Sometimes we need a little help to get into the Halloween spirit, and that’s when the clever thinking person turns to the best mood shifters on the planet: Hollywood. What can cheer you faster — or in this case, freak you out better — than a little flick from cray-cray town?
To help get into spookier spirits, here’s a top 5 list of must-see movies this Halloween season.
The Blair Witch Project:
Though I personally didn’t find this movie to be too scary, I have to admit that I did keep silently reminding myself throughout the film that it was, in fact, a movie. What I believe is the first of the found-footage based films, The Blair Witch Project claims to be pieced together from film left behind by amateur documentarians who were attempting to trace the story of the local legend known as “The Blair Witch.” Dubbed a “psychological horror film,” most of the scary action of the piece occurs in the viewers’ imaginations.
FOR ULTIMATE ENJOYMENT: Watch at night with the light’s off.
Paranormal Activity 1, 2 & 3
FACT: I was not wearing pants after seeing these films because they were literally scared RIGHT OFF OF ME. This series also uses the found-footage angle to tell the tale of a young couple who finds themselves victim to a supernatural presence in their home. Each film traces the supernatural being’s infiltration and ultimate devastation of an entire family.
FOR ULTIMATE ENJOYMENT: Watch in the daytime with other people DEAR GAWD NOT AT NIGHT ALONE IN THE DARK.
This Stephen King horror classic stars Jack Nicholson as a wanna-be, somewhat failing author Jack Torrence and Shelly Duvan as his miserable, long-suffering wife, Wendy. The two travel to Colorado with their
kooky ESP-gifted son, Danny, and move into the Overlook Hotel where Jack assumes the job of the hotel’s winter caretaker. Mayhem ensues. While perhaps not as frightening as it was back when it was released in 1980, this classic psychological horror flick is on several top ten all-time horror lists, including Martin Scorcese’s ”11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time.“
FOR ULTIMATE ENJOYMENT: Watch at night with the light’s off, but with other people so you can simultaneously mock, and be mocked by, your friends.
28 Days Later
Maybe the scariest movie EVAR. Zombie’s are just naturally freaky because they want to eat you. But in this flick, the zombies are SO FREAKING FAST that getting away from what was once merely the plodding undead seems utterly impossible. Also? They’re NOT ZOMBIES. The premise: Ridiculously well-meaning and horribly stupid animal activists “free” chimpanzees from a lab’s animal testing. The rub: The chimps are infected with the “Rage” virus. The chimps go nuts; attack the humans; and the humans succumb to the virus. An infected victim has 20 seconds before the virus takes over, causing the victim to GO NUTSO CRAZYSAUCE (technical term).
FOR ULTIMATE ENJOYMENT: Watch at night with the light’s on, with others around, while folding laundry. (It helps.)
I have not seen this film. I am too scared to see this film. My son, Trevor, however, assures me it is a really good, truly frightening film (even for all the schlock revisited over time) and Trevor is a Cinema major in college so I just take his word for it. The premise: A young girl is possessed by a demonic spirit, and a priest has to save her. This movie also made Martin Scorcese’s ”11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time” so before you judge me, that’s TWO people who know more about film than I do who suggest this movie.
FOR ULTIMATE ENJOYMENT: Don’t watch it because you will probably end up with bad dreams. (You’re welcome.)