Entertainment Local

The best Halloween movies

By Cory Menzel, Camrose Canadian Contributor

With Halloween come and gone, I thought I would share with you my favourite Halloween must watches.  See how many cross your list, or if I can expand yours. 

10. A Nightmare Before Christmas

While (surprising to nearly everyone) I am not a huge fan of this flick, there is no denying that this is fantastic in the fact that it can be watched on either Halloween or Christmas. Mesmerizing animation and catchy themes make this one a regular on most people’s list. 

9. Rob Zombie’s Halloween 

Contrary to A Nightmare Before Christmas, this movie is widely disliked by the masses. To most, the theme and suspense are lost to the graphic imagery and over-explanation of a seemingly simple story. That said, personally I love this flick. I have always been fascinated of the mind of the criminally insane, and this film delves right in with no apologies. While I don’t associate it to its 1978 predecessor, I just enjoy it for the messed-up ride that it is. 

8. Michael Jackson’s Thriller 

OK, so this really isn’t a movie, but John Landis (director of American Werewolf in London) brought us this masterpiece that still reigns supreme in so many categories.  From a great song to a top-notch score and superb make up, topped off with a well shot mini movie, Thriller still stands alone as the greatest music video of all time. This 15-minute thrill ride does not disappoint to this day.

7. The Saw franchise. 

There’s no doubt that Saw rules the box office every Halloween it has played. With the most recent Jigsaw hitting theatres last Friday (check it out at Duggan Cinemas while it is playing), the franchise that is about a killer who makes those atone for their sins by making them survive a series of sadistic games is known by all and enjoyed by those who can stomach it. 

6. The Monster Squad

This 80’s cult classic is more known by people who remember the movie rather than the current generation. But for those interested, this flick has a Steven Spielberg feel to it, telling the tale of a group of high school students who come face to face with the likes of Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and more. While frightening yet quite dated, this one is a must watch for kids looking for a first-time scare. One of my favourites.

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street series

Not exactly a Halloween specific series of movies, but still a horror staple, the Elm Street movies both frighten and entertain us. Freddy Krueger is one of the most recognizable faces in horror history, and the thought of him and what he does still make us afraid to go to sleep sometimes. As Nancy says, “Don’t fall asleep.” 

4. The Conjuring/Annabelle/Insidious/Amityville movies 

Technically a couple different franchises, these films all fall under the same category. Demonic hauntings that affect families, with most stories coming from the experience of real-life paranormal investigators/collectors Leslie and Ann Warren. The true story inspirations make these that much more frightening. The most recent chapter, Annabelle: Creation, was a great film, and this January another chapter in the Insidious movies (Insidious: The Last Key) comes out. Check them out. 

3. Hocus Pocus

I have to admit, I have a guilty pleasure for this one. This family favourite tells us about the Sanderson sisters, three witches who come back to haunt the town of Salem, Mass. This flick was a lot of fun. I guarantee this one is on your list.  Bette Midler absolutely steals the show, and Kathy Nijimy and Sarah Jessica Parker are her perfect sidekicks. Fun for the whole family. 

2. Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter basically invented the slasher flick with this 1978 classic. The story of Michael Myers coming back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Ill., on Halloween to find his sister and kill anyone who gets in his way, packs more of a punch than the seemingly simple story implies. Though many sequels and the previously mentioned reimagining came out after, the first will always live forever in Halloween/horror movie infamy. 

1. Trick R Treat

Easily number one on my list, Trick R Treat brings to life the pages of a comic in this anthology tale. This series of four stories that happen on the same night (Halloween) at the same time, eventually crossing paths one way or the other is amazing on every level. Scary stories, fantastic make up, and a cool little creature named Sam make this my quintessential watch if all else fails. Every single year. If you haven’t seen it, it is very much worth the time.   

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween.  See you all next week.  

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