Staying In On Hallowe’en: A Cinema Spooktacular!

         There are many obvious things that people want in their Halloween movies. Scares, gore, suspense, and a monster of some sort (though not necessarily in that order). While all of those are well and good, there are many movies that might go shamefully overlooked during the witching hours of my favorite holiday.

          A classic for anyone and everyone is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you have never seen the 1975 cult favorite, there’s no better time to do so than midnight on Halloween. If you have seen it, Halloween is a great time to dress up as your favorite character and throw your own viewing party, complete with things to toss at the screen at the right moments, and lessons on how to do The Time Warp. Unlike many Halloween-fitting films, the music of Rocky Horror evokes a party-like atmosphere; so even if you can’t get the movie, boogie down to the soundtrack instead (plus, you’ll have a lot less to clean up come November 1st).
          Some of my favorite directors have made movies that are instant Halloween classics. I speak, of course, of Alfred Hitchcock and Tim BurtonHitchcock’s Psycho is an easy choice for newcomers to the horror/thriller genre, and it’s a great start. For those of you who want to delve a bit deeper, get yourself a copy of Vertigo or Rear Window. Both movies feature James Stewart, and are a little less straight-forward in their chill-induction than Psycho. For Tim Burton, no movie fits the season better than The Nightmare Before Christmas. The charming tale of the ruler of Halloweentown and his quest to make his own Christmas has been released again to theaters in 3D (and I’m certainly going to go see it again). Also from Burton is Ed Wood, the story of the man who directed what are considered the worst films in history. In fact, Ed Wood’s films are mostly attempts at science fiction and horror, so why not track down a few of those for a campy movie night?
          Not to focus only on classic movies, be sure to check out the recent DVD releases of the Grindhouse films. While Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror might be more appropriate for Halloween, you could easily make your own “grindhouse theater” by renting some of the films that the double-feature parodies. Another neat idea would be to show all the films from a particular franchise, such as a Friday The 13thor Saw night. You could also show original versions of horror and sci-fi films along with their remakes, like Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers or Night Of The Living Dead. This, of course, can lead to candy corn-fueled debates over which version is better.
          Regardless of what movie you decide to pick, enjoy your Halloween, and remember the Golden Rule of Trick or Treat-ing: No Costume, No Candy.

~ by E. on October 31, 2007.

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