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13 Days of Halloween: Aaron’s Favorite Horror Films [DAYS 1-12 RECAP]

October 30, 2011

Tomorrow is Halloween (it’s practically here!). I’ll be announcing my #1 FAVORITE HORROR FILM part of my 13 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN. Today I’d like to give you a recap of the past 12 days, perhaps give you, the readers, ideas of watch to watch come all Hallows Eve. Some are gory, some are eerie, others are disturbing, a few have the right touch of horror & humor, and a few are down right terrifying. Please, share with me your favorite horror film(s), what do you like to watch on Halloween? Do you have a horror film memory you’d like to share? hApPy HaLlOwWEeN!!!!!

DAY 1, #13

TRICK ‘R’ TREAT (2009) – Written & Directed by Michael Dougherty, this pulp fiction fueled horror fest is definitely a treat for many to watch on all Hallows Eve. The carelessness of the studio that is Warner brothers, didn’t treat this movie with the respect it desereved, the film only got a direct to dvd release, which in many ways can be a danger for a movie. But this was the rare occassion where that wasn’t the case. Originally, this film was intended to have a theatrical release, the studio however didn’t know how to market it (I call bull shit). Nevertheless, this is a Halloween film that can match up to the calibar of a Halloween-themed movie such as “John Carpenter’s Halloween”. It has all the right ingredients; it’s funny, scary, & memorable.

DAY 2, #12

DRAG ME TO HELL (2009) – Sam Raimi hasn’t done the horrror scene since “Army of Darkness”. After his third film in the Evil Dead series, it was dramas & Spider-Man for Mr. Raimi, although I shouldn’t denounce “Darkman”. So, when it was announced that he was returning to direct a genre movie that ultimately got his career a huge kickstart, fans of“The Evil Dead”, much like myself, were jumping for joy. And boy oh boy, did “Drag Me to Hell” deliever! The classic silly gore and the shadowy/sound effect scares made this movie a pure fun horror ride. A bank teller, pisses off an old gypsy for saying no to her about giving her an extension on her home. So, what does the gypsy do? CURSE! That’s when the crazieness really begins. Fans of “The Evil Dead” will feel right at home here with this movie.

DAY 3, #11

THE LOST BOYS (1987) – Before Joel Schumacher became a hack, and responsible for bat-nipples, he directed this genre clashing cult hit. There’s a perfect blend of pure scares as well as genuine laughs. Kiefer Sutherland makes a bad ass vampire punk, this movie has the two Corey’s, what more could you want? It’s got one of the best rock soundtracks out there, and some of the best vampire death scenes, really messy stuff. Edward of “Twilight”, back off man, here comes David & his lost boys crew!

DAY 4, #10

ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992) – I LOVE the Evil Dead series, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! The first was truely scary, and holds up to this day, the second had the perfect blend of chills & Three Stooges-like comedy, and finally we lead into our third one. “Army of Darkness”! It’s more of a comedy, than a horror film, but there are some wicked sequences that qualify it in this category. It was made by movie geeks for movie geeks, therefore it goes into my top 10. On a side note, many thought back in the day, that the Evil Dead series would catapult Bruce Campbell into leading man stardom. How I wish that were the case, but he’s still a legend in the B-Movie genre, as well as giving some memorable supporting roles in big budget films. However, “Army of Darkness” really shows how much of a badass hero-figure Campbell can truely be.

DAY 5, #9

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) – Wes Craven’s debut film deserves a spot on my top 10, and what better one than “The Last House on the Left”. A twisted, violent tale about murder, rape, revenge, and family. The movie is scary in the sense to see how far parents will go to protect their children. There was recently a remake released in 2009, but it doesn’t even come close to the greatness of this original grisly 70′s schlock-fest/grindhouse nightmare. With the geniune creepy characters, eerie cinematography, “The Last House on the Left” was definitely the perfect starting point for what would be a legendary career in horror for Mr. Craven.

DAY 6, #8

THE FOG (1980) – Again, another proof regarding how the original will always end up better than the remake. “John Carpenter’s THE FOG” is one hell of a scary ghost story. It’s classic, in the sense of it’s storytelling. An age old legend, revenge against those who’ve been wronged, zombie-ghost like entities, this movie has it all. In a follow-up to Carpenter’s “Halloween”, Jamie Lee Curtis returns in a the lead female role, which just goes to show you, she can hold her own in a horror movie. If I want to watch an old school ghost story during Halloween, the first one I’ll be watching is this film. The techincally feats in this film alone still hold up for todays standards.

