Movie Suggestions: Halloween Edition.


October is the month for crisp leaves fluttering to the ground, Americans making us Brits jealous with their many, many, many pumpkin spice flavoured choices, fancy dress, and great movies. (Also, if you live in my house, a stone's worth of sugar filled goodness). Today, I'm going to suggest some movie options for over this spooktacular month. Some classic, some new, some underrated.

Ready, set, treat! Or maybe trick. You'll have to watch to find out. (Or read. I didn't think that sentence through.)

Let's start with a classic, and my favourite..

Halloween, 1978

If you haven't seen this movie, I question whether you are actually living on the planet earth. Maybe you're an alien who hacked his/her way onto the Earth's technology system and sadly ended up on this blog instead of Google. So, err, hi there. Seriously though, this movie is a must over Halloween.

 Psychopath (or wildly misunderstand man) Michael Myers returns home 15 years after brutally murdering his family to continue his killing spree. This and 'Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, 1998' are mine and my mother's personal favourites. It wouldn't be Halloween without them.

It of course stars the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence. You must know this.

The remake is also worth a watch (Just the first, let's all act like 'Halloween II, 2009' didn't happen.) but for Halloween, I say stick to the original. Or maybe marathon them. Yeah, marathon them.
[Click here for the trailer]

Hocus Pocus, 1993. 

We all knew this one would make it in. Whether you are 4 or 40, you will find yourself singing along to Bette Midler's version of 'Put a Spell On You' as you get lost in the magic of this Disney flick. A cat that talks, vacuums that fly, and insane hairdo's that will leave you wondering how many cans of hairspray were used during the making of this movie.

Bette Midler is incredible, Sarah Jessica Alba and Kathy Najimy's craziness only adds silly string to the fun. If you haven't watched it, do it. I can guarantee you won't regret it. You'll laugh, get enthralled in the magic, and possibly weep at that one particular scene.

I can't wait to rewatch this movie for the first time, through the eyes of my future child. It's one of those magical movies.
[Click here for the trailer]

The Strangers, 2008

This one is for the readers who want a little scare this Halloween. Horrors are my favourite genre of movie, and I could easily fill this list with options for you to enjoy. But I had to narrow it down, and The Strangers definitely made the cut.

Starring Liv Tyler and  Scott Speedman, The Strangers taps into that fear we all have buried deep inside of us, you know the one, the one that niggles at the back of your skull when you have to put the bin out in the middle of the night, eerie silence and darkness looming over you. The one you get when you think you catch a second reflection in the windows when it's pitch dark out. When someone bangs on the front door too loud, making you jump out of your skin, and question for barely a second whether you actually want to open it. Yeah, those fun fears.

I'm not going to describe the plot to this movie to a T, as I think it'll ruin the fun. Just watch it. It's more of a thriller that turns to a horror, but is exceptionally enjoyable.
[Click here for the trailer]

The Collector, 2009/The Collection, 2012.

The Collector is one of my personal favourite horror movies. I believe it to be fully underrated, and although the sequel The Collection is massively unrealistic, I love it. Whether it's because of the protagonist Arkin, played by Josh Stewart - who is possibly the most well thought out horror victim to be written in years - or the story itself, which is complex, crazy, and keeps you guessing. It is gruesome at parts (as you'd expect, seen as it is directed by Marcus Dunstan who also directed Saw IV,VI,VII) so if you can't handle a bit of gore, I wouldn't suggest you choose this one. Otherwise, go for it. 

The Collector follows Arkin, a man who is forced into pulling off a thieving job to pay off some debts. Targeting a wealthy family's mansion, he sets his sights on a valuable jewel that is locked away in the safe. The family is supposedly on vacation. Break in, take a jewel, easy as chips. Right? Wrong. (Shocker. A horror not going smoothly, oh the surprise.) He soon finds himself in a game of cat and mouse with a masked madman who has kidnapped the family and turned the house into one big fun house with deathly traps.

What makes this movie enjoyable is the character Arkin. I've never wanted the main character in a horror/slasher to survive so badly. He is smart, cunning, and doesn't make a single flaw in judgement throughout the movie. That is what makes him great. You never want to yell at the TV over his idiocy, and the result is you holding your breath as he narrowly slides by this masked man. I wish more movies in this genre had such well written characters.

Keep an open mind, and enjoy the ridiculous ride that these movies are. Also, join me in the Arkin fan club at Jokes. Kind of.
[Click here for trailer]

Scary Movie, 2000.

Want some humour mixed into all that blood and guts? Look no further. Now, this may seem like an obvious choice. But every single time I mention it to someone, they say "I haven't seen that in years!. Which is a damn crime, if you ask me. Which you didn't. But hey ho.

They did countless Scary Movies. The last I saw being the fourth..? Maybe fifth. But nothing beats the originality of the original. Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project.. All the best movies! (All of which I recommend for Halloween. This does not count as cheating.).

Whether you've seen this once or ten times, you'll laugh and enjoy it. It is never a bad option. (Unless, like us, you only own it on VHS and get really baffled over why the remote doesn't work each time you want to press pause. Ah, the idiocy. No shame.)
 [Click here for the trailer]

Zombieland, 2009.

Firstly, let's talk about the actors in this: The gorgeous Emma Stone, the hilarious Woody Harrelson, and the loveable Jesse Eisenberg. Talk about a dream cast. Even Abigail Breslin is note worthy. Secondly, who doesn't love a good zombie movie? Add in a list of rules that involve 'Beware of Bathrooms' and 'Don't Be a Hero', and you have one that will top your favourites list.

The plot is as the title would suggest - a zombie apocalypse. It's a zombieland. Some unknown virus is wiping out all the humans, and unlike those downers in The Walking Dead, these guys actually have a plan. Go to a funfair, find some twinkies, and well, er.. survive?

Everyone should watch this movie at least once. What better time is there than Halloween? The party day for Zomb's. No nicknames? Fair enough.
[Click here for the trailer]

Mean Girls, 2004

This may not strike you as a Halloween movie, but there's a Halloween party in it.. So.. When isn't it okay to watch Mean Girls? The costumes always make me excited for Halloween, and that scene with the flying popcorn is probably my favourite one in the movie.

Does really need more of a plot? It's Mean Girls.
[Click here for the trailer] 

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, 2006.

This is a hidden gem that many seem to look over. It's a slasher with a twist. Filmed in the style of a mockumentary, Behind The Mask follows the aspiring serial killer Leslie Vernon, as he gets ready for his debut into the slasher world. Wanting to follow in the steps of the likes of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Kruger, he invites a documentary crew to come along and film his story.

Starring Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Scoot Wilson, and the wonderful Robert Englund, the cast doesn't fall short. I urge any slasher lover to give this movie a go. It's both hilarious and mind-racing. It is unlike anything I have watched before, and although the ending is rather predictable, the ride to it is riveting.
[Click here for the trailer]

Honourable mentions:
Practical Magic, 1998. [Trailer]
The Purge, 2013. [Trailer]
See No Evil, 2006. [Trailer]
The Hills Run Red, 2009. [Trailer]
The Witches, 1990. [Trailer]
Annabelle, 2014. [Trailer

Alright folks, that's all I can think of for tonight.

Got any other Halloween movie suggestions? Please, please, please tweet them to me at @RootingBranches. Or comment. You can never own too many movies.

I hope your October is coming along nicely.

Thanks for reading.

- Anne x

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