Hallowe’en Horror on Film – My Picks

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I’m not a big fan of Hallowe’en. I don’t go out trick or treating anymore, I haven’t been to a Hallowe’en party since I dressed up as Miss Havisham in my mom’s wedding dress in 1982 (unless you count the church dance where I went as trailer trash in my pajamas and slippers with a curler-laden wig and ciggie hanging out of my mouth (that’s candy ciggie, in case you’re wondering).

The cats get all jumpy when the doorbell starts going on Hallowe’en night and it just isn’t worth the hassle to keep opening up the door when we’ve got precarious front stone steps and little kiddies could fall and hurt themselves. We let the neighbours with their tots do the whole Hallowe’en thing – decorating their houses with giant spiders and goblins, headstones in the front yard (we’ve got enough of the real ones in the cemetery out back) and costuming their kids in the latest cartoon character or big-screen superhero, or cutesy little pumpkins, princesses etc.

I and my husband hop in the car and head out first for a slap-up meal somewhere and then to the moviehouse for a night of escapism Mortensen-style. It doesn’t have to be a scary movie. We’ve seen anything from “Three Kings” one year, to “Shark Tale” another. I even watched a Pacino/McConaghey movie called “Two For the Money” with one eye closed because I was overcome with a case of Central Serous Retinopathy This wasn’t such a bad thing (if you’ve seen the flick, you’ll know what I mean).

So, maybe we don’t go to a horror movie necessarily on Hallowe’en, but we do love classic horror films and own a goodly number of them. Over on my memoir blog, you can view a selection of trailers from our top 10 horror films. Some you will certainly be aware of, but others may be new to you. Some are more creepy/eerie than downright horrifying, but they do get under your skin.
I defy you to watch, “The Woman in Black” and get a good night’s sleep afterward.
I saw the original “Black Christmas” on a black and white t.v. and I can still see those shrink-wrapped faces rocking away…
“Don’t Look Now” will make you look twice if you ever see a shiny, red raincoat and some of you may be tempted (if you’re looking to spice things up) to reenact Britt Eklund’s wall-dance from “The Wicker Man”. (not the Nic Cage version, puh-lease!)
“Picnic at Hanging Rock” is one of those eerie, unforgettable movies. There’s no gore, it’s more a weird, unsettling feeling that you get. It’s a mystery, but the question is, was there some sort of foul play, or something even more bizarre at work?
Kubrick’s vision of Stephen King’s “The Shining” is one of those movies that, if you catch a glimpse of it on t.v. on a Sunday afternoon, you will be compelled to stop whatever you’re doing and see the thing through. It’s that good.
The t.v. version of “Salem’s Lot” was a miniseries in 1979 and it had most of us riveted to our sets. I had to move my bed away from the window and get a pair of very heavy drapes before I was able to sleep well again. Jane King of “Burnt Offerings” infamy used to like to scratch on my window, just for fun. She really WAS twisted.
“The Omen” is creepy from start to finish and if you don’t believe in the Devil before watching it, you may very well be convinced by the time it’s over.
“The Ring”, a somewhat mediocre remake of a Japanese terror-fest, has a few things going for it that made me add it to my list: creepy woman in long black dress, creepy child with long hair in front of her face and creepy well. Worth a look.
No list of mine could be complete without a nod to Hitchcock. So many of his films are brilliant, “Rebecca”, “Strangers on a Train”, “Notorious”, “The Birds”–the list goes on and on, but no other film has me ALWAYS checking behind the shower-curtain before I get in and checking outside again before I get out. That’s skill with a camera.
If you’ve only ever seen the Heche/Vaughan version of “Psycho”, what the heck are you thinking! Get yourself to a video store this weekend and watch the REAL THING!

So, take your pick, pop some corn, grab a glass of your beverage of choice (for me, it’s got to be hot chocolate–with maybe a little Bailey’s) since we’ve just had our first snowfall) turn down the lights and huddle up close to someone cuz it’s going to be verrry scaaaary!

Happy Hallowe’en!!!

1. The Woman in Black
2. Psycho
3. The Omen
4. The Shining
5. The Wicker Man
6. Don’t Look Now
7. Salem’s Lot
8. Black Christmas
9. The Ring
10. Picnic at Hanging Rock



12 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Horror on Film – My Picks

  1. I'm going to rent some of those movies you listed. It isn't really a horror film but suspense, I loved Wait Until Dark…That was a great scary one too!Great post with good suggestions. I'll have to get cracking and popping, …popping the corn and finding the movies.


  2. Oh, I've seen The Woman in Black, that is one of the scariest EVER! I much prefer the psyhological thriller to the buckets-of-blood genre, so ditto on Picture at Hanging Rock and Don't Look Now. I also really like the original of The Haunting (Claire Bloom, Julie Harris). Much better with the understated FX, in my opinion. But that also may be because I'd read the book, The Haunting of Hill House, first. That is probably the best spine-tingling hair-raising way to take in that story. The Catherine Z-J remake a few years back is okay, but nothing beats that old b/w for upping the fear factor.


  3. That cat does not look at all happy as a butterfly. He probably went about his business .02 seconds after the picture was snapped. I sit outside on my porch dressed as a semi-witch and hand out candy on Halloween. Otherwise we are trying to hold back the two doggies every time the doorbell rings. Love your scary movie list!!I haven't seen several of them – good ideas for after the porch light goes off. Thanks for the grade school picture link! Very studious, young miss!


  4. Hey, I don't know The Woman in Black! Is it on DVD? I must find it! It does look really scary. I agree, all of the Hitchocks are on my list, as well as the Omen, both old and new versions.Off now to see if I can find The Woman in Black at Netflix…


  5. Popcorn and spooky movies. That sounds fun. Kitty as a butterfly is adorable! What a great list of movies! I must check some of them out. Of course, I have seen some, but you must really know about a lot of movies. Go girl!


  6. Sandy – I love Wait Until Dark! There's that one scene that will just make you jump out of your seat.Deb – The Woman in Black is THE creepiest thing on film (imho). I showed it to a work colleague once and she just didn't get it. Didn't even flinch. I'm looking over my shoulder just because of the trailer!Cynthia – I know. I would never get a cat of mine to endure that costume. I'm thinking it's digitally enhanced. “The Omen” is always a good choice for afters.Gramma Ann – thanks for the great award. I will be handing it onwards some time next week.Willow – we've got Damien: Omen II on dvd and it's just about as good as the first one. I saw the one with Sam Neill in the theatre when it came out. Haven't seen the most recent one though. I will look for it.Hello Mary Lou – then “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is the one for you – lots of suspense, not TOO scary.Nanatrish – they're all good. Hope you enjoy one or two of them.Michelle – check them out!LarryG -Aw! I love, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. Is that on t.v. tonight?Mizmell – let me know if you watch one and what you thought of it.Sandy K – take your pick, they're all good! I know. The cat's cute, eh?Kat


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