There are certain horror movies that are must-watch, staples for the Halloween season. Classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining, Scream, and of course, Halloween are essential October watches. However, there are plenty of other spook-worthy films that should be watched during the month of October that don’t receive the credit they should.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
A film that didn’t receive the recognition it deserved upon its initial release but has slowly gained a cult following is Trick ‘r Treat. This wonderfully-woven anthology film is similar to the likes of Pulp Fiction. We follow four stories that connect with one-another, with the central character tied to each story being Sam, a burlap sack-wearing child who punishes those who disrespect the holiday. Working as both a creepy, spine-tingling horror film, splashes of dark comedy add a surprising comedic side to an over-all dark movie. Taking place on Halloween night, the film helps get you into the Halloween spirit similar to films like Halloween.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Although the Friday the 13th franchise is well-known among the masses, this remake has received poor reviews from both critics and audiences alike. Personally, it surpasses most of, if not all, the films in the series, including the original. By having a higher budget and including all of the tropes of the series that Friday fans have come to love, this film adds to the mythology in clever ways. Being a remake, it takes an interesting approach by combining the story of the first four films and updating it for a modern audience without disrespecting the originals. A few tweaks are made to Jason’s character, but those changes make the film more suspenseful; those notable changes being that Jason sets traps around Camp Crystal Lake, travels around in an underground tunnel system, and has set up a weed farm in order to lure teens. Having a clever Jason versus the previous dimwitted interpretation of the character makes the character and the film much more frightening.
Directed by Kevin Smith — the creator behind films like Jay and Silent Bob, Clerks, and Dogma — this is his first horror film and the first film in his planned True North Trilogy. This creature feature follows a young podcaster who travels in search of the strangest, most wildest stories he can find. After coming across a man who was rescued by a walrus, the podcaster gets captured by the man and turned into a human walrus.
Definitely the weirdest film on this list, Tusk takes the bizarre concept and never lets the strangeness up until the credits. Not Smith’s best work, but it definitely holds itself up against the rest of his work in terms of there always being something creative to keep the film going in strange directions. At times, the movie will have you laughing only to have you becoming sick and horrified in the next scene. The prosthetics done to transform Justin Long’s character into a human walrus are some of the best in recent years, as well as some of the most grotesque looking. It’s reminiscent of prosthetic work done in horror films from the 80s with the realistic approach taken in the film.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
The long awaited sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep takes to the challenge of being a faithful adaptation of King’s original novel while also being a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s classic film. Being true to both, it’s able to please fans of the book while adding in Kubrick’s sensibilities in a beautiful fashion. Despite how great the film is, it failed at the box office, only scavenging together $71 million on a $45 million budget.
The film follows Danny, now a grown man dealing with alcoholism like his father, as he must help a young girl with the power to shine escape from an evil cult group trying to kill her. Doctor Sleep improves on many things from The Shining making it a surprisingly better film that develops it’s characters more and has a more intriguing plot that keeps you invested until the credits roll.
The Fly (1986)
Another remake on this list, The Fly takes the concept from the original film and improves it in every way. The main thing this remake does differently is embrace the horror aspects while making it a cautionary tale. The character of Seth Brundle is portrayed wonderfully by Jeff Goldblum, who is able to create a charismatic character right from the start. As the film continues and you watch him slowly degrade into a monster, you start to feel for the character because you’ve grown attached to him.
The Fly also has some of the greatest animatronics and make-up to ever be in a film. Seeing Goldblum slowly transform into a monster is horrifying to watch and only amplified by the grotesque make-up that is done. It’s incredible work that still is horrific and disturbing to watch today and is far superior than most of the CGI we currently see today. With an incredible cast that brings a certain charm, a well-constructed story with a great message, and incredible make-up, The Fly is a must-watch for any horror and creature-feature fan.
Sources: Box Office Mojo, YouTube
Featured Image: IMDB