.  If you ever wanted to find out why zombies have to eat human flesh, this movie has your answer straight from the zombies mouth.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Horror fans and critics both consider the 70's the greatest horror decade in film history and Rosemary's Baby is the movie that is considered the film that started that decade for horror.  This is a movie that builds its tension around the main character by the feeling of impeding doom and when the climax occurs, the movie really delivers.

Saw (2004)

Here is James Wan's third film on this list.  The original Saw is the movie that started the "torture porn" genre of the 2000's, but it was easily the best of any of these extreme gore films.  The story was great and it had a great plot twist that nobody could see coming.  While the sequels that followed were hit and miss, the original Saw was a great horror film that changed the genre forever.  It was also James Wan's first movie, so it also gets credit for jump starting an excellent career.

Scream (1996)

Scream is the horror film that rejuvenated the horror genre in the 90's.  It was also the movie the re-energized Wes Craven's career.  The movie was a fresh take on the slasher genre that also paid tribute to the movies that came before it.  The opening sequence featuring Drew Barrymore just might be the best opening sequence in horror film history.

The Shining (1980)

While Stephen King hates the movie and the movie doesn't have much in common with his book of the same name, Kubrick's adaption is excellent.  The movie is scary, weird and beautiful, but it is Jack Nicholson's performance that makes the movie so good.  Watching Nicholson go from a loving husband/father to a madman is a great ride.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Imagine being a horror fan in the 70's and getting The Exorcist in 1973 and then The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974.  These were two horror films that were so brutal, people ran out of the theater while watching them.  Chainsaw Massacre introduced Leatherface and his chainsaw to the world and it has been buzzing ever since.

Trick r Treat (2007)

While the movie Halloween takes place on Halloween, the greatest movie about the Halloween holiday is Trick r Treat.  This movie tells a bunch of different stories that all intersect on Halloween and then come together at the end.  The movie also talks about some of the rules that are important to follow on Halloween...or else.

The Wicker Man (1973)

If you don't think a horror musical can work, you obviously have seen this cult classic.  Christopher Lee stars in this movie as a cult leader and he is just fantastic.  The songs are awesome (in a cheesy way), the movie has a ton of great nudity, but the best part is the ending.  Seriously, it is awesome.

The Wolfman (1941)

For me, The Wolfman is my favorite of the classic Universal horror films.  Lon Chaney Jr. is great in it, Evelyn Ankers is gorgeous and Maria Ouspenskaya as the gypsy is freaky.  The story is great and I love the make-up in this film.

So there you go.  You have your movies to watch.  Get watching.

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