Ah, October. One of my favorite months. The air gets a little more crisp, the leaves turn beautiful colors, and it’s finally time to start preparing for one of the best holidays ever…Halloween! Halloween is so much fun for so many reasons; whether it’s embracing the dark mysteries of the afterlife, or dressing up in costumes and pulling pranks and getting candy, it’s a holiday that can be celebrated by all ages in very different ways. When you’re younger, it’s all about getting decked out in a fun or scary costumes and collecting all the candy your pillowcase can hold. When you’re older, it’s more focused around alcohol…which seems to be a recurring theme with adulthood.
But no matter if you’ve grown out of trick-or-treating and are now more concerned where the best and booziest Halloween party is going to be, other Halloween traditions will never go out of style. Going to haunted houses, carving pumpkins, and of course, watching scary movies. These are all essentials to celebrating Halloween, and I don’t see myself refraining from partaking in these festivities anytime soon.
The horror genre has always had a special place in my heart. I’m more of a fan of the older, more established horror movies, but I’m always on the lookout for new movies that are bound to become classics in due time. I love compiling a list of movies to watch around this time of year… There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch on a cold, rainy October night with hot cider and whiskey while watching some good horror movies. Below is a list of double features to watch on the nights leading up to Halloween.
These two movies are staples when it comes to watching movies on Halloween. With a masked boogeyman terrorizing neighborhood teenagers, John Carptener’s Halloween set the tone for modern classic horror, and Scream pays homage to this formula. Both movies are great fun to watch.
Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick are two of my favorite directors because of their extreme care and attention to detail in each and every scene. Hitchcock’s Psycho is known to have validated horror to be taken seriously as a film genre, and it’s not hard to understand why after watching it. Kubrick’s The Shining is one of the greatest and scariest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the only movies that truly instilled fear in me (and still does) when I first watched it.
I think these two films are great to watch as a double feature because they both take place in a lodging of some sort (Bates Motel in Psycho and the Overlook Hotel in The Shining), and the main characters lose their mind due to extreme isolation and are haunted by ghosts; Norman Bates is haunted by his mother and Jack Torrance is haunted by the ghosts of the Overlook. Both movies also feature some of the most classic and infamous scenes in cinematic history, with Pyscho‘s shower scene and The Shining’s “Here’s Johnny!” scene. Although, I think the twins scene will always be one of the scariest scenes in all of movie history…
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre/The Silence of the Lambs
One is a slasher film, while the other is a psychological thriller, but both feature diabolical cannibals who have a penchant for wearing human skin. Leatherface is the main terror in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but The Silence of the Lambs features both Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter. All three characters have left a legacy in movie history. Both movies feature a number of disturbing, gory scenes, but I think Hannibal Lecter’s escape scene is the best.
An American Werewolf in London/Shaun of the Dead
Two great movies that take place in London. Both movies do a fantastic job at combining scares, violence, wit, and humor to make enjoyable movies to watch around this time of year. An American Werewolf in London has its classic transformation scene, however I’m more partial to this perfect scene in Shaun of the Dead as being branded an instant classic…
Two equally creepy movies that both feature a mother who bore children with demonic qualities. Rosemary is pregnant with the spawn of Satan, whereas Carrie develops her telekinetic powers after years of being taunted and bullied by her Christian fundamentalist mother and mean classmates.
House on Haunted Hill/Night of the Living Dead
I don’t think it’s officially Halloween season until you’ve watched a Vincent Price movie! House on Haunted Hill is undoubtedly a classic, despite if its thrills and special effects are extremely outdated. But campiness and familiar scares is part of what makes Halloween an enjoyable holiday to so many well after childhood.
Then there’s another black and white classic, Night of the Living Dead…the starter of all zombie flicks. I think the zombie flesh eating scenes still hold up to today’s standards in grossness, and it still has one of the most surprising and disturbing endings even after all these years. Do yourself a favor and watch it if you haven’t yet seen it…
Beetlejuice/Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Even if you’re a big fan of truly scary and creepy movies like I am, you’ve gotta throw in family-friendly, fun movies around this time of year. Both movies are classics! Beetlejuice exemplifies Tim Burton’s ability to seamlessly combine creepiness with his twisted humor, making Beetlejuice a good movie to watch at all ages.
I don’t think I need to go too in depth as to the fame of the Harry Potter franchise. I chose Prisoner of Azkaban over the other movies because I think the movie is wonderfully whimsical and pretty dark; the terrifying Dementors are introduced and a werewolf is also featured! I think this is one of my favorite Harry Potter movies out of the eight adaptations, and that largely has to do with Alfonso Cuarón’s direction and John Williams’s score.