An A to Z of scary movies for Halloween
By Wendy Fox Weber ◆ ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR October 25, 2012 10:14AM
Jason Voorhees of "Friday the 13th"
Updated: March 22, 2013 5:25PM
What is more of a Halloween activity than watching a good old horror movie?
Whether it’s a vampire, a zombie, a crazed axe murderer or an alien — nothing feels as satisfying in October as curling up under a blanket with some snacks and watching something truly awful go down from the comfort of your own home.
And if you don’t like to be too freaked out, we’ve got you covered too, with a list of less-creepy options.
A is for “Alien.” This 1979 science fiction film proved so memorable, the antagonist inspired three sequels and a shout-out (at the least) 30-odd years later in the summer hit “Prometheus.”
B is for “The Blair Witch Project.” This 1999 surprise hit gave birth to the found footage movie phenomenon, which will freak you out or not depending on whether you possess any imagination.
C is for the 1920 classic “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” Just take my word for it and watch it. It’s scary.
D is for Dracula, one of the godfathers of the horror thing. He’s hot, he’s sexy, he’s dead. Really, really dead.
E is for “The Evil Dead,” the 1981 cult classic which teaches an important lesson — if you find the Book of the Dead, do not read it.
F is for Frankenstein. Speaking of dead guys ... he’s a dead guy made of dead guys. That can’t smell good.
G is for Godzilla, one of the biggest — literally — movie monsters of all time. His legend was born from Cold War nuclear paranoia, but the fact that there is another American remake slotted for 2014 shows that the character has staying power.
H is for “Halloween,” the John Carpenter movie with Michael Myers, and the holiday dedicated to horror.
I is for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” This terrifying tale of paranoia showed that after aliens landed, when people go to sleep, they are replaced by alien “pod people,” who resemble them in every way, except one teeny tiny one.
J is for Jason, the killer of the “Friday the 13th” series. It’s hard to believe now, but this franchise has 11 movies to its name, and there is a 12th on the way. Next time people complain about today’s lousy movies, this is exhibit A.
K is for King Kong. It was beauty killed the beast. But we gave him a nudge.
L is for Later, as in “28 Days Later,” Danny Boyle’s 2002 seminal thriller in the “zombies can run fast now” category. So there’s that.
M is for Mummy. I feel kind of bad for the Mummy. When he got his big reboot, he wasn’t anything like his old-school, slow-walking, bandage-wrapped predecessor. What happened to *that* guy?
N is for “Nightmare on Elm Street,” which has nine movies in its franchise and a TV show. Exhibit B of the “there have always been bad movies” trial.
O is for “The Omen,” one of a spate of films featuring children possessed by the Devil or having supernatural powers which came out in the ’70s and ’80s and scared the crap out of me, including “The Exorcist,” “The Fury,” “Children of the Corn” and “Firestarter.” I figured if I did not see any of these movies it would not happen, and it seems to have worked.
P is for “Psycho.” Fifty years later and people are still genuinely upset by the shower scene. That’s how you know you have done a good job.
Q is for “Q: The Winged Serpent.” This is the IMDB.com description: “New York police are bemused by a spate of reports of a giant flying lizard that has been spotted around New York ... until the lizard starts to eat people.” Be honest, you want to see it now.
R is for “Rosemary’s Baby.” Bad baby. Bad, bad baby. Don’t watch this 1968 film alone.
S is for 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead,” for showing us that horror pictures can be really, really terrifying and also very, very funny.
T is for 1974’s “Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” one of the earliest films to strip down the genre to just gore and terror, for better or worse.
U is for “Underworld,” a film as concerned with its vampires vs. werewolves story as it is with its leading lady’s skintight outfits.
V is for vampires, the subject of hundreds of films — some of them among the first ever made — and yet, we are still getting variations of the basic theme of an immortal who needs blood to survive and can’t go outside during the day.
W is for “War of the Worlds.” In an age where some ask “Who’s Paul McCartney?” on Twitter, people are probably ready to accept a story about an alien landing, performed on radio in 1938, being accepted as fact by the mass audience as real, despite the fact that it was based on an 1898 book.
X is for “X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes” because that just sounds cool.
Y is for “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks 1974 madcap comedy. Give me a break. A-to-Z lists are hard.
Z is for Zombie. Where would modern horror be without our beloved undead? The fascination with them — and use of them as allegory — shows no sign of stopping.