Halloween is the best time of the year. The costumes. The candy. The smell of decaying vegetation. All great. Horror movies, however, are what we love the most. Once you watch the old standards like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, there are other horror movies you must watch every Halloween without exception.
Arguably Rob Zombie’s best film, House of 1000 Corpses is a celebration of all things horror, and Halloween. This psychedelic murder ride follows the murderous exploits of the Firefly family on Halloween Eve. They sadistically toy with, torture, and murder two couples looking to have fun on a road trip. Basically a homage to various horror movies styles (Rob Zombie is a noted horror movie buff) this crazy family slasher trip is filled with some of the most interesting horror characters ever created.
The first installment of a long and complicated franchise, Saw is the movie that made torture porn an art form. The original film is not nearly as over the top as its spawn, and ages particularly well. Perfectly crafted visceral horror leads the viewer into a sadistic mystery of justice and punishment. Jigsaw, the movie’s “villain”, is an anti-hero unlike any to date. By the end you find yourself happily cheering on the killer. Vigilantism is center stage… in the middle of a pool of blood.
Evil Dead cannot be described without detailing specific scenes that burn themselves into your mind. At it’s most basic level Evil Dead is everything great about the “cabin in the woods” horror movie archetype. A group of ordinary people get away to the middle of the woods for some fun. Quickly a demonic presence consumes them in strange, absurd, and shockingly ridiculous ways. Although it’s as campy as anything ever made it’s still a classic horror movie. It wants to scare you, and often does. If you’ve never seen Evil Dead there’s a demented part of you that is begging to be unleashed.
Brains, brains, brains, and some of the best zombie hysterics ever filmed. It’s perhaps the quintessential 80s zombie movie. Bordering on slapstick comedy while remaining true to its zombie horror roots this wacky flick is undeniably fun. When discarded chemical weapons wreak havoc upon a small town the cemeteries empty, and the townsfolk get really hungry. At times completely bonkers, this horror movie gem has some of the most unique zombie scenes of all time. Hungry for some brains? Sure, take a bite. It’s what a good girlfriend would do!
This is easily the best remake of all time in any genre. A retelling of the classic 70s vomit-inducing original that is ultimately date, this version pays homage while getting the “re-imagining” concept right. Perfect pacing, exceptionally shot, and an uncomfortably menacing performances by R. Lee Ermey as the head of a cannibal household, this movie stands tall where the original falls short. This remake is so good it’s the new standard for the Chainsaw franchise. It should be a benchmark of success for every remake. Gritty, visceral, and truly frightening, but with the polish of modern film making.
This is one of those movies that always falls under the radar of horror movie fans. Despite being overlooked Night of the Creeps deserves as much credit for its inventiveness as any in the genre. Night of the Creeps follows an invasion of slithery leech beings that crawl into their victims mouths, turning them into mindless zombies. It’s Probably the inspiration for Slither, which might even be an indirect sequel. Who saves the day? How about an unhinged cop with a propensity for shogun violence? Is it the best horror movie of all time? No, but it definitely deserves the cult following it’s gained. Gross and fun. Pure and simple.