Well here it is, Halloween. A great time for spooks and frights and of course, horror films. In order to celebrate my absolute favorite holiday, I have decided to give you my personal top five horror films to watch on this All Hallows Eve.
This awesome collaboration between George Romero and Stephen King acts as a love letter to the classic EC horror comics and features five gruesome and quite entertaining tales to enjoy. Featuring an ensemble cast including Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E. G. Marshall, as well as King himself. Creepshow offers delightfully ghoulish stories and features some truly awesome practical effects by the great Tom Savini making it a perfect film to watch on the spookiest day of the year.
Does anything really need to be said about this film other than Angus Scrimm’s chilling portrayal of the Tall Man? A weird surrealist nightmare that is so unexpectedly compelling, Phantasm is one of the coolest and most interesting horror films out there and needs to be seen by every horror fan out there.
Directed by special effects wizard Stan Winston, Pumpkinhead serves as one of the absolute best creature features in existence. Starring Lance Henrikson in a perfectly suited role, the tragic and compelling nature of its plot almost leads one to cheer for the titular monster even if its victims are very well written and layered. Of course, one cannot forget to mention the brilliant design of the demonic namesake of the film and the animatronic work here is stellar.
2. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is not without its controversy, but one can’t deny the chilling and suspenseful film nor its eerie tone throughout. The truly psychotic performance of Jack Nicholson leaves one quite disturbed and Kubrick’s mastery of the film frame results in one of the most beautiful horror films ever made. It is absolutely terrifying in the best way possible and serves as a great mood setting for October 31st.
I know, I know it was super predictable but what can I say, I love this film so much. It is my absolute favorite horror film and many who know me are more than aware of my belief that it is the greatest horror film ever made. Carpenter’s flawless technique is on full display and even after more than 40 years it is still genuinely scary. The blank features of The Shapes mask (inspired by Eyes Without a Face), the dark moody atmosphere, the incredible performance of a young Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut, and of course that iconic score. Everything about this film comes together perfectly and manages to excite and thrill me every time I watch it. These elements make it the perfect film to enjoy in a nice dark room on the holiday that it takes its title from.