Top Ten Halloween Movies
Our Ten’s List
It’s the witching hour here at The Ten’s List as we break down the best of the best for each genre.
So Close your closet doors and check under the bed (I’ll wait) This Weeks Tens list is of course Top Ten Halloween Movies.
10. Scream (1996)
An excellent job casting this film, (Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Liev Schreiber, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lilliard, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Jaime Kennedy) made the horror scene relevant and hip again among the younger crowd.
Hard to believe it was made in 1996, But this movie was a clever new take on the teen slasher genre, ably directed by the master himself Wes Craven. What made this film special was it’s self awareness.
It would sometimes travel the the expected route, but would also veer off into to something completely unexpected. That is what makes Scream such an enjoyable ride.
9. The Haunting (1963)
The Haunting is not your typical haunted house story.
A truly unsettling film. There is no blood and gore or special effects to make you jump out of your seat. Just pure psychological terror.
The Haunting builds suspense and a sense of dread through excellent acting and camera angles, and relying on your mind and imagination to fill in all of the terrifying blanks.
8. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)
This TV short movie focuses on Linus and his belief that the Great Pumpkin exists, despite the criticism of his friend Charlie Brown.
His steadfast belief is noble for a child as he passes up going trick or treating in order to wait for the Great Pumpkin.
A heartwarming tale, this movie is a Halloween TV classic that should be enjoyed by families everywhere.
7. Sleepy Hallow (1999)
Starring Johnny Depp and Directed by Tim Burton , you know this film will be plenty creepy. The extra added delight is seeing Christopher Walken in an impressive costume sink his razor sharp teeth into the villainous role of the headless horseman.
Tim Burton is masterful here, as he does not rely on horror to get the scares here, but recreates a dark brooding atmosphere akin to a classic Gothic novel that will give you the chills.
6. PumpkinHead (1989)
An original horror film that does not follow the established path that most movies of the genre were cranking out at that time.
Pumkinhead creates rich characters and atmosphere, as well as actually having a moral in the story.
But not to worry, Pumpkinhead has the carnage and gore horror fans crave, as well as one of the cooler horror movie monsters.
5. The Fog (1980)
The original Scream Queen, Jaime Lee Curtis teams up with B-Movie maestro John Carpenter again in this classic ghost story.
Carpenter shows his chops by slowly and masterfully building tension and forcing you to let your imagination run wild.
Not quite as well revered as Carpenter’s other movies, But trust me this one holds up in its own right.
Also don’t bother with the eye-gouging-worthy remake.
4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch has been a tough one for me to objectively rate. The production was substandard, the dialogue was poor (in fact, most of the lines were improvised) and the story was not all that fantastic. However thanks to an ingenious marketing plan that had moviegoers believe that this was real footage made this film a monster at the Box Office…as well as an unforgettable cultural icon.
I was one of those that believed it could have been real going into it. To be fair this is before I had the internets, and I didn’t completely believe it was true but it certainly added to the tension and drama. All this made The Blair Witch Project shortcomings very easy to overlook even to this day.
3. Evil Dead (1981) and
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
At some point here Neil and I will do a definitive review on this series as I cannot do them justice in a blurb.
The original Evil Dead was created by a group of childhood friends (one of which is Sam Raimi of Spider-man fame) for just 50k. Proving that passion and ingenuity will top any budget.
Without having the big special effects as a crutch, Raimi made every second, every shot, every angle count directing this film. The result being some 32 years later this is still one of the scariest films ever made period.
Perhaps most importantly Evil Dead was the platform that launched a B movie Icon: Bruce “If Chins Could Kill” Campbell.
The pair would go on to direct a third installment of the franchise: Army of Darkenss – a gloriously schlocky action flick that really cemented Bruce as a cult legend.
Bruce Fricking Campbell People!!!
2. The Exorcist (1973)
Way ahead of it’s time The Exorcist shocked audiences with concepts and images that have never been done before on film. 40 years later The Exorcist doesn’t quite shock any more, but it will still scare the devil out of you.
The Exorcist doesn’t rely on body counts or the usual horror gimmicks, instead director Friedkin creates realistic characters and slowly crafts a story about good and evil until it reaches it’s boiling point.
1. Halloween (1978)
Not a surprise here the granddaddy of all slasher movies is #1 in my list of Top Ten Halloween Movies.
The story is actually quite trivial, but John Carpenter does what he does best create an intense, anxiety-inducing environment.
The dark lighting, the long steady-cam shots, blurry shots of the killer in the background, and eerie music (probably the most recognizable of the genre) creates a claustrophobic and uncomfortable atmosphere that has yet to be rivaled.
There is a body count, but by no means high especially by today’s masked killer standards. The real trick was knowing that they were going to be killed…but not knowing when the trap would spring made each death that much scarier.