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Movies you watch every Halloween

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I own a few too many horror films to watch them all in one month, but there are some that I make time for every year, plus a few new additions.

This year’s new addition was the UK Phantasm box set, which I just finished:

These films are mostly terrible, but I really enjoyed them, and the restoration of the first film is breathtaking.

Between now and next week, I’m planning to watch the complete original Living Dead series (Night, Dawn, Day, and Land), the Puppet Master series (II is my favorite), and the complete Universal classic monster series:

I love all these old films, but my favorite is The Invisible Man. I only saw it for the first time maybe 5 years ago, and I was surprised at the humor, the cruelty of the main character, and Claude Rains’ amazing performance.

I’m really looking forward to Night of the Living Dead because I just picked up the restored Criterion version, which is supposed to be stunning.

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Where to start, for a really creepy oldie, it’s hard to beat City of the Dead, and it’s hard to skip the original House on Haunted Hill. On the lighter side Little Shop of Horrors is a good option if you have kids, or a decent sense of humor. More recently, aka color era, I’ll probably re-watch Rituals 1977(sort of along the lines of deliverance) since it’s apparently getting a restoration for bluray.

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 (Edited)

How are you planning on watching Dawn of the Dead? The DVDs and single Blu-ray have been OOP for a very long time. I missed out!

I’ve still yet to see The Invisible Man, but if the rest of the film is like the clips I’ve already seen, I love it already. House on Haunted Hill is fantastic as well.

I don’t really have any ritual for Halloween, but my favorite horror films would have to be from Hammer. Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf are among the best. But there are others that ape their style, and add a bit of something else like giallo or mystery, like Theater of Blood, Tales from the Crypt, and Asylum. Of course I love the usual Universal Horror too, mostly the Frankenstein films. And the great silents, Nosferatu, Phantom of the Opera, and The Man Who Laughs.

And who could forget The Devil’s Rain?

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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Too many to list, but here’s a short list off the top o’ my head (all original versions unless noted):
Halloween, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Howling, The Invisible Man, Suspiria, Pumpkinhead, Creepshow, Horror Hotel…
And my favorite holiday movie,
TRICK 'r TREAT (2007)!

I’m a huge fan of the Universal monster movies. And horror in general. It’s mah main thang.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Handman said:

who could forget The Devil’s Rain?

YES.

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We try to rotate different films in and out every year, but we tend to stick to classics since neither my wife nor I particularly enjoy anything too gory, gruesome, or truly frightening.

This year so far we’ve watched The Monolith Monsters, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the MST3K version of Horrors of Spider Island. Tonight we’re headed to the local Alamo Drafthouse to watch Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman on the big screen! Very excited for that, it’ll be the first classic universal horror I’ve seen in the theater, AND it’s my first time seeing that particular film!

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I’ve been trying to watch a horror flick every day this month, but of course I’ve skipped some days and doubled up on others depending on my schedule and enthusiasm. I’ve been trying to maintain a pretty even split of old favorites and stuff I haven’t seen before. So far I’ve watched the following, in viewing order, with the bolded films being ones I just saw for the first time:

  1. Halloween (1978)
    2. The Exorcist III: Legion (1990)
  2. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
    4. The Boy (2016)
    5. A Dark Song (2016)
  3. The Thing (1982)
  4. The Conjuring (2013)
    8. The Omen (1976)
  5. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
    10. The Ritual (2017)
  6. Psycho (1960)
    12. The Void (2016)
  7. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    14. Cronos (1993)
    15. The Fog (1980)
    16. Prince of Darkness (1987)
  8. The Witch (2015)
    18. Halloween (2018)
    19. Shelley (2016)
    20. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

As far as old favorites go, I still need to hit the original The Exorcist, It Follows, and at least one Evil Dead film. I watched Hereditary and the original Suspiria in September, so though they’re favorites of mine those won’t be part of my October challenge unless a friend wants to watch them in the next nine days. I’m supposed to rent that bonkers Nic Cage movie Mandy at some point with some buddies too, but schedules haven’t yet permitted it.

