A list by Ahmed Zayani
If there’s one season I always look forward to the most, it’s Halloween. To those of you who know me this won’t come as a surprise at all, after all I am a self professed horror aficionado who’s love for the genre led him to creating his own disaster piece. I’m the kind of guy who’d love nothing more than to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon binge watching classic horror films from days gone by. Hell, I’m so enamored by the season that “This is Halloween” is set as my default ringtone year round. One of my favourite things to do onHalloween is get together with the boys and go through some of our favourite genre offerings. In case any of you are planning on doing the same, this list could act as your guide. I tried to be as broad in scope as possible. Once done, do hit me up on social media and let me know what you all thought of my selection and if there are any other films I may have overlooked that are worth a watch.
An American Haunting
The fact that this film is as little known as it is saddens me. Those who have given this ghost story a shot fell in love with its strong performances, namely from Sissy Spasek and Donald Sutherland, it’s hauntingly beautiful cinematography, & it’s genuine scares that will keep you up at night.
Night of the Demons
If genre offerings from the 80s could be represented by one film I’d be hard pressed to think of another film that captures that decades essence more then this schlockfest. Avoid the recent remake at all costs though.
Dracula: Dead & Loving It
When the name Mel Brooks comes up, most people would associate such films as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, & Spaceballs with him. However, I believe that his final film is every bit as good as those prior endeavors. It is such a hilarious & enduring tribute to the films it parodies & is a much for any genre fan.
With the remake coming out next month, now is the best time to visit this Italian classic. Directed by giallo legend Dario Argento, Suspiria is a haunting & captivating masterwork, the kind that we are sorely missing nowadays. This film is so good many have wondered if the remake could possibly live up to its heights.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
This film gets a lot of flack for being the one Halloween film that does not include Michael Myers. It’s a shame really because had it been released without that moniker, I am sure that Season of the Witch will be held in high regards by all those who gave it a shot.
Day of the Dead
The remakes may have given us wall crawling ghouls and zombie rapists! but that doesn’t nor shouldn’t take away anything from George A. Romero’s classic. This is my personal favourite of the original Dead trilogy and arguably the most accessible of the three.
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
Before Universal attempted & failed to conceive their “Dark Universe” the same studio was able to successfully create a shared monsters realm decade ago. Outside of the original, this film marks the second & final time Bela Legosi ever played Dracula.
Train to Busan
For those who complain that there aren’t any good modern day zombie films, this South Korean gem stands tall as the exception. Avoid the dubbed version and watch this new found classic in its native glory.
No, not the Disney animated feature but rather the similarly named 2010 film by Adam Green. Hands down, one of the most intense films of this decade and proof that Green is one of the modern day masters of horror.
A Finnish horror film about a monstrous version of jolly old St. Nick terrorizing a mountain based town? Why isn’t this film more popular then what it is?
An absolute guilty pleasure of mine. Eli Roth might have a questionable track record as a director, but his prowess as a producer is second to none. This film is currently streaming on Netflix and is best watched with someone with coulrophobia.
Those of you who loved The Others & Crimson Peak have this haunting 1960s production to thank for. Hailed as one of the best British films of all time, The Innocents should be a mainstay on anyone’s annual Halloween must watch list.
Before you all get your pitchforks out, let me say this; yes, this film is bad. I mean really, really bad. My name might be on the marquee, that does not make me blind to the problems it has. Still, the fifth anniversary is coming up in a few weeks and there is an argument that this could be enjoyed in an ironic way like The Room. You know what? Maybe it’s about time I finally put pen to paper and open up about this, maybe...
For more cinematic intel, follow Ahmed on @TheAhmedZayani