We've all seen the well-known Halloween classics like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and, of course, Halloween. But have you seen these lesser known gems?
5. Donnie Darko (Theatrical Release)
Donnie Darko is a mind-bending masterpiece. The story follows Donnie, a troubled high schooler who is haunted by visions an approaching apocalypse: a countdown to Halloween. As the end date approaches, Donnie is guided by a frightening rabbit named Frank to commit increasingly dangerous acts of vandalism and judgement. Donnie Darko is a Halloween film that shouldn't be missed. (Skip the director's cut of the film, which detracts from the film's esoteric grace by over-explaining the plot.)
4. Arsenic and Old Lace
On Halloween, Mortimer Brewster marries the love of his life, then visits his two aunts to share the news. However, trouble abounds when he learns that his adorable aunties murder men and bury their bodies in the basement. Things get worse for Brewster when his violently psychotic brother comes home after a world wide tour of homicide. Arsenic and Old Lace is hilariously suspenseful and delightfully morbid. It is a classic that everybody should see. So why not see it this Halloween?
3. Murder Party
Murder Party is true gem. Christopher, a somewhat dull and lonely man, finds a discarded invitation to a "Murder Party" that will take place on Halloween night. Upon arriving at the party, poor Christopher learns that the invitation was bait to lure an unsuspecting victim to be tortured and murdered. Fortunately for him, the murderers are incompetent art students who can't even decide on pizza toppings, let alone how to commit the crime. What follows is a hilarious character study that satirizes the shallowness of the art scene and the meaning of "cool."
2. At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul is the quintessential Halloween movie despite the fact that it doesn't take place on Halloween. I'm serious. This move is filled with more Halloween sounds and images than any of the previous movies on this list, or any list for that matter. Just watch the clip of the first few minutes of the film below and you will see what I mean. Made in Brazil in 1964, At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul is frightening even by today's standards. The film's villan, Coffin Joe, is a deranged undertaker who terrorizes his local village. The film is so terrifying that it begins with a witch who warns the audience not to watch it. Don't listen to her. Watch it now.
1. Trick 'r Treat
Trick 'r Treat isn't the quintessential Halloween movie. Trick 'r Treat is the spirit of Halloween, captured in a movie. The film is a collection of intertwining Halloween themed stories: a murderous school principal, a vampiric killer, a grizzly town secret, and a vengeful Halloween spirit all terrorize a small midwestern town. Trick 'r Treat is a love letter to Halloween that is meant to get you into the spirit of the holiday. You must watch this movie. Just remember: never blow out a Jack-o'-lantern!