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Author Topic: Top ten films for Halloween night.  (Read 1410 times)
Miranda.T
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« on: October 15, 2015, 07:16:29 pm »

{A quick note: I hope this is OK in Aural-Ocular, but if it is deemed too off-topic then apologies in advance for the need to move it there.}

Once upon a more enlightened time (well, back in 70s, 80s and early 90s), television schedulers actually bothered to mark the 31st of October by putting a few good films on and maybe the odd documentary about the horror genre or the supernatural. Nowadays, they just don't bother, so if you want a night of scary indulgence, you have to do it yourself. So, I thought I'd present my very personal set of choices, and would be intersted to hear what the other good folk here would pick.

Assuming the marathon is to start as soon as the light begins to fade from the sky and runs through to the next morning's breakfast, I think you could just about squeeze in ten films. So, in no particular order:

The Dance of the Vampires aka The Fearless Vampire Killers. Not a surprise if people have seen some of my other recent postings. I love the black humour juxtaposed with some suitably scary bits, and in particular the scene towards the end in the ball-room, where they are dancing towards the mirror and all that can be seen in it are Abronsius, Alfred and Sarah... Also always loved Sharon Tate's dress in that scene  Roll Eyes.

The Bride of Frankenstein. There has to be one of the Universal classics in here, and this is a rare film - a sequel which is better than the original.

Night of the Demon. I just love the way this one builds the tension, and seeing the skeptic Holden slowly realise he really does have only a few days to live unless he can pass back the runes.

The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are Halloween films, not necessarily scary ones. I'd imagine Tim Burton is someone who really gets Halloween, and it was a tough choice between this and Sleepy Hollow.

The Company of Wolves. There had to be a werewolf film, and this was from a period where there were some really interesting ones being made (An American Werewolf in London, The Howling). This one just pipped the others because I love its fairy-tale quality.

The Devil Rides Out. There has to a Christopher Lee film, but which one? One of the Dracula's? The Wicker Man? I went with this one because it is genuinely scary in places and I quite like him being a on the side of the angels for once.

Angel Heart. Follows on from the one above, an essay in psychological horror.

From Beyond the Grave. I'm a big fan of the 60s and 70s portmanteau horrors; no story hangs around for long enough to get dull. And, of course, there had to be a Peter Cushing film in here.

The Fog. Probably a bit controversial as I'm putting this in over Halloween. I like the way this feels like a old-fashioned ghost story (even down to the old sea-fog on the beach telling spooky stories to the children), but as the film progresses the fog begins to stalk the townsfolk like a climatological Michael Myers.

28 Days Later. Needed a zombie movie, and this is one that is credited for reinventing the genre. (Zombies who can run! Although of course they were not really the undead but rather people infected with a genetically engineered virus...) It was either this or Shawn of the Dead.

So that's my top ten - at least until I remember that great film my memory is currently managing to misplace... It strikes me that with a couple of exceptions these are all films I saw in my youth. I guess they made the strongest impression. Anyway, what would you choose?

Yours,
Miranda.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 07:18:43 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 09:14:44 am »

Dog Soldiers and Cabin in the Woods are both great horror comedies.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 11:45:49 am »



Once upon a more enlightened time (well, back in 70s, 80s and early 90s), television schedulers actually bothered to mark the 31st of October by putting a few good films on and maybe the odd documentary about the horror genre or the supernatural. Nowadays, they just don't bother, so if you want a night of scary indulgence, you have to do it yourself.



Welcome to a land down under. The ridiculous thing is that we tend to deride Hallowe'en as irrelevant to us due to a perception that it is completely American in origin and significance, which only just barely applies to the "costumes and candy" part.

I'd imagine Tim Burton is someone who really gets Halloween,

He gets the costumes and candy part, perhaps.

My picks:
David Suchets' interpretation of Agatha Christies' The Hallowe'en Party.
Dagon (although it's really The Shadow over Innsmouth).
The Fog (either version, but pick only one or it may become tiresome watching both together. I recommend the second version.)
For a zombie movie, Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead felt so flat and lifeless by comparison, which makes me recommend Zombieland; perhaps ironically, given the usual utter stupidity of American comedies.
Hell Asylum. Because the list needs something you laugh at, rather than with.
Trying to think of a killer car movie, but haven't seen enough of them to pick, so, Road Train. (Because Death Hearse on Satan's Titty Highway has not been released, so I couldn't say as if I'd be able to stand watching it again.)
The latest screen adaptation of Sir Arnold Ridleys' The Ghost Train (the one that doesn't end in a Scooby Doo Hoax.)
The adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles with Matt Day.
Either Leviathan or Deepstar Six (they're essentially identical, with only minimal detail differences, and mostly aesthetics, to distinguish the two.) Everything's worse when you're trapped that far down under the sea.
Midnight Meat Train. An ad for concealed carrying on public transport.

