Halloween Horror Marathon!
We plan your night-in with horror films to watch - back-to-back!
Even without the pandemic, horror movies marathon at Halloween night has been a tradition. This year, frankly, the horror served up on the screen was outweighed by the real-life events. But thankfully, there are enough films that exist to provide the requisite chills and thrills to make this night memorable.
Because Horror is a genre with so many sub-genres and types that it is impossible to make one list and make everyone happy, we have tried to compile one type for each. We are keeping the tone light and spirited here avoiding (most) depressing horror.
Have a nice Halloween!
5. Black Christmas (1974)
Start with this classic that sees sorority girls trapped with a killer in their house... and they don't even know! If the slasher genre has any discernable starting point, it is here. But we don't choose this film for its historic significance, but how it has endured its chilling, creepy claustrophobia even today.
Though not as bloody as its successors, Black Christmas's plot of women being targetted by a lunatic who makes vulgar phone calls from within the house has become even more scarily relevant today. The film's clammy paranoia and steadily building dread is a perfect start!
Alternate Suggestion: Halloween
4. Brain Damage (1988)
The 80's guys! That unholy time for cinema when horror had not been accepted into the 'prestige category'. Horror was trash anyway so filmmakers put in as much blood and gore they saw fit. There was no confusion. They set out to scare, they set out to gross-out. Simple.
But if someone was tracing the history of when horror films started to display this slant towards 'importance' (the wall actually came down in 1974 with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), then this is a good link.
Director Frank Henenlotter (that of the Basket Case infamy) presents a potent metaphor for addiction here. Thankfully, his message is all wrapped up in B-Movie hijinks of gore and enjoyably disgusting imagery - the kind you can sit and howl about your friends with.
Alternate Suggestion: Basket Case
3. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Talk about howling! John Landis' werewolf cult classic is one of the few films that actually pay off that dread he builds on in the first half.
When the wolf rips out of our titular hero, in the best werewolf transformation to date, we still watch slack-jawed. Part of the reason is his focus on David Naughton's physical agony. Add to this the perfect editing and jet black humor -you have a classic!
Alternate Suggestion: The Howling
2. Wolf Creek (2005)
Here is something that will wipe the smile off your face for a while. A hardcore, nihilistic horror film not for the faint of heart.
This Aussie import about lost tourists encountering a serial killer that no one has heard of is grim but an expertly made freak out.
Alternate Suggestion: High Tension
1. Piranha 3D (2010)
Washing the taste of that grim film above we end the night on an entertaining note with Piranha 3D. Horror films like these do not require any explanation as their name is explanation enough as to what happens...
But Aja is clearly having tons of fun here and so will you screaming and shouting at the screen.
Alternate Suggestion: The Descent