What to Watch, Halloween Edition 2020

Yesterday I offered up my opinion on scary books worth reading. Today I’ll share my favorite Halloween movie picks. Some are scary, some are hilarious, some are scary AND hilarious. So here we go: Becky’s Top Ten Movies to Watch on Halloween.

MOVIE PICK ONE (SCARY): The Others.

Holy crap, this movie scared me to death, and it’s the kind of scary I adore. Not too many jump-scares, no blood and gore, just quiet dread the entire way through. Great acting, perfect pace, and oooh, there’s a twist. I do so love me a good twist.

MOVIE PICK TWO (SCARY): I Am Legend.

This is one of those rare, rare cases where the movie was actually much better than the book. Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name was a mess–really aggravating and a little stupid. But the MOVIE? Fantastic. It’s terrifying, and Will Smith is amazing in his role as a man surviving the apocalypse alone. (Well, not entirely alone, and therein lies the rub.)

MOVIE PICK THREE (SCARY): A Quiet Place.

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen this movie yet, then climb out, dust yourself off, and WATCH THIS MOVIE. It’s incredible–scary, yes, but heartbreaking and awesome to experience. The acting is superb; who knew Jim from The Office had such range? And to watch him act with his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, was a treat–you feel the tenderness between them in the movie, and that’s not acting! What I love the most is the careful plotting; Krasinski and his fellow screenwriters didn’t cheat, and every “little” detail mattered. I hate when movies gloss over things and you’re left thinking, “Wait–when did that happen? How’d they do that?” There’s none of that in this movie. It’s a masterpiece of careful plotting, suspense, and storytelling.

MOVIE PICK FOUR (FINAL SCARY): The Woman in Black.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for funny zombie movies (more on that in a moment) and gothic horror. This is gothic horror at its finest. Really, really, REALLY scary.

MOVIE PICK FIVE (FUNNY): Zombieland.

Believe it or not, this is my “desert island” movie (As in, if I was stuck on a desert island and could only take one movie to watch, this would be it.) I love this movie! It’s sly and hilarious and quote-worthy and just a pile of delicious codswallop. I have never gotten tired of it, and I watch it every year. The ten-year-anniversary movie, Zombieland: Double Tap was pretty good, but really, this is the one for me. Perfection.

MOVIE PICKS SIX AND SEVEN (FUNNY): Shaun of the Dead and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I’m lumping these two together because, well, more zombies. Worth it though–hilarious and gross and just a good ol’ romp. I personally like to believe that Jane Austen would’ve enjoyed the updated version of her novel. It’s really well done and bloody good fun.

MOVIE PICK EIGHT (FUNNY): Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

I stumbled across this gem quite by accident a few years ago when trolling Netflix for something to watch. What a surprise it turned out to be–absolute satire at its finest. This movie takes tired slasher-movie clichés and turns them into something new. Having two backwoods, redneck guys as the heroes who are bewildered by the rich college kids who keep dying in true slasher fashion was just genius. This is a funny, smart movie.

MOVIE PICK NINE (FUNNY): Tremors.

Okay, I’ll ‘fess up–I only really love this movie because it happens to be my 72-year-old mother’s favorite movie.

It’s early 90s shtick, and it IS funny, but honestly? It’s 10x more funny watching it with my mom because she cackles all the way through it. Still and all, it’s a blast–a silly scary movie, with or without my mom along for the ride.

And last but not least, MOVIE PICK TEN (FAMILY): The Nightmare before Christmas.

I mean, obviously this is a yearly Halloween must-see. (I sometimes watch it both at Halloween and Christmas.) The music, the story, the Tim-Burton-perfection of it all–if Halloween had a national movie, this would have to be it.

So there you have it: My top picks for things to watch on Halloween. My personal plans for the big day itself consist of me stress-eating way too many chocolate bars and noshing on a big bag of Sonic corn dogs (Halloween is 50-cent corndog day, at least where I live), whilst I jump and scream and watch the too-gross or too-scary bits of my movie-of-choice through my tiny telescope. (Right eye closed, left eye looking through the small hole I’ve left in my clenched fist to block the awful images).

What a great time of the year.

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