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Dave
10-16-2010, 04:27 PM
Life has changed a lot for me over the past year. I have remarried and moved into a new home. With that new home came a nice, big fireplace. What better watch to enjoy a horror movie on a cold New England night than to have a roaring fire going in the background? The luminescence of the flames throughout the room create a perfect atmosphere for a good horror flick.
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Life has changed a lot for me over the past year. I have remarried and moved into a new home. With that new home came a nice, big fireplace. What better watch to enjoy a horror movie on a cold New England night than to have a roaring fire going in the background? The luminescence of the flames throughout the room create a perfect atmosphere for a good horror flick.

Most here familiar with my tastes know that like most fans they are all over the spectrum. I can enjoy a good Italian horror like the rest and occasionally may delve into Asian cinema, too, but truly if there's one thing I'm a sucker for it's the 80s genre that I grew up on. While I'm not expert in any genre, I'm a horror buff at heart and that's all that matters. Like them or hate them, here are my top ten recommend horror viewing for Halloween 2010.

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10. The Exorcist (1973)

It's a timeless classic and I was amazed when I went to look up the year of release and discovered that it was 1973. Has it really been 37 years? Unbelievable. This is the one movie that truly scared the daylights out of me as a child. It was the mid 80s and in an unusual move for my Christian parents, they let me watch a network TV airing of The Exorcist. There was to be no sleep for me that night. The unrelenting horror that unfolds as Regan becomes possessed by a demonic spirit is terrifying to this day. The Exorcist is a timeless classic that will continue to be enjoyed by future generations. With the recent Blu-ray release from Warner that gives fans the choice to watch the director's cut of the theatrical cut, it's a great time to revisit the classic.


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9. The Thing (1982)

It's hard to believe that John Carpenter's The Thing was a box office failure back in 1982. If there's a sci-fi / horror genre to be ranked, this ranks right up there with Scott's Alien. From the foreboding score to the helplessness and isolation of being set in Antarctica, The Thing was Carpenter at the top of his game. The effects hold up even today thanks to the efforts of Rob Bottin. Throughout the years I've collected all the home video releases from the special edition Laserdisc all the way up to the high definition HD-DVD. HD-DVD may be defunct but it's a common belief amongst Internet geeks that it's superior to the Blu-ray release. Regardless of how you watch it this October, just make certain you do. And lets hope the upcoming prequel contains just a fraction of the magic found in Carpenter's classic.


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8. Day of the Dead (1985)

It may be the weakest in Romero's original Dead trilogy, it remains a great zombie flick and is certainly a classic compared to Land, Diary, and Survival. Like a good pitcher, you need to know when it's right to call it quits and retire at the top of your game. Day should have been just that for Romero, at least in the zombie genre.

Day portrays that apocalyptic theme that I love so much. With the movie being set in an underground military facility, it also has that isolation that works so well in zombie movies. Those elements along with some strong performances from the cast and great character development make Day of the Dead a great pick for a Halloween viewing.


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7. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

It's always great to see a modern day horror movie that works. Jeepers Creepers has all of the right ingredients. It's low budget yet successful in creating scares due to solid directing, atmosphere, acting, and storyline. For a monster movie to have so few special effects scenes of the creature in all its glory, it's truly a reinforcement of the belief that it's not always what you see that is most scary. Not to be missed. Now lets just convince MGM, Fox, or anyone to release it onto Blu-ray!


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6. The Devil Rides Out (1968)

It wasn't until the mid to late 90s when Elite Entertainment was at the top of their game did I begin to discover the world of Hammer horror. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to buy anything horror on Laserdisc, especially if it was from Elite Entertainment. When Elite released The Devil Rides Out onto laser in April of 1999, it was a no-brainer purchase for me. For one of my first batch of Hammer viewings, which I admit remain woefully small in number, The Devil Rides Out certainly left me with the impression I had been missing out on some solid horror cinema. Starring Christopher Lee, The Devil Rides Out tells a tale of devil worship in a battle of good versus evil. It features some beautiful visuals, solid acting, and a great story of the occult. Highly recommended.



