This is it, kiddies. Halloween is almost over — for some it already is. And according to my social media feelers, it looks like this year was hit or miss for Halloween spirit. It happens. Just blame the election.
So before we close the season out with a super-duper spooky article tomorrow, let’s get generic for a moment and recount five non-Halloween movies that are good for Halloween. Because most television channels like to marathon scary movies this time of year — and unless they’re specifically showing the Halloween franchise — it gets fairly basic. So, think of this as my October 30th line-up.
1 – Fright Night
You see, Fright Night inspired me to write this post. Why? Well, last night was the last Saturday before Halloween. Because we’re hardcore adults and don’t really do parties anymore, this was our in-home Halloween party — which means we watch a movie and drink alcohol (well, I do). It was my movie pick and I felt the pressure to pick one helluva a good seasonal sendoff.
After mulling over a few Halloween-y flicks that had not yet been watched this year (i.e. John Carpenter’s Halloween or Ginger Snaps), I decided on Tom Holland’s classic Fright Night. While this movie has literally nothing to do with this festive time of year, it’s a perfect stay-at-home-on-a-Saturday-night movie. It’s 80s. It’s vampires. It’s midnight movie magic with Peter Vincent. You flinch at the cheap thrills and practical effects, while laughing at the intentional camp dialogue and humor. It’s just plain fun. Fun. That’s a good word. You’re going to see it a lot here.
2 – Army of Darkness (1992)
Evil Dead II is probably the best in this series– right? It’s essentially everything described above for Fright Night. And yet I go with Army of Darkness. For me, this is peak Bruce Campbell. Nothing gets better than seeing your anti-hero fudge ancient satanic words, speak nice with the medieval locals, banter with his evil skeletonic self, and still get the girl. All that right there is Bruce Campbell. It’s slapstick, gory, and goes extremely well with candy corn and pumpkin beer.
3 – Bride of Chucky (1998)
As with Army of Darkness, I chose to stray with this franchise’s standard and go with a later entry. While I love Child’s Play, I tend to like my Chucky with a bit more sass. While it doesn’t go as far off the deep end — and into insanity — as Seed of Chucky does (mind you, I love Seed of Chucky), Bride lets loose and allows everyone’s favorite demonic doll to lighten up a little, lessening the evil (at least a little). And this fourth installment does one more very important thing: it introduces the world to Tiffany — both doll and human alike. Who doesn’t need more Jennifer Tilly in their lives?
4 – Dead & Breakfast (2004)
Now, I haven’t viewed this one in years — and a good rewatch is well overdue. With that said, why we don’t see this under-the-radar darling on more lists is beyond me. So, I’m giving it a spot right here tonight. If you’re unfamiliar, Dead & Breakfast is an absurd zombie-comedy. It takes place over a day or two in small redneck town; has a wild cast (from Jeremy Sisto to David Carradine); and sports an amazing amount of goofy humor. Remember that buzz word I used earlier? I’m using it again here — this movie is fun. And while it’s been a good eight years or so, I remember it fondly for being a light, gory breeze of a watch. Plus, there’s a little zombie song-and-dance number set to this…
5 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
This is probably the most obvious movie for a spooky movie viewing list, yeah? And I’m certain it pops up in Halloween TV marathons. So, while it does not have the same comedic tones as the rest of my list, it’s deserving nonetheless. After a seriously scary first outing, and an interesting/socially conscious second outing, Freddy returns to Springwood and reunites with Nancy — who then enlists a team of super-dreamers. Anything that brings together a group to take down a larger entity is fine by me. Think The Monster Squad or Fast Five. Dream Warriors fits the fun factor tenfold. A bunch of mentally unbalanced teens with fantastical powers vs. the one and only Freddy Krueger. And this is why it’ll always be the best in that franchise.
And with that, see you tomorrow for one last Halloween 2016 entry…