Halloween is Coming – 31 Great Horror Movies for October

31 Horror Movies for Halloween / October For me, October is about Horror movies. Sure, there’s a holiday at the end where you dress up in costumes and get candy – and that’s fun, too – but nothing beats a dark, cool Autumn night on the sofa, scared out of your wits.

Last year I posted a horror movie every day. It was, in truth, a little crazy. This year I’m too busy watching horror movies and thinking about Halloween costumes for 2-year-olds, but I wanted to gather up all the Horror movies from last year and have them in one place. So here you go: 31 Great Horror Movies for October.

My Favorites
Night of the Living Dead
The Descent
The Thing

Funny Horror Movies
Monster Squad
Slither
Shaun of the Dead
Jason X
Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
House of the Dead
Zombieland

Sci-Fi Horror Movies
28 Days Later
The Mist
They Live
Event Horizon
Cube
The Fly
Bug

Classic Horror Movies
Nosferatu
Freaks
Dracula
Psycho
The Birds
The Last Man on Earth
Rosemary’s Baby

Monster Horror Movies
Dellamorte Dellamore
The Devil’s Backbone
Dog Soldiers
REC
30 Days of Night
High Tension
Candyman

Night of the Living Dead – Horror Movie Marathon – Favorite Horror

Night of the Living Dead

Movie: Night of the Living Dead
Year: 1968
Rating: NR

The Story, in a nutshell: A group of strangers end up taking shelter in a farmhouse to escape zombies.

Reason it’s awesome: It’s sometimes hard to realize how ground-breaking some films were, when they were released. At this point, Night of the Living Dead is almost 45 years old, but it’s really the grandfather of all zombie movies. All the zombie movies since take some level of inspiration from it. It’s also interesting that the protagonist is black, which is pretty noteworthy for the time.

But really, for me it’s amazing that a 45 year old film can still scare me. The opening zombie sequence always gets my heart racing. It gets a little bit slow in the middle, but the ending just keeps all the drama going until the bitter end.

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 3/5
Scary level: 4/5

The Descent – Horror Movie Marathon – Favorite Horror

The Descent

Movie: The Descent
Year: 2005
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A group of women explore an uncharted cave, only to become hunted by the monsters that inhabit it.

Reason it’s awesome: The Descent is a great contrast to yesterday’s film, The Thing, because The Descent is an all-female cast. (Well, except for the monsters.) Again, it’s great to see the interpersonal relationships and drama of a group composed solely of women. The pacing of this film is great- the cave exploration is so unnerving and claustrophobic, that I am already scared and anxiety ridden before the horror portion of the film even starts! Lastly, the characters are great. Just a group of authentic, tough women. This is really one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. And it’s amazing.

Humor level: 2/5
Violence level: 5/5
Scary level: 5/5

The Thing – Horror Movie Marathon – Favorite Horror

Only three days left in October, so to finish out the month I want to post my top three horror movies.

The Thing

Movie: The Thing
Year: 1982
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: Scientists at an outpost in Antarctica encounter an alien life form.

Reason it’s awesome: First of all, this is an entirely male cast, which is great because you don’t have any love interest getting in the way of the story, and there’s no weak, weeping girl waiting for a monster to kill her. I think that the one-sided nature of the casting adds some great interpersonal drama. Second of all, the effects are great, especially considering they are 30 years old. They are great because they are actual props and creature effects, rather than being CGI or other animation. I just love when a cast is able to interact with a physical prop, rather than a green screen. Third, the ambiguity of the ending  gives me the chills, every time.

Humor level: 2/5
Violence level: 4/5
Scary level: 4/5

Candyman – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

Candyman

Movie: Candyman
Monster: Immortal crazed killer
Year: 1992
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A graduate student is sucked into the urban legend of Candyman, who terrorizes a local housing project.

Reason it’s awesome: I’ve had a fascination with urban legends since I was a kid, so a horror film focused on them in a scholarly way is really interesting. And, like Freaks from earlier this month where the “normal” people are the monsters, I find it amusing that the educated white woman ends up as the dangerous one.

Added bonus: the score is by awesome American composer Philip Glass!

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 4/5
Scary level: 3/5

High Tension – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

High Tension

Movie: High Tension (Haute tension)
Monster: Mortal crazed killer
Year: 2003
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: Two friends, Marie and Alex, travel to Alex’s home for a school break, and the family is terrorized by a serial killer.

Reason it’s awesome: I will state that this movie is not for the faint of heart. This is a French film that has been edited and dubbed for an American audience to be R rated… the original French film has an NC-17 rating here. I remember how shocking the violence level of this film was… my history of horror is sketchy, but I think it was movies like these that really jump started the extreme horror movement in America in the mid 2000’s.

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 5/5
Scary level: 4/5

30 Days of Night – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

30 Days of Night

Movie: 30 Days of Night
Monster: Vampires
Year: 2007
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A small town in Alaska is preparing for 30 days without sunlight, just when vampires roll into town.

Reason it’s awesome: I like vampires when they are monsters – they should be bloodthirsty killing machines, and the romanticization of vampires annoys me so much! Vampires are evil, not sexy. Anyway, this movie is a group of good, vicious vampires. The best part of this film is an early sequence where the vampires are slaughtering the townspeople, and it’s a great aerial shot rolling through the difference scenes of death.

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 4/5
Scary level: 3/5

REC – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

REC

Movie: REC
Monster: Virus-infected humans
Year: 2007
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A reporter and cameraman follow a fire department on call, where they are quarantined in an apartment complex

Reason it’s awesome: There are many films that try to use the handheld camera perspective, with varying degrees of success. This one makes great use of the documentary filming perspective, mixed with a traditional perspective, to move the action forward. This is a Spanish film and there was an American version (Quarantine) released a year later that’s almost a shot-for-shot reproduction. It always amazes me that a film can be almost an exact reproduction of something else, and completely miss all the excitement of the original. Avoid Quarantine, and check this one out instead.

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 3/5
Scary level: 4/5

Dog Soldiers – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

Dog Soldiers

Movie: Dog Soldiers
Monster: Werewolves
Year: 2002
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A military experiment involving werewolves in the Scottish highlands goes wrong.

Reason it’s awesome: There are very few movies about werewolves, which is a shame, because I think they’re one of the most interesting monster categories. Anyway, a squad of soldiers believe they are on a training mission, when they stumble upon the remains of another group of soldiers. The characters in the squad are quite fun, and the game of cat and mouse that the play with the werewolves is exciting and frustrating.

Humor level: 2/5
Violence level: 3/5
Scary level: 3/5

The Devil’s Backbone – Horror Movie Marathon – Monster Horror

The Devil's Backbone

 

Movie: The Devil’s Backbone (El espinazo del diablo)
Monster: Ghosts
Year: 2001
Rating: R

The Story, in a nutshell: A young boy goes to live at a haunted orphanage during the Spanish civil war.

Reason it’s awesome: This is an absolutely beautifully done ghost story. Very eerie, full of atmosphere, well-written script. Really just an all-around fantastic film. Although there are adults in the film, the majority of the focus is on the children, and that gives it a very unique perspective.

Humor level: 1/5
Violence level: 2/5
Scary level: 3/5