Friday, October 21, 2016

Halloween Movies for us Grownups

As always during this year I like to present some of my favorite Halloween movies. The following are scary movies, which may be unsuitable for children.  Some of these movies I have mentioned in my yearly Halloween post, others are new to the list.

The Haunting (1963) - Directed by the great Robert Wise and stars Richard Johnson, Julie Harris, Clair Bloom and Russ Tamblyn. One of the most tension filled movies you will ever see. If you want to see what talent is, compared to mediocrity; watch this movie and then watch the 1999 remake.

Black Sunday AKA The Mask of Satan (1960) – Directed by Mario Bava, staring Berbera Steele, John Richardson.  The open sequence of this movie, where a witch has a mask hammered onto her face, before she is burnt at the state, is one of the most terrifying images in movies.

George Romero’s Living Dead Movies- I am including these into one selection. Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005) Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009).  Romero is the godfather of the “zombie” “walking dead” craze we see today. Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are the best movies of this genre.

Count Dracula (1977) – Direct by Philip Saville, stars Louis Jordan as the count and Frank Finlay as Van Helsing. These two actors give an incredible performance. Although, the original with Bela Lugosi is a classic, this version is terrifying and follows Bram Stoker’s novel more accurately.

Rare Exports-A Christmas Tale (2010) – Directed by Jalmari Helander. OK, this is actually a twisted Christmas movie about the secret behind Santa Claus.; come to find out, he does like reindeer, as a snack.

Shockwaves (1977) directed by Ken Wiederhorn starring Brooke Adams and the great Peter Cushing. The first of the zombie Nazi movies. If you want more Nazi zombies, Try “Dead Snow” (2009) directed by Tommy Wirkola.

Suspiria (1977) – Direacted by Dairo Agento. A ballerina academy which is much more than it appears.  A movie with as much style and glamor as it does gore; all that you can stand. See the trilogy of the “Three Mother’s” which includes Inferno (1980) and The Mother of Tears (2007)

The Host (2006)   Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Probably the best “Monster on the loose” movie in the last 30 years.

Freaks (1932) – Diected by Tod Browning (director of Dracula).  A disturbing movie, which makes you realize who the true monsters are in the movie. This movie basically killed the film career of Tod Browning.

The Wicker Man (1973)- Directed by Robin Hardy, Staring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward.  Remember first seeing this as a teenager, and it terrified me.  Another reason I hate remakes.

Pyscho (1960) - Directing at its best by Alfred Hitchcock.

The Exorcist (1973)- Directed by William Friedkin.  What can I say, the most terrifying movie of all time. This movie still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Pontypool (2008) – Directed by Bruce McDonald.I have commented much about this film in the past. It is one of my favorites. Words are able to spread the zombie virus. It features an outstanding performance by Stephen McHattle. This is a must see.

Evil Dead II (1987) Directed by Sam Rami.  Bruce Campbell is Ash Williams; a character who becomes a victim of, and then would-be-destroyer of an evil lurking in the woods.  This movie is more fun than scary.

The classics,  I am adding the classic “Universal Studio Monster” from the great monster movie era.  Dracula  (1931) Directed by Tod Browning. Bela Lugosi’s role which made his career.  The Wolf Man (1941) Directed by George Waggner. Lon Chaney Jr. giving a great performance.   Frankenstein (1931) directed by James Whale. Boris Karloff as a frightening and sympathetic monster.

Next time: More events and more movies.

W.A.Rusho is a historian, professional wrestler and author. Visit his website or email him.


  1. This is a great list of Halloween movies! I plan on sharing it with my hubby who is a big fan. =) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi William. Just reading the titles of some of your choices brings chills down my spine. The Exorcist was one of the most intense movies I have ever seen, and same with Psycho. I'm now a sissy and prefer to watch happy movies. Happy Hallowe'en!

  3. So great to see oldies on here, William. A long time ago, I read Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House," from which "The Haunting" was made. I do recall a superbly written story. If I saw the movie, surely I'd remember it, but I don't. Horror is generally not my thing. I am too sensitive, I think. Goes back to my childhood when I saw the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That movie scared me out of my mind and gave me nightmares.

    Years later, I did, unfortunately, see "Silence of the Lambs." Much to my dismay, I had students who laughed about that movie. For me it was horrific. The night of my watching it, I had nightmares, but not about it. The movie took me back to being a kid; the nightmare's contents were from the scary "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"!

  4. I've never seen Psycho. That's so sad, I know :( I should add it to my NetFlix queue.

    1. That is sad. It is actually a great movie. There also is a newer movie called "Hitchcock", staring Anthony Hopkins about what the director went through trying to get this movie out. It is also worth while to view.

  5. I LOVE THIS LIST! There are several movies I haven't seen and a couple (Psycho & Exorcist) which I've seen once and never been able to go near again. I've been to Romero's original Night of the Living Dead, after seeing the movie and have had the heebie jeebies ever since--each time I drive by it!

    My husband loves scary movies and the more scifi connected, the happier, so I sent him this list.

  6. Psycho and The Exorcist I watched a long time ago and liked them. If I'm with my 12 year old nephew maybe I'll suggest to him that we watch one of the other movies you mention. He would love them.

  7. I've only seen a couple of these - love the Haunting. Even the remake is pretty good. I picked up a new spooky book by one of my favorite authors to read over the weekend, so that and some popcorn is about as into the spirit of Halloween as I'll be getting. :-)