Halloween is upon us fellow boils and ghouls, and there’s no better time of year to slap in your favourite scary movie and huddle around the TV together. But what’s that, you’re looking for a slice of variety this year, are you? You’ve grown tired of re-watching John Carpenter’s Halloween every year? Well what’s wrong with you, that movie is a masterpiece! But I see, maybe you’re looking to discover some new creepy flicks that will leave your flesh crawling. Well fear not fellow minions of the night, for we are here to help narrow down your viewing choices for this October 31st. After subjecting ourselves to numerous sleepless nights and endless debates, here they are, our top Halloween picks that we think will make your Halloween that much more spine chilling. Hope you enjoy! Oh yeah, and Happy Halloween!
Dean’s Pick – Trick R Treat
Up until now, John Carpenter’s Halloween was the movie to watch each and every Halloween. Well folks, I think we have a new contender, for never before has a movie captured the spirit of Halloween more accurately than Trick R Treat. Set on Halloween night, Trick R Treat chronicles four separate yet intertwining stories; a murderous high school principal tries to get away with murder, a group of young children learn a valuable lesson about messing with the spirits of the dead, a masked killer gets more than he bargained for when he sets his sights on easy prey, and best of all, a cankerous old man is paid a visit by a very unwanted visitor. Each of the stories is entertaining in their own right, but they really saved the best for last here. Pitting Brian Cox’s old Mr Kreeg against the deceptively dangerous Sam, essentially a guardian of Halloween who harbours a strange secret under that sack he wears over his head. It’s a delightfully over the top grudge match that becomes increasingly crazy as Sam showcases his arsenal of Halloween related weapons, from razor blade infused candy bars, to razor sharp lollypops, this crazy little munchkin is willing to go to any lengths to teach a lesson to those who disrespect his favourite holiday.
More campy thrills than horrifyingly chills, Trick R Treat is simply the perfect movie to throw on with a group of friends this Halloween. It’s not overly gruesome, nor is it too cheesy. It manages to find a perfect middle ground that still manages to effectively change from dark and scary, to light and comical in a heartbeat without losing any momentum. Plus it’s very pleasing on the eye; the film is beautifully shot with every scene adorned with everything Halloween-related, right down to the most minute of details, further encapsulating that spooky ambience that Halloween is all about.
Easily one of the most entertaining horror films released in years, there’s so much fun to be had with Trick R Treat that I really can’t recommend it enough. From the stunning visual stylings, to the effective score, every element of the film works together to create loving tribute to the holiday of horrors. It may not be a groundbreaking film, nor is it without its flaws, but it is a funny, scary and ultimately enjoyable ride that’s more than just a horror film with a Halloween backdrop, it’s an entire film dedicated to the holiday itself. So check it out this Halloween and start what will surely become a tradition for years to come.
Nis’ Pick – Monster Squad
There’s something about movies from the ‘80s that brings a smile to my face. Maybe it’s the fashion, or the language, or the music. Or that slightly naive but on-the-cusp transition into the ‘90s when movies really started to commit to full-on swearing, violence and sex. More likely though is the fact that I’m A Kid Who Grew Up In the Eighties, and so I have rose-coloured memories on movies I saw while growing up, and possibly even just movies that are set when I was growing up.
The Monster Squad is about 12 year old Sean and his group of friends who are monster freaks. When Dracula (yes, actual Dracula!) drops into their town from a plane (yes, an actual plane!), all hell – quite literally– breaks loose. While trying to track down the magic amulet that will make him all-powerful, but also help the Monster Squad banish evil forever, Dracula also brings to life the Gill Man, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Mummy. Cue creepy old dude who is actually a nice guy, requisite fat kid called — wait for it — Fat Kid, a Gear Up montage set to a sweet ’80s syntho-tune, and you have yourself one of the best movies you will ever see. What I love most about these kinds of ’80s kids movies is that they were actually kind of scary. Questionable inclusion of nudity/profanity/violence in a kid’s movie aside, they were just simply awesome movies that kids loved because they made you feel like you were part of the adventure.
Why is this my Halloween pick for this year? Well, do I really have to explain?! The fact that it has some of the most popular choices for Halloween costumes for one. But more importantly, it has that scary-but-fun spirit that, for me, is what Halloween’s all about.
Dave’s Pick – Blacula
This Halloween I can’t think of anything better to watch than the 1972 cult classic Blacula, a blaxploitation take on the Bram Stoker original Dracula. But what, I hear you ask, is it all about? Well, when Prince Manuwalde travels to Transylvania in order to put a stop to the slave trade he is turned into a vampire and imprisoned by the evil Count Dracula in a locked coffin so that he will forever lust for blood without ever getting to taste it. Cut several hundred years into the future; Dracula has been killed by Van Helsing and our hero still resides in the coffin growing more and more hungry each day. Now enter an interracial, interior designing, gay couple who have travelled to Transylvania to find antiques. Naturally they fall in love with the coffin and take it back to America where Blacula is set loose to wreak havoc. Basically from this point on the story is ‘Vampire in Brooklyn’ (1995).
As well as being intensely funny, Blacula is actually a really cool movie. Where some vampire films like to show Nosferatu as a mysterious character who can appear in an instant and be gone the next, Blacula prefers extended, running chase scenes to funkadelic music and bustin’ grooves. Blacula is a lover and a fighter. No creepy lurking in the shadows for him, Blacula is hanging out at the jazz clubs instead, ordering Bloody Marys and listening to some sweet Motown. It literally feels like Shaft with vampires. If you can put aside the racism, the homophobia, the horrible action sequences and the absurdity of the whole thing for a minute, I promise you will love this movie. It might even change your choice of costume for Halloween although a quick note, ‘going brown face’ is apparently still politically incorrect.
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