Movies for the Halloween Season – Part 1
Welcome to the start of my Halloween features. Yeah, I know I’m almost in the middle of the month (and will have other non-Halloween/horror articles during this time), but I thought I’d do some features that showcase a bunch of movies I own that are great to watch during the spooky season.
The next few features showcasing these movies are just based on what I own and personal preference as, of course, this is MY site! I’m also including Fantasy and Sci-Fi movies as well as you may have friends, family, or youngins that can’t watch the crazier stuff that I’ll feature.
I will say before I begin, if you want to see a great site that features goes into the Video Nasties and read some mini-reviews on them (for those looking for more old-school and/or shocking stuff), go to Dark Angel’s Realm of Horror. I’ve enjoyed it for many years. Bloody Disgusting is also a fantastic site that all horror fans should frequent daily. Once again, just like in my “about” section, I’ll also tell you to head over to Dinosaur Dracula as Matt loves this season and updates every day with Halloween goodness.
With that all being said, here’s the beginning of my series on some of my favourite Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy movies I own. Remember, this series will start off light and focus more intense and famous horror movies as I continue this series over the next week/week and a half. ENJOY!
This movie combines fantasy, sci-fi and a bit of horror all into one. It’s about Dennis Quaid’s character, Alex, who is a psychic and learns how to sync his mind with others while they are sleeping. The problem is that this “dreamscape” is being manipulated for evil by government officials instead of being used to help with nightmares and sleeping disorders. There are some cool ideas and special effects in this movie and when I first saw it as a kid, it kinda freaked me out. I think it’s a great pick for those who have never seen it before for the Halloween season!
The Dark Crystal (1982)
This is one of my favourtie Fantasy movies of all time. The man behind The Muppets, Jim Henson, brought his vision to life.
This is the tale of the evil Skeksis who dominate a castle that holds the Dark Crystal. They aim to stay alive and in power over the land as long as they can. According to a prophecy, one Gelfling could bring them down. Enter Jen, who is sent on a quest from the leader of the gentle creatures, the Mystics. If you’ve never seen this movie, that’s as far as I’m going to go.
Although it was created in the early 80s, the puppetry and visuals are still pleasing to this day. There’s many underlining themes to this movie and while you may think it’s a movie directed at kids, there’s plenty of scares, suspense, and emotion spread out across the film. A must see.
The Goonies (1985)
I’ve added this to the list because it’s a fun movie that also has some suspenseful elements and some villains that, while bumbling at times, do have a pretty mean streak. This movie follows a group of pre-teens and teens on an adventure to find the treasure of One Eyed Willie so they can save their neighbourhood from demolition. As the movie gets going, the group explores more pirate lore and encounter traps and puzzles. It’s a good one to watch with the family and does keep you on the edge of your seat for some of the movie. Plus, who can forget the theme song by Cindi Lauper?
The Lost Boys (1987)
This movie, along with the soundtrack, was a favourtie of mine when I was about 10 years old. It has some great action sequences and enough blood and “gotcha!” moments for the squeamish.
Sam and his brother, Michael, move into a new town only to discover that something supernatural haunts the night: vampires. Michael struggles with his peers in the vampire clan while Sam teams up with the Frog brothers to save his family and destroy the vamps. I still get pumped up watching this movie today and is a great vampire movie of the 80s.
The Neverending Story (1984)
Ok, I know it’s not a horror movie, but with a plethora of unique creatures, suspenseful and sad moments, and various landscapes that contract light and dark, and hope and sadness, this one is a good pick for the Halloween season.
Basically, the world of Fantasia is being devoured by something called “The Nothing” and a young boy named Atreyu is chosen to find out how to stop it. I think the overall theme of the movie about not losing imagination is more relevant today than it was back when this movie was made, especially how technology has really taken over people’s lives (eg: being buried in your phone).
This fantasy meets sci-fi adventure may not live up to today’s standards with a plot that may not be satisying to some and the special effects that definitely look dated, but there is a certain charm to this movie. I mean, how could you NOT want to rent this from the video store when you saw that poster art?
The world Krull has been taken over by something called “Beast” and his destroyers (called Slayers) and he’s kidnapped a princess that was supposed to be married. The person she was supposed to marry, Prince Colwyn survives the attack/kidnapping, is nursed to health and goes on a quest to rescue her. Along the way he meets others who aid him on his quest. Sounds pretty cut and paste, huh? Just do yourself a favour and watch this one a watch.
The Exorcist (1973)
I’ll end this edition with a classic after looking at some all the fantasy and sci-fi (it’ll bridge to the next article where I start looking at more classics and pure horror films). The underlying tension and themes explored in this movie is enough to scare, or at least make some people think, for weeks.
If for some reason you’ve never seen it, in a nutshell, a priest (Father Karras) is called upon to aid in the exorcism of a little girl named Regan. Little does he know what he’s getting into and who is actually possessing the girl. There are scenes and special effects in this movie that were shocking when it was first released and are still enough to creep out people today. A definite nail bite that will have you asking yourself “will he/won’t he” during your first screening.