No Halloween is complete without blood-red candied apples and horror movies. Some horror flicks are so good they stick in the mind for a lifetime. This list is sure to induce spine-chilling, spooky fun this Halloween.
A no-brainer for a Halloween movie list is the classic 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film "Psycho." Starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, the film is praised by critics as a work of art in cinematography. Marion Crane is a secretary who embezzles a large sum of money from her boss. She goes on the run, taking refuge on a stormy night at the remote Bates Motel. The lodging is deserted due to a detour from the main highway. The motel is owned by a shaky young man named Norman Bates and his domineering and mentally ill mother. "Psycho" is a twisted and murderous tale one might think could only be concocted in a mind such as that of Hitchcock. Unfortunately, Hitchcock got his inspiration from the true story of Ed Gein. A truly perverse man, Gein enjoyed digging up human remains to fashion into tools. He wore the skin of corpses like clothes. The movie "Ed Gein," released in 2000, is also a great Halloween movie.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
Ed Gein inspired another classic thriller that's perfect for Halloween, the 1974 film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Marilyn Burns plays Sally Hardesty and Paul A. Partain plays Sally's brother, Franklin. On a trip to their family homestead, the siblings and their three friends become stranded without gas. They stop at a house to find help but instead find a chainsaw murderer and his cannibalistic family. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was remade in 2003.
It would be inappropriate to mention twisted stories without crediting Stephen King for his tales of suspense and horror. Of the many King plots from which to choose, "The Shining" and its creepy cast is the best choice for a spooky Halloween movie night. The 1980 film, based on King's 1977 novel, stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance and Shelley Duvall as Jack's wife, Wendy. Jack accepts a job as the off-season caretaker of the Outlook Hotel. Jack, Wendy, and their son are to take care of the hotel during the winter months when the snows are so deep no one can reach the place. This also means the Torrance family can't leave. As it happens, the lodging is built on a Native American burial site, and the previous caretaker, overcome with cabin fever, slaughtered his family before committing suicide in the grand hotel.
Based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel, "The Exorcist" stars Linda Blair as teenager Regan McNeil, Ellen Burstyn as Regan's mother, Chris, and Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin. The movie begins with a scene of an archeological dig where Father Lankester Merrin finds a statue of Pazuzu, an ancient demon. The movie then switches to Washington, DC, and the McNeils. Young Regan begins acting strangely, and after no doctors can help her, Chris finds a priest to perform a much-needed exorcism.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street"
The 1984 movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street," which was remade in 2010, was written and directed by Wes Craven. It stars Johnny Depp, Heather Langenkamp, Ronee Blakley, John Saxon, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Amanda Wyss. A group of teenagers is stalked by a horrifically burned man named Freddy Krueger. The teens only see Krueger in their dreams while they sleep, and Krueger has a murderous vendetta. The kids' parents may know something about Freddy Krueger's motive to kill the children, one by one.
"The Blair Witch Project"
Written and directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, the 1999 movie "The Blair Witch Project" stars Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams. The film defined a new format for horror movies in which the story unfolds through the characters' video and sound equipment. The three main characters are student filmmakers who set out to document the Blair Witch legend in the Black Hills in Maryland. The movie is filmed so that it appears the students are real people rather than movie characters, and that they vanished in the woods while making the documentary. The audience sees and hears what the students experienced through the filming equipment that was found by police a year after the filmmakers disappeared. The same method of moviemaking was later used in the movie, " Paranormal Activity ." It is effectively unsettling, making "The Blair Witch Project" a must-see picture at Halloween time. For a truly terror-filled holiday, turn down the lights and enjoy these movies. They are horror classics for good reason. Watching these films could cause a person to never shower, sleep, or go for a stroll in the woods again.