HALLOWEEN MOVIES: Frightful Films for Fall

by Charles Gerian

Every time a holiday comes up or if I’m feeling especially lazy and have nothing to talk about, I’ll go deep dive into a list of things to rattle on about and this week is no exception. Today, in honor of Halloween, I’ll be rattling off my favorite films to watch on this particular month of horrors. So strap in and let’s get to work.

Number 5 on this countdown is Tim Burton’s 1999 Gothic fantasy, SLEEPY HOLLOW. The film, based on Washington Irving’s timeless short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” follows a New York City forensic investigator named Ichabod Crane (a wonderfully jittery Johnny Depp) who ventures to the quiet Dutch village of Sleepy Hollow just before the turn of the 1800’s where he is supposed to investigate a string of grizzly decapitations. Upon his arrival, he is told that the culprit is a headless Hessian mercenary out for revenge…but things are definitely not as they seem, and Ichabod finds himself embroiled in a deadly game of witchcraft, fantasy, and blood. Burton’s interpretation of this story is amazing. Every single facet of this film oozes with style and a definite artistry that only Burton in his prime is capable of handling. It might very well be one of my favorite movies of all time, and it has everything you could ever want in it.

SLEEPY HOLLOW is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.

Number 4 would probably have to be Paul W.S. Anderson’s RESIDENT EVIL. Not particularly scary but it will always, like SLEEPY HOLLOW, hold a special spot in my heart and is definitely one of my favorite films of all time. The horror-actioner follows an amnesiac woman named Alice (Milla Jovovich) who wakes up in a desolate mansion minutes before it is raided by a special-ops commando unit who reveal to her the mansion is a cover for a sprawling underground lab run by the Umbrella Corporation…and a deadly virus has broken out, turning the corpses left below into something much worse. RESIDENT EVIL is part videogame mythology adaptation, part “Alice in Wonderland” reimagining, and 100% badass. I love it. I love it so damn much. The film spawned 5 sequels, all as ridiculous as the last.

RESIDENT EVIL is available to stream on Amazon Prime

Number 3 is going to a gem not many know called GRAVE ENCOUNTERS. My friend and I found this on Netflix a few years back and I’ve recommended it to everyone I know because it was legitimately scary as Hell. The film begins following a hokey “paranormal investigation” TV crew (Almost a 1:1 parody of “Ghost Adventures”) who are sent to an abandoned asylum where they think they’re about to make another quick buck…until they realize that they have no idea what true horror really is. GRAVE ENCOUNTERS is told “found-footage” style and it is hilarious before transitioning into “I need a change of pants” tier terrifying.

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS is available to watch on Tubi TV App and to rent on Amazon Prime.

Number 2 is obviously Michael Dougherty’s TRICK R TREAT. An “anthology” collection of stories, TRICK R TREAT pieces together several seemingly unrelated people and events over the course of a Halloween night that crossover in unexpected and blood-curdling ways. Comedy, monster horror, strange compassion, puberty, and so much more come from this modern fairy tale which, being one of the most unique items to come out of the horror genre in years, quickly became an iconic Halloween staple. An hot spooky chicks dig it, so that’s a plus.

TRICK R TREAT is available through SlingTV and Amazon Prime.

Number 1 is another film that Milla Jovovich shows up in, and no it’s not THE FIFTH ELEMENT even though that movie could take the number 1 spot on virtually any list. Number 1 is THE FOURTH KIND which is another slept on title that I have heard few people discuss, but those that do agree it is absolutely horrifying. The Fourth Kind is based on real events and is told “documentary” style, following Jovovich as a woman named Dr. Tyler who attempts to crack the case on why so many people have gone mysteriously missing (or insane) since the 1960’s in the remote village of Nome, Alaska. The first kind of close encounter is sighting. The second kind is evidence. The third kind is contact…The Fourth Kind: abduction. This film will shake you to your core, and you WILL sleep with the lights on.

THE FOURTH KIND is available to watch on Hulu.