It's too bad I haven't seen any of the Hellraisers or The Arockalypse, or I might have decided to add them.


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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 12:51:03 pm »

Eraserhead and Stephen King's Rose Red mini-movie-series are my go-to Halloween movies.

Rose Red is the mother of all haunted house movies (In terms of scale, not precedent) and probably the only decent quality Stephen King movie I've ever seen.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Eraserhead is an obscure David Lynch movie I've heard best described as "being trapped in someone else's nightmare". The fear factor comes almost entirely from an unsettling and deeply surreal pacing and a nearly nonsensical, dreamlike plot. It leaves the same lurking irrational dread as a bad nightmare, a nightmare you can't escape by waking, because it's on the TV screen.

The Others with Nicolle Kidman is a good, if slow paced and more intellectual, horror movie about a haunted house.

for TV, there are some great standalone monster-of-the-week episodes of The X Files. My favorites include Dod Kalm, Our Town, Firewalker, Home, and Darkness Falls, which gave me many sleepless nights as a kid.

And of course The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. (Though I consider those year-round movies) Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 01:06:59 pm by Alexis Voltaire » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 07:06:16 pm »

I don't think I could cope with ten in one night so I'll just settle for one 'The Woman in Black'.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 07:35:09 pm »

The Orphanage is a good spanish language ghost movie.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 08:01:42 pm »

Dog Soldiers and Cabin in the Woods are both great horror comedies.

Dog Soldiers is a good film; if I was having a werewolf-fest that would definitely be in there with the other three mentioned. It's a shame del Toro's remake of The Wolfman didn't have more 'bite'.

(snip)
For a zombie movie, Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead felt so flat and lifeless by comparison, which makes me recommend Zombieland; perhaps ironically, given the usual utter stupidity of American comedies.

(snip)

It's too bad I haven't seen any of the Hellraisers or The Arockalypse, or I might have decided to add them.


I did like Zombieland; the device of Columbus' 'rules' threading through the narrative was a neat idea. I've seen the first Hellraiser film; I liked the Cenobites design, not so keen on the overall movie.

Eraserhead and Stephen King's Rose Red mini-movie-series are my got Halloween movies.
(snip)
The Others with Nicole Kidman is a good, if slow paced and more intellectual, horror movie about a haunted house.
(snip)

And of course The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. (Though I consider those year-round movies) Cheesy

I always associate Eraserhead with my university days (very art-hourse, of course). The Others was good, although the twist was probably a little obvious; not an issue of course when re-watching for the appreciation of its artistry. The Addams Family are always worth a look; those films had such perfect casting (and let us try to forget Addams Family Reunion...)

I don't think I could cope with ten in one night so I'll just settle for one 'The Woman in Black'.

My eldest's current favorite scary movie, and she recently got to play the eponymous character at school.

The Orphanage is a good spanish language ghost movie.

Haven't seen that one, but certainly the Spanish film industry makes some jolly fine horror movies.

Yours,
Miranda.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 02:28:27 pm »

Dog Soldiers and Cabin in the Woods are both great horror comedies.

Not watched it but own it!

28 Days Later,
28 Weeks Later,
28 Months Later.

Evil Dead,
Evil Dead II,
Ash vs the Army of Darkness

Bram Stokers Dracula (1992)
Some others I can't remember
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:30:08 pm by CPT_J_Percell » Logged

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Atterton
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 02:37:19 pm »

I would also suggest the german horror Anatomie. More slasher than atmospheric but good anyway.
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 04:31:50 pm »

Silent hill 1 & 2
Spoiler - Shaun Bean doesn't die!
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2015, 11:27:41 am »

(snip)

Evil Dead,
Evil Dead II,
Ash vs the Army of Darkness

Bram Stokers Dracula (1992)
Some others I can't remember

I almost had Evil Dead II in my list - first saw it at university back in the '80s and really liked the pace, special effects and, above all, blackest of humour. I recently rerecorded Bram Stoker's Dracula as that was another that was, for me, 'trapped' on an un-playable VHS tape. I thought the design was excellent, especially the costuming (one of these days when I have a bit more time I hope to make a version of Mina's daytime outfit). Not so sure about the directions the characters were taken in; maybe it was the labelling of it as Bram Stokers' that made me feel it shouldn't really stray at all from the book. Still, an enjoyable romp and Gary Oldman brings a gravitas to any film he's in.

