First of all I want to distinguish between the best horror movies and the best Halloween movies. I think I have a good example. Jaws is an excellent horror movie, but a poor Halloween movie. The chances of a huge great white attacking you in the dark on Halloween is pretty minimal, unless you live on a boat. An example of a good horror movie for Halloween would be a movie like “The Shining” as insanity is always scary.
To decide what are the best Halloween movies we must first come up with some criteria. Certainly they must be scary…and not in a “Jaws” kind of way. If they have some sort of fog in them, that would be cool and of course there should be an element of the macabre. Here are my top 5 Halloween movies and why.
5. How can you pick the top five Halloween movies without including Halloween on the list. I’ll take the original 1978 version with a very young Jamie Lee Curtis in it. Michael Myers has become a horror legend since this movie.
“Brutal, emotionless Michael Myers stabs his sister to death at age six on Halloween night in 1963; on October 30, 1978, he escapes from a mental institution and institutes a new reign of terror in his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. He is pursued the whole time by a psychiatrist (Donald Pleasence) who knows just how evil this young man is.”
4. You cannot have a top 5 list without Pycho being on it. Norman Bates has become somewhat of a horror legend and the shower scene was unmatched in it’s day. The suspense using music and imagery that Hitchcock brings to this movie is amazing and the perfect casting of Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates finishes it. Alfred Hitchcock deserves to be on this list and if I was listing by scary movie directors he would be #1. Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window all stick out in my mind as some of the best ever.
3. Wolf Creek sits at #3 in my list. Many of you will probably second guess this one, but for some reason this movie really got to me. Maybe it’s the torture scene, but for some reason I found this movie much more disturbing than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes and other movies which are meant to terrorize us.
2. Friday the 13th. This one is especially scary for those of us who like camping or cottaging. The thought that some nut is out there in a hockey mask waiting for us in the dark is what makes campfire stories so compelling.
1. Everyone has their favourites and reasons why. I believe that horror movies you watched as a young child have more of an effect on you than ones watched as an adult. I can name 4 or 5 that I’ve watched this year which are scarier than 1973’s “The Exorcist”, but in it’s day The Exorcist was probably the scariest movie made. Scenes from it still sick in my mind to the point that even parody’s of it still creep me out.
In my honorable mention category I have movies like Saw, Hostel, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining (of course) and many others too numerous to mention. This Halloween, pick up some scary movies and watch them with friends. Happy Halloween!