As a big movie fan, Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.
I'm not always in the mood for horror movies, but when Halloween rolls around, I can't get enough of them. Although ABC?Family's 13 Days of Halloween satisfies some of my nostalgic movies of childhood like "Hocus Pocus" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas,"?the truly scary and exciting should be watched unedited in its entirety on DVD.
Whether you're looking for a fright fest, a fun scare or just plain creepy fare, here are a few suggestions:
"Corpse Bride" (PG): One of Tim Burton's lesser-known movies, this stop-motion animated film is not incredibly creepy, but it is an entertaining, morbid film. Those who were fans of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" should enjoy this movie as well.
"Coraline"?(PG):?A word of warning to those looking for a good PG?movie for their kids for Halloween: This one may induce nightmares. I have never seen a PG?movie that thoroughly creeped me out - that is, until I?saw "Coraline."?It's an excellent film, and another stop-motion animated movie on the list, but not necessarily for those younger than 10. The puppetry and animation is astounding, as according to IMDB, it took 10 people working three to four months just to make one puppet of the main character, Coraline, and more than 130 sets were constructed across 52 stages spanning 183,000 square feet. It's worth seeing just to thank the creators of "Coraline"?for going through that much effort.
"Shaun of the Dead"?(R):?Words can't describe how much I love this movie. If you like zombie movies and comedies, this is the best combination of the two anyone could ever hope for. Even if you don't like zombie movies, "Shaun of the Dead" is still ridiculously funny and entertaining. "Zombieland"?is also in this category and worth a viewing.
"Psycho"?(R):?One of the all-time classics, "Psycho" is more of a psychological thriller, but it has horror elements. If it was rated today, it would likely be a soft PG-13, so it is certainly one that can be shown to older children, although they may never want to stay in a hotel anymore. If you haven't seen it yet, it's a must.
"Scream"?(R):?Nothing beats the original. Sporting an odd mix of horror, gore, comedy and self-awareness, "Scream" is an incredibly entertaining film. Just don't watch it in a house in the middle of nowhere, and it might be best to turn off your phone during the movie.
"The Ring"?(PG-13):?No movie has scared the life out of me more than the U.S. version of "The Ring." People may claim the Japanese version is scarier/better, but the U.S. version made me never want to even try "Ringu." The opening scene sets an amazing tone for the rest of the movie, and as long as your suspension of disbelief is ready - as it should be for any horror film - "The Ring" will haunt you, especially one of the scenes near the end. I also saw this movie before knowing anything about it, which probably added to the fear factor.
The following movies aren't necessarily ones I?recommend for the general public, but for those who like their horror a little more strange, sick, weird or torturous.
"The Brood"?(R):?I had to watch this one for a film class in college, and am still recovering. Strangeness abounds in this David Cronenberg horror film, and it is not for the faint of heart. While it is a great social commentary, it does it in a shocking, almost perverse way.
"Audition"?(R):?Some things you just cannot unsee. "Audition"?is one of those things for me. Just thinking about this Japanese horror film makes me shudder. This film is only for the truly disturbed, and for those that enjoy movies like "Hostel"?and "Saw." You have to be patient with it, just as a warning to those who dare to see "Audition."
Zach Kukkonen can be reached at email@example.com.