Jim Plocker

Five Horror Movies For Halloween

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so those of us who aren't college students, unemployed, or unrepentant drunks are probably going to be spending it on the couch, greeting trick or treaters and watching movies. But which movies to watch? There are hundreds of horror movies out there, and most of them, well, suck horribly.

Not to fear: the Reformed Player has some suggestions for any taste in horror.


If you're not looking for splatter, but want something "on the edge of your seat", I recommend the French. My personal favorite French horror film is "Eyes Without a Face", a film directed by Georges Franju about a young girl with a severe skin problem, and her dedicated-to-the-point-of-insanity dear old dad. How crazy is Dad? He's a plastic surgeon peeling people's faces off to transplant onto his daughter, that's how crazy. Despite how it sounds, it's actually light on the gore and heavy on the characterization; it's hard to judge a man genuinely trying to save his daughter but who has lost his way.

Other Recommendations: "Diabolique", a creepy thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot, and "Psycho", a classic from Alfred Hitchcock

Gross but Actually Scary

If you want something that's got a lot of blood, but also a lot of armrest-gripping scares, there's always the one, the only, the 1982 original "

The Thing". Yes, the movie that just had a remake crapped out. That remake isn't worth watching; it's a prequel to the original and uses computers. The 1982 version uses practical effects, and can be almost hilariously gross.

The rest of the time, though, it's terrifying. The 1982 version is actually a remake itself, but much closer to the original short story than "The Thing From Another World", the '50s classic directed by Howard Hawks. In this, the Thing can look like, and take over, anybody. It also has a scary performance from...Wilford Brimley, of all people.

Also Recommended: "Halloween", another John Carpenter movie victimized by a remake, and "The Mist", one of the few Stephen King adaptations done right.

Utterly Weird

One movie, full stop: "House". It's a Japanese ghost movie, and it is insane even by Japanese standards. Let's just say it's not a movie you'll ever forget.

Also Recommended: If you want to make it a weird Japanese twofer, try "Jigoku", which translates out to "Hell". It's as weird as it sounds.


If you haven't seen it, everyone, at some point, has to see the incompetently-shot, stiffly acted, bizarre Freudian, anti-vegetarian screed "

Troll 2". Made by Italian hacks, and chock full of moments that are pretty much insane (a psychiatrist would have a field day with the infamous "popcorn porn" scene), it's accidental comedy at its best.

Also Recommended: "Plan 9 From Outer Space", although it's actually better than you've heard, if for no other reason than Ed Wood's boyish spirit shines through every ridiculous, horribly shot frame.

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