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5. Phantasm (1979)

Phantasm II made it in my top 10 in 2007 so it's only fitting the one that started it all make it in at some point, too. While I tend to enjoy and watch the sequel a bit more, the original shows just how talented Coscarelli is as a low budget filmmaker. Sure the effects and hair styles are dated but looking at what he created for a mere $300,000, even by 1979 standards, it amazing. While the movie can be a bit confusing and dreamish at times, that's all part of its charm for me. Thanks to Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man we get a sinister villain that we love to hate.

Lets hope Coscarelli and crew can gather together one more time to give the series a fitting close in a fifth and final installment. In the meantime, why not give the original a spin this Halloween?



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4. Dexter (2006-ongoing)

It was a show that I kept reading positive praise about but I'm a stubborn person who judges books by their covers. For some reason I just didn't like the look of Dexter, an original series on showtime about a forensics expert for the Miami police that moonlights as a serial killer. Always on the lookout for new shows to watch, I finally relented and gave the first season of Dexter a try. The show is pure brilliance as Dexter struggles in his efforts to pretend to fit in and live the normal life so that he stays under the radar of suspicion, yet equally struggles to fight off human emotions that begin to edge into his once empty self. It's easy to devour the seasons which are a mere 12 episodes each. Lots of killings and lots of blood coupled with strong characters and good storylines make Dexter the perfect show for any horror fan.


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3. Lady in White (1988)

I've been on a ghost kick lately, between books and movies, so it's no surprise I chose Lady in White for the number 3 slot. I was introduced to this through Elite Laserdisc, much like The Devil Rides Out. This is a charming ghost tale is slow paced, but I enjoy it more and more with each viewing thanks to wonderful characters and strong acting, in particular by Lukas Haas as Frankie Scarlatti, the young boy who encounters the ghost of a young girl murdered years past. If there is movie magic to be seen, you'll find it here. You'll feel the chill in the air and reminisce on your own childhood Halloweens as director Frank LaLoggia guides you through this lovely tale. Available for a mere $10 on DVD through MGM, which includes all of the Elite Laserdisc and DVD extras, it should be a no-brainer purchase for most.


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2. Halloween H20 (1998)

I saw the original on the big screen recently. It was a dirty, scratchy, mess of a print and I enjoyed every second of it. I saw H20 back at a drive-in in California and I thought it was a fitting way, at the time, to conclude the series. Of course they had to go and ruin it with Halloween: Resurrection and the remakes. For mindless slashers, and even most movies in general, I'm all of sequels, sequels, and more sequels. If you don't like them, don't watch them. So I'm okay with Resurrection and the remakes existing, but I'm equally okay telling people how awful they are.

While H20 didn't end the series, it remains an enjoyable entry. For something created in the era of Scream they did an admirable job not making it too much of a Screamy bopper flick. Jokes of Michel's age aside, the movie has some good pacing and manages to remain somewhat enjoyable even without the one staple of the series, Donald Pleasence. I cherish my DTS laserdisc and long for a Blu-ray release of the movie. The fact that we're stuck with a non-anamorphic DVD here in the States is a downright travesty.


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1. Psycho (1960)

Some call it the "original slasher"; I simply call it one of the best horror films of all time. There's simply nothing to fault in Psycho. Hitchcock created a timeless masterpiece that tells the tale of a young woman who makes an error in judgment that ultimately leads her to the Bates motel, thus sealing her fate. It's the type of movie one simply cannot break away from one it is on; it demands to be watched from start to finish. Hitchcock creates the suspense, scares, and atmosphere just right in Psycho. Anthony Perkins gives the performance of his career as the lonely and subdued Norman Bates who will protect his mother at all costs. With the film hitting blu-ray in a few days, it's a great opportunity to revisit the classic in high definition.

rhett
10-16-2010, 05:24 PM
Good list of dependable picks with a few wild cards thrown in. I've still never seen LADY IN WHITE, but it sounds like good Halloween fodder. I'll have to watch that one with the ol' lady! THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is unseen by me and another I need to check out.

