When asked to make a list of Halloween films for Audiences Everywhere, I wasn’t sure if I should do a best of list or my favorite Halloween films. All I knew is that I wanted the films to actually take place on Halloween. I didn’t want to list all mainstream films, but I also didn’t want to make them all obscure, so don’t worry John Carpenter’s Halloween is in the list so get your sigh of relief out now. What I came up with is a solid little list for a good Halloween horror film marathon with the perfect amount of scares, humor… and gratuitous boobs shots.
10. Murder Party (2007) directed by Jeremy Saulnier
This is a film people are not starting to notice since Director Jeremy Saulnier has gone on to make one of the best films of 2014. In Murder Party, a very lonely and dorky man finds a random invitation to a Halloween party on the sidewalk. He decides to go and makes himself a knight costume out of cardboard! He arrives at a warehouse to a party thrown by a bunch of art snobs and film enthusiasts. They want to make their own art-house flick and it’s much more than our loveable knight signed up for.
09. Livid (2011) direct by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
This will be one of the harder films to track down on this list because it hasn’t gotten a US release yet. It arrived on the coattails of that new age French horror explosion from a few years back. A young caregiver and her friends break into a comatose woman’s mansion on Halloween to seek out the treasure she has hidden in her home. The kids bite off a bite more than they can chew once they realize something is wrong with the patient and what she is hiding in her home isn’t what they expected. This little gem has some genuine scares then does a total 180 and becomes an almost entirely different film altogether!
08. All Hallow’s Eve (2013) directed by Damien Leone
This movie blew me away and wasn’t even on my radar when it came out (for reference, everything is on my radar). Don’t be put off by the shitty cover art; this film has one of the scariest clowns you’ll ever see on film. A young brother and sister find a VHS tape in their bag of candy and the babysitter lets them watch it! What progresses is a little anthology set around an evil clown. This will film will be a staple in my Halloween binge watching from here on out!
07. Halloween (1978) directed by John Carpenter
Well, here it is. The mother of all Halloween and horror films. I get crap for this all the time, but I don’t hold this film in as high regard as a lot of other people. It is a phenomenal film, don’t get me wrong. But it isn’t in my top five Carpenter flicks! But credit where it’s due: it’s suspenseful, beautifully shot and changed the horror genre forever.
06. Clownhouse (1989) directed by Victor Salva
Alright now, before anyone says anything about the controversy, I should be clear that I’m only praising the film. It’s suspenseful and the most terrifying clown film ever made (move over Pennywise). It doesn’t technically take place on Halloween but a few weeks before. Now, I won’t praise the director outside of that (you can search on your own if you want the disgusting details), but this is a really good horror film that got taken from shelves in due to this incident. But can watch it on YouTube in its entirety.
05. Night of the Demons (1988) directed by Kevin Tenny
This is one of those films from my childhood that I regularly watch! Some kids go to a haunted house for a Halloween party and all hell breaks loose! We are treated to a very fun and colorful cast of preppie kids, some punks, and our goth hostess Angela. There’s also a lot of everyone’s favorite “Scream Queen,” Linnea Quigley! There are two sequels that I will also recommend and a pretty solid remake.
04. Trick or Treat (1986) directed by Charles Martin Smith
The mother of all heavy metal films, Trick or Treat is about a misunderstood metalhead named Eddie who idolizes Rock God Sammi Curr who is from his hometown. Eddie procures the only master LP to the Curr’s last recordings. While all the “normal” kids mess with Eddie everyday, Sammi helps him get his revenge. He is living through the music and come Halloween, Sammi’s last performance will be killer. This flick has a great story, great cast and a rocking soundtrack! I was put off as a kid due to Ozzy and Gene Simmons being on the cover, man did I screw up. The DVD is out of print but you can watch the whole film on YouTube
03. Satan’s Little Helper (2004) directed by Jeff Lieberman
I picked this up on a whim in 2004 for $10 and I still couldn’t be happier with myself. This is probably the most fun you will have watching anything on this list. Douglas loves two things, his big sister and his video game Satan’s Little Helper. Douglas is so stoked when big sis comes home for Halloween, but she’s not alone. She brings her new boyfriend who gets the way of Douglas and his sister. Wait…what kind of movie is this? Douglas befriends a man in a Satan mask who doesn’t speak and becomes his little helper. They run old people down with shopping carts, poison candy, and run amuck. The only problem is everyone thinks that Satan is big sis’ boyfriend. This film is still rather obscure to most so I highly recommend seeking it out. Still very cheap and in print, it is a must have film for every horror fanatic. You can even check out a commentary we did for our first Halloween special at Exorcast here.
02. Trick r’ Treat (2007) directed by Michael Dougherty
This is possibly the best horror anthology to date in my opinion. We follow Sam, the spirit of Halloween, on four interwoven stories full of murder, slutty costumes, candy, special needs children, and the most badass Jack-o-lanterns you’ve ever seen! Dougherty hits a homerun with his first feature film, which is honestly is probably one of the best genre films to come out in the past decade.
01. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
That’s right, Halloween III!!! Is this a joke? Nope. I stand by this title as being the most enjoyable film of the series. I am not saying it is better than the original, but I am saying it is more fun. There is a ridiculous plot, some great special effects, an evil mastermind, the greatest Halloween jingle in history, and a very handsome Tom Atkins! It also has one of my favorite film scores ever! John Carpenter did one hell of a job on the keyboard with this one. So I was once in a minority, but I have seen the love of this film grow over the past five years or so that I now stand along side a strong group of similar fans! Where do you stand?
So there you have it! Agree, disagree I don’t care. Not going to argue them. I would love to know what everyone else will be watching though and so help me if you respond with Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Saw, or The Walking Dead…we will no longer be internet friends!
W. is the cohost of the podcast at Exorcast.com. Head on over to their site to join in on their fun Halloween giveaway and take a chance at winning a great collection of signed films.