News Column

10 Horror Movies for Halloween

Oct. 14, 2012

Jennifer Chancellor

Horror Movies, Halloween

Oct. 14-- As the wind blows cold through those darkened tree boughs, curl up indoors with these films that, frankly, will only magnify your sense of uneasiness as the ghosts and goblins of Halloween approach.

And here are our picks of modern movies and classics to watch, record, rent, buy or stream this scary season. It's scary how bad some of these films are, but, hey, that's part of the thrill, too.

1. John Carpenter's The Ward

(2010, R) Horror/Thriller. Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker

No list of scary movies would be complete without a John Carpenter-directed tale about a ghost-haunted psych ward. You're welcome.

2. Cropsey

(2009, Unrated) Horror/Documentary/Crime

Two Staten Island filmmakers examine how an urban legend from their youth is based in terrifying reality. They discover the story of a real-life boogeyman who abducted children from a small urban neighborhood.

3. Twilight Zone: The Movie

(1983, PG) Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi. Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Kathleen Quinlan

These four segments by famous directors Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis and George Miller re-create some of Rod Serling's most popular and bizarre episodes from the hit television show from the 1950s-60s.

4. Clive Barker's Hellraiser

(1987, R) Horror. Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence

This Clive Barker-written and directed tale is about a cheating wife confronted by the zombie of her dead lover -- and the mystical box-shaped puzzle that torments those who own it. Based on the Barker book "The Hellbound Heart," this spawned a series of successful sequels.

5. Bringing out the Dead

(1999, R) Thriller/Drama. Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, Tom Sizemore, John Goodman

This modern Martin Scorsese-directed classic tells the story of a depressed, burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic who sees ghosts -- and the specter of drugs that flood the streets he serves. Based on Joe Connelly's novel of the same name.

6. Little Shop of Horrors

(1986, TV14) Musical/Comedy. Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin. (1960, Unrated) Comedy/Horror. Jonathan Haze, Jack Nicholson, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles

In both versions, an awkward florist opts to enlist the help of an oversized, man-eating plant in an effort to win the girl of his dreams.

7. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

(2010, R) Comedy/Horror. Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden

A group of preppy college kids encounter hillbillies Tucker and Dale while on a camping vacation in the mountains. There's an outhouse, wood chipper, campfire, chain saw, gunfire, blood and lots of laughs.

8. Tales From The Darkside: The Movie

(1990, R) Comedy/Horror/Thriller. Debbie Harry, Christian Slater, Matthew Lawrence, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore

A child gets sucked into telling three horror stories in an effort to keep a hungry witch (Harry) at bay. The segments are based on stories by Stephen King, George A. Romero, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Michael McDowell.

9. Rubber

(2010, R) Comedy/Horror/Drama. Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida, Wings Hauser

Leave it to the French. Tourists (and the viewer) often can't tell fact from fiction in this surreal tale about a tire that comes to life and goes on a murderous rampage as a group of desert-bound movie lovers watch. Don't expect this movie to make any sense.

10. Twice Told Tales

(1963, Unrated) Mystery/Horror/Romance. Vincent Price, Joyce Taylor, Sebastian Cabot

Here's another collection of tales, this one based on Salem-born novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne classics "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "The House of the Seven Gables." Classic horror haunts cable Turner Classic Movies, cable channel 797, gets way into classic horror this month with a scarefest of films and a new theme each Wednesday through Halloween. If Stephen King's your thing, AMC has everything from "Cujo" to "Christine."

Plus, AMC will run more "Friday the 13th" movies than you can shake an ax at.

Check your local listings for movie times.

This Wednesday, hauntings abound on TCM with "The Innocents" (1961) and the Hammer Horror films "Curse of Frankenstein" (1957), "Horror of Dracula" (1958) and "The Devil's Bride" (1968, aka "The Devil Rides Out"). Oct. 24, Edgar Allan Poe gets his day -- and his way -- with "The Raven" (1963), "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1932) and the TCM premiere of "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1949).

Halloween, Universal classic horror films include "Frankenstein" (1931) and "The Wolf Man" (1941) and the TCM premiere of the comedy-horror of "The Mummy's Hand" (1940). Check listings for times and show dates.

Oct. 28, the Stephen King marathon's happening over on the AMC network, cable 48. Watch "Christine," "Silver Bullet," "Pet Sematary," "Pet Sematary Two," "Cujo" and "Christine."

All this month, it's all the "Friday the 13th" you can shake an ax at, with versions one, "Part 2," "Part III," "The Final Chapter," "A New Beginning," "Jason Lives," "The New Blood," "Jason Takes Manhattan," "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" and "Jason X."

- Jennifer Chancellor, World Scene Writer

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