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timemeddler said:

Where to start, for a really creepy oldie, it’s hard to beat City of the Dead, and it’s hard to skip the original House on Haunted Hill. On the lighter side Little Shop of Horrors is a good option if you have kids, or a decent sense of humor. More recently, aka color era, I’ll probably re-watch Rituals 1977(sort of along the lines of deliverance) since it’s apparently getting a restoration for bluray.

I haven’t seen the original House on Haunted Hill in a long time. Had it on DVD and never upgraded after I sold my collection in anticipation of Blu-ray. Need to pick it up.

I’ve never seen City of the Dead or Rituals. Big fan of Deliverance, so that’s quite an endorsement.

Handman said:

How are you planning on watching Dawn of the Dead? The DVDs and single Blu-ray have been OOP for a very long time. I missed out!

I picked up the 3-disc Blu-ray from Arrow in the UK a while back:

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Dawn-of-the-Dead-Blu-ray/6666/

I have a lot of UK stuff in my collection because they do some nice special editions. Planning to pick up these bad boys soon:


I’ve still yet to see The Invisible Man, but if the rest of the film is like the clips I’ve already seen, I love it already.

It’s amazing. Put it on your list this year if you can.

I don’t really have any ritual for Halloween, but my favorite horror films would have to be from Hammer. Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf are among the best. But there are others that ape their style, and add a bit of something else like giallo or mystery, like Theater of Blood, Tales from the Crypt, and Asylum. Of course I love the usual Universal Horror too, mostly the Frankenstein films. And the great silents, Nosferatu, Phantom of the Opera, and The Man Who Laughs.

And who could forget The Devil’s Rain?

I’ve never looked into the Hammer stuff. Is it more on the campy side?

ray_afraid said:

Creepshow

“Thanks for the ride, lady!”

canofhumdingers said:

We try to rotate different films in and out every year, but we tend to stick to classics since neither my wife nor I particularly enjoy anything too gory, gruesome, or truly frightening.

This year so far we’ve watched The Monolith Monsters, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the MST3K version of Horrors of Spider Island. Tonight we’re headed to the local Alamo Drafthouse to watch Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman on the big screen! Very excited for that, it’ll be the first classic universal horror I’ve seen in the theater, AND it’s my first time seeing that particular film!

Seeing these old favorites in a real theater has got to be the best way to do it. Jealous, especially of any first-time experience, because you can never experience it quite that way again.

joefavs said:

  1. The Thing (1982)

Forgot this one. I watch it every year. Easily in my top 10. And the original is great, too!

I’m supposed to rent that bonkers Nic Cage movie Mandy at some point with some buddies too, but schedules haven’t yet permitted it.

Saw the trailer for Mandy and need to check that out. Too many to keep up with.

Has anyone here seen Blood Drive on SyFy? I LOVED it. Probably too much for some, but I was extremely disappointed it didn’t get renewed. Seems like something the El Rey Network should’ve picked up.

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I’m not big on Halloween or the horror genre, so no Halloween film tradition here. Though it seems for the next few years, binging Stranger Things over the subsequent weekend is going to become a tradition.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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I’ve never looked into the Hammer stuff. Is it more on the campy side?

A bit. I’m a huge fan of TOS (shocker) and the 60s Batman, so I guess I can’t say camp is bad. At the time, these movies were absolutely shocking, since it’s gorier, bloodier, and more sexually explicit than Universal, but these days it’s not terrifying. It can be horrifying, though (Curse of the Werewolf has a rape scene in the first five minutes. That movie in particular is really dark). Like the Universal films, they create a distinct atmosphere that I haven’t seen anywhere else. And that vivid Technicolor photography is gorgeous!

Here are a few clips to demonstrate the kind of atmosphere you can expect:
Dracula/Brides of Dracula
The Curse of the Werewolf

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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Jay said:

Forgot this one. I watch it every year. Easily in my top 10. And the original is great, too!

I watch it at least once a year myself, but sometimes I wait for the first snowstorm of the year instead of doing it in October. Same goes for The Shining. I read somewhere that there’s an actual Antarctic research station that screens those two films back to back every winter when conditions get bad enough that they can’t leave until spring to freak out the newbies.

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The Shining is one of the best I can think of to watch on Halloween.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Stay Phrosty” - Lemar Kentell, my other half. Feel the love.

