It’s Halloween weekend, and who doesn’t like a good scare?
After the kids come by in their costumes looking for candy, it’s a good time to settle down in front of the television set and watch some scary movies.
Here are some of the scarier ones, although some people have a higher tolerance for horror than others. Comedies, cute films and cartoons are not included, and these might not all have Halloween themes.
Doesn’t matter. Just be sure the doors are locked. And don’t drop your candy.
The first movie in the “Halloween” franchise introduces us to serial killer Michael Myers, played by Nick Castle.
The movie is the film debut of Jamie Lee Curtis, who stars as babysitter Laurie Strode. She is confronted by Myers, who had escaped from a psychiatric hospital 15 years after killing his sister on Halloween night.
Myers returns to Haddonfield to kill again.
There have been 12 “Halloween” films, and a 13th is in the works for a release, possibly as soon as 2022.
“The Shining” (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s version of Stephen King’s 1977 novel is a loose interpretation of the author’s work -- King did not like it -- but it remains one of the more hair-raising horror films of all time.
Jack Nicholson is positively creepy as Jack Torrance, a mediocre writer who slowly loses his mind as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Shelly Duvall plays Wendy, Nicholson’s terrified wife -- she should be, especially when Torrance roams through the house with an ax. Danny Lloyd plays their son, who rides his tricycle through the creaky hotel and encounters zombie-like twin girls.
Lloyd’s trance-like chant of “redrum” -- murder spelled backward -- is still terrifying.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)
This remake is more terrifying than the original, which starred Kevin McCarthy in 1956. In the 1978 version, San Francisco health inspector Donald Sutherland and his colleague (Brooke Adams) discover that humans are being replaced by alien duplicates.
While the original was set in a small California, the remake takes place in a metropolitan area. That makes it even scarier since there are more aliens out there.
The supporting cast includes Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum. McCarthy makes a cameo appearance, running out into the street and warning Sutherland, “You’re next! They’re coming!”
“The Exorcist” (1973)
Based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, “The Exorcist” is the story of a 12-year-old girl who becomes possessed by a demonic spirit.
The girl, Regan, played by Linda Blair, is transformed from a sweet girl into a monstrous demon who vomits green bile, spins her head, screams obscenities and does inappropriate things with a crucifix.
Two Catholic priests, played by Jason Miller and Max von Sydow, have the unenviable task of saving the child’s soul.
The song “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield was used in the soundtrack of the film, and it was the perfect balance of calm, dread and terror.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
The ultimate slasher film, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” follows Freddy Krueger as he stalks teenagers in their dreams. Krueger, played by Robert Englund, invades the homes of four teenagers in the fictitious Ohio town of Springwood.
Krueger invades their minds and kills them in their dreams, which also means that he kills them in real life with his bladed, leather glove. The film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon and Ronee Blakely.
The film also features the acting debut of Johnny Depp.
There are other deserving candidates, too: “Psycho,” “Friday the 13th,” “Scream,” “Carrie” and “Night of the Living Dead.”
What’s your favorite?
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