Image: Woofer McWooferson

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 10)

October is the perfect month for watching horror movies. In fact it's the month when a horror nerd can almost feel “normal”, as millions of people temporarily become horror fans. But hey, horror has always been welcoming, and I;m not knocking anyone who gets into the Halloween spirit. Horror is a big blanket and and we can all hide under it during the scary scenes. So for a whole month of spookiness, how could I only suggest five films to watch? So I asked and begged if I could do a second “five horror films to watch in October”.

After asking, of course I had problems picking out the five films. The problem being picking five out of all the great possible Halloween viewing. However after deep thought, head scratching, and perusing my personal collection, I picked my next five. In my first five I set rules for my selection. No zombies, no serial killers and it had to be supernatural. Which I kind of broke the last rule with The Wicker Man. Fuck the rules tho, amirite? So no rules on this one, other than I like the film and think it would be a fum Halloween watch. While I wouldn't call the list “family friendly” I did shy away from any extremely gory or disturbing films. As always make your own decision on your family's viewing, and hope you enjoy the list!

1.Event Horizon
Event Horizon is probably the best example of horror and sci fi crossing over near seamlessly. It stars Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neil and is the story of a rescue crew sent out to investigate the reemergence of the interstellar ship Event Horizon. Event Horizon has rightfully been called a haunted house story set in space, which is why I'm making it a must see during the Halloween season. I've also argued it could almost be set in the Hellraiser Universe as it deals with self mutilation and inter-dimensional travel to “hell”. It's also the goriest film on this list

Event Horison

Event horizon

2.Psycho
Way back in 1960 the horror world was introduced to Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) by director Alfred Hitchcock. The film was groundbreaking in the horror genre, featuring what was assumed to be the main star being killed early in the film. It was also responsible for, or helped define horror tropes such as the “slasher” and the “scream queen”. Not only that it made people afraid to use motel showers.
So far Psycho has spawned three sequels, a remake, a TV pilot (Bates Motel) in 1987, and an ongoing series (Bates Motel, not connected with the 1987 pilot) on A and E Network. While it doesn't have a supernatural element, it is a horror classic, and perfect for October viewing.

3.Tombs of the Blind Dead
Amando Ossorio's 1972 Spanish horror film was my first introduction to the Knights Templar. Since then I have, luckily discovered more about the legendary Templars, but this movie still holds a special place in my black heart, and it can still give me chills. In real life the Templars were accused of witchcraft, arrested, and executed, Tombs of the Blind Dead takes it further. In the film the Templars, guilty of human sacrifice and turning their backs on god, have returned from the dead. Since ravens pecked out their eyes while they hung from the gibbet, they are now blind and hunt by sound. It's a great gimmick, and twist on the still new zombie genre and provides some incredibly tense moments. Tombs of the Blind Dead is an old film and at first might not seem to hold up well. However pop it in the DVD player (or VCR) late Halloween night, turn off the lights, grab a blanket, and I bet it will still give you a chill or two. It's OK, blame it on the cool October air, I wont tell.

4. The Witchfinder General
The legendary Vincent Price enters the list with Witchfinder General. Honestly Vincent could have had five movies on this list, and probably five in my last list. However, in trying to spread the love I decided to pick one, and I picked Witchfinder General. One because this is a list for the Halloween season and witches play such an important part in Halloween, so why not a film about the persecution of witches? Witchfinder General, also known as The Conqueror Worm, showcases Price at his most nasty. For those who only remember him from more lighthearted roles, or as sympathetic characters, this may be a shock, but it's still a must see. The film is very, very loosely based on the real life story of Matthew Hopkins, the self appointed Witchfinder General of East Anglia during the English civil war.
The gruesome and disturbing content led to critical panning, even while it was a box office success. Over the years, opinions have changed and many critics now consider it a classic. It has always been one of my favorite film from Price, but it still manages to disturb me. It's the perfect film for a dark, cool, October night.

5.  Last Shift
I really had a hard time picking recent films for these lists. Not that there haven't been recent horror films that I enjoyed, it's just none seemed right for this list. Then I re-watched 2014's Last Shift by director Anthony Diblasi. The film is set, appropriately on the during the last shift at a police station on the last night before it is shut down. A rookie officer is assigned to work the last shift, and comes face to face with supernatural forces. The time of year is never specified (That I noticed) but damn if it doesn't feel like it's Halloween. Think of it as a twist on Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, but with the assault coming from within and being supernatural. Throughout the film we come face to face with ghost, re-animated cultists and a the spookiest homeless person since Alice Cooper in Prince of Darkness. The end leaves you wondering just how much of what we seen was real, and what was in the protagonist's mind. Last Shift is perfect for Halloween viewing, just expect to have a few nightmares after watching it.

Last Shift,

Last Shift

So that's my second five for October. Hope you get some ideas and enjoy some horror this Halloween.

Posted by Allen Alberson

Leave a Reply