Fistfuck
10-16-2010, 06:09 PM
Dave, I agree with Rhett's assessment that he has not seen Lady in White. Keep up the good work and best of luck on your midterms.

evildeadfan123
10-16-2010, 10:14 PM
I agree with the list. I have 7 of them on DVD. I haven't seen The Devil Rides Out, nor Dexter, but I don't get Showtime, and I have seen Jeepers Creepers, but I don't have it on DVD yet, but I have seen it. Just recently watched Day of The Dead again, about 3 weeks ago, and saw The Thing when it was originally released in the Movies, with my brother, and my Mom, who also saw Psycho, when it was released in 1960.

Fistfuck
10-16-2010, 10:42 PM
I agree with the list. I have 7 of them on DVD. I haven't seen The Devil Rides Out, nor Dexter, but I don't get Showtime, and I have seen Jeepers Creepers, but I don't have it on DVD yet, but I have seen it. Just recently watched Day of The Dead again, about 3 weeks ago, and saw The Thing when it was originally released in the Movies, with my brother, and my Mom, who also saw Psycho, when it was released in 1960.

Fascinating!

Undeadcow
10-16-2010, 11:01 PM
What, no Pet Cemetary 2?

Caspar2112
10-16-2010, 11:46 PM
A fantastic list Dave, The Devil Rides Out, Psycho, the Thing....all must sees. I think I will have to search myself out a copy of The Lady in White, it has been a while.
Thanks

Vance Vandy
10-17-2010, 12:23 AM
What, no Pet Cemetary 2?

It's Sematary, and if it were actually spelled correctly, it would be Cemetery. Wrong on both counts.

dave13
10-17-2010, 12:24 AM
devil rides out is a pretty fantastic film, anybody who hasn't seen it (rhett...for shame), should do so. i remember being pretty underwhelmed by lady in white the one time i saw it. maybe i should check it out again?

Dave
10-17-2010, 01:16 AM
Dexter is available from Netflix, including their on demand.

Mitbox
10-17-2010, 03:30 AM
Great list, haven't seen the same two rhett didn't. I love Dexter, great show and very addictive, besides Michael C. Hall is a great actor and I love Debra (Jennifer Carpenter).
Offtopic: Just found out on wikipedia (searching for the correct spelling of the actors) that Dexter and Debra are married in real life.

Erick H.
10-17-2010, 03:55 AM
Good ,solid list Dave,nice pick with THE DEVIL RIDES OUT,one of Hammer's best.

indrid13
10-17-2010, 04:17 AM
Good list. Just watched H20 a few months ago and found it played better now then when I watched it back in 1998.

Chunkblower
10-17-2010, 07:43 AM
Great list. It's hard to argue with the classics.

Lady in White has long been on my "to watch" list, but I didn't realize it was on DVD until now. I added it to my Ziplist and bumped it to the top. Hopefully I get it before Halloween rolls around.

bigdaddyhorse
10-17-2010, 07:30 PM
I had Lady in White, but was bored to tears by it. Maybe I was in the wrong mood, but I sold it off while the Elite dvd was OOP and the MGM didn't exist. Might try it again.

I'm in the same boat with Dexter, everyone raves about it, but I still haven't tried it. I will as soon as my stack of unwatched discs is reasonable, right now it's over 100 and covering 2 rooms of my house.

Big props on Jeepers. I've loved that from the second I saw it at the theater, and have watched the dvd at least 5 times since, it just gets better IMO. Too bad the sequel sucks (maybe sucks is too harsh, but it definitly loses the magic of the first).

