Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Movies to Download Rent at Your Local DVD Shop

My wife and I like to do a horror movie marathon for Halloween every year. We take it seriously enough that we usually take November 1st off, so we can stay up all night. So carve your pumpkin, light a candle and here are my picks for 2008:

The Strangers: This one just came out recently. We saw the commercial for the dvd release. Immediate visceral reaction to those scary masks, we knew we had to see it. If you feel you haven’t watched a horror movie in a while that truly made you jump, this one will. The low budget enhances it, making it nice and lean.

The Ring: Actually, I’m not recommending this one. To me this started the Seattle Seahawks' uniform colour filter style cinematography. Even in the shots set during broad daylight there is a dull, murky, green-blue-chrome tinge to everything. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. There’s a 90% chance that any new horror movie you watch will have it. So to cinematographers out there: Cut it out already! It doesn’t cover up the convoluted plot.

Christine: The greatest B movie ever made. John Carpenter is a genius. Make sure it’s the un-edited version, because the many great one-liners are useless without swearing. Tip: Cocktails or beers mix well with it.

House of 1000 Corpses: The first 20 minutes of this is as cool and creative as I’ve seen anything on screen. (Especially enjoyable if you ever rode on those cheap “House of Horrors” rides they used to have at fairs and exhibitions in the 70’s.) The rest of the movie is a Texas Chainsaw Massacre knockoff.

Also recommended: Halloween (The recent Rob Zombie remake as well), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original 1974 movie), Creepshow (in particular, “Something to Tide you Over”.) Tales from the Darkside: the Movie, Saw II, Happy Birthday To Me, Nightmare on Elm Street


  1. I haven't seen the Strangers yet but i've seen the original film called, "Them". I enjoyed it very much. I will check out the Strangers despite my dislike of one of the leads, Scott Speedman.

    I highly recommend "Session 9". Same guys who did Blair Witch but without the hand held camera. Still, it's gritty and one of the creepiest film's i've seen.

    I'm interested in seeing REC. and the hollywood re-make Quarantine. I hear both are pretty good.

  2. If Scott Speedman gives you pause, I wonder why David Caruso doesn't in "Session 9"? I've been sitting on that movie for years but Carruso has stopped me... I should give it a shot.

    I remember years ago a co-worker said that he'd never seen "The Shining" and never will. We told him he was missing out but he said "I hate Shelly Duval." We shut up. That's a damn good reason not to watch it.

  3. I totally concur with the Shelley Duvall hatred. And who doesn't?!!

    Reputedly, Director Stanley Kubrick was very intolerant and critical of Duvall during the filming of "The Shining". In the documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures", Jack Nicholson stated that Kubrick was great to work with, but that he was "a different director" with Duvall.

    If he despised her that much, why did he cast her? Unless audience hatred was the desired effect...

    I know it made me cheer for Nicholson that much harder...


  4. I also concur with the David Caruso hatred. A few years ago at work, a bunch of us were talking about tv shows. One woman mentioned that her favorite show was CSI Miami.
    "But what about David Caruso?" we all echoed. "How can you watch something with that arrogant, detestable, piece of shit?!!"
    To which she looked shocked, and asked all wide-eyed "What do you mean? What's wrong with David Caruso?"
    It almost turned into a lynch mob!!!

  5. Fair enough and good point on the Caruso. He does suck but I can stomach him in Session 9. Speedman won't stop me from watching the Strangers either.

    I hold my expectations of horror films to a lower standard than I would of say, a drama. I don't care so much if there's holes in the plot or bad acting. So long as there's a qualitative creep factor and the director is able to nail a few scary scenes i'm happy. If I have to wait to see a quality horror like the Shining I would be forced to wait a long time. I'll take what I can get. I love the genre and am almost willing to give anything a chance.

  6. Oh yeah... a few others that come to mind;

    The Darkness (same guy who did REC.)
    Inland Empire (not really a horror but has at least a couple of the creepiest scenes you will ever see)
    Rosemary's Baby (revisited this not long ago. Well worth it)

  7. I hold my expectations of horror films to a lower standard than I would of say, a drama. I don't care so much if there's holes in the plot or bad acting.

    ------> Me too. In some cases bad acting can be a plus.

    Thanks for the additional recs and I'm shooting myself for not including 'Rosemary's Baby."