DAY 7, #7

SE7EN (1995) – Technically this isn’t a straight up ‘horror film’, but when I watch this movie, especially at night, it can get down right creepy. Imagine this, a psychotic seriel killer, slaughtering people left & right in the forms of the infamous seven deadly sins. Seems like that guy had a bad childhood. With the skillful direction of David Fincher, and the well crafted script by Andrew Kevin Walker, this contemporary neo-noir holds up from beginning to end, keeping the audience guessing, and throwing a few shocking surprises that will surely chern any persons stomach. When it comes down to it, in the end, this is one scary crime film, and the violent acts commited by Jon Doe, a extremely horrifying.

DAY 8, #6

STEPHEN KING’S THE MIST (2007) – There’s something about the combination of Frank Darabont and Stephen King that really works. With “The Shawshank Redemption” & “The Green Mile” under Darabont’s belt, I was looking forward to his newest King adaption, “The Mist”, and it exceeded my expectations yet again. Based on the novella of the same name, “The Mist” is horror film about the horrors people will do during dire times. Perhaps a reflection of post-9/11 America if you will. Sure, the monstsers, the creatures, all of those things are terrifying in this film, but it’s the people that drive this movie into the insane horror that it subsequently falls to. Religious nuts will do just about anything to please God, so that they may be saved. Plus, this film has probably one of the best endings to horror film I’ve ever seen, it really sticks it in the gut.

DAY 9, #5

EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987) – So we’ve made it to my top 5, these I consider to be the quint-essential in my horror movie watch arsenal for the month of October, and for Halloween night. Again, Sam Raimi is on my list for a third time, with his cult hit sequel to the first mega cult hit “The Evil Dead” in “The Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn”. This was the movie that proved to us all that Bruce Campbell is a boneified bad ass, with his quick percession in his trusty sawed off shotgun, and his trusty chainsaw hand, Ash is a character you’d want to have around when something evil comes. Plenty of gore, scares, and a nice touch of  old school humor, “Evil Dead 2″  is everything you’d want in a good old fashion B-Movie, and then some. The scene I want to share is my favorite of the whole movie (and perhaps for many fans as well). It proves how insane things can really get, how one person who’s been beaten down so much can almost be driven to the point of pure insanity…

DAY 10, #4

THE WOLF-MAN (1941) – As a child I was brought up to have a strong devotion to the classic Universal Monster Movies (thanks Mom); “Dracula”“Frankenstein”“The Invisible Man”“Creature from the Black Lagoon”, all of them! But, my all time favorite was George Waggner’s ”The Wolf-Man”. Written by German born Curtis Siodmak, the film came from the inspirations of the eerie legends from the European lands he once came. Bringing those folklores to the American studios would change the face of the horror genre. Lon Chaney Jr’s portrayal of a complicated man, with deep emotional issues with his father, all while battling a beast within him, is some powerful stuff for a horror film. For some it may not hold up for todays world, but I find that every year I watch this movie it ages better & better, like a fine wine. The 2010 remake was entertaining, but it will never outbeat the classic Lon Chaney Jr motion picture.

DAY 11, #3

JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING (1982) – I probably should’ve put in “John Carpenter’s Halloween” on the list, it’s a great film, but I love this one sooooo much more. To this day, “John Carpenter’s The Thing” still holds up as one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. When I watch it alone, I need someone in the room with me, and when I watch it with someone else we’re both on the edge. The movie was the quint-essential paranoia movie, you couldn’t trust anyone, they could be the Thing. This film had the best visual effects of it’s era, and still maintains the realism. I consider this a MUST watch on every Halloween night, you wanna watch something really scary & unnerving? Watch“John Carpenter’s The Thing”!

DAY 12, #2

EVIL DEAD (1981) – Not only is it one of my favorite horror films, but as an indie filmmaker myself I have to give credit where credit is due. If you look into the backstory of this production, it just goes to show you  that if you have a wacky idea, good friends who’re willing to get their hands a little dirty, you can possibly create on of the greatest cult horror films of all time. Sam Raimi’s zany camera style, Bruce Campbell’s strong performance, the intense sound/shadow plays, and some of the silliest gore you’ll ever see makes this a WICKED-MUST WATCH for Halloween. To this day, I still have trouble watching this one alone in the dark. Like I’ve said to many people before, who’ve yet to see this movie, “There aren’t many horrror films out there where a girl is being viciously raped by trees”.

What will be my #1 pick? Tune in tomorrow!

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