There’s 5 more days until Halloween and Curicon’s secret launch. To prepare ourselves, we’ve been making a list of our favourite Halloween movies to scare ourselves silly. Here at the office we love sharing things with our fans, so here is a list of our top ten Halloween movies in no particular order! If you’re attending our Halloween event on Friday, some of this information could be pretty important. Read on!
10. Friday the 13th. One through, er, The Final Chapter.
You could watch Freddy vs. Jason too, if you like, but we should probably advise avoiding anything after the fourth installment of the series for the sake of your sanity. Including the reboot. People really need to stop letting Michael Bay make movies. After the third movie, New Line Cinema obtained the rights to Jason’s story from Paramount Pictures and flogged it to death, including the crossover with the other New Line Cinema anti-hero Freddy Krueger. ‘But Curicon,’ we hear you saying, ‘you can’t just pretend that eight movies don’t exist.’ Au contraire, mon frere, we all pretend Tobey Maguire never played Spider-Man – except in the second movie, which was alright by comparison, but having your legs chopped off rather than your head is also good by comparison.
At this point, if you haven’t seen the Friday the 13th series, when it’s existed for thirty-four years, you’re missing out on a crucial part of your education into popular culture, and should probably crawl out of that rock you’ve been living under, or the coma you’ve been in. The Friday the 13th franchise is considered to be one of the most successful in the world, it is constantly referred to in pop culture. Jason’s hockey mask is one of the most recognisable icons today, despite his not using a mask until the third movie.
Jason’s killcount has hit 146 across all movies in the franchise, and he is probably one of the most well-known movie bad guys, but he wasn’t always the killer responsible for the deaths of many drunk and naked teenagers. Originally, his mother, Pamela Voorhees was the killer and in later movies, fans of the notorious slasher killed in his name.
Wes Craven is perhaps one of the most influential horror movie producer/directors in Hollywood. His career started with The Last House on The Left (1972) and was followed up with The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Mr. Craven has his hand in many pies in the horror movie industry, and Scream is possibly the biggest success of them all. Despite the last two sequels being horrendously disappointing.
Scream was written by Kevin Williamson, after he watched a news report on The Gainesville Ripper. The story of Sidney Prescott, a young woman who comes under attack from Ghost Face – and manages to survive all four movies, each time narrowly escaping losing her head – and possibly her neck. Unlike many other movies (we’re looking at you Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Halloween), each installment of Scream has a new killer behind the Ghost Face mask. But you’ll have to watch for yourself to find out exactly who they are.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street
The reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street failed to impress critics, receiving a 3.7/10 from Rotten Tomatoes (I’m going to start a Facebook group to stop Michael Bay), but the original franchise – another Craven classic – was a financial success, accruing almost half a billion dollars at the box-office worldwide. The series is the second highest-grossing franchise, behind Friday the 13th, due to their domination of pop culture (though this may have changed due to Marvel’s recent success with Guardians and the Avengers). Both series spawned TV episodes, comics, books and action figures.
Again, this movie’s existence spans thirty years, and if you haven’t at least seen the first one, you are missing key parts of today’s pop culture. Those knife fingers and the christmas jumper/fedora combo are pretty recognisable and if you haven’t at least seen Freddy’s likeness somewhere, then you really have been living under a rock.
Freddy frequently haunts the dreams of the teenagers of Springwood, because a child-killing, fedora-wearing, knives for fingers dead guy isn’t scary enough, he needed to get us in our sleep.
Stephen King’s work has spanned decades, spawned many movie adaptations and perhaps the most notable of all is It. Tim Curry, that guy who danced around in lingerie in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, plays Pennywise the clown. Pennywise is an inter-dimensional predatory life form that feeds predominantly on children because they are easier targets.
In true Stephen King adaptation style, It was filmed as a two part miniseries that aired on TV in 1990. Often to remain true to the novels, many of King’s adaptations are filmed this way. Over the last 24 years, it has garnered a large cult following and created a fear of clowns for much of the Y generation. Just. Watch it.
6. Evil Dead
Bruce Campbell plays Ash. The badass protagonist of the series. Throughout the three films in the original series, Ash battled demonic possession brought on from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. The series, much like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, spawned its own series of comics and videogames.
The 2013 reboot of the franchise, starring Jane Levy, a female version of Ash, is one of the only reboots that has received generally positive views. Possibly because Michael Bay didn’t have anything to do with it. It even pays homage to Ash’s chainsaw hand during the climax. Cool stuff.
5. Insidious Chapter 1 and 2.
James Wan has recently become quite the scary movie man. Despite the fact that Chapter 2 did not quite meet Chapter 1’s impeccable standard for frights that will almost pull you out of your skin – or, if you’re like me, you laughed at your boyfriend when he jumped out of his – both of the movies raked in almost $260 million in the box office and were praised by critics. Chapter 1 won 8 awards, including Best Actress and two wins for Best Horror Movie.
With a third installment on its way next May, we suggest that you get off your butt and view the shit out of these movies in the next 5 days. And honestly, if you’re an Aussie and you haven’t seen James Wan do his thing with Angus Sampson, Rose Byrne and Leigh Whannell, you’re definitely missing out.
4. Child’s Play
Yep, it was only a matter of time before we started talking about the possessed killer doll. Four sequels and a reboot later, and Chucky has still got a strong army of fans, despite the mess that it became in Seed of Chucky. It has also expanded out to comics, like it’s eighties compadres Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th.
Chucky was possessed by Charles Lee Ray, or the Lakeshore Strangler, in the first movie. His wisecracking mouth combined with stumpy plastic legs were designed to create an element of comedy in an otherwise creepy as hell series of happenings. The franchise has done pretty well for itself overall, including an app released in November of 2013. The original Andy Barclay, Alex Vincent, even returned to reprise his role in the 2012 sequel, Curse of Chucky.
We couldn’t really have a Halloween post without including Halloween, could we? Michael Myers, not to be confused with the short Canadian guy who worked with Dana Carvey in Wayne’s World, no, Michael Myers, the silent, creepy, knife-wielding, babysitter killer. The original film grossed the 1978 equivalent of $250 million today, in short, they made 725 times what they spent making the movie and it became the one of the most profitable independent films of all time.
The movie was not only inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, but the lead role was given to Janet Leigh’s daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis. The film has become so influential, despite being criticised for encouraging sadism and misogyny, that in 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. Some people have even argued that the movie is a critique of the behaviour of teenagers in the 70’s, due to so many of Myers’ victims being promiscuous teenagers. Many of the techniques and plot elements in the movie have actually become common horror movie tropes today.
2. The Conjuring
Yeah, another James Wan and Patrick Wilson movie. Except he doesn’t go batshit insane in this one. The Conjuring was released in July of 2013 and took in a total of $318 million worldwide. Based off real life events of Lorraine and Ed Warren, the movie explores the haunting of a home occupied by a young family and the subsequent events that followed. A sequel is planned for release in early 2016 and the spin-off Annabelle, was released this year.
1. The Cabin In The Woods
If you haven’t seen this one, you really are missing out. Written and produced by Joss Whedon, this movie gets the award for the most underrated meta-horror movie of the fucking century. Chris Hemsworth is probably the only face you’re going to recognise, but the movie is worth it. It was featured on Metacritic’s Best Movies of 2012, and won a total of 8 awards, two for best screenplay and two for best horror or thriller. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% approval rating and a 7.8/10.
The movie isn’t totally shit-your-pants scary, and it isn’t supposed to be. It pokes fun at all of the major horror movies being released today and drops hints from the very beginning, which, if you’re not listening out for, you’ll miss. If you watch nothing else, let it be this movie. PS – There’s a super cool twist at the end, and it’s not just the Zombie Redneck Torture Family.