How to have an “Alternative Halloween Movie Night” in 2015
Costumes, candy, ridiculous parties–it’s Halloween, everyone! But if your Marty McFly costume didn’t come together quite like you planned (seriously, he’s wearing like 12 shirts), or you prefer to just buy your own candy instead of sending your children out to beg for it, there are still quality ways to celebrate the glory of Halloween. And by that, I mean it’s time for some quality Halloween movie viewing.
“Does this vest make me look puffy?”
Now, I’m not much for the traditional scary movie. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Chucky, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, etc. are all old standbys, and I won’t judge you if they were your spooky viewing of choice this October 31. But if you’re looking to branch out a little or maybe if you get scared easily (which I certainly don’t, of course not, why would you even think that, let’s talk about something else…), I wanted to offer some alternatives for your next cryptic celebration.
At this point, I think we have to acknowledge the greatest horror movie ever, Shaun of the Dead. It’s just the best. If/when the zombie apocalypse does happen, I am immediately going to figure out what cricket is, because a cricket bat will be my weapon of choice. And if I die quickly because I have absolutely no idea how to use it, I will die knowing I honored the glory of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost, and I am completely fine with that.
“Where can I buy one of those vests?”
In a similar zombie vein, I also like Zombieland, because, well, Bill Murray. And a mutual hatred of Snowballs. To round out your fun-filled Halloween hat trick, I say watch Young Frankenstein. Maybe you won’t be terrified. But you’ll certainly enjoy yourself.
If you’re looking to add a little more gore to you celebratory Halloween viewing, check out Slither, an awesomely weird invasion movie from new Marvel golden boy James Gunn. It’s deadpan is nearly equal to its disgustingness–and trust me, that’s saying something for this movie. Another disgusting-yet-fun gem is Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to the Grindhouse double feature he and Quentin Tarantino collaborated on awhile back. (Grindhouse is how we also got the glory that is Machete.) And since you’re already here, you also need to watch Tarantino’s Death Proof, which is more dread-filled, and less gross… mostly.
If you do like your terror more cerebral, that’s when I like to go old school, with Alien, Jaws and The Thing (who knew Kurt Russell would come up so much in this article?). They all have some decent gore, but really it’s the waiting that will kill you here. And, not to bring up old fights, but Fincher also really knows his way around a slow burn, so Zodiac and Seven are good options too. (Editor’s Note: Seven is still better – Monster Mike)
“This ain’t the Hunger Games, %!#@&.”
Now, I haven’t actually seen The Cabin in the Woods, but I’m pretty sure Joss Whedon knows what he’s doing, so that’s certainly a potentially nice selection. Or, keeping it in the Whedonverse via Alan Tudyk, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a giggleishly funny send-up of the traditional scary movie, with a nearly offensive amount of gory deaths to help satisfy your bloodlust. However, if we are going more traditional scary, I’ve always had a soft spot for The Faculty, which features Jon Stewart as a science teacher!
Finally, if you have kids (or just a soul), try out Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It’s Claymation and it is adorable, and if you don’t like it (Editor’s Note #2: I didn’t like it – Franken-Mike), you are already well-prepared for the zombie apocalypse, friend, because you must hate any kind of joy.
“Oh no, someone set the movie to “suck.”
What do you think? Enough scary options? Not scary enough? Too heavy on Kurt Russell? And can you guys share your favorite Halloween viewing musts with me? (And not Hocus Pocus… let’s be serious.) I need some new choices, because my red puffy vest is not going to get here in time and I don’t have the right hair for Doc Brown.
So if you didn’t have a Happy Halloween in 2014, you’ve got no excuse for next year!