Hard to believe this is the 3rd year we are posting for Halloween. Please have a look at our other H'ween posts (One and Two) as well as Stephen King, Dare You to Watch alone and the recent Gotcha---everything from classic Hitchcock suspense to aliens with retractable teeth. So once again I invite you to turn the lights down low, double check that you locked the doors, grab a blankie for hiding behind, screaming into or just to keep off that unexplained chill.
The first two feature everybodies' favorite pirate, Johnny Depp, but there is nothing swashbuckling about either of these films. The first is Secret Window from 2004. This is based on a Stephen King novella, and translated onto film quite nicely---good and creepy. Next up is Tim Burton's take on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If you remember the Disney cartoon you are in for a real surprise here---this is definitely a serious, adult version of the classic tale.
1408---again based on a King story, and starring John Cuscak and Samuel L Jackson. This has some truly terrific terrifying moments. You'll be reluctant to look out a hotel window for months to come. What fun!
Since last year we have gotten the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. I myself was never a big fan of Buff, but it was hugely popular, very kitchy, and well received by fans. So give any or all of the 7 years a look.
Speaking of buff, check out Arnold Schwartzenegger, Carl Weathers and Jessie Ventura in Predator---you can just about smell the testosterone. This is a really solid alien/thriller/adventure that play to Arnold's stregnths---lots of action and not too much dialogue! Can you believe two of these three guys went on to become US Governors?
We've got several of the old Vincent Price classics that are always good campy fun, and often effectively scary. Try House on Haunted Hill and The Pit and the Pendulum.
TCM has a box set of 4 horror movies and there isn't a single bad choice in the set. In fact all four are excellent bets. House of Wax, again with V Price, The Haunting (recommended last year), and my all time favourite Jeckyl and Hyde, with Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman. Everytime I see it (and believe me I have seen this version a lot) I am mesmerized by Tracy's performance. The last of the four is the extremely controversial Freaks and trust me when I say this is not for the faint of heart. This was banned in many countries and today still remains on many a 'warning list'. Real circus sideshow performers were used in the casting and some of the scenes are very disturbing.
We have two version of Oscar Wilde's classic tale of the descent of a decent young man into utter depravity---The Picture of Dorian Gray". The first is the 1945 with George Sanders and Hurd Hatfield. This is a very good film that delivers its message without being sexually gratuitous, lewd or disturbing. The other version is all three of these things and more. Don't mistake the two.
Happy to say that we are finally getting the excellent Brendan Fraser Mummy films. Currently available are The Mummy reutrns and The Mummy;Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (not quite sure where the first installment is. I'll check it with our acquistions department). These are great for the whole family (maybe age 9 and up) and scary in an old fashioned fun way. I see on IMDB that there is a 4th installment currently in production- Rise of the Aztec- let's just hope they bring back Rachel Weisz as the feisty Evy.
More Sci Fi than horror, Knowing still has some pretty intense moments so I thought I would throw it in. Nic Cage can run hot and cold but this is an above average movie.
Like your horror with a lot of humour? You can't go wrong with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Both feature British actor/writer/director Simon Pegg---real send-ups of the genre. Or try Zombieland with Wood Harrelson and an hilarious cameo by Bill Murray.
Currently on order is the really well done Outer Limits. This is the more recent verson from 1995 and we have seven seasons coming---good, solid entertainment featuring lots of highly recognizable faces.
Do you like your Mary Shelley? How about Bride of Frankenstein from the 30's with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Or the delightfully silly Young Frankenstein from Mel Brooks. Or on offer from A & E the non-fiction In Search of Frankenstein.
As mentioned above Tim Burton is always good for a bizarre interpretation and also for some highly original material. Have a look at any of these: Corpse Bride; Edward Scissorhands; James and the Giant Peach (kids age about 6 and up should enjoy this one). Typically I don't like Burton that much but I do love Ed Wood, with Burtons' go-to-guy Johnny Depp. This is the true story of Ed Wood, regarded by many to be the worst director of all time, and his group of truly strange friends---including real life Dracula actor, Bela Lugosi. This won Martin Landau and Oscar for best supporting actor.
Looking for something for the little ones? Just do a words or phrase search of Halloween dvd or wander over to our holiday section at your local branch. These start getting checked out quite early, so the sooner you get in the better. We even have a dvd that will show you how to paint faces.