When the leaves are falling from the trees and frost is in the air, darkness sets in earlier every night. It’s perfect movie-watching weather! Halloween-themed movies can be gory, scary, funny, or family-friendly.
Whether you watch movies at home or in a theater, and whether you like new releases or old classics, you might consider taking in these five good ones this year.
1. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
This movie actually spans the gap between old classic and new release. First released in 1974, the film was allegedly inspired by the real-life crimes of murderer Ed Gein. But sources are quick to point out that it’s entirely fictional in plot and events depicted. Tobe Hooper directed and produced the 1974 version of “Massacre.”
In 2012, a new version is scheduled for release in early October. It’s a 3D version produced by Carl Mazzocone, and it’s a remake of the original in a modern setting.
2. “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Here’s another classic from the mid-70s, but this one has a definite comic approach. It’s not terribly frightening, but it does revolve around off-beat sexual themes and innuendos. It’s based on a British musical stage play by a similar name (“The Rocky Horror Show”), and was intended to be a spoof on a prior era of sci-fi and horror movies.
It was once a “midnight movie,” a term that came out of the 1950s practice of showing low-budget films on TV late at night. If you like a bit of twisted comedy, this is a great movie for Halloween.
3. Harry Potter
Kids and adults alike are fans of the Harry Potter series. There are eight of them to choose from, so you could make it an all-night film festival or watch one each night for eight days (or just choose one!). The movies are based on the books by JK Rowling, and are produced by David Heyman and distributed by Warner Brothers. They are more magic-based than fear-based, making them a safer choice for families.
4. “Trick ‘r Treat”
Here’s a fairly recent film – from 2009, this Warner Bros. movie is considered original and fresh, which is a plus in a genre that tends to produce movies with similar story lines and effects. Critics have positive things to say about this movie, and it has a strong cult following (not unlike “Rocky Horror”).
In “Trick ‘r Treat,” various characters appear in all sorts of different scenarios, tied together with the theme of keeping Halloween tradition. Those who fail to keep proper traditions meet a deadly fate. While it’s considered a well-done film, it would probably be best if viewed only by older teens and adults.
5. “Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit”
Wallace & Gromit (W&G) are a classic pair of clay-animated characters – Wallace is a private investigator/inventor and Gromit is his dog. They are hired to capture whatever critter is raiding the town’s vegetable gardens (which are apparently sacred). “Were-Rabbit” is both a family-friendly and funny Halloween film. “Were-Rabbit” has some amusing moments for adults like tributes to classic movies, while amusing kids with gentle humor and fun action.