What to watch this Halloween?
Halloween is slowly creeping upon us like a rotting zombie eager to devour our flesh. As we countdown the days watching more horror movies than we can cram into a mouth filled with razor blade candy, we find ourselves hunting for undiscovered horror to binge watch and a plethora of cult Halloween themed films and TV specials from yesteryear!
Okay.. so you’re all dressed up in your Halloween costume, the popcorn is dripping with blood, you’ve locked the doors…now what to watch?
Here are a few of my favourite recommendations for the dark season! Featuring cult classics and some newer terrors from recent years!
Tony’s Halloween top ten essential viewing list!
Halloween TV Special 1995
Season 3, Episode 2
This 90’s anarchic British sitcom was as ground breaking as The Young Ones was in the 1980’s. Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson are at their finest here!
This is a spooky comedic episode that will get you in the Halloween mood instantly!
Prepare for a trick-or-treat nightmare! An electric cattle prod, and Richie changing his underwear more times than Eddie downs a bottle of Malibu!
As we see Richie and Eddie on a mission to get lots of treats for Halloween!
Available in that Bottom box set behind your sofa and on Netflix Now!
Psychoville’s awesome Halloween special, which originally aired on BBC2 on the 31st of October 2010 is a season must watch.
This special features four tales of terror that quickly unfold as location manager Phil Walker investigates abandoned ruins of the infamous Ravenhill Psychiatric hospital terror soon unfolds.
In-fact any episode of Psychoville is just perfect for Halloween. Psychoville is just the right mix of creepy and black comedy which makes this ideal to watch behind a cushion on the sofa on Halloween night!
This Halloween special is available on Amazon prime and Blu-Rays and DVD’s of this can be bought very cheap on Amazon and eBay!
This October the 31st in Salem, Massachusetts Devoted community volunteer Hubie is in for the fright of his life when a serial killer is seeking revenge on Halloween night!
Hubie played by Adam Sandler stars as the down on his luck Halloween obsessed loser in Steven Brill’s latest offering brought to you from Netflix for Halloween 2020!
This is a Happy Madison production so we get many of the regulars including Steve Buscemi and Kevin James popping up!
If you love Ernest and the Pee-Wee Herman movies you will love this!
Available to watch on Netflix now!
The Houses October Built
Director: Bobby Roe
In Bobby Roe’s The Houses October Built a group of five friends search out the scariest roadside haunts in the USA. Only this road trip is anything but boring, just when they think they’re out of luck, the haunt comes to them!
The film spawned a sequel The Houses October Built 2 in 2017 and it was great to see the same director Roe helming the project. Part 2 is another good scary film well worth checking out!
This film is somewhat of an underrated gem, that doesn’t get as much attention as it truly deserves!
I adore this movie and give it a spin every Halloween!
This film is pure nightmare fuel that will creep under your skin!
You can watch The Houses October Built on Amazon Prime video for around 99p!
Ernest Scared Stupid
Director: John R. Cherry III
This Halloween Ernest accidentally sets a trouble-making sprite free from its wooded tomb and terror awaits, now it’s up to Ernest to save the day!
Jim Varney plays Ernest in this awesome spooky comedy from the early nineties. Ernest Scared Stupid has to be the best film in the Ernest film series, everything hits the spot perfectly, the comedy and the scares are just oozing with October charm, a film befit for the season.
You can rent/watch Ernest Scared Stupid on YouTube for around a few pounds!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Director: Jim Sharman
Long before Tim Curry scared us stupid as a creepy clown in Stephen King’s mini-series It, he played the king or should it be queen of musical horror portraying the outlandish Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
Halloween is all about fun and horror and this film, although not set on Halloween, manages to be the perfect film for Halloween, it will get your toes tapping and see you dancing in your underwear with your hairbrush, whilst doing the Time-warp…again.
The best horror musical of all time in my opinion!
You can rent this now on Amazon prime, although every horror aficionado should have a copy of this in their collection!
WNUF Halloween Special
A local TV personality field news reporter Frank Stewart leads a team of paranormal investigators and an exorcist, into a supposedly haunted house.
This film is a found VHS and you are watching 83 minutes of found footage that has been lost and newly discovered on a old VHS tape!
An analogue throwback to the past with full on VHS aesthetic. Featuring faux style Halloween commercials and a great ending that will shock the viewer!
Much like Ghostwatch this is a definite treat for Halloween!
You can grab this on DVD and VOD now. The DVD is hard to get, but you do find them cropping up on e-bay! Or its currently available this October streaming on Shudder.
Trick ‘r Treat
Director: Michael Dougherty
If there’s one film that has become as popular as John Carpenters Halloween it has to be this modern horror offering from Michael Dougherty, Trick ‘r Treat. Dougherty has created a modern horror icon that everybody adores Sam the orange pyjama wearing, burlap sack headed loveable being hiding a dark secret under his mask!!
This interlocking anthology style horror offering will have you instantly hooked!
Full of all the ingredients we love for Halloween that never ends well including serial killers, college teens getting drunk and those damn pesky kids getting up to no good!
Sam is the new face of Halloween.
Trick ‘r Treat is out on DVD and Blu-Ray and VOD sites as well.
Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch
Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Tom Atkins the king of the 1980’s moustache plays Dr. Dan Challis who uncovers a sinister plot to kill children at the stroke of midnight on Halloween using something every child of the 1980’s loved on Halloween, a creepy mask and the TV set!
Can Dr. Dan save the world from the evil that is Conal Cochran?
Halloween 3 is my favourite film in the Halloween franchise what is seen as the bastard son of Halloween, is actually a gem of a movie. I would have loved to have seen John Carpenter’s idea flourish and each next instalment in the series being a new tale based around Halloween as he intended. But the fans wanted more Michael Myers which wasn’t a bad thing as Halloween 4 and 5 kick ass!
Okay so I’m going to cheat here, I adore every Halloween film in the series… yes even the latest offering from 2018, so be sure to spin them all this spooky season!
You can watch this on YouTube Movies or grab the DVD for a very reasonable price, and here’s to hoping the Horror Channel stick to their usual ritual of showing this every Halloween night!
Screenwriter Stephen Volk
Ghostwatch is a British reality–horror mockumentary television film that clocks in at 1 hour 31minutes, Ghostwatch was originally broadcast supposedly live on BBC1 on Halloween night, in 1992. The mockumentary mistakenly fooled many members of the viewing public to believe this was real. Causing a panic we had not seen since the Video Nasty hey-day in the UK. I think the BBC had more complaints than they had viewers!
I clearly remember watching this at the age of 13, I think Ghostwatch is one of the reasons I’m literally obsessed by horror films to this day! BBC1 had little teaser clips leading up to the broadcast, this was totally believable and had me fooled at the time. I still have nightmares of Mr. Pipes now!
Perfect Halloween viewing.
You can grab this on DVD from 101 films or its currently streaming on Shudder.
Also coming this Halloween!
Keep your eyes out for surprises this Halloween. We normally get the odd unexpected release hitting the main PVOD services like this years The Craft: Legacy, which is the sequel to the 1996 horror film The Craft. The Craft: Legacy will be hitting a plethora of pay video on demand platforms from the 28th of October and one I’m really looking forward to is the remake of The Witches. The classic Roald Dahl tale only this time brought to life by Robert Zemeckis. (Insert fist pump here) Starring Anne Hathaway as the grand high witch. The film was expected to hit cinemas in the UK this month but instead is going direct to pay VOD channels in the UK from the 26th of October.
Shudder is also really good for a scare this Halloween with an animated Creepshow Halloween special that’s due to hit on the 26th of October featuring two tales of terror both of which come from the minds of Stephen King and Joe Hill. Survivor Type the short story by Stephen King was adapted by Creepshow’s Greg Nicotero and Twittering from the Circus of the Dead Joe Hill’s short story is adapted by Melanie Dale.
So it looks like it’s shaping up to be a scary Halloween!
Here’s to a month full of scares!
Bring forth the nightmares!
Article written by Tony Newton