As another Halloween screams upon us, Movie Fanatic thought we’d give you 10 films that will firmly place audiences in the Happy Halloween mood. From classics to modern instant classics, this is merely a list of films to strike up the fear and prepare all for the hallowed haunted-ness of Halloween.
10. 28 Days Later
The zombie movie genre got a shot in the arm with this brilliantly executed and visually stunning masterwork. 28 Days Later is a must for revisiting on any Halloween, or for that matter, any time of the year!
9. Paranormal Activity
Been a few years since you've seen this one? Pop Paranormal Activity in and see why the first is still the finest. As we get ready for the spin-off Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, lets get reminded why this one is so damn good.
8. The Others
One of the most underrated horror films out there, Nicole Kidman and company bring a new level of boo to the haunted house genre. The twists and turns of The Others will stay with you long after the credits roll.
7. An American Werewolf in London
Certainly one of John Landis’ greatest works, American Werewolf in London was one of the first werewolf films that pushed the special effects gauntlet for its time. The film’s effects still hold up decades later. And also, the film possesses a sense of humor that is rare for a horror film. Who could forget the song Blue Moon playing as the final moments of the film unravel?
6. The Haunting
The 1963 classic stars Julie Harris and is a frightful masterpiece. A quiet and reserved woman, who has spent her years caring for her sick and difficult mother, receives an invitation to visit and stay in a notoriously haunted house. Hill House provides her with scares and thrills that enliven her life and ironically, kill her if those spirits have their way. The film works so well with its scare-by suggestion, without hitting audiences over the head with fear.
5. The Shining
The classic of all classics, Jack Nicholson gives what Movie Fanatic believes is the performance of his career. Stephen King was reportedly not so thrilled with Stanley Kubrick’s version of his vision, but audiences couldn’t have disagreed more. Often quoted, never replicated, if The Shining doesn’t get you in the Halloween spirit, nothing will.
Another decade and Steven Spielberg delivered another scary classic. Jaws is more thriller than horror, but the fright that Spielberg brought in the 1970s to swimmers he certainly gave to homeowners with Poltergeist in the 1980s. They’re here indeed.
3. The Wicker Man
Forget the remake, the 1973 film The Wicker Man is an astounding piece of work, regardless of whether it is a horror film or not. As a movie, few have achieved its power. Combining all sorts of sub-genres, The Wicker Man features pagan rituals coupled with musical interludes that all add up to one of the most frighteningly horrifying movie closures.
2. The Exorcist
There will never be another The Exorcist, even if legions of exorcism movies have tried since. Linda Blair’s head-spinning scene is merely one in a myriad of images that will forever haunt you after witnessing The Exorcist. For anyone looking to get into the mood of the season of scariness, look no further than The Exorcist and all its power.
Alfred Hitchcock delivered plenty of chills in his illustrious career. But, when it comes to scary cinema for the Halloween mindset, there is a plethora of it in Psycho. The music. The shower scene. Anthony Perkins. After witnessing Psycho, your Halloween plans may be dashed as you could be too scared to leave the house.