It's that time of the year again, folks. Time for the pumpkins, the costumes, the parties, the door-to-door candy and the scary movies. Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays because there's never any pressure to buy gifts or fight your way through a crowded department store while waiting on absurd lines packed full of angry, jaded shoppers. Nope, Halloween is all about dressing up and having fun.
The Five: Movies You Have to Watch on Halloween
However, it wouldn't be Halloween without some creepy scares, too, which is why every year I look forward to turning out the lights and crawling up on the comfy sofa with a blanket and a loved one in anticipation of watching a really spooky flick. But what do you watch when there are literally thousands of scary movies to choose from? Here are five that I whole-heartedly recommend.
Halloween – If you're going to start anywhere, it has to be with my favorite scary movie of all time: John Carpenter's original Halloween. There's a masked killer stalking the streets of a small town on Halloween, and it's up to one vigilant babysitter to stop him before it's too late. The no-budget look of the film and the creepy-as-all-hell piano score help to build tension till it (and you) literally boils over in fear.
Nightmare on Elm Street – Before all the unnecessary sequels, and before Freddy Krueger turned into more of a circus clown than a serial killer, there was the original Nightmare on Elm Street – a movie about a deceased burn victim freak who terrorizes (and brutally murders) teenagers through their dreams. There's nothing more frightening than not being able to fall asleep for fear some weird dude is going to come and kill you in your dreams, of all places. Sleep tight.
Poltergeist – The good thing about Poltergeist for any parent out there is that if you "accidentally" show it to your kids when they're young, they'll probably have nightmares for awhile, sure, but they'll definitely think twice about watching too much television. In this classic haunt-fest, a little girl gets sucked into her TV and through to another dimension where they're probably not showing American Idol episodes. It's then up to her family – and a weird psychic lady – to find the little girl and bring her back.
Paranormal Activity – In my opinion, horror movies are so much scarier when they take place inside the main characters' home since it's at home where we all feel the safest. This is definitely a newcomer to the Halloween season, but it's packed full of enough frightening jolts and images that you probably won't want to go to bed alone … for about a month.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Since we understand that not all the kids can stay up late watching scary movies on Halloween, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is perfect for families who want to celebrate the seasonal spirit without a whole bunch of spooky, nightmarish killers, demons and monsters to keep them up at night. In this gotta-watch-it-once-every-year classic, the Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus decides to sit up and wait for the mysterious Great Pumpkin to arrive.
What are some of your favorite movies to watch on Halloween? Feel free to share them in the comments section for those looking for a good, strong scare. Oh, and Happy Halloween everyone!
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Erik DavisFandango Bloggers
Erik is a leading movie commentator who has worked for outlets such as AOL Moviefone and Movies.com.