Happy Halloween, everybody! It’s been a while since I put some words together for you guys, and I totally miss the attention. Seriously though, it’s nice to be back here with all you weirdos; it feels like I’m home again. First off, I want to thank you all for giving our new feature Guest Editorials a shot; it’s been a lot of fun working with all our awesome guests, putting together features that are both fun to read and informative. We’ll have more of those coming in the near future along with some other feature ideas I’ve been kicking around that I hope Luke and Jacob let me run. I’m sure they will, they’re swell guys.
So it’s October, naturally the best time of the year. The one month when all the “normals” decide horror movies are acceptable, while we’ve been living this all year long. One of my favorite things about the horror community is, we’re dedicated to our passion. I’ve always said there is never a bad time for a horror movie. I can watch them like Saturday morning cartoons. In fact, at times I do. You ever tell someone you’re into horror movies and they immediately say “me too”? I just chuckle to myself when I hear that response these days. They don’t know what they just got themselves into. Like most of you, I can go for hours and hours talking horror. My favorite movies, my favorite genres, my favorite types of scares, directors I like, actors I want to see more of, just typical hardcore fanatic stuff but that’s when my victim realizes they’re in way over their heads and usually leave the urinal without flushing and walk out the door. I’m pretty sure there are more of you than I can count that can relate to that type of interaction. Eh, it’s the price you pay when you are dedicated to this.
So that long winded intro is really just an excuse to speak about Halloween rituals. As horror fans, do you do anything special for Halloween? Do you do anything special in October? I know a lot of you do the 31 Day Challenge and I salute you, that’s a thing I’ve always wanted to do but never find the time for. That said, I tend to even out at around 31 movies by the end of the month. I have a friend that listens to the audiobook of World War Z every October, which is told in documentary style with interviews and scripted scenes. It’s like a found footage audiobook, pretty dope if I do say so myself and one day I plan to give that a listen.
As for myself though, the wife and I plan out our Halloween movies all year long, sometimes sitting on a particularly good movie until October. We dedicate almost all TV watching to horror shows. By the way, Salem is damn good and should be watched by more people. Production value is a lot higher than one would think for such a relatively unknown station. I also pick out a horror game and play it throughout the month. This year I’m playing Until Dawn with the wife and the Resident Evil HD Remake for myself. I never finished it back when it was on the Playstation (I know, leave me alone!) and it’s been on my pile of shame for many, many years. It’s also free on PSN this month so if you want to get in on that, there’s no better time to listen to laughably bad voice acting and bang your head on locked doors with half moon crescent carvings.
Anyway, back to the horror movie playlist that I make. I try to keep the movie list balanced between different genres. I start off with some good old-fashioned supernaturals, haunted houses, things like that. Ghost stories are great mood setters. The newly released Under the Shadow seems like a good fit here. I usually follow that with some good old-fashioned slasher flicks. The idea is to watch a movie where an actual person is doing the murdering, so anything with a human killer will work here. I think that type of violence complements the slow spooky ghost stories we were just watching fairly well, think something like The Neighbor, or The Strangers. After this I tend to go a bit more hardcore. Torture porn, body harm, gross out horror, all is welcome here. If you haven’t saw Contracted, it’s definitely worth your time.
Now at this point, I’m a few days into the playlist and while I’m not having nightmares just yet, they’re definitely creeping into my subconscious. To offset this I tend to go for something a bit more entertaining and not as heavy. The modern day classic that is Cabin In the Woods (fight me on this) is perfect. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is another great example. You get the idea. Something that puts the horror genre on its head, basically. And actually, if you are into horror comedy, I’d say give that new Ghostbusters movie shot. While by no means scary, its got ghosts in it and there are moment of hilarity throughout.
I had this discussion with someone on Twitter just the other night. It was a point the very awesome Ruby LaRocca once made to me; one of the best things about horror is how well it weaves in and out of other genres. Anything can be considered horror if it scares you enough. So maybe ghosts don’t do it for you, but at least you have gross-out horror to look to. Which, by the way, if you haven’t watched Deadgirl yet you totally should. I’ve seen it way more times than is normal, and I’m pretty sure my wife thinks I want to murder her now.
So at this point, we’re almost half way done with our month of mayhem and we’ve covered some of the major food groups of horror, but there is so much more to do and watch. This really is the best time of the year. Even though we watch horror movies 365 days a year in our house, there’s still something special about watching them in October. It’s around this time I will usually put the breaks on modern horror (I know, right?), and go back to some old school favorites to even things out a bit. I’ll usually watch a cheesy Halloween sequel or two. I’ll definitely watch a marathon of bad Friday the 13th movies; Jason Takes Manhattan with its ridiculous ending is acceptable here. And you know I have to watch Rosemary’s Baby, though I tend to save that towards the end of the month because its so damn good. I’ll go a bit deeper down the old horror movie rabbit hole with movies like Hellraiser which still holds up really well in my opinion, and just last night I watched the black and white silent film Nosferatu and let me tell you: that movie gives me the fucking creeps. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. It’s on Shudder.
This leaves the last week before Halloween as a bit of a free-for-all. Movies I want to rewatch fall into this camp, but horror movies I’m curious about get slotted in also. I’ll watch It Follows for the 25th time. I’ll sometimes be in the mood for a good anthology, and we’re in luck because Patient Seven looks to be pretty good in that regard. The Good Neighbor is another film that has me curious, so I’ll give that a shot. As the week winds down to the big night, I try to establish some more mood-setters. The Witch is perfect for that. It’s dripping with atmosphere and creepy goats…a creepy goat.
That about covers it. Look, I’ll be honest; my Halloween day tends to be a lot of wild cards with some carefully chosen classics thrown in. John Carpenter’s Halloween is a must of course. I manage to get in A Nightmare on Elm Street also. But at this point I tend to look towards Luke and Jacob to see what they recommend on the show. My taste tends to line up a bit more with Jacob’s, so if he likes something, more often than not I will give it a shot. Some of my favorite movies of last year would have ghosted right by me if it wasn’t for those knuckleheads. Damn I love this place, and it feels good to be back. Happy Halloween y’all. Have a safe one, and kill a clown* while you’re out there.