james debate
james debate

Monday 26 October 2009

It's that magical time of year again. A time when all mankind can come together in harmony and fearitude. This week we will be celebrating my favourite of all religious holidays, Halloween.

As a film buff, I can riff off a list of brilliant movies for pretty much any occasion, and this day is no different. And besides, if there's any holiday that deserves it, it's this one. So turn off your lights and hold on to someone you trust, behold the ultimate list of movies to watch on Halloween:


5. Psycho


The classic horror film from Alfred Hitchcock scared a generation out of showering (at least that's their excuse). Often seen as a genre defining moment in cinema, Psycho created several of the horror movie conventions we now take for granted; creepy motels, tormented loners, inept cops getting sliced and diced, and of course there's the iconic shower scene.

Rating on the Freaky Pumpkin Meter:

4. Scream


It has become so passe to laugh at teen horror movies, it's really the ultimate cliché. Watch this film, however, and you can see exactly why everyone decided to copy it, with the only difference being that this one is actually pretty good. One of the only films of the genre to combine gratuitous horror with an oh so dark chocolate sense of humor makes for a winning formula.

Rating on the Freaky Pumpkin Meter:

3. Night of the Living Dead

night of the living dead

No way I was going to make this list without some zombie film, so I might as well pick the grand daddy of them all. George Romero's 1968 classic created the modern 'zombie apocalypse' archetype and while, in terms of film quality, it may have been bettered recently by Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, this is the one that started it. Where most zombie films are all about gratuitous gore, this one actually had meaning behind it, about the subversiveness of vietnam era society... and stuff... also, zombies!

Rating on the Freaky Pumpkin Meter:

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

nightmare before christmas

Maybe it's more of a Christmas film than a Halloween film, but it's damn good enough that I feel happy putting it on this list. Tim Burton's halloween musical was well received initially, but I don't think anyone anticipated how well it would stand the test of time and develop such a cult following. Striking and original visuals and great songs make this a holiday classic.

Rating on the Freaky Pumpkin Meter:

1. Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein

Mel Brooks' classic takes horror stereotypes and turns them on their head in the way that only Mel Brooks can. Featuring the comedy stylings of Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle and a surprising cameo from Gene Hackman, this film is a pure joy for all fans and non-fans of the horror genre, and a must for your Halloween party.

Rating on the Freaky Pumpkin Meter:

Well that's all folks, farewell and happy Halloween!
I leave you with this, probably the most spooktacular song ever written:

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