Monday, October 28, 2013

Scary Movies for the Halloween Season

Some good movies to watch over Halloween available on DVD or VOD.
Some good movies to watch over Halloween.
As Halloween approaches, it seemed like it might be an appropriate time to discuss some of the scary movies available for viewing. This is a list of some of the movies that I feel have a creepy sense to them and are great films to watch while waiting for trick or treaters.

My selection of scary films includes selections from the late sixties through to more contemporary films. Each one still holds up for me after repeated viewings.

  • The Butterfly Effect - A young man struggling to access sublimated childhood memories finds a technique that allows him to travel back to the past. Occupying his childhood body, he is able to change history. But every change he makes has unexpected consequences. There are a lot of twists and surprises in this story.

  • Planet of the Apes - Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in this legendary science fiction masterpiece that stands the test of time. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall). In my opinion, this films has one of the best surprise endings in modern film.
  • The Ring - A journalist investigates a mysterious video that caused her niece and many others to die of fright, only to find its deadly grip closing around herself as well. Although the ending is a little weak, this film contains some of the creepiest sequences I've seen in film. 

  • Seven - A retiring cop and his younger replacement track a psychotic killer who's using the seven deadly sins as a the template for his killings. Morgan Freemen, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey lead a great cast.  I still consider the interaction between Spacey as the psychotic killer and the Pitt as the short-tempered police detective to be one of the classic film climaxes.

  • The Sixth Sense - Bruce Willis stars as Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a distinguished child psychologist, who meets Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a frightened, confused, eight-year-old. Dr. Crowe is completely unprepared to face the truth of what haunts Cole. Even after subsequent viewings, this film never cheats its ending. The writer/director, M. Night Shyamalan, has done a great job to make sure all the details add up.

  • The Thing - Set in an isolated research station in the Antarctic, an alien thing infiltrates the station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs. Paranoia takes over the group as they try to figure out if everyone is who he says he is. This film was a showcase for practical make-up effects by Rob Bottin in a time before CGI. 

  • Zombieland - As zombies seem to be the trend these days, here's a film that mixes the whole zombie genre with a good dose of comedy. The story centers on a nerdy college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who has survived the plague that has turned mankind into flesh-devouring zombies. He joins up with gun-toting, Twinkie-loving, zombie-killer Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) on a trek to find a place untouched by the zombie apocalypse.

I don't know if all of these films could be considered truly scary, but they are definitely good films to watch during the Halloween season.

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