At House Party we take Halloween very seriously. After all, it's a chance to dress up, eat candy and well, dress up and eat candy. But fright and Halloween have gone hand in hand for hundreds of years, so it wouldn't do the holiday justice if we didn't talk about our favorite scary movies. So, grab a pillow, turn on the flashlight and lock the doors as we present our take on the best movies to scare the you-know-what out of you. "Halloween": This original (from 1979 and from the master of fright - John Carpenter) still holds up today. With one of the best scores of all the "horror" movies out there, those few piano chords are sure to have the hair standing up on the back of your neck. It's just gory enough without being gratuitous (hello, "Saw") and will keep you on the edge of your chair, or hiding under the bed, as Michael Myers stalks the town Haddonfield after his escape from a mental institution. This movie also made Jamie Lee Curtis a star.
"Nightmare on Elm Street": Again, the original version only here, redefined boogeymen with Freddy Krueger as a slasher with knives for fingers on one hand, who kills and visits teens in their dreams. Or more aptly, nightmares. The moral here: don't fall asleep. Interesting that Johnny Depp starred in this film and then went on to play another slasher in "Edward Scissorhands".
"The Mothman Prophecies": This pick doesn't let up on the suspense. Based on a 1975 book by parapsychologist John Keel, it follows the investigation of a reporter into the mysterious phenomenon of The Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The being becomes an obsession of the reporter as he gets closer and closer to those it affects and, even himself, wrapped up in its haunting grasp. This story will bend your perception of both time and sanity...especially as you realize that it's claimed to be based on events that actually took place in Point Pleasant from 1966-1967. Edge-of-the-seat material here, folks. Be sure to be accompanied by a scary movie buddy for this one.
"Poltergeist": Though this film did give rise to an entire fearful franchise, the original Poltergeist (1982), co-written by Steven Spielberg is likely to be the favorite for most. The film chronicles the Freeling family, whose lives are invaded by ghosts in an unassuming California housing development. While that may sound scary enough for you, the real clammy-palm-inducer is the way in which the ghosts communicate only with the family through their innocent young daughter and the family's television. Ok, I realize that might sound a bit odd, but, if you haven't seen it, I challenge you to watch it and not feel some distinct chills or hair rising on the back of your neck. And for those of you that have seen it, you know exactly how creepy a static-filled television screen and an innocent girl's voice can seem! This is a classic and especially if you happen to watch it on a stormy night, it should put an "eek" into your evening.
"The Shining": From one of the most prolific and frightening minds of our time, Steven King, comes possibly the most well-known of his books on the silver screen. Helping him bring the fear and insanity that brews within a nearly abandoned resort in the midst of winter is Stanley Kubrick, himself noted as having one of the most distinct and haunting of directing styles. Together the two create a fright film masterpiece that follows a seemingly normal family into the depths of insanity. From sweeping panoramic shots to creepy double-takes, Kubrick draws the maximum degree of fear from the pages that King wrote. This is a must-see. (Then, might I suggest something like "Dumb & Dumber" or "Happy Gilmore" quickly on its heels to help shake the lingering paranoia and adrenaline coursing through your veins.)
There are certainly many to choose from and these five are only a sampling of the best of the best. So, what are your favorite scary movies for the Halloween season?