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Forgotten Flix Recommends…13 Horror Movies for Halloween

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)

by Joel G. Robertson

I originally posted this in the comments section as a suggestion list for my friend Dumbricht, who’s blogging about watching 31 movies leading up to Halloween. Check out his blog here. He asked for a few suggestions and while I’m sure he (and you) have heard of many of these films, and to be honest, many aren’t forgotten (oh man, I hope not!).

So, without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are my 13 horror movie recommendations for this 13th day of October:

1. Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987 – more funny (and fun) than the first one, and I think it was better)

2. Black Christmas (1974 – the original, of course!)

3. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982 – it must be a generational thing, but I enjoy this one way more than the original. For the scene with MacReady (Kurt Russell) poking those blood-filled petri dishes with a hot wire…man, you can cut the tension with a knife!)

4. John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978 – again, original please… don’t even get me started about Rob Zombie…)

5. The Exorcist (1973 – What else is there to say? Other than I’m just glad they haven’t remade it…yet)

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 – the origi… ah, forget it. You know.)

7. The Stepfather (1987 – man, I’m starting to get depressed by how many of my beloved horror movies are getting remade!)

8. Near Dark (1987 – great vampire movie. These are badass, mean-to-the-bone vampires, none of that Twilight emo crap here. : ) )

9. Night of the Creeps (1986 – Gory, campy 80s fun!)

10. The Monster Squad (1987 – It’s The Goonies with monsters. I know this is Heresy for me to say as a child of the 80s, but I think this is the superior film… by a long shot! It’s also, from the same director, Fred Dekker, that did Night of the Creeps)

11. Fright Night (1985 – fun 80s vampire flick with Roddy McDowall as pseudo-vampire killer, but very real horror host, Peter Vincent)

12. Night of the Living Dead (1968 – original…yep, but ah, a twist in the list…)

13. Night of the Living Dead (1990 – the remake directed by Tom Savini and starring The Candyman himself Tony Todd, this remake holds up really well. Even based on Romero’s original script!)

Yes, I know I have two remakes on my list while simultaneously expressing my disdain for remakes! Oh well…

It just seems right to stop at 13, but if you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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22 comments for “Forgotten Flix Recommends…13 Horror Movies for Halloween

  1. October 14, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Its fine to pick a remake and moan about remakes, we call that ‘the exception that proves the rule’

    • October 14, 2010 at 6:50 am

      Right. I agree here. As a general rule, I frown upon remakes as well. But every now and then you’ll get a decent one that squeaks through.

      • October 14, 2010 at 9:15 am

        Uncle Jasper,

        For sure. And I’m definitely the eternal optimist. I’ll watch them when they come out, knowing full well I’m going to spend several hours afterward cursing the cinema gods for allowing such an atrocity! : ) Best, Joel

    • October 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

      Good point! I can at least use that argument to justify my staggering hypocrisy. ; ) Thanks for posting Timothy! Best, Joel

  2. October 14, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Some excellent choices there! #’s 3 to 6 are on my top-10 list of horror films, and #12 as well. As for remakes, I did like the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake from 2004 (obviously I prefer the original, which is also on my top-10 list, but the remake did have it’s moments). I also enjoyed THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake from 2005.

    • October 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Hi Dave,

      Welcome! I agree about DOTD 2004, except the one thing I couldn’t ge tpast is the whole running zombies thing. My argument is simply this: if they’re dead (and not just infected with a rage virus a la “28 Days Later”), then rigor mortis has set in, thus creating stiff joints and taunt muscles, limiting fluid or fast movement. I will agree that a massive crowd of the dead running at you is pretty freakin’ scary, but what I always loved about Romero-esque zombies is that folks would get cocky when they saw one or two, but before they knew it they were surrounded, trapped in an elevator for instance. All the while, there’s the possibility that they might be able to escape since the damn things are so slow, but they never quite make it… I’d love to hear your whole top ten list by the way! Best, Joel

      • October 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm

        The frightening thing about zombies is that they are an relentless, overwhelming, slow-moving horde. Like you say, you underestimate them and before you know it, you’re surrounded. Running zombies are bullshit. I have been wanting to re-watch the Dawn of the Dead remake after I learned that it was written by ex-Troma employee James Gunn. His directorial debut, Slither, is one of the best horror movies in recent years, so it made me interested in watching the Dawn remake again, but I don’t see myself changing my mind.

  3. October 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I have to say from the bottom of my heart, you done well with this post, very useful stuff.

    • October 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm

      Wow! Thanks so much for saying such a nice comment. I really appreciate it! Best, Joel

  4. October 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Great list Joel! Lots of killer horror movies here. I still need to see Near Dark, I keep hearing so much good about it and I love me some vampires!

    • October 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Will! Based on the response to this post, I think I’m going to do a few more between now and Halloween. I highly recommend checking out “Near Dark”. It is a definite slow burn, but Lance Henriksen is (of course) fantastic as the “Papa” vampire. Bill Paxton is in full on over-the-top mode, but it’s entertaining for sure. It’s also neat to see early work from Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli on Heroes) and director Kathyrn Bigelow (Hurt Locker). Eric Red, the writer, also wrote Body Parts (1991) w/ Jeff Fahey (Frank Lapidus on LOST) and The Hitcher (1986), an excellent thriller with Rutger Hauer and C. Thomas Howell! Best, Joel

      • October 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

        Yeah people love the list posts. Near Dark sounds good, I enjoy Lance Hendriksen.

        • October 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

          Hi Will, I’ve noticed they do! I think I’m going to put out a few more between now and the “official” launch day. I really like Near Dark. It’s like a vampire “River’s Edge” (and not just because both pictures have actor Joshua Miller in them). : ) Henriksen ranks up there with the best. He always delivers a great performance.

  5. October 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    John Carpenter horror movie classics always make Halloween that much more frightful! Nice!…Great list.

    • October 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Kimster! Thanks for posting! Carpenter’s one of my faves. Other than a couple missteps, he’s had a very solid career. Thanks for the kind words and I look forward to hearing what you think about the blog! : )

  6. October 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Great post! I’m going to open myself up to the thrashing I deserve by admitting that I haven’t seen Children of the Corn. Maybe this will be my special mission on Halloween.

    • October 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Jarrett! Nah, no thrashing (or at the very least I’ll save that for when we’re at work). No, I was much more horrified when you told me you haven’t seen the original Halloween! 🙂

  7. Peter Nielsen
    January 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Hi Joel
    Excellent choices on this horrorific list. The only ones I haven’t seen here are “Black Christmas” and the remake of “Night of the Living Dead”

    • January 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks Peter! I definitely recommend checking out both of them. BLACK CHRISTMAS (from the director of PORKY’S and A CHRISTMAS STORY I might add!) is a suspenseful, atmospheric chiller starring the beautiful Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, and the always awesome John Saxon. Keir Dullea of 2001 also stars.

      NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (remake) is one I loved when it came out, loved when I rewatched it about six years ago, and one I’d love to revisit. Directed by FX master Tom Savini, written/produced by George A. Romero and starring the fantastic Tony Todd, Patricia Tallmand, William Butler, Tom Towles and Bill Moseley (Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw 2) as Johnny. “They’re coming to get you Barbara!”

      • Peter Nielsen
        January 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

        Olivia Hussey, you say? Hmm….

  8. June 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Just watched night of the creeps and thought it was awesome!

    • June 17, 2011 at 6:12 am

      Hi Hubert! Night of the Creeps is a classic and, I think, holds up really well. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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