Halloween is one of the spookiest days of the year and the month leading into that terrifyingly fun day is filled with endless ways to celebrate. One of the more atmospheric ways to get into the creepy holiday spirt, in my opinion, is to delve into the deep list of horror flicks for viewing pleasure. You've probably heard or seen one of many marathons that have become annual for the past ten years or more including those shown on Freeform and AMC. There are so many horror movies that have come into existence over the past century since the dawn of filmmaking that these television channels can choose from. And in turn, there are many great underrated ones that go underneath the radar every year when people are looking and searching. Having said that, I'd like to shed light on a handful of fun movies that tend to receive the cold undead shoulder during these 31 days of terror.
1. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
When I was younger, I'd see that Halloween III would be on television in between the second and fourth sequels to the respective Michael Myers franchise but I'd chose to ignore it. Why? That's because Michael Myers was nowhere to be found in this movie. It was a standalone spinoff with the intention to steer the Halloween movies in a new direction that'd showcase new stories with every sequel moving forward. But since it ended up being a critical and financial failure, Hollywood brought the iconic killer back instead. After years of ignorance, I decided to watch it though and now it is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. There will be no spoilers here but let it be known that this failure in hindsight has developed success in the long run. Chances are you won't be disappointed watching this flick.
2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Movies that revolve around the whole "alien invasion on human civilization" plot have become somewhat iconic in the film industry but this is an alien invasion that brings the spooks! Visually and aesthetically, this is a quintessential 1970s horror movie but it still holds up 40 years later because of its timeless nature. The whole deal is that these aliens invade by assimilating and taking form of human beings once they've "fallen asleep." Once they've taken form, they show absolutely no emotion but when they spot out a fresh human that needs hosting then they scream horrifyingly like monsters. It's a subdued game of "Hide & Seek" that really crawls under your skin by the time it's over.
3. Trick 'r Treat
Director Michael Dougherty (of Krampus fame), made a little movie about ten years ago concerning this fun holiday but in a way that presents five short stories in 2 hours or less. What's awesome though is that these five seemingly separated stories converge and interweave in ways that make for a very entertaining watch. Some stories are scarier than others but it essentially feels like a fully matured Goosebumps show in film form that breaks down the rules and traditions of the actual holiday. If you're a fan of anthologies, short stories, or the previously mentioned kids show then you'll be sure to have a blast.
4. The Grudge (2004)
This American adaptation to the original Japanese film known as "Ju-On" receives a ton of hate constantly but in my personal opinion, there aren't many other movies from the millennial decades that are as terrifying as this one. The story leaves much to be desired but if you're watching it solely for the scares and the thrills, then there is no denying that The Grudge will spook for days. The plot tells audiences that one victims reach contact with the creepy home in which these ghosts lie, then they are screwed no matter what. And the coolest creative aspect but worst thought provoking aspect is that we never really see how our victims die. Leaving the mind to ponder about what actually goes down is what helps make this flick special. Not to mention the long black haired ghost with white pale skin and a croaking voice named Kayako, provides the correct appearance for nightmare fuel.
5. Dead Silence
James Wan, the horror master of recent times, has directed several horror flicks you definitely have heard of including The Conjuring and Saw. But have you ever seen his horror movie about ventriloquism and puppets that come to life? This is another movie that gets flack critically for a lackluster story, but visually there are not many other recent horror movies out there that nail the Halloween tone like this one does. Mary Shaw is a terrifying antagonist that rips your tongue out and murders you when you scream in her presence. But honestly, if you bumped into a creepy ghost like her in the woods or your own room then how could you not scream for your life? Dead Silence creates its own fun mythology and has fun providing scares from beginning to end. You also won't look at ventriloquists the same way ever again.