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The Shining is good any time of the year.

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Handman said:

I’ve never looked into the Hammer stuff. Is it more on the campy side?

A bit. I’m a huge fan of TOS (shocker) and the 60s Batman, so I guess I can’t say camp is bad. At the time, these movies were absolutely shocking, since it’s gorier, bloodier, and more sexually explicit than Universal, but these days it’s not terrifying. It can be horrifying, though (Curse of the Werewolf has a rape scene in the first five minutes. That movie in particular is really dark). Like the Universal films, they create a distinct atmosphere that I haven’t seen anywhere else. And that vivid Technicolor photography is gorgeous!

Here are a few clips to demonstrate the kind of atmosphere you can expect:
Dracula/Brides of Dracula
The Curse of the Werewolf

I seem to recall watching stuff like this on SyFy back in the day. Definitely up my alley.

snooker said:

The Shining is good any time of the year.

For sure, but I tend to agree with joefavs that it just feels right watching it in the winter. I need to pick up the US release; I only have the UK Kubrick box set and that cut is different.

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I haven’t grabbed a bd of the shinning yet but I probably will when I get the chance.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Stay Phrosty” - Lemar Kentell, my other half. Feel the love.

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I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why. I’ll have to give this some thought. The Shinning comes to mind as fitting but that’s about as scary as I care to get. E.T. is really more my style though.

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Anchorhead said:

I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why.

Funny. I don’t have Halloween-only films, either, but precisely because I am a horror fan; I watch so much of the stuff there’s really no point setting any aside for any particular day.

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Anchorhead said:

I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why. I’ll have to give this some thought. The Shinning comes to mind as fitting but that’s about as scary as I care to get. E.T. is really more my style though.

I think E.T. qualifies as a Halloween movie the same way Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas movie.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

Anchorhead said:

I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why.

Funny. I don’t have Halloween-only films, either, but precisely because I am a horror fan; I watch so much of the stuff there’s really no point setting any aside for any particular day.

I could say the same. I live n breath the stuff. But there are certain films I set aside for a single annual viewing in October.
Mainly just TRICK R TREAT (2007), HALLOWEEN (1979 & now 2018) and HOUSE (1977).

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Jay said:

Anchorhead said:

I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why. I’ll have to give this some thought. The Shinning comes to mind as fitting but that’s about as scary as I care to get. E.T. is really more my style though.

I think E.T. qualifies as a Halloween movie the same way Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas movie.

True. I guess a feel-good story can’t really be a Halloween film. 😉

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I watch Nightmare Before Christmas as a Halloween movie

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Stay Phrosty” - Lemar Kentell, my other half. Feel the love.

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Anchorhead said:

Jay said:

Anchorhead said:

I have a 4th of July film, a Thanksgiving film, a December only film, a summer only film, a cold rainy nights only film, and a few Christmas films - but I’ve never had a Halloween film. Weird, now that I think about it. I’ve never been a fan of horror films, so that must be why. I’ll have to give this some thought. The Shinning comes to mind as fitting but that’s about as scary as I care to get. E.T. is really more my style though.

I think E.T. qualifies as a Halloween movie the same way Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas movie.

True. I guess a feel-good story can’t really be a Halloween film. 😉

Actually, I meant that it does qualify. I watch the first two Die Hard movies every Christmas (along with Trading Places and Gremlins).

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Flash Gordon (1980) - not a Halloween or even a horror film (in that sense 😉) though a good enjoyable romp all the same.

The missus’ ‘Halloween’ film is The Lost Boys - which is always worth a nostalgic 80’s style watch.
 

The Horror Channel are having a Hammer Classics ‘season’ starting this week:-

http://www.horrorchannel.co.uk/articles.php?feature=author+and+critic+kim+newman+reflects+on+horror+channel
 


Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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oojason said:

Flash Gordon (1980) - not a Halloween or even a horror film (in that sense 😉) though a good enjoyable romp all the same.

One of my favorite movies. I never get tired of it. The soundtrack alone makes it worth a watch.

I failed miserably at squeezing in all the movies I wanted to watch by Halloween, so I extended my deadline to this weekend.

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I’ll probably be watching horror films through all of November.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock