vampire girl miniHorror cinema has been a going concern since the silent era and shows no signs of letting up 100 years later.  All of this makes the multiple choices of selecting Halloween viewing especially hellish… but isn’t that the point? 

" /> vampire girl miniHorror cinema has been a going concern since the silent era and shows no signs of letting up 100 years later.  All of this makes the multiple choices of selecting Halloween viewing especially hellish… but isn’t that the point? 

" /> vampire girl miniHorror cinema has been a going concern since the silent era and shows no signs of letting up 100 years later.  All of this makes the multiple choices of selecting Halloween viewing especially hellish… but isn’t that the point? 

" />

Only 14 shocking days ’til Halloween… what to watch?

vampire girlHorror fans in general and Halloweenists in particular are always in a dither at this time of year over what to watch on The Big Night.  For the Gothically inclined, no-brainer candidates include the Universal Studios classic monster canon that began with Tod Browning’s Dracula and James Whale’s Frankenstein in 1931, plus all their respective Bride of–, Son of–, House of– follow-ups.  Alternatively, we suggest the seminal (but still undervalued) psychological spookers produced by Val Lewton for RKO during the ’40s; while the best of these (The Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Body Snatcher) are flat-out genre milestones, the least of them (Isle of the Dead, The Leopard Man) drip with autumnal atmosphere.  Lewton protégés Jacques Tourneur and Robert Wise were later responsible for Night of the Demon (1957) and The Haunting (1963), respectively; both are top notch spookers whose shocks are more suggested than shoved in your face.

Woman Who Came Back video box

At the risk of blasmpemy, we further suggest giving John Carpenter’s influential Halloween (1978) a well deserved time out this year.  Just released  on DVD in a (gasp, choke) bare bones release from Parmount is John Hancock’s eerie Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971), a Connecticut-set spooker that might be a vampire picture or simply the story of one woman’s descent into madness.  Creepy New England settings also figure into John Llewellyn Moxey’s Horror Hotel (UK: City of the Dead, 1960), a story of small town secrets and big time Satanism, Republic Pictures’ The Woman Who Came Back (1945), a forgotten gem set in contemporary, witch-hagged Massachusetts, and Lucio Fulci’s American Gothic terror two-fer, City of the Living Dead (1980) and House by the Cemetery (1982).  For woodsy, October chills, it’s hard to beat all of the above, and so many more dark horse candidates there isn’t time or space to include.

Horror cinema has been a going concern since the silent era and shows no signs of letting up 100 years later.  All of this makes the multiple choices of selecting Halloween viewing especially hellish… but isn’t that the point?

Happy Haunting (and Shocking Shopping) from the Movie Morlocks.

10 Responses Only 14 shocking days ’til Halloween… what to watch?
Posted By TomF : October 17, 2006 6:55 pm

Just watched Let's Scare Jessica the other day. Hadn't seen it since the early 80's.  Even creepier than I remembered it and particularly liked the New England-like autumn setting, fog and color just like it's around here now.

Posted By TomF : October 17, 2006 6:55 pm

Just watched Let's Scare Jessica the other day. Hadn't seen it since the early 80's.  Even creepier than I remembered it and particularly liked the New England-like autumn setting, fog and color just like it's around here now.

Posted By Allie Harding : October 20, 2006 5:54 am

The Horror Genre is my favorite; therefore, I watch horror movies all the time, not just on Halloween. When it comes to buying DVD's I spend the most on this genre and I am always on the look out for new titles to add so I will be on the lookout for two mentioned here. The Woman Who Came Back (1945) sounds interesting along with House by the Cemetery (1982). I will have to consider adding these to my horror collection.  

Posted By Allie Harding : October 20, 2006 5:54 am

The Horror Genre is my favorite; therefore, I watch horror movies all the time, not just on Halloween. When it comes to buying DVD's I spend the most on this genre and I am always on the look out for new titles to add so I will be on the lookout for two mentioned here. The Woman Who Came Back (1945) sounds interesting along with House by the Cemetery (1982). I will have to consider adding these to my horror collection.  

Posted By RHS : October 20, 2006 9:02 pm

Allie, THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK is available for rental from Netflix and available to buy from Amazon.com for under $10.  It's a fun, spooky little picture and would be a great co-feature for your Halloween night's viewing.

Posted By RHS : October 20, 2006 9:02 pm

Allie, THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK is available for rental from Netflix and available to buy from Amazon.com for under $10.  It's a fun, spooky little picture and would be a great co-feature for your Halloween night's viewing.

Posted By Mike : October 26, 2006 10:39 pm

One movie that stands out as scaring the pants off me is "Children SHouldnt Play With Dead Things". I wattched this as a teen and was too frightened after the final scene to even move.Netflix has it but be warned!!!

Posted By Mike : October 26, 2006 10:39 pm

One movie that stands out as scaring the pants off me is "Children SHouldnt Play With Dead Things". I wattched this as a teen and was too frightened after the final scene to even move.Netflix has it but be warned!!!

Posted By Robert Jay : December 31, 2006 4:06 am

OK…then try Storm of the Century, and a little known gem not yet available on DVD called "The Keep"…the former will give you that wonderful sense of isolation with no way out while the horror has its way with you (like the original Alien, for example).  The latter does a nice job of tying actual historical environments (say, like Nazi Germany) to the occult and also gives us some nice early performances from Scott Glen and Jurgen Prochnow.  Forget the slasher crap for a change, at least for a while and venture into true horror (which never had the need for gratuitous blood and guts).  Need a few more?  Great…check out "The Hunger" and "The Sentinel"  as a compromise that will give you your minimum movie requirement of blood along with some very scary horror. 

Posted By Robert Jay : December 31, 2006 4:06 am

OK…then try Storm of the Century, and a little known gem not yet available on DVD called "The Keep"…the former will give you that wonderful sense of isolation with no way out while the horror has its way with you (like the original Alien, for example).  The latter does a nice job of tying actual historical environments (say, like Nazi Germany) to the occult and also gives us some nice early performances from Scott Glen and Jurgen Prochnow.  Forget the slasher crap for a change, at least for a while and venture into true horror (which never had the need for gratuitous blood and guts).  Need a few more?  Great…check out "The Hunger" and "The Sentinel"  as a compromise that will give you your minimum movie requirement of blood along with some very scary horror. 

Leave a Reply

Current ye@r *

Streamline is the official blog of FilmStruck, a new subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of films including an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.