England: These movies folks should get you through the scary season
October 26, 2016
Halloween is a horror movie holiday for me. I typically don't watch them at any other time — having three kids will do that to you — but Halloween is a time when I'll reserve a spot in my basement, shoo the kids away and binge in between trick-or-treating.
This is a list of my recommendations, not a list of the best horror movies of all time. These are simply some of the ones I've really enjoyed. I based them on the creativity of the story and the overall quality of the film. There were some horror movies I really liked, but didn't want to recommend them here because they were too gory. I call it shock and gall gore, and the trend spoiled potentially excellent films such as the "Saw" series and "Hostel." The trend also appears to be fading, and I'm thankful for that.
» "It Follows"
Conservatives should love this one about the dangers of unprotected sex. This is a sweeter story than it should be.
» "The Exorcist"
Disturbing even by today's standards, it's also brilliant and scary as hell (see what I did there?)
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This creepy tale is also one of the best representations of grief in any movie ever.
» "Let The Right One In"
I prefer the original with subtitles, but the American version is good too. This is a sweet, lovely and terrifying tale.
It's rated PG, and yet it's the scariest movie I've ever seen. You'll never look at raw meat, the old tree outside or — sigh — clowns the same way again.
»"Blair Witch Project"/ "Paranormal Activity"
These two are the best in the so-called Found Footage genre, and both are good lessons on how to tell a scary story in a subtle way.
Some movies scare me more now that I'm a parent. This is one of them.
»"Shaun of the Dead"
This movie is a pretty good, even gory zombie flick, in addition to being maybe the funniest I've ever seen.
A gory yet funny zombie movie about Nazis with subtitles and one of the best uses of "Hall of the Mountain King." It's not a parody, like "Shaun of the Dead," but it is self-aware, and that's enough.
» "Halloween/ Friday The 13th"
Two classic movies with reputations marred by the sequels they spawned. Both are outstanding.
» "Wes Craven's New Nightmare"
However, sometimes sequels are good. Here's one of the best, and perhaps the most creative, entries in the Elm Street series.
A slasher flick, but a murder mystery and a nod to all the bad slasher flicks in the genre. This movie seemed to give permission to acknowledge all the bad cliches of all those slasher flicks and use them in a way that inspired more creative horror movies to hit the market.
» "Cabin in the Woods"
This movie is the best example of what "Scream" inspired. It's a wonderful, funny movie that everyone can like, even really enjoy, but only true horror fans can love because of all the ways the movie breaks kayfabe (and if you don't know that term, it's time for you to get into professional wrestling a bit).
— Staff writer Dan England is The Tribune's Features Editor. Call (970) 392-4418 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DanEngland.