23 October 2008

Top 10 Horror Flicks for Halloween To Scare the Bejeezus Out of Your Kids

(pic from Weird Asia News)

No, no not that kind of scary, I'm talking about some no-shit, freaky-ass movies that will creep out the whole family. It's Halloween, and everyone deserves a good scare or two, especially because Americans are wound up so tight with this damn election. It's time to lighten up! So here's my 10 bestest horror recommendations for Halloween (in no particular order), if you don't like 'em then provide some of your own in the comments.

#1 Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): This film is loosely based on the life and times of Ed Gein, but Tobe Hopper chose to turn his bizarre and macabre characteristics into a whole damn family. The result is one of the most disturbing things you'll ever see: chainsaw-wielding brother, deranged hitchhiker, cannibalistic BBQ joint run by the dad, and even a visit from crusty old pervert Grandpa.

#2 Sleepaway Camp (1983): One of the ultimate summer camp schlock flicks that involves kids getting schwacked in mysterious ways. While a bit cheesy, the movie's hilarious dialogue is worth the watch alone (check out the pederast cook). Be sure to stick around for the ending too, which rivals the Rosebud ending in its greatness.

#3 Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors (1986): It's Freddy Kruger in an insane asylum for teenagers. What the hell else are you going to do on Halloween, go to the opera? One of the best of the series, and the part where the Dungeons and Dragons nerd buys the farm is worth the purchase alone.

#4 Hills Have Eyes (2006): A perfect movie for the election year when blue state stereotypes about "country folk" abound. A family gets stuck in the desert when deranged mutants from a nearby nuclear waste pit of an abandoned town begin terrorizing them. Every urban person's fear as they drive out on a camping trip in their Saab.

#5 Dawn of the Dead (1978):Not much else to say about Dawn of the Dead except that it'sa damn near perfect movie. The opening sequence in the Philly slum is one of the best sequences on what would happen if society collapsed, and the mall setting is allegorical for how we are all a bunch of low-life zombies looking for brains. Great commentary, and great horror flick.

#6 Evil Dead II (1987): There probably hasn't been a protagonist more tortured than Ash in cinematic history. From being strangled by his own severed hand, to being possessed by a demonic spirit, and finally getting sent back to the dark ages, Ash keeps the humor alive in this ridiculously violent romp.

#7 Prince of Darkness (1987): Some people think The Exorcist is the gold standard for movies about Satan, but those people have simply overlooked John Carpenter's The Prince of Darkness. Not only does it play on the good vs. evil religious theme, but it also has schizoid Alice Cooper stabbing some dude with a bicycle. Awesome!

#8 House of 1000 Corpses (2003): Rob Zombie's first attempt at directing is a true freak-out, as he encompasses some of the best tried and true methods of horror into one big film. A psychotic family in the country, idiotic urban folks blundering into a death trap, well-placed references to serial killer Albert Fish, etc. As a bonus it actually revolves around Halloween.

#9 The Shining (1980): While this Stanley Kubrick flick doesn't have the rampant violence that some of the other movies on this list do, the twin girls are scary enough to make even the most battle-hardened movie buff shit his or her pants. The descent into madness at a a remote location and Kubrick's style of shooting this makes the psychological aspect of the film totally mind-blowing.

#10 Dead Alive (1992): Before Peter Jackson became a nerd sensation with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he had this ridiculously violent movie set in New Zealand. The movie involves a party that devolves quickly into a zombie fest, which is followed by the infamous lawnmower scene. A cult classic!