If you're like me, by now you're probably looking for some good alternatives to the typical classic films, like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street, that we horror fans tend to watch every year during this spooky season, ... So I've dug around in the movie bin and picked out a few horror flicks worth watching for something a little different this Halloween season.
Clownhouse... I watched this one as a child and for someone who already had a fear of clowns... let's just say it stuck with me. This late '80s film about three brothers who happen to get left alone for the night and also happen to go to a carnival the same night that three mental patients escape from an institution, who then end up dressing up as clowns and proceed to terrorize the three boys on said night, may have a convenient plot, but is still scary as hell, mostly because these clowns like stalking in a non-talkative Michael Myers sort of way. Also noteworthy is an adorable teenaged Sam Rockwell in one of his first roles.
Scarecrows... Let's admit it, scarecrows have always been a little bit creepy. This film about a group of thieves on their way to Mexico, who are then forced to land near an abandoned house which just happens to also be surrounded by creepy scarecrows and cornfields, is one of the eeriest and best horror finds of the '80's. The thieves come to find that this house has a mysterious past and that they aren't alone on this farm filled with readily available farm equipment... Suspenseful and full of goosebumpy scares, I found myself feeling bad for these thieves. Wouldn't envy their situation.
Dolls...Yes, there are tons of killer doll movies out there, but this European film about a creepy old couple who live in a mansion filled with a whole lot of killer dolls... and I do mean a WHOLE LOT of killer dolls relies more on suspense (for instance: disappearing dolls from fireplace mantels) than actual gross out gore. And it works. Let's just say after this one you'll be checking your sheets nightly and watching your ankles.
Sleepaway Camp... This twisted slasher film about a slightly disturbed Angela Baker who is sent to summer camp at the same time that mysterious killings start occurring is unique to the other campy slasher flicks of the '80s. Despite the predictable deaths and typical annoying characters, the film is still good and unsettling, especially the unforgettable last scene.
Twisted... Before Christian Slater became a rebel heartthrob in Heathers, he was a sociopathic teenager named Mark in this little known sinister flick. Mark likes to spend his time creatively... finding sick ways to torture his sister, his babysitter and his fellow classmates... not to mention he also likes to throw kittens in the fire... yes, I said kittens. While this film is more of a thriller then an actual horror film, it's still twisted and evil.
Pumpkinhead... 'Keep away from Pumpkinhead, unless you're tired of living' recites a character in this spooky '80s film about a revenge-seeking father who summons a demon creature named Pumpkinhead to kill the teenagers who accidently killed his son. Appropriately named for the season, Pumpkinhead is a chilling and effectively creepy film that is better to watch with a group of friends rather than alone.
The Loved Ones... You will never want to eat fried chicken again after you watch this Australian horror film about a rejected teenage girl who kidnaps her crush on prom night and then with the help of her creepy father, proceeds to torture the poor guy with disturbing methods involving boiling water and liquid cleaner....you can use your imagination with that one. This film is hard to watch at times and the strange father/daughter relationship is cringeworthy.
Black Christmas... This 1970s film about a crazy lunatic living in the attic of a sorority house, is creepy not just because you know before the characters that this guy is there, but because there is little explanation as to why he is there or where he came from. This spine-chilling movie is disturbing in one of those What the hell kind of ways and will leave you paranoid and looking over your shoulder for a while.
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Dolly Dearest... As I already said there are a lot of killer doll movies out there and I'm pretty sure this one about a little girl's dolly that becomes possessed by an ancient child killing demon was made as a result of the Chucky films, but that doesn't make it any less watch worthy. The little dolly is one of the creepiest I've seen and the playhouse they play in is even creepier.
High Tension... This French horror flick about two college friends who go out to the country for a getaway, where one of them gets kidnapped in the middle of the night by a crazed killer, is suspenseful and sly. Being the cleverest and the most disturbing on my list, mostly because of its surprising twist at the end, this one will leave you feeling sick to your stomach.