Craig's 2022 Halloween Vibes
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
It's that time of year again, Kiddies. Halloween Eve is upon us! Now, let's talk scary.
As a horror fanatic and someone who pretty much watches Horror 365 days a year it's pretty hard to compile a definitive Halloween Watch List, as it can change each Halloween, depending on my viewings throughout the year. But for Halloween 2022, here are 10 of my favourites that I've been watching and will continue to watch over the next few days. In no particular order...
TRICK OR TREAT (1986)
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? IT'S ONLY ROCK N ROLL...
Eddie Weinbauer, a metalhead teen who is bullied at school, looks to his heavy metal superstar idol, Sammi Curr, for guidance. When Curr is killed in a hotel fire, Eddie becomes the recipient of the only copy of Curr’s unreleased album, which, when played backwards, brings Sammi back to life. As Halloween approaches, Eddie begins to realize that this isn’t only rock ’n roll…it’s life and death.
With cameos from Gene Simmons and a very funny Ozzy Osbourne (as a televangelist spouting hatred for metal music), this is a super fun and camp, Rock n Roll, 80's Halloween flick. A typical 'the dweeb getting revenge on the jock' type scenario, with a supernatural twist and a lot of 80's Metal to boot.
STOP ON BY AND GIVE AFTERLIFE A TRY.
A waxwork museum comes to town, and a mysterious man invites some teens to come to a special showing at midnight. Once inside, while viewing different exhibits, the scenes come alive and the viewer is sucked into the story being portrayed.
Staring Gremlins' Zach Galligan and Mr David Warner and directed by Anthony Hickox (Hellraiser 3 and Warlock 2) - Waxwork boasts a crazy mash up of Monsters with a diverse and macabre set of killings. The movie almost plays out like an anthology as each character descends into the different attractions of the wax museum. Quirky and imaginative, the film operates in that sweet spot that makes 80's horror so nostalgic and beloved.
SILVER BULLET (1985)
IT STARTED IN MAY. IN A SMALL TOWN. AND EVERY MONTH AFTER THAT WHENEVER THE MOON WAS FULL… IT CAME BACK.
The small city of Tarker’s Mill is startled by a series of sadistic murders. The population fears that this is the work of a maniac. During a search a mysterious, hairy creature is observed. This strange appearance is noticed once a month. People lock themselves up at night, but there’s one boy who’s still outside, he’s preparing the barbecue.
Stephen King. Corey Haim. Gary Busey. Everett McGill! This 80's adaption of King's 'Cycle of the Werewolf' is a damn entertaining werewolf movie with chills, thrill, action and suspense. It boasts some gnarly stand out scenes such as the grotesquely violent baseball bat, a decapitated head flying through the air and the church transformation. Silver Bullet benefits from some well-directed set-pieces and whilst the SFX aren't as good as in other werewolf movies from this era, it makes up for it with atmospheric tension.
HALLOWEEN lll: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)
THE NIGHT NO ONE CAME HOME.
Dr. Daniel Challis and Ellie Grimbridge stumble onto a gruesome murder scheme when Ellie’s novelty-salesman father, Harry, is killed while in possession of a halloween mask made by the Silver Shamrock mask company. The company’s owner, Conal Cochran, wants to return Halloween to its darker roots using his masks – and his unspeakable scheme would unleash death and destruction across the country.
Love it or hate it, Season Of The Witch is a Cult Classic - and a film that finds new audience members every year! More and more people are beginning to rate this movie - which is evident in how much merch there is to buy each year!
This movie is an annual staple of mine; the underrated and haunting score, the maniacally psychotic villain, the bonkers plot, the Silver Shamrock jingle, AND the exuberance of the Halloween atmosphere!
Unlike when it was first released, we have the upperhand of knowing this isn't a Michael Myers movie, and we can act accordingly and just enjoy the maddening of it all.
Sidenote: Despite the title fonts and the lack of Myers, I disagree in the comparison between this masterpiece and the abysmal Halloween Ends. The main difference being that this was a standalone movie that wanted to kickstart a series of anthology Halloween themed movies, it was not a concluding chapter of a 'trilogy' that was supposed to be the final stab in a 44 year long feud between titular characters.
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 (1994)
ANGELA’S HAVING ANOTHER PARTY – WAIT TILL YOU MEET HER FRIENDS.
Angela, the universe’s most unpleasant party crasher, returns! Angela’s sister, Mouse, is taken by her bullying Catholic school classmates to a party at Angela’s favorite haunt, and before long, everybody’s being turned into demons and only a butt-kickin’ nun, who wields her ruler like a mighty sword of steel, can save the day.
A lot of love is given to 1988's Night Of The Demons - but today I'm here to show some fondness to the '94 sequel - Angela's Revenge.
Angela returns to host another Halloween party at Hull House and it's downright stupid, cheesy, camp and it's bloody good fun with some gnarly and sexy practical FX and carnage. Surprisingly not much quality is lost despite the feel of this film being noticeably different. Sure it's lost some of that 80s horror magic but it's still an enjoyable slice of direct to video cheese. There are so many gross out gags to enjoy from lipstick worm creatures, demons playing basketball with their own heads, ninja Nuns (!!!), demon booby arms... Honestly, it's just endless demonic fun!
HELL HOUSE LLC (2015)
Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.
Not overtly original within the found footage sub-genre, but in my opinion, a well crafted creepfest perfect for Halloween. The film genuinely has a few very unnerving scenes, from even the simplest set up, such the creepy clown dolls head moving (shudder).
The interactions between the cast seem pretty authentic and the suspensefully slow build-up works well for this type of movie. Granted, the 3rd and final act could have gone bigger, but it still delivered (if somewhat within it's budgetary constraints).
TERRIFIER 2 (2022)
WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?
After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he must hunt down and destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. As the body count rises, the siblings fight to stay alive while uncovering the true nature of Art’s evil intent.
I love discovering a new movie that can be quickly added to my annual Halloween viewing pleasures.
Bigger and better in almost every aspect, Terrifier 2 has smashed all preconceived notions of what this low budget gorefest was capable of. The movie hasn't even got a studio backing or hardly any kind of marketing, and yet, purely from word of mouