Saturday, October 1, 2011

LIST: Top 25 Halloween Movies

Joshua Ligairi » 10.1.11 »

For me, the entire month of October is Halloween. It's a time for gathering the harvest from our small garden, enjoying the changing leaves in the mountains, making cookies, brisk Autumn walks, drinking apple cider, roasting pumpkins seeds, lots of parties, and, of course, watching movies. This is especially important for me because it is the only time I can get my significant other to watch anything even close to resembling a horror movie with me. But then, Halloween movies are, or should be, slightly different than the average horror movie anyway. A Halloween movie should be, first and foremost, fun. It should be a movie you can watch with a big group of friends (so Eraserhead is out). Whether terrifyingly scary or gut-bustingly funny, these are crowd pleasers. Bonus points if it makes me nostalgic for the Halloweens of my childhood.
A few other rules guide my list-making. For instance, if the film clearly takes place during another holiday, it cannot be considered a Halloween Movie. Examples include Gremlins (Christmas) and Friday the 13th (Friday the 13th). If you've read my "Regional Film Watching" post this makes sense, or at least, you recognize my psychosis.
As a child, my Halloween movie watching was laregly restricted to the annual TV presentations of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and The Wizard of OZ (two I still absolutely love), but my Halloween watching expanded over the years to include not just the films of my youth and the films of today, but favorite films of my mother and grandmother's generations. As a friend Marissa Bernhard recently put it, Autumn is a time for classic films. I whole-heartedly agree. With all that in mind, I present my Top 25 Halloween Movies. Please keep in mind that I am cheating heavily by including double-features in several instances (I'm really bad at list-making).

25. Return of the Living Dead 1 and 2 double-feature.
24. The Wicker Man (1973) and The Wicker Man (2006) double-feature.
23. The Fly (1986) and Frankenstein (1967) double-feature.
22. The Birds
21. Slither and Night of the Creeps double-feature.
20. The Haunting (1963)
19. Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) double-feature.
18. The Thing (1982)
17. Monster Squad
16. Misery
15. Psycho (1960), Psycho IV, and Psycho (1998), triple-feature.
14. Nosferatu and Shadow of the Vampire double-feature.
13. ET
12. Shaun of the Dead and Attack the Block double-feature.
11. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
10. Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie double-feature.
9. The Private Eyes
8. Arsenic and Old Lace
7. The Lost Boys
6. Halloween (1978) 1, 2, and H20 triple-feature.
5. Rear Window
4. Ghostbusters
3. Scream
2. Clue
1. The Burbs

Honorable mentions inlcude: Arachnaphobia, Beetlejuice, Blair Witch Project, Dawn of the Dead (either version), Dracula (any version), The Fog (1980), The Frighteners, Haunted Honeymoon, House and House II, Lady In White, Monster House, Near Dark, Salem's Lot, The Sixth Sense, Teen Wolf, The Village, Without a Clue, and Young Frankenstein.