H2O will get another try, but quit dissing Ressuerection. It's not that bad, and kinda fun in a big-budget B-movie way.

Dave
10-17-2010, 08:11 PM
Jeepers does rock. Wifely and I watched it a few weeks ago.

dave13
10-18-2010, 02:16 AM
whoops, sorry Dave, but it was Anthony Perkins who played Norman Bates, not Anthony Hopkins.

rhett
10-18-2010, 03:11 AM
whoops, sorry Dave, but it was Anthony Perkins who played Norman Bates, not Anthony Hopkins.
Fixed. Would it have been Hopkins' best performance had it been him? That's the real question!

othervoice1
10-18-2010, 03:16 AM
Nice list, and I was very happy to see some stuff listed that I love and maybe a "little" off the beaten track for most Halloween top 10 lists: Dexter, Jeepers Creepers and even Halloween H2O which was suprisingly a strong entry in the Halloween series.

Fistfuck
10-18-2010, 03:47 AM
Fixed. Would it have been Hopkins' best performance had it been him? That's the real question!

No way. Hopkins inherently has something sinister, or if nothing else, deeply intelligent about him.

Perkins was so great in the role because he was somewhat of a dolt and it'd be hard to imagine, on first view, that he'd be capable of committing murder.

Dave
10-18-2010, 04:47 AM
Lady is definitely not for everyone and moves very slow, but it was a great story and had great performances and characters.

rhett
10-18-2010, 06:53 AM
Sounds like the perfect movie for someone to review for the site, eh Dave, eh???

eric_angelus
10-18-2010, 11:40 AM
Great list Dave, I always support anyone who throws H20 a little love.

Mok
10-18-2010, 03:18 PM
Nice list Dave. I couldn't get behind Jeepers Creepers when I saw it. Maybe a second try is in order. Devil Rides Out or anything Hammer for that matter deserves a high five :cool:

spawningblue
10-19-2010, 10:48 PM
Great list! Devil Rides Out and lady in White are two I have been wanting to see. Devil Rides Out is pretty expensive though, and is the DVD even anamorphic? All of those old Anchor bay Hammer titles are begging for a re-release.

Workshed
10-19-2010, 10:56 PM
Love Day and do not consider it the weakest of the trilogy, rather--it's my favorite! It's a perfect Halloween flick--full of terror and atmosphere.

The Lady in White, however, was one that I had trouble enjoying. I never connected with it, and H20 was one I watched in a hotel room while on the road one summer. It provided a lot of laughs.

Interesting, varied list, Dave.

wago70
10-19-2010, 11:10 PM
Great list esp. LADY IN WHITE and PHANTASM (although I think viewers, in general, need to get over clothing and hairstyles being 'dated').

BrokeNads
10-20-2010, 03:35 AM
Hello people. Halloween is the best time for the year this is for sure. From this movies I think about it.
I like Excorcist very much I see when I am young and scare me like shit.
The Thing I think this is ok movie I like also original Thing from outer space.
Day the of Dead is good but I like better more Night and Dawn.
Jeepers Creepers is not to good for me. I think is teens movie and maybe I want to see again becase I see before many years. I see because Clive Barker say this movie is number one but I think is not number 1.
Phantasm I dont like this one.
Devil Rides Out I never see it.
I try to see Dexter because my friend give to me for lended. I only see maybe 5 shows and this is very boring for me. I cant see no more! Get Out from my dvd player!
Lady in white I never see but is intrest for me.
Haloween h20 is not very good movie but is more fun. Is good to see because part 6 is from the ass. This movie is Halloween Water.
Psycho is good movie and is not movie for me to see very much but is classic.
Good lists I want to see some this movies I never see. Thank you.

joltaddict
10-20-2010, 03:47 AM
Haloween h20 is not very good movie but is more fun. Is good to see because part 6 is from the ass. This movie is Halloween Water.

BrokeNads, I love you. You need to post here more.