Yours,
Miranda.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2015, 06:42:13 pm »

For me, a Halloween nighttime movie marathon includes a combination of scares and whimsy.

(Ordered by date of release):

The Wolfman, 1941. Honestly, I can pop this in any time of the year. Basically a Greek tragedy, it is the trope-setter of cinematic lycanthropy.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948. Playing the horror straight (reactions to the horror are comedic) makes this one of the all-time great horror-comedies, and provides a loving send-off to the classic Universal Horror era (I choose to ignore the other "Meet the Monsters" films, although Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is not bad).

Dracula (UK)/Horror of Dracula (US), 1958. You know I had to include Hammer. Best "final confrontation" scene of any vampire movie ever, and Cushing and Lee are at the top of their game.

The Mummy, 1959. Cushing and Lee again, reworking Universal's second mummy character, and getting it right. Arguable still the best mummy movie ever.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, 1966. "I got a rock." Honestly, do I even have to explain why you should watch this classic?

Mad Monster Party?, 1967. Rankin/Bass' Halloween alternative to their Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, this stop-motion made-for-television film includes voice work from the man himself, Boris Karloff. The puppet designs for the doctor and the monster are both caricatures of Karloff.

Young Frankenstein, 1974. Surpassing even Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein as the best horror-comedy ever, with enough quotable lines it could get the live Rocky Horror treatment. Brooks had so much trouble with the original studio over his desire to film in black-and-white that he moved the project to a different studio. I like to think the execs at the previous studio lost their jobs over this (probably didn't, but I like to think that, at least). As a side note, if you haven't seen Son of Frankenstein (1939), do so; you'll never know how much Brooks took straight from the older film, down to the darts in the wooden arm of the inspector.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975. "Live" or at home with friends, this is just too much fun. The Blu-Ray has an audience participation option, to help you yell at the screen even when you're alone. And don't lie; you know you're gonna do it.

Halloween, 1978. Carpenter and Hill set out originally to film your standard psycho with a knife threatens baby-sitters film, but somehow achieved something greater. The antagonist is meant to be a tabula rasa, about whom the audience is allowed to draw their own conclusions. I agree with Dr. Loomis, however, who clearly states that Myers is "pure evil". The Bogeyman, indeed.

Shaun of the Dead, 2004. "You've got red on you." For someone who loves horror movies, I've never been a big fan of the zombie genre. However, this hysterical film treats the threat of a zombie apocalypse with deadly seriousness (the horror aspects are, again, played straight, with the reactions of the protagonists providing the humor, as with A&BMF above). The film pokes fun at the genre while simultaneously showing the filmmakers' obvious respect and love for same.

Trick 'r Treat, 2007. A fantastic little portmanteau movie that received a criminally limited theatrical release, featuring four (main) interweaving stories, with characters from one tale making cameos in another. If you watch only one film on Halloween, and you want it to be scary, bloody, and with a touch of black humor, it should be this one.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, 2010. A send-up of another genre I'm not overly fond of (okay; outright disdain is more like it), the hillbilly slasher, this one is hysterical. Featuring Firefly's Alan Tudyk, this film tells the story from the hillbilly's point of view. Seriously, if you're watching it for the first time, you may need adult diapers from laughing so hard.

Yes, I know I included twelve instead of the requested ten; however, I begin my Halloween viewing on the front porch waiting for the trick-or-treaters to show up, with some kid-friendly programming. This is where I put in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, Mad Monster Party?, The Monster Squad, The Corpse Bride, et al, saving the "hard" stuff for later.

Also Halloween marathon-worthy:
The Bride of Frankenstein, 1935.
House on Haunted Hill, 1959.
Count Dracula (BBC), 1977.
Dracula (Universal), 1979.
Sleepy Hollow, 1999.

Heck, why limit yourself to just one night? Do like AMC used to do (back when they really were "American Movie Classics", despite they also showed British-produced films), and do theme nights running up to Halloween? They had a Dracula night (and a separate vampire night), a Frankenstein night, a Wolfman/werewolf night, a mummy night, a science fiction night, a Godzilla night, a ghost night, etc. Knock yourselves out.

 


« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 04:54:28 pm by GCCC » Logged
Atterton
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2015, 06:52:04 pm »

Return of the Living Dead is also a great zombie movie.
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2015, 07:19:33 pm »

Return of the Living Dead is also a great zombie movie.

Arguably also one of the better horror-comedies, while we're at it. Tongues were so firmly in cheek during that film I'm surprised the zombies didn't target them. Also, this is the movie that introduced the "Braaaiiins!" trope that is now standard.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2015, 11:38:30 am »

 The 60s had  Dr Phibes, House of Wax,  Last man on Earth,  Munsters Go Home,

 The early 70s had some great devil worship/ possession movies.  Many of  them B grade. A few had evil twins .

 the ones that stand out  are Rosemarie's Baby,  Tin Drum,  The Omen

 The 80s had  The Burbs, Lost Boys , Ravenous,
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2015, 05:12:56 pm »

The 60s had  Dr Phibes, House of Wax,  Last man on Earth,  Munsters Go Home,

 The early 70s had some great devil worship/ possession movies.  Many of  them B grade. A few had evil twins .

 the ones that stand out  are Rosemarie's Baby,  Tin Drum,  The Omen

 The 80s had  The Burbs, Lost Boys , Ravenous,

We recently had the opportunity to watch The Abominable Dr. Phibes on the big screen as part of Victoria Price's tour for the 50th anniversary re-issue of her parent's cookbook. She did a talk before the film, and the dinner menu served during the film were samples of recipes from the book. An extremely nice lady (and extremely tall; she is her father's girl!). We'd forgotten how funny the scene with the removal of the unicorn victim's body was. I think her tour has her in England right now. The Last Man on Earth remains the best screen adaptation of I Am Legend, and House of Wax and Munsters Go Home never fail to please.

I'm unfamiliar with Tin Drum; I'll have to check into that one. I doubt they aired in your part of the world, but the seventies here had a spate of devil/possession made-for-television movies, some of them quite chilling. Sadly, I can't remember the titles of any of them right now.

I missed The Burbs and never got around to renting it. Lost Boys annoyed me when it was released, but I've come to terms with it now, but Ravenous was an excellent little creeper.

Good adds, Hurricane Annie.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2015, 11:26:57 pm »

Ohh, so many great movies mentioned here.

Loved the Lon Chaney Jr as the Wolfman, the Hammer classics of course, and Young Frankenstein is perfectly pitched. The Rocky Horror Show... been ages since we've been to to that stage show (about 14 years; our eldest is 13...) but the film has such a great cast - Meatloaf is the one-and-only Eddie (and filmed on the old Hammer sets too). Dr Phibes - great film, and we will not see the like of the great Mr Price again. Rosemarie's Baby and The Omen - genuinely disturbing. The Burbs was fun, and I quite like The Lost Boys; a bit like the flurry of werewolf films in the early 80s, there was a run of vampire movies that self-conciously tried to be a little different from what went before (Fright Night, and a guilty pleasure of mine, Vamp).

Anyway, now Halloween is out of the way is it time for the top ten ghost stories for midwinter night/Christmas Eve? Yes, I know... M. R. James Whistle and I'll Come to You, M.R. James A Warning to the Curious, M.R. James The Treasure of Abbot Thomas...  Wink

Yours,
Miranda.

P.S. for anyone in the UK who likes a good ghost story and a trip to the theatre, Don't Go Into The Cellar theatre company will be on tour soon with their 'Ghost Stories for Christmas' http://www.dontgointothecellar.com/ghost%20stories%20for%20christmas.htm; I really enjoyed their evening of M.R. James tales a couple of years ago.
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2015, 06:17:52 pm »

Aren't all the best Christmas ghost stories M.R. James tales?
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Atterton
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2015, 06:36:58 pm »

What about Mr Dickens and Mr Burton?
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2015, 10:56:04 pm »

What about Mr Dickens and Mr Burton?

I am unfamiliar with Mr. Burton. Would you mind providing more of his name, and perhaps a title or two of his, so that I may search him out?
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Atterton
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2015, 11:14:19 pm »

Some people call him...Tim.
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2015, 11:21:24 pm »

Some people call him...Tim.

 Cheesy

Sooo glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that!
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2015, 08:28:37 pm »

anyone watched the new disney monster film?
Did anyone spot the 1992 dracula referance?
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Hez
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2015, 08:46:16 pm »

Arsenic and Old Lace.
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2015, 04:22:57 am »

Not necessarily the best of the last century, certainly some of the most memorable:

1920s The Cat and the Canary
1930s The Old Dark House
1940s The Body Snatcher
1950s The Thing from Another World
1960s Frankenstein Created Woman
1970s Scream, Blackula, Scream
1980s Near Dark
1990s Army of Darkness
2000s Shaun of the Dead
2010s Grabbers
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