Well Folks, the Halloween season has just a week left as of starting this article. I gotta say I'm pretty satisfied with how it's turned out so far. I've accomplished just about everything I wanted to do and I still have one more week to pack in more fun. Let's face the facts though. For all the various activities available, most people will end up settling in with a few scary movies to wrap up their celebrations. With that in mind I've decided to offer up a few suggestions that are a bit different from the usual recommendations. They're not really in any order, but each one fills a different style.
The Kitchen Sink party flick: Waxwork.
There are very few horror flicks that go for a kitchen sink approach yet each one that does usually becomes a classic like “The Monster Squad” or “Cabin in the Woods.” Waxwork has a lot in common with that idea of let's just throw in as many different scary things as we can and see what sticks. You've got werewolves, Vampires, Mummies, Mutants, Zombies. Even the Marquis de Sade pops in to whip some bitches. The whole affair moves along quickly and doesn't require too much attention so you and your friends can talk during it making for a nice party flick. Bloody fun the whole way through.
The Newer Hidden-gem: Altered (so hidden, I forgot to put it in the picture)
Oh my god yes. This has got to be one of the best Alien movies around. It's a lean and mean flick that begs the question What if people abducted an alien? The answer is some wild shit happens. It's dark, dramatic, and unforgettable with some surprisingly good performances and some of the nastiest lil bastard E.T.s you'll ever see.
Something Classy: The Sentinel
A supernatural thriller from the 70's. This one takes a little while to get to the goods but it wraps up with a sweet climax. The best part has to be the cast. There's Chris Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Burgess Meredith, Jerry Orbach, John Caradine, and so many more. You even get to see Beverly D'Angelo play with herself! I guarantee that will change the way you look at Christmas Vacation.
I did not see that coming. Deadly Blessing
A lesser known Wes craven flick with plenty of atmosphere to spare. It resolves around murders near a crazy Amish community (actually, the movie claims they're Hittites). The big reasons to indulge in this one are Ernest Borgnine's bonkers performance and the last twenty minutes that bring in some crazy shit you couldn't have imagined when the flick began. The ending will either have you applauding or threatening to huck the movie out the nearest window.
How did I never hear about this?: The New Daughter.
Kevin Costner plays a single father who moves his kids out to the countryside. The results are not what he envisioned as his daughter turns into a cold-hearted little bitch. Believe it or not this is actually a pretty nice creature flick with fairly strong dramatic elements. It reminds me of something M. Night Shyamalan might make. That should be enough to let you know if you'll be interested in it or not.
The Big One you Never Noticed:Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Despite being part of one of the most well known horror series around it seems like a lot of people haven't seen Season of the Witch. It's a shame since few films embody the spirit of Halloween so well. While all the Michael Myers installments happen to take place on Halloween, this one is fully wrapped in the holiday itself. Plus it stars Tom Atkins! He's the manliest man who ever manned!
Nutty and dramatic: Night of Dark Shadows
The Second movie based on the classic soap opera, ditches the usual vampire nonsense for a mind screw story involving witches and reincarnation. This one is just right for those of you who like a movie to leave them feeling puzzled.
Holy shit is this for real?: God Told me To
If you're looking for a movie to shock you with ideas more than gore, than this is the one for you. There's a rash of violent crimes happening across New York, and the perpetrators claim that god told them to do it. I'd love to tell you everything that makes this movie awesome but it just needs to be experienced without prior knowledge of the twists. It's crazy! But a good kind of crazy.
Something for the whole family: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Not sure how well known this one is but it came from a time when Disney wasn't afraid to try new things. Based on the novel by Ray Bradberry, it concerns two boys dealing with the threat an evil carnival poses to their town. Watching this is a yearly tradition for my family as we used to rent it every Halloween (usually paired with Watcher in the Woods). If you've never seen it, do so this year. It'll make ya feel great.
Hopefully a few of these will help to brighten your celebrations. In case I don't post again before the 31st. Have a Happy Halloween everybody!