Thirteen Spine-Chilling Scary Movies for Your Halloween Party
Give Your Halloween Party Guests Something to Scream About!
No Halloween party is complete without at least one scary movie - and a fright-flick marathon is even better! Here are my picks for the top 10 great horror films to give your guests the requisite thrills and chills.
If your party guests aren't into blood and gore or if younger guests will be attending, head over to my Top 10 Halloween party movies (for people who don't like horror flicks) for my top recommendations for less scary Halloween movies.
3 Terrifying, Oscar-Winning Horror Movies for Your Halloween Party
These three classic psychological thrillers - Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and Misery - are not for the faint of heart! They're guaranteed to give you thrills and chills no matter how many times you watch them.
Plus My First Bonus Pick
The Hannibal Lecter Collection contains the entire trilogy in a special DVD set.
Cue the Dissonant Stabbing Music!
Any self-respecting list of horror movies needs to include this classic 1960 Hitchcock slasher favorite, starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, which holds the top spot on the American Film Institute's prestigious "100 Years, 100 Thrills" list. Psycho was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, among several others, and is the winner of the Golden Globe and Edgar Allen Poe Awards. Fans will love the 50th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray DVD that features a new 5.1 audio track and special bonus features.
Uh-uh, Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn't quite herself today.— Norman Bates in "Psycho" (1960)
The Silence of the Lambs
Fava Beans and Chianti, Anyone?
Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins star in this terrifying, Academy Award-winning 1991 film by director Jonathan Demme about psychiatrist and cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) and Clarice Darling (Foster), the young FBI agent-in-training who must confide her innermost secrets to him in exchange for his insights that could help her catch another serial killer. This film won 5 Oscars and a Golden Globes award, among many others.
A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.— Hannibal Lecter in "he Silence of the Lambs" (1991)
Look Out for Your Ankles!
The 1990 mystery / thriller / dark comedy starred James Caan and Kathy Bates and was directed by Rob Reiner. Bates won an Oscar and a Golden Globes Award for her performance. The collector's edition includes audio commentary by Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman as well as seven featurettes and two trailers.
And don't even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. 'Cause I never called them. Nobody knows you're here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die... you die.— Annie Wilkes in "Misery" (1990)
Bonus Pick #1: The Hannibal Lecter Collection
Your job is to craft my doom. So I am not sure how well I should wish you but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. Ta-ta, H.— From Hannibal Lecter's letter to Special Agent Clarice Starling in "Hannibal" (2001)
Two Slasher-Free Halloween Horror Movies
Scary But Not Gory
Not all fans of horror movies are fans of the slasher genre. The Shining and Trick 'r Treat are two great psychological thrillers that absolutely terrify without resorting to blood and gore.
The Shining: Heeere's Johnny!
A 2-disc special edition of this 1980 Stanley Kubrick movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, which is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Writer Jack Torrance (Nicholson) and his family move into an isolated hotel as its caretakers one winter, and Jack loses his mind and becomes violent when his son Danny - who has a telepathic gift known as "The Shining" - sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past. This special edition set includes audio commentary by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter, a documentary on the making of "The Shining" (with optional commentary by Vivian Kubrick) and three featurettes.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.— Jack Torrance in "The Shining" (1980)
Trick 'r Treat: Don't Trust the High School Principal
Director Michael Doughterty's 2007 film is actually four frightful and cleverly intertwined stories about the perils of this popular childhood ritual. Deeply scary without being gory, it features the wonderful Anna Pacquin as one of the young trick or treaters. Winner of Screamfest's 2008 Audience Award.
Always check your candy.— Steven in "Trick 'r Treat" (2007)
Two Iconic Halloween Slasher Movies and Collections
Jason Voorhees fans will go crazy for "His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th". And for Michael Myers fans I've chosen the Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition of "Halloween".
Plus a Halloween Slasher Movie Bonus Pick
Fans of Freddy Krueger will want to get their hands on the complete Nightmare on Elm Street Collection on DVD!
His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th Fans Will Love This 30th Anniversary Special 2-Disc "Splatter Edition"
This must-have DVD for fans of the unstoppable Jason Voorhees character features "His Name Was Jason", a 90-minute documentary chronicling all 30 years of the "Friday the 13th" movie series. According to Amazon reviewer Dave K., it's sort of like hanging out with members of the cast and crew and other filmmakers and chatting about the "Friday the 13th" movies, including what makes Jason tick. A lot of the actors took part in the interviews, including some that had fallen back into relative anonymity after the releases of the Jason films in which they acted.
But that's just the beginning. The thing that makes this DVD so awesome for "Friday the 13th" aficionados is the 4 hours(!) of bonus features, including a 77-minute a feature called "Final Cuts" with extended interviews with all but two of the directors of the "Friday the 13th" franchise, a 31-minute documentary called "From Script to Screen" that features interviews with many of the script writers, a scant 4-minute feature called "Fox Comes Home" with actress Gloria Charles (who played the character of Fox, a member of the biker gang in "Friday the 13th, Part 3") walking around the locations where the movie was filmed, "Closing the Book on the Final Chapter" (12 minutes) with Erich Anderson (who played Rob) and director Joseph Zito, a hilarious feature with Larry Zerner called "Shelly Lives," and much more.
It's not bad enough to have Friday the 13th, we've gotta have a full moon too.— Tierney in "Friday the 13th" (1980)
Halloween: Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition
A Must Own for Michael Myers Fans!
John Carpenter's 1978 low-budget horror flick became a monstrously bit hit, and many people consider it to be the best of its genre.
A very young Jamie Lee Curtis plays the teenage babysitter who tries to survive a terror-filled Halloween night, as deranged killer Michael Myers - who has been institutionalized since childhood - escapes the asylum and returns to his hometown on a murderous rampage. Carpenter's own bizarre music contributes to the freakish experience.
Even though there's a 30th Anniversary Edition of this (for more than twice the price, no less!), die-hard "Halloween" fans actually prefer the special features on this Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition, which include "'Halloween' - A Cut Above The Rest" (an 87-minute documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew); "On Location - 25 years Later" (a 10-minute featurette with Actress P.J. Soles and Producer Debra Hill revisiting the original Michael Myers house); TV and radio spots; a poster and stills gallery; and talent bios.
Death has come to your little town, Sheriff.— Dr. Sam Loomis in "Halloween" (1978)
Horror Movie Character Smackdown: Jason Voorhees vs. Michael Myers
Which of these iconic characters deserves the top spot in Horror Movie Hall of Fame?
Jason Voorhees is the most unstoppable, psychopathic slasher ever!
Bonus Pick #2: Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
This 8-Disc Set of All 7 Nightmare on Elm Street Movies Plus a "Freddy Vs. Jason" Bonus DVD Is A Must-Have for For Die-Hard Freddy Krueger Fans!
This iconic slasher series from writer-director Wes Craven may not be my personal cup of tea, but if you're seriously into gruesome horror flicks, then this collection is a must-have. Robert Englund gives a bone-chilling performance as Freddy Krueger, a maniacal, diabolical, and truly evil spectral child murderer who delights in tormenting his teenage victims - the children of the lynch mob that killed him - both psychologically as well as physically.
Freddy haunts their dreams and terrorizes their waking hours, taunting them into unleashing blood-curdling screams - his preferred form of self-amusement before he slashes them to ribbons with his famous razor-clawed glove.
A Nightmare on Elm Street, with commentary by director Wes Craven, co-stars Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon and cinematographer Jacques Haitkin; A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (Freddy’s Revenge), 3 (Dream Warriors), 4 (The Dream Master) and 5 (The Dream Child); Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, including the original 3D end sequence; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, with commentary by Wes Craven; and Freddy Vs. Jason, with commentary by Director Ronny Yu and actors Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) and Ken Kirzinger (Jason Voorhees). All eight discs include cast and crew biographies.
This set would be the perfect gift for a Freddy Krueger fan!
He's dead, honey, because Mommy killed him.— Marge in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984)
3 More Spine-Tingling Horror Movies for Your Halloween Party
From Francis Ford Coppola's interpretation of the classic "Bram Stoker's Dracula" to Tim Burton's quirky "Sleepy Hollow" to the psychologically tormented yet tormented "Interview With the Vampire", I have thrilling and chilling movie recommendations for every taste.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Gary Oldman Looks Surprisingly Good at Age 400
Francis Ford Coppola's1992 film, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" starring Gary Oldman as the 400-year-old vampire, is a lavish and ornate production, from the set design and costumes to the cinematography. The movie won 3 Oscars, as well as 3 other awards and 12 nominations. Keanu Reeves plays Jonathan Harker, whom Dracula emprisons in his castle in Transylvania so that he can seduce the hapless young law clerk's beautiful fiancée (Winona Ryder) back in London. With Anthony Hopkins as Von Helsing, and Sadie Frost as the doomed Lucy. Fans will want the two-disc Collector's Edition that includes a second disc filled with terrific bonus material, including several documentaries as well as deleted scenes that include alternative cut to the film's bloody ending.
I am the monster that breathing men would kill.— Dracula in "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992)
Hang Onto Your Head!
Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci star in Tim Burton's 1999 film, a suspenseful but not gratuitously gory interpretation of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with all the stylish, surreal flair that is Burton's hallmark.
Irving's story is a classic tale about Ichabod Crane, a smart but seemingly bumbling constable (who reminds me a bit of Peter Falk's role in "Columbo") who has been sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to solve the mystery of the headless bodies that have been turning up.
You're just in time to have your head cut off.— Lady Van Tassel in "Sleepy Hollow" (1999)
Interview with the Vampire
Love at First Bite?
Tom Cruise delivers a surprisingly perceptive performance as the vampire Lestat, the title character from Anne Rice's intelligent and romantic bestselling novel, "Interview with the Vampire" from which this 1994 film was adapted.
The film is visually and emotionally lavish, dark and brooding. Brad Pitt plays the guilt-ridden and tormented Louis, and Kirsten Dunst is compelling as Claudia, the orphan girl who is turned into a vampire by Louis and Lestat after her mother dies from the plague, and whom they adopt as their own daughter.
The film was nominated for two Oscars, and won and was nominated for numerous other awards. Special features include a behind-the-scenes documentary, a gallery of production stills and design sketches, an introduction by Ann Rice and Neil Jordan, and an interview gallery with the film's stars and creators.
You are a vampire who never knew what life was until it ran out in a big gush over your lips.— Lestat in "Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles" (1994)
Bonus Pick #3: Jaws
The Universal 100th Anniversary DigiBook Edition on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet, Plus a 100 Minute Documentary and 42-Page Book!
Stephen Spielberg's legendary horror movie Jaws is one of the most terrifying films ever made, and the awesome Universal 100th Anniversary DigiBook Edition package is the best gift ever for Jaws fans! In addition to Jaws on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet, this fantastic special edition package also includes a 42-page book on the making of the film, plus a fantastic 100-minute documentary on the making of Jaws, along with deleted scenes, trailers, and other cool bonus features.
You're gonna need a bigger boat.— Brody in "Jaws" (1975)
Which of These Scary Films and Horror Movies Is Your Favorite?
Pick one of these 13 frightening flicks or scary movie collections.
© 2010 Margaret Schindel