Frightful Flicks: 6 Movies to Scare You This All Hallow’s Eve


Published: October 30, 2008

Whether your plans for Oct. 31 include hosting a costume party, prepping for your departure to the Village parade or just lounging in your dorm room, you may find yourself shuffling through your DVDs or rushing to the store to pick up the perfect movie to heighten the Halloween spirit. Here are some of the best Halloween films you should consider that will produce frights, thrills and possibly some laughs!

The Family Favorite: “Beetlejuice” (1988)

With kooky set design and lavish make-up and props, Tim Burton created one of his best works to date in this dark comedy starring Michael Keaton, remarkably cast as the title character.  A soundtrack full of Harry Belafonte songs create some of the most memorable scenes in the movie, including the Dinner table “Day-O” song and dance, and the musical finale, in which Lydia (a young Winona Ryder) is joined by a group of football player ghosts, while she dances (and levitates) to “Jump in the Line.”

The Slasher Flick: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)

Based on the killings of serial killer Ed Gein, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” offers some of the best slasher freights nearly a decade before the more famous Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees flicks tore through the box office. It not only began a great line of horror flicks, but it has also influenced further villains, such as Buffalo Bill in “Silence of The Lambs” and the gory film styles of Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino.

The Original: “Frankenstein” (1931)

This film, based on the Mary Shelley novel, may not really offer scares to filmgoers who have been desensitized by the intensity of modern horror films; however, it introduced one of the most recognizable “Universal Studios Monsters” to the silver screen. The film’s most memorable scene—the creation of the monster—has been referenced innumerable times in later cinema and is responsible for creating the mad scientist/Igor dynamic in similar films. “Frankenstein” is one of the most appreciated and critically acclaimed horror films of all time, offering powerful social commentary as well as the expected thrills of the genre.

The Cult Classic: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)

“Let’s do the Time Warp Again!” In this addictive and delightful pleasure of a film, a campy script, wacky characters and off-beat humor create one of the most enjoyable Halloween film experiences. For ultimate amusement, find and attend a midnight screening of this classic, complete with audience involvement, props and rowdy behavior. Be sure to bring you’re toilet paper and toss it when Brad says “Great Scott!”

Grotesque & Gory: “Dawn of the Dead” (1979)

George A. Romero pretty much single-handedly created the zombie film genre. Although “Dawn of the Dead” is not the  premier zombie film created by Romero (it is the sequel to “Night of the Living Dead”), it was the first color feature in his long series of “Dead” features. Expanding on his gritty, creepy, black-and-white original, Romero creates a film that uses vivid color to create one of the goriest films ever made.

Cliché But Necessary: “Halloween” (1978)

For once in a lifetime, it is necessary to pop this DVD in on the 31st and watch Michael Myers slash his way through this town of underage, horny teenagers. In the same manner in which “A Christmas Story” is viewed in December, “Halloween” has become a landmark film for the holiday it represents.