Horror Movies: Halloween Ramp-Up  

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Nothing beats a few good scares in the days leading up to Halloween – and it can be fun to fit in as many creepy movies as possible to celebrate the occasion. Below is a scary movie list that will keep you busy during your pre-Halloween week. But first, for those who don’t prefer gore, or too much of a fright – there are many great movies that you can substitute for the ones on this list. Here are a few films that won’t scare you nearly so much: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Flatliners, The Crow, The Monster Squad, Labyrinth, Beetlejuice, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ghostbusters (1984), and The Witches of Eastwick.

For horror enthusiasts and those not “faint of heart” here are the films that will frighten up your pre-Halloween evenings – from Friday October 23rd through to Saturday October 31st:

Friday Night, October 23rd – The original slasher…

Start your countdown with the most obvious horror choice – Friday the 13th (1980) – let the super creepy Voorhees clan into your nightmares. Since it is a Friday night you have time to watch more than just the first in this franchise if you choose, one caveat – avoid the one set in space at all costs.

Saturday Night, October 24th – Check in with the King…

Cozy up, light a few candles, and spend Saturday night with the masterful and frightening storytelling of Stephen King. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining (1980) is essential horror movie viewing, but if you’re making a night of it you may also want to check out the original Carrie (1976), Pet Semetary (1989), or Children of the Corn (1984).

Sunday Night, October 25th – Craven?

Spend Sunday evening (or afternoon if you are easily spooked) with horror legend Wes Craven (may he rest in peace). The original A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) is pure scary movie genius – and really, any or all of the first four movies in the franchise (especially the third installment, The Dream Warriors) demonstrate the terrifying reach of Fred Krueger – don’t fall asleep.

Monday Night, October 26th – Sex can kill you…

Reinventing creepy – the following movies of the body horror persuasion, deliver the message that sex, literally can kill you. While there are definitely body horror films available that are much more grotesque or weird (see David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky), I recommend It Follows (2014) and if you’re really feeling adventurous, check out Teeth (2007).

Tuesday Night, October 27th – From the depths of hell…

Hellraiser (1987) is definitely a creepy movie and also a horror classic from the terrifying mind of Clive Barker – a good movie to unleash a little pre-Halloween hell. The Omen (1976) is another classic film with hell at the centre of its plot – if you can handle a disturbing little boy who may be the anti-christ. I include Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses (2003) here as well, because the victims in that exploitation horror film – pretty much experience hell on earth.

Wednesday Night, October 28th – The “Not Halloween” Halloween movie…

Every so often someone makes a horror movie about a holiday that is NOT Halloween… April Fool’s Day (1986), Black Christmas (1974), Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) – Wednesday is often dubbed the “wacky” day of the week so mix it up with one of these odd films inspired by holidays not typically known to be creepy.

Thursday Night, October 29th – The Ghost Story…

A good ghost story can be hair-raising – Carnival of Souls (1962) is one of the eeriest and strangest black and white horror movies I have ever seen – it is also beautifully shot. The Changeling (1980) and Stir of Echoes (1999) fall under the more traditional ghost story format – equally terrifying and each with a mystery to uncover, either choice will make for a chilling Thursday evening.

Friday Night, October 30th – The Vampire Movie…

The night before Halloween. Stay in and save your energy for Saturday night – curl up with a few good vampire movies (omit all sparkly ones). Try watching The Hunger (1983) with David Bowie, 2008’s Let The Right One In (the original – subtitled – not the American “Let Me In” version), The Lost Boys (1987), or 30 Days of Night (2007).

Saturday October 31st – Michael Myers…

While you are getting ready for your big night out and putting on your elaborately fabulous Halloween costume, spook yourself with the famous John Carpenter piano theme and the terrified screams of Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends in the most apropos movie for October 31st – Halloween (1978).

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