Friday, October 19, 2012

Ten Movies to Watch for Halloween

Horror movies are hard to rank for a number of reasons.  The first is that most of them are not particularly good.  The second is that contrary to popular belief, the plots are diverse and everyone reacts to them in different ways.  Some people like raw suspense; others like cheap scares; while still others like gore or torture porn.  Of all the different movie genres, horror may be the most subjective within that genre.  So with this in mind, I am sharing a list of 10 movies (released post 2000) that might be worth giving a look should you find yourself wanting to get into that Halloween spirit.  This isn’t a list of best horror movies by any stretch of the imagination but just a set of recommendations.

Not since The Blair Witch Project has a found footage movie so captured the imagination of horror movie enthusiasts.  This one will make you pay attention to when things go bump in the night in your home.

2. The Ring (2002)

Starring Naomi Watts and Martin Henderson, The Ring kicked off the trend of Hollywood remaking Japanese horror films with seemingly all of them coincidentally featuring a long-haired disheveled female antagonist.  This one will make you thankful that we don’t use VCRs anymore.

3. The Strangers (2008)

Cabins in remote woods are bad.  People in masks are bad.  This movie starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman reinforces these two truths.  

4. The Grudge (2004)

On the heels of The Ring, The Grudge starring Sarah Michelle Gellar was another remake of a Japanese horror film that featured a long-haired female antagonist.  While not as good as The Ring, this one was the last of the credible Japanese remakes as subsequent movies involved killer cellphones, digital cameras, and other such gimmicks.

5. 30 Days of Night (2007)

Vampires can only come out at night.  So it only makes sense that they should want to live in a place that is consumed in darkness for weeks at a time (i.e. northern Alaska).  And that is 30 Days of Night starring Josh Hartnett in a nutshell.

6. Insidious (2010)

If you stop this movie starring Rose Byrne about 4/5 of the way through then you have a very solid horror movie on your hands.  If you watch the last 20% of it, well then, not so much.

7. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Not completely sure what to make of this movie starring Justin Long, but it is suspenseful, a bit gross, and written and directed by Sam Raimi so that’s good enough for me.

8. 28 Days Later (2002)

A quintessential post-apocalyptic zombie movie that is well directed and well acted featuring a (at the time) mostly unknown Cillian Murphy.  A must see for any fan of the zombie genre.

9. Vacancy (2007)

Vacancy starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale is not the greatest horror movie in the world, but the premise is a bit unique; it’s set in a rundown motel; and well, it stars Kate Beckinsale.  Those three factors make this one a must see.

10. Final Destination (2000)

This movie starring Devon Sawa is short on depth, but it is visually amusing to watch the way each death scene unfolds.  I recommend that anyone who suffers from OCD avoid this film as it could really mess with your mind.


  1. The Others, The Orphanage, The Women in Black are good ones too.