Last year I was determined to mix things up a bit, providing a list of some of my favorites in the genre, but not my usual "tried and true" favorites like Return of the Living Dead 2 and The Monster Squad. For my top ten list this year, I didn't go in with any strategy. I'm simply going to list the ten movies I would, and probably will, watch in the month of October. For me there are always factors to consider, whether it's my girlfriend being over (she hates horror!!) or my kids watching the movie with me. While I let my kids watch some horror (my five year olds' favorite movie is It), I've only just begun to introduce my older son to the world of Rated R horror. I am now trying to determine what Friday the 13th movie should be the first he watches. Kids and girlfriends aside, some of my favorites are bound to sneak their way into my lineup this month. Lets take a look at my top ten list for 2008! 10. Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988) While the sequel to the original 80s punk classic gets a lot of hate on the forums here, I've loved it since childhood. After all, who would've imagined you could watch a movie and hear the line, "Get that damn screwdriver out of my head!", and have it be so profound? The story is average at best, and the acting is downright awful, but the movie still delivers the same formula as the original: zombies, comedy, and a good amount of gore. Warner did finally deliver a decent DVD of this classic, but managed to screw up the soundtrack a bit. A read of my review will give you all the details. Love it or hate it, Part II delivers the goods and is highly recommended! If you do hate it, at least admit the theatrical poster kicks ass! 9. Friday the 13th Part IV (1984) Last year I had Part VI on my top 10, but this year I've decided on the fourth Friday the 13th movie. Whle Part VI is my favorite Friday the 13th, Part IV is my second favorite of the series. It follows the tried and true forumla for a Friday the 13th movie, and even manages to get some bonus points over Part VI thanks to excessively gratuitous nudity. It's also the first appearance by Tommy Jarvis, who appears in both Part V and Part VI of the series. Combine those points with some special effects by Tom Savini and you have yourself the perfect slasher flick for the month of October. Here's to hoping that the Friday the 13th remake is on my list for 2009! 8. 28 Weeks Later (2007) The rage virus lives! After seeing all the hate towards this sequel on our own forum, I felt not just compelled, but obligated, to add this classic sequel to my list. Not only does 28 Weeks hold its own against the original, but it surpasses it on my levels. It is creepy, filled with atmosphere, and has a decent story to boot. If there's anything that irked me about both movies, it's that these blood thirsty “zombies” aren't really zombies at all. But the end result is the same: lots of people getting chomped up and the “infected” getting their heads blown up or chopped off, so the complaint is one I can overlook. I spun the disc several times for my review last year, but am absolutely going to be giving it another spin this month. Don't miss out on this one. 7. The Stand (1994) Coming from someone that has read The Stand novel several times, I will first say that I'm going to recommend curling up with the classic book before watching the movie itself. But, for those that don't enjoy reading, this miniseries released back in 1994 is the next best thing. It's an epic tale of good versus evil in King's magnum opus dealing with the end of the world. It's a great story and has some amazing character development, thanks in part to its lengthy runtime. And while the story isn't perfect, it closely reflects the novel and remains to this day one of the best King adaptations. For those looking for cliff notes, honorable mentions go out to Marvel's recent comic book series of The Stand. It's worth checking out if you like comics. 6. Evil Dead 2 (1987) Speaking of sequels that are nearly as good as the original, I have always found this sequel to be superior to the original. While the two have many similarities, the sequel stands out thanks to the addition of some humor and a larger budget that results in some better effects. This is the movie that introduced Bruce Campell's and Sam Raimi's zany humor to the world. While Army of Darkness is a great flick, the isolation of a remote cabin in the woods really helps set the tone and build some atmosphere. The steadycam POV shot of the evil force chasing Ash through the woods really shows off Raimi's ability to work magic and produce some amazing shots on a low budget. Any hero with a chainsaw attached in place of where he loped off his own hand is a hero for horror fans. Add in the countless one-liners from Ash and you've got the perfect horror comedy. Not to be missed in the month of October. 5. Carnival of Souls (1962) I can understand why many dislike Herk Havey's Carnival of Souls. The movie is slow to deliver and can be a bit dull at times. Waiting beyond those problems are creepy looking ghouls, an effective score, and the haunting shots of the Saltair resort. Lead ghoul, played by director Herk Harvey, is particularly frightening and does so without uttering a single word. Candance Hilligoss, playing the lead, Mary, gives a brilliant performance as the quiet and shy organist that is losing her grip on reality. It closes with a killer ending that seals its place in horror history as one of the classics. This beautifully crafted B&W film tells a wonderful ghost story that is essential viewing for the month of October. 4. Twilight Zone: Season One (1985) This entry is probably going to give you the best bang for the buck. While nothing can surpass Sterling's original Twilight Zone, this CBS-led remake of the series does a fine job in its own right. While this 80s series lasted three seasons, it's really season one, and to a lesser extent season two, that manages to touch upon some of the magic found in the original. Horror fans will recognize the name Wes Craven in many of the director credits, who also provides commentary tracks and a video interview on the DVD set. The stars come out as well, with guest spots featuring Bruce Willis, Adrienne Barbeau, Morgan Freedman, and many more. One of my favorite episodes from Season One is Shadow Man, the story of a killer living under a young boy's bed. But there are my favorites to be found here thanks to countless tales filled with horror, science fiction, and of course the twists and turns we've all come to expect from Twilight Zone. Season one really delivers the goods. 3. The Devil's Backbone (2001) If there's one ghost story that can trounce Carnival of Souls, it is Guillermo del Toro's Devil's Backbone. We've all experienced movies where after we watch it, we remember how it made us feel during the viewing for years and years to come. When we reflect back on that, you instantly want to watch the movie again to try and recapture that magic. This Spanish ghost story had such a powerful impact on me during my first viewing, it did exactly that. Just writing this entry in my top ten makes me want to break away and watch this classic all over again. I can still remember the feelings to this day. That's what being a classic is all about. The story is filled with phenomenal writing, great acting, and solid directing. The shots and atmosphere are chilling and in the end you will be caring for many of the characters. The tale is simple but the effect of this chilling masterpiece isn't easily forgotten. 2. The Howling (1981) I wanted to have one werewolf movie on my top 10. I debated between The Howling, Howling V, and Bad Moon. I've always considered myself a werewolf nut and I've searched and searched for decent werewolf flicks, but they simply don't exist. For me the definitive three are Howling, Bad Moon, and An American Werewolf in London. Howling V was only in the running due to it being one of the more bearable sequels and the fact that I plan to review it on the site soon. Honorable mentions go out to Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers, but they simply don't satisfy the craving. To fill the craving I need to go straight to Joe Dante's classic, The Howling. It not only delivers plenty of werewolf action, is is beyond doubt the best werewolf movie ever created. I hope to see it dethroned someday, but given the small list werewolf fans have to choose from, it's looking unlikely. 1. The Beyond (1981) Last year my top choice was Argento's classic Suspiria, this year I went with Fulci's masterpiece, The Beyond. I've said countless times I'm not a big eurohorror fan, but The Beyond was a movie that just wouldn't let me go. It's a movie that I actually hated upon first viewing, but grew to love over time. Those are the types of movies that have a great director behind them. You might hate it at first, but it sticks around in your head for a few days. After another viewing or two, you start to get what its all about and you the rest is history. As horror fans we have such a limited amount of true classics. It's always great when you discover another, or it discovers you. The Beyond has a wonderful score and some cool effects. But it's the darkness of it all, the hopelessness, that pulled me in. If you're in the same boat as me in regards to eurohorror, don't let this classic slip by. Highly recommended!