Halloween is a perfect excuse to make a list of great horror films! Below are just a few of the films I’ve thrown together.
Night of the Living Dead – George A. Romero 1968
Easily one of my favorite films of all time. George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a cult classic for a reason. Without this film, I think it’s safe and albeit a bold statement to say, we wouldn’t have some of the greatest horror films we have today. This film is a complete game changer, not only is a great horror film, but it’s a great independent film. Throughout the years its gain cultural, and historical significance, and on top of all that it’s one of the scariest horror films.It also has one of the greatest lines ever “They’re coming to get you Barbara.” Johnny was right Barbara they were indeed coming for you.
Spooky Fact: Although the film is considered the first zombie films, the word zombie is never used. They refer to them as the living dead!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper 1974
I had the privilege and the pleasure of seeing this film again at SXSW for its 40th Anniversary. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a terrifying American slasher film that introduces us to one of the most horrifying and vicious villain/murder Leatherface. The film follows a group of teens as they fall prey to a deranged and sadistic family. This horror film is a great example of the whole “less is more” when it comes to horror. There is not a scene more terrifying than when Grandpa tries to hit Sally in the head with hammer. Just thinking about hearing the hammer hit the bucket each time is enough to make me cringe.
Spooky Fact: During the Q&A Director Tobe Hooper confirmed that the bones used in the film, were in fact real human bones. Apparently plastic bones were more expensive!
The Evil Dead & The Evil Dead II – Sam Raimi 1981 & 1987
I listed this two films together because for me you can’t have one without the other. Not to mention Bruce Campbell’s Ash is one of horror’s greatest protagonists. Set in a cabin the woods, the films revolve around the necronomicon ex.mortis, roughly translated to book of the dead. Which upon reading releases horrible evils upon Ash and his friends. I suggest watching these two back to back. The Evil Dead introduces us the necronomicon ex mortis and the horrors it brings; The Evil Dead II show us how bad ass of a guy Ash can be. I mean, a chainsaw hand! Come on, you can’t beat that!
Spooky Fact: Evil the Dead the Musical had a blood splatter zone. Ponchos were handed out for those sitting in the first three rows.
Murder Party – Jeremy Saulnier 2007
Murder Party is a perfect blend of mayhem, gore and humor. On Halloween night, a lonely man find an invite to a party. After he fashions a knight costume out of cardboard, he heads to Brooklyn with a raisin pumpkin loaf in hand. Upon arrival we find out that the party is in fact a trap set by hipster artists who plan on killing him for the sake of their art. The film is filled with great treats, including one death that’s caused from eating non-organic raisins!
Spooky Fact: The film won the 2007 Audience Award at Sundance, which proves that audiences really do not like hipsters.
Paranormal Activity Oren Peli 2007
Paranormal Activity is one of those films that gives new life to the genre of horror. The film revolves around a couple haunted by some sort of supernatural presence. If you ask most folks, they will tell you that there is nothing more frightening than the supernatural. Whether its demonic possession, ghosts, or evil spirits there is something so terrifying about it. Paranormal Activity gives us all of that and so much more.
Spooky Fact: There is a Japanese remake of the film entitled: Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night
Special Bonus Film:
Kirksdale – Ryan Spindell 2007
Kirksdale is a short film by Ryan Spindell, and it is easily one of the scariest films I have ever seen. The film is set in the 1960s Florida, Kirksdale is a mental asylum that was formerly a plantation. Molly Walker is a rebellious teenage girl who is being take to the asylum by a young police officer Darryl pearl. Upon entering they soon realize that everything is not what it seems, and the two must fight for their lives. Seriously, Kirksdale is one of the scariest films Rooftop Films has ever shown.
Check It out here: http://vimeo.com/19934686