Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
Everyone has their favorite movies to watch around Halloween, for some it's the likes of Saw, Friday the 13th and of course Halloween. For others its lighter stuff like the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Nightmare Before Christmas, almost anything Tim Burton but I thought it would be fun to list off a few lesser known films and include some slightly more famous ones in honorable mentions/ ones I've heard good things about but haven't seen myself.
This one is basically brand new and hopefully on people's radar because it is excellent. It's super creepy, not all that gory and had me jump several times while watching it, and zero false jump scares Hooray! The premise is genius. A monster who can only live in the dark and disappears when the lights come on. Even seemingly brightly lit rooms are not safe from this creature.
Trick R' Treat
A cool anthology-yet-interconnected story that while not a comedy doesn't take itself too seriously and goes more for a grin than cringe. It's well directed, acted and plotted out and would definitely reward viewers on repeated viewings to see more of it's interconnected nature..
Tucker and Dale Vs Evil/Final Girls
This comedy duo enjoys making fun of the horror genre, more specifically the slasher flick. Both are a fun comedy, Tucker and Dale surrounding some hillbillies who buy a cabin and some kids go up to the same area for a weekend. Through some unfortunate circumstances one of the girls gets in an accident and is brought back to their house and the group thinks they have kidnapped her. They set out on a rescue mission and hilarity ensues.
The Final Girls has a group who go to a famous camp used in a popular cheesy movie and find themselves stuck in said movie on a time loop that they must defeat in order to leave. It has a pretty great cast and an interesting premise that was a lot of fun to watch.
Behind The Mask: Curse of Leslie Vernon/ The Cabin In The Woods
This is another two for one pick. These however skew closer to drama than comedy in their take down of the horror movie. Behind the Mask follows a documentary crew who are interviewing a man who aspires to be a real life version of the guys from slasher movies like his father and grandfather before him. The crew follows him out of curiosity and skepticism as he creates his grand plan to kill a group of people. The set up for the movie was rather clever and I enjoyed how it all played out.
Cabin in the Woods has a group going up to the woods to spend a weekend as every other group does but in this one all the scary things and stupid decision that are made are in fact all controlled by an underground group on a mission to play out these scenarios throughout the world. A Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard bring their Buffy chops to this and make it a really great time.
David Fincher is known for his thrillers like Gone Girl, Zodiac and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but for the really down and dirty stuff nothing really beats Seven. It's a dark, menacing tale of a man who is killing using the seven deadly sins as inspiration. There is a lot of really great imagery throughout an interesting story and solid performances from Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and gives enough thrills to warrant the addition to the Halloween watching line up.
Based on a Stephen King short story, 1408 follows a man who makes a living writing about the world's most haunted places. He checks himself into 1408 where many people have mysteriously died. The hotel manager pleads with him to pick a different room but he refuses to believe that the room is actually haunted. Of course he is very wrong and now has to survive a room that is out to kill him in every way possible. It's an interesting twist on the stuck in a room thriller and features a solid performance from John Cusack.
A group of skiers are looking to go up a ski slope one more time but arrive just as the mountain is shutting down for the day. They persuade them to stay open just a little bit longer. However while they are up there, the lift operator doesn't get the memo and the lift gets shut off. It's the middle of the night and the temperatures are low enough to cause hypothermia and death causing them to have to figure out a way to get to safety. I think this is a situation a lot of people think about if they go skiing and it plays out well in this film going more for realistic thrills than most films.
When a group of people in a small town get kidnapped from cannibals it is up to a husband who's wife was kidnapped, an aging sheriff and deputy and a gunslinger to go and get them back. This one starts off as a more standard western but gets pretty gruesome at times.
Others of Note/Well Reviewed Films
So hopefully I've been able to suggest some films you haven't seen or at least ones you may not have originally thought to watch this Halloween. I haven't see a lot of horror movies so I'm sure I've missed some people's personal favorites that they feel deserve more attention. If you have any suggestions for other movies to watch leave them in comments!