There are a lot of classy horror films out there that will help enrich your understanding of the genre, or even the medium of film itself. You’re not going to find too many of those films on my list. Like the kids knocking door-to-door, I prefer my Halloween to be loaded with sweet junk that will rot your teeth. There are a lot of classy horror films out there that will help enrich your understanding of the genre, or even the medium of film itself. You’re not going to find too many of those films on my list. Like the kids knocking door-to-door, I prefer my Halloween to be loaded with sweet junk that will rot your teeth. Halloween is the one night a year where you can eat garbage, stay all night and dress like a tramp and nobody will think twice about it. Take advantage of it! Here’s a selection of films (and a TV show) that never fail to satisfy my Halloween sweet tooth. 10. The Real Ghostbusters, Season 1, Episode 8- “When Halloween Was Forever” (1986) If, like me, you were a child of the 80’s then you were undoubtedly a Ghostbusters fan. And if you watched the animated series, you were undoubtedly creeped out by the wheezy-voiced, pumpkin-headed Samhain (in this instance, incorrectly pronounced phonetically) and his plan to plunge the world into perpetual All Hallow’s Eve (would that really be such a bad thing?). This silly cartoon doesn’t pack a punch any more but it’s a fun and nostalgic look back to the days when I could still be scared by something as innocuous as a Saturday morning cartoon. 9. Lord of Illusions - The Director's Cut (1995) While not a prolific as his contemporary, Stephen King, Clive Barker has still left an indelible mark on the horror genre. His directorial efforts weren’t quite as hair-raising as his printed fiction but his last film (to date) as director is arguably his best. A slick fusion of horror and noir elements, Lord of Illusions is able to generate genuine scares even in scenes set in broad daylight, like the fantastic opening sequence in the Mojave Desert. The scene where evil magician Nix is “sealed” haunted my dreams for years after I first saw it. 8. Lightning Bug (2004) Not a horror film – the film has monsters, but they’re the entirely human type-but a coming of age drama centred on a young horror fan, Green Graves (Brett Harrison), with a prodigious talent for gory make up effects. When he’s not facing down the prejudices of the podunk townsfolk, he’s avoiding abuse at the hands of his brutal stepfather. Make-up artist Robert Hall makes his directorial debut with this funny, sensitive and very moving drama. Lightning Bug touches a very special place in my heart every time I watch it. 7. The Hunger (1983) Master auteur Tony Scott’s largely ignored debut film remains one of his best: an exercise in cool, Euro trash style that plays almost like a throwback to the silent era. Catherine Deneuve, pushing forty at the time and still looking extremely hot doing so, plays Miriam Blaylock (The Omen homage, perhaps?) queen of vampires, cursed with having to watch as her mortal lovers wither away before her eyes. After boxing up last lover David Bowie, she sets her sights on researcher Susan Sarandon, who just happens to be looking for a way to unlock the secrets of the internal biological clock. Atmospheric, with a crazy awesome opening credit sequence, The Hunger gets my vote for best modern vampire film. 6. Poltergeist (1982) Every now and then a big studio production manages to get it right. In this case, it’s MGM and Steven Spielberg and boy, did they ever get it right (don’t even try and convince me that Tobe Hooper directed this; I’m not buying it). Fantastic effects that are almost always in service of the story -the end gets a bit over indulgent with the pyrotechnics, but at that point I’m willing to go with it. The Freelings are a believable and likable suburban family and we’re given the opportunity to get to know them before the majority of the ghostly business begins. I’ve grown less enchanted with the majority Spielberg’s work over the years, but Poltergeist remains a favourite film around Halloween time. 5. Pumpkinhead (1988) The late, great Stan Winston’s directorial debut is light on story but heavy on atmosphere. Genre great Lance Henriksen plays the proprietor of a roadside grocery store who enlists the help of a witch to get revenge on the city slickers who accidentally killed his son. The film is beautifully shot, the eponymous creature is one the great monsters to come out of the 80’s, the cast, which includes TV’s Blossom and Baby Superman, is uniformly great . Though the premise sounds like a brutal revenge drama, there’s actually very little on screen gore. The second half of the film is still intense and scary, nonetheless. 4. Creepshow 2 (1987) The first Creepshow is hands down a better movie but for unintentional laughs, 2 is the go-to guy. I’m not sure what I like more: the clichéd crappiness of the stories, the low rent special effects or seeing respected character actors slumming amongst the ridiculousness. My favourite has got to be Old Chief Wood’nhead: so slow and talky and totally lame both in concept and execution. At least The Raft has the isolated wilderness milieu and The Hitchhiker has “THANKS FOR THE RIDE, LADY!” Everything about the whole movie just screams late 80's New World awesomeness. Just talking about it makes me want to watch it again. 3. Trick or Treat (1986) Only really tangentially related to the holiday from which it derives its name, Charles Martin Smith’s gem is still a fantastic portrait of high school angst. Marc Singer is totally sympathetic and entirely believable as a put upon high school metalhead who calls on the spirit of his favourite, recently deceased, rock star to help him get revenge on the bullies tormenting him. Trick or Treat has a killer soundtrack courtesy of Fastaway, as well as cameos from rock legends Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. 2. Pet Sematary Two (1992) There are few films that evoke a sense of autumn as well as Mary Lambert’s underappreciated sequel does. Whether Chase is dropping Jeff off at school or Clyde is telling a ghost story around a campfire in the titular location, the film drips with Halloween atmosphere. The first film was a pretty lifeless affair but part Two positively crackles with energetic direction, baroque visuals, a hellaciously entertaining performance from Clancy Brown and a truly Grand Guignol sensibility that few films ever strive for, much less achieve. 1. Halloween 5: The REvenge of Michael Myers (1989) COO-KIE...WO-MAN! The most underrated of the original series contains plenty of cringe worthy moments (Keystone Cops, anyone?), but still boasts some of the best set pieces since the original: Jamie stalked in the basement of the children’s clinic, the chase at the Tower Farm and the laundry chute sequence, among others. It also has a legitimately awesome performance from budding scream queen, and future hottie, Danielle Harris, Donald Pleasance’s campy histrionics, fantastic cinematography by Robert Draper and a viciously effective title sequence. There’s no denying the superiority of the first film but you can no longer resist the awesomeness that is Halloween 5. Submit.