Well, the haunting season has come to an end and spookfest 2018 is upon us. Halloween has always been an exciting holiday for us here at Reel Time allowing us to revisit our favourite horror films and catch up on the better ones we missed this year. It’s also a chance to flex my patriotic side and reveal that Halloween is actually an Irish holiday from the ancient Celts who called it Samhain (don’t say you don’t learn anything here). But pointless trivia aside we thought we would end the holiday with a summary of our top 5 Halloween movies.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
I’ll make you a bet!! I bet you that if you go to your family members right now and ask them what their favourite Halloween film is, it’ll be Hocus Pocus. If not then I will give you nothing in return because I’m trying to prove a point and shouldn’t have to offer you anything of value. You leeches!!
In all seriousness Hocus Pocus is a film synonymous with Halloween. While it received a cold reception from critics on release, Hocus Pocus struck a nerve with audiences and is still held in high regard today.
Night Of the Demons (1988)
Night of the demons is what you get if you cross Evil Dead with Lamberto Bava’s Demons franchise and still somehow make it sleazier than both combined. Ok, Night of the Demons isn’t quite on the level of those two franchises but it’s one of the best Halloween films out there and a real guilty pleasure. It’s got buckets of smut, blood, and profanity with some great makeup effects not too dissimilar to The Evil Dead’s, Deadites. If you have the stomach for extreme gore and typical 80’s sleaze, then Night of the Demons is well worth a look.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Interesting fact I learned recently: this film was only written by Tim Burton who I thought directed it. It was actually directed by Henry Selick (more interesting facts). The Nightmare Before Christmas was an introduction for many of us to the wonders of stop motion, a craft that has been revived by the wonderful Laika studios. It’s a fascinating film tackling both seasons of Halloween and Christmas with real heart and a spooky vibe. Ask anyone who’s the king of Halloweentown and watch peoples face lighten up as they shout Jack Skellington.
Trick R Treat (2007)
While loved among horror circles and managing to make most lists of best horror films of the last 20 years, sadly Trick R Treat is severely underseen. It remains one of the top five anthology films ever made and stands far taller than most films set during the witching season. Each story is filled with dread, gore and pitch black humour. It’s no wonder Michael Dougherty has been handed the keys to the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters
To the absolute surprise of no one, the Carpenter classic makes the top spot of our list by a country mile. Hearing the theme song alone fills us with nostalgia. Made on a shoestring budget, Halloween is a masterpiece in suspense and ambiance. Michael Myers filled our dreams with terror as the unstoppable killing machine who’s not afraid to hide in plain sight. If Halloween isn’t on your yearly rewatch list then you can hand back your horror fan badge.