With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, I’ve started gearing up for the season. In addition to setting out all of my decorations and putting out bowls of candy, I also wanted to compile a list of both scary and funny Halloween movies to watch. Ryan started spitting out names of classics we had to watch, and I shamefully admitted I didn’t recall seeing any of them. It was then that I put Ryan in charge of making my list of must-sees. He is guest posting for the first time today on The M.A. Times, sharing his favorites for the Halloween season. His picks range from a suspenseful thriller to a family-friendly fright, but each are perfect for the occasion in their own way. It’s time to pull out the candy corn and popcorn, turn off the lights, and get creeped out!
1. Nosferatu (1922 ) – Nosferatu is my “go-to horror film” if I’m trying to maximize the “creep factor.” It’s a German silent film that I once first studied while working towards my Film Studies Minor in college, but now its a permanent addition to my film collection. It was (illegally) based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and soon became one of the most influential films of the silent film era, and is the origin of many horror film conventions still used today.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)- There have been some great horror films over the past century, but the most iconic easily came from the 70s and 80s. One of the most recognizable horror villains is Freddy Krueger, and we have the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise to thank. What could be scarier than a killer that stalks and kills you from within your dreams?
3. Sleepy Hollow (1999)- A classic halloween story adapted to the screen by one of the most imaginative film makers of our generation, Tim Burton. We all know Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” from elementary school story time, but Tim Burton brought this story to life in an action packed (and rather gory) film adaptation that stars the legendary Headless Horseman, sporting a very Halloween themed jack-o-lantern for a head.
4. The Shining (1980)- Cultural reference alert! The twins at the end of the hall…Jack Nicholson (as Jack Torrance) busting through a door with an axe screaming “here’s Johnny!” (which is a reference in and of itself)… whether you have seen the film or not, you have definitely seen a reference to these scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic. There is a reason it has made such a lasting impression on society, and this not only stands as one of my favorite horror films, but is easily one of my favorite movies of all time.
5. (Tim Burton’s) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)- Before you accuse this of being too “Tim Burton” biased, in my defense, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was actually directed by Henry Selick. This is such a great movie on so many levels. It combines Henry Selick’s stop motion and artistic vision, and Tim Burton’s macabre imagination. Though the word “Christmas” is in the title, do not be fooled, this movie, originally slated to be released under Disney, had to be released under it’s Touchstone Pictures banner because Disney felt that it would be too dark and scary for children. It definitely lived up to that, as this family friendly flick still has scenes that force me to hide under the blankets.