Welcome to one of the most difficult things to ever think about: figuring out what films to watch over Halloween. Should you be an ardent horror/fantasy/sci-fi fan, or even just a relatively casual one, this is something that will keep you up at night, covered in cold sweat. The prospect of deciding “what’s best” ends up more frightening than the horror films you like to watch.
So, in order to save you from several bleary-eyed days at work and a potential headache, here are some of the best TV shows and films to watch over Halloween …
Well, we had to start with the obvious one. In this case, the hype surrounding this programme is somewhat justified. Stranger Things is fun (and at times funny), clever, scary and all-in-all hugely entertaining. Plus, if you have a thing for classic 80s science-fiction/fantasy/horror, then Stranger Things is perhaps one of the best nostalgia trips around.
2. New Seasons of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story
AHS has already begun its sixth season at the time of writing this, so if you’ve not seen too many of them, save as many of them up and watch them all on Halloween or on the weekend prior to it!
The seventh season of The Walking Dead will also start on October 23rd, so there will be two episodes to watch by the time Halloween rolls around.
3. The Simpsons Halloween Specials
Which precise ones, we’ll let you decide. There’s no programme that fits in-between movie marathons so perfectly, and following up a horror movie with a little comedy before launching into the next one is a great idea? Why? Well, remember the cartoons Warner Bros. used to play before their films?
They geared people up for the film, got them relaxed, gave them the chance to quickly get a snack or go to the toilet before the excitement started and relieved tension. The more intense the horror film, the more something a bit more light-hearted is needed afterward and/or beforehand.
4. A “Dead” Marathon
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of horror movies with the word “Dead” in there. Pick a bunch and make a night of it! Of course, you cannot watch every film in the world with the word “Dead” in it (and not all of them are horror films – see Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead), so we here at Escapade will recommend you two of our favourite trilogies: George A. Romero’s original Dead trilogy (that’s Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead) and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. Both are as excellent as each other, albeit in quite different ways.
5. Feel the Wrath of Satan!
The 60s and 70s brought with it some excellent films concerning the nature of evil, Judeo-Christian theology and the devil incarnate. These films include Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen and The Exorcist – a pretty great triple bill. Should you want a cult classic from the 80s thrown into the mix, then John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness is a commendable choice.
6. A Sci-Fi-Horror Session
Horror and sci-fi often go hand-in-hand, and in a few instances the combination has given us some of the best films of both genres. Think Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both the original and remake), The Thing (again, both original and remake), Alien, Aliens and The Fly (the original and Cronenberg’s gory masterpiece).
Indeed, there are lots of examples, and you could also do a “original-remake” double bill. The themes can be quite similar, too, so an Alien-The Thing double bill wouldn’t look too out-of-place. Truly greedy film buffs can add Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Faculty for completeness’ sake. Just try not to get into too heated an argument about film is better!
7. Finish it Off With the Absurdly Brilliant
There is only one double-bill for this: John Carpenter’s They Live and Alex Cox’s Repo Man. Sure, the latter isn’t particularly horrific, but it’s a great way to end a night full of blood and guts.
We’re sure there’s lots of great films and TV programmes we’ve missed out on mentioning, but there’s an entire smorgasbord (or should we say ouija board?) of great horror films and shows out there, just ax-ing to be watched.