If you live in one of the many parts of the world which celebrates Halloween, you might have noticed longer, colder nights and an increase in Halloween themed decorations and costumes in stores. It is Halloween season! For many of us (this writer included), Halloween is the most enjoyable time of the year. It is one where we can look forward to trick-or-treating with our children; attend Halloween parties with friends or, most importantly, watch scary amounts of horror movies. Because we so enjoy that last option, we have compiled a collection of five must-see horror movies you absolutely must watch this Halloween season. Let’s get to it!
The Changeling (1980)
We wanted to open with a lesser known title and The Changeling is a horror movie you are very likely to be unfamiliar with. A popular horror flick in its day, it is a movie which stars Academy Award winning actor, George C. Scott, in the role of composer John Russell – a composer grieving for his recently deceased wife and daughter (both of whom die in a tragic car accident prior to the film, so this is not a spoiler). Of course, in an attempt to escape from the trauma and put the past to bed, he leaves his family home to seek comfort in a new, luxurious mansion housing a dark and tragic past, which leads to Russell encountering an angry spirit which lurks in the halls. The Changeling is a classic, haunted house type horror which has only continued to become more enjoyable with age, so we strongly recommend you check out this highly underrated film.
A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors (1987)
Many regard the original A Nightmare on Elm Street as one of the all-time greatest horror movies/slasher flicks – and rightfully so. However, many fans of this iconic series of films believe A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors might just be the best one, if not the most enjoyable. In this film, the nightmarish Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) returns once more to wreak havoc on Springwood’s young. This time, he does so at a psychiatric hospital for troubled youths – because, you know, Freddy is not very nice. Unlike the rest of the films, however, the kids fight back in their dreams; forming the “Dream Warriors”. Additionally, the Dream Warriors are helped by a returning favorite from the first film, as Nancy Thompson (played by the returning Heather Langenkamp), who was absent from the second film, faces off with Freddy once more. An all-time slasher classic, this is an enjoyable film we can’t recommend enough. Also, the opening “Dream Warriors” theme by Dokken remains one of the greatest movie themes in history.
The Exorcist (1973)
Perhaps the best known film on this list, The Exorcist is a film that any horror movie fan must see at least once. Based on the novel (1971) of the same name, many fail to recognize that this film is not following the story of the Pazuzu-possessed child, Regan (Linda Blair), but the story of the exorcist himself, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). The Exorcist is a movie which kick-started an entire sub-genre of horror – the “possession” sub-genre – and this film is one that invokes a queasy feeling of dread unlike any other; containing imagery likely to unnerve even the most adamant of horror skeptic. There are viewers today who claim that The Exorcist has lost its scare factor with age and we would argue that this is a false claim. The Exorcist continues to hold up as one of the finest, most exemplary horror movies to ever grace theater screens and we cannot recommend it enough to anyone who has not experienced it in all of its gory glory.
The Woman in Black (1989)
Many of you will have heard of the 2012, Daniel Radcliffe adaptation of The Woman in Black. This was not the original version – the original was a once immensely popular British horror movie from 1989. However, unless you briefly encountered the news that the original was being re-released last year, you might never have heard of it until now. The original Woman in Black, long-dubbed Britain’s scariest movie, disappeared from screens for a generation; with only a few fortunate souls who recorded an original TV screening onto a VHS tape possessing a copy. However, illegal copies and the eventual extinction of VHS meant that this classic, once popular horror movie disappeared for well over twenty years. Another haunted house movie, this one differs from The Changeling slightly in that it possesses a couple of “in your face” scary scenes, including one involving a window (you have been warned). Now that this original classic is widely accessible once more, we highly recommend you give it a watch.
How can we not mention the John Carpenter classic? Whereas Halloween has remained a ridiculously popular franchise well over 40 years after the original’s release, there is now an entire generation of people who may have never seen the one which started it all. With Halloween Kills set to hit theaters this week, we believe that movie-goers should absolutely check out this classic before they do. For many, the 1978 Halloween has become a yearly tradition; one movie which is always watched either on or around October 31st. With Halloween Kills set to be followed by Halloween Ends next year, there is plenty of time for fans or the intrigued to witness Laurie Strode – in all of her “Scream Queen” glory – take on “The Boogeyman”, “The Shape” in the form of Michael Myers.
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