With Halloween weekend upon us, I figured I should share a few of the horror movies that I hold dear. That way, you know exactly what to go pick up for your own horror-fests. These are only short reviews so you will know exactly what you are in for if you watch any of these.

Happy Halloween!







Title: El Orphanato(The Orphanage)The Orphanage

Type: creepy-ass ghost story that must be played with the lights out.

Director: J.A. Bayona

MPAA Rating: R

Language: Spanish with English Subtitles

Summary: A couple re-open an orphanage as a school for disabled children. Unknown to them, this orphanage is haunted, as it claims the couple’s son, and their sanity.

Notes: I watched this movie alone in my living-room, in the dark, and it gave me chills. That is a rare thing for me. The story itself is fantastic, and really places you in the heads of the characters. There isn’t much gore per se, but what the movie does portray is extremely detailed, and it helps in character development, unlike slasher movies where the gore is there as entertainment in its own right.

Title: The Gates of Hell/City of the Living DeadThe Gates of Hell

Type: Italian blood and guts splatter-fest

Director: Lucio Fulci

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Language: English

Summary: The suicide of a priest in the quiet town of Dunwich unleashes “the gates of hell.” Fun times had by all.

Notes: Lucio Fulci is an iconic horror director from the 1980s. If you’ve heard of him, you’ve probably already seen this movie. The plot may be a bit erratic, the acting stale, but the movie itself creates an intense mood of fear. Gore aficionados will be quite happy with the visuals, which include gut-vomiting and power-drills into skulls, as well as the normal things that zombies do, like eating brains. This is not a “scary movie” per se, more a “let’s see some bad-ass death scenes with zombies.”

Friday the 13th Part 3

Title: Friday the 13th Part 3: in 3D

Type: good old slasher movie

Director: Steve Miner

MPAA Rating: R

Language: English

Summary: One of the modern day horror icons, Jason Vorhees, returns to trade a burlap sack for a hockey mask and slay visitors and residents of Crystal Lake, all in cheesy 3D!

Notes: Most versions of this movie do not need 3D glasses in order to see the 3D effect, however a big screen TV would help. The storyline is your basic slasher, which helps make this more of a fun movie than a scary movie. This should definitely be watched with a group of people, maybe even a whole group that’s already seen the movie a hundred times before.

Title: The BeyondThe Beyond

Type: Italian psychedelic gore flick

Director: Lucio Fulci

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Language: English

Summary: A cursed house unleashes countless horrors upon the town it resides in. Have we heard this one before?

Notes: The Beyond is probably Lucio Fulci’s best, and most famous, horror film. It has his trademark gore, mixed in with one of his better storylines and dramatic environments. Although what is exactly happening within the house and town may be vague at times, it has more elements of suspense then the earlier reviewed Fulci film The Gates of Hell. Notable horror scenes include eye-gouging, nails driven through wrists, spider attacks, flesh-searing acid spills, and one of the greatest shotgun blasts ever seen. It culminates into another zombie movie, however this zombified plot device feels like only a side-note to the rest of a well-rounded horror film.

Title: Halloween 3: Season of the WitchHalloween 3: Season of the Witch

Type: prerequisite Halloween horror film that makes you want to keep your children home from trick-or-treating

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

MPAA Rating: R

Language: English

Summary: A Halloween mask company plans the deaths of millions of children through the use of their masks.

Notes: No Halloween film fest is complete without a film from the Halloween series. So, why would I pick the film that most find offensive to the franchise? Well, because I think it was well made. Sure, there is no Michael Meyers killing off babysitters in a variety of ways, but this movie was good in its own right. Unfortunately, it was an unexpected sequel, and didn’t sit well with many critics and fans. What this movie did was make viewers fear Halloween in a whole new way. Instead of a serial murderer in one body, you have an entire toy company, which has gained your trust for years by entertaining your children. Then, when you least expect it, they attack. Think how scary it would be if you found out that Barbie dolls were set to explode while a child was playing with them. Or that Hershey’s infused its chocolate with LSD. That is this movie.

     Happy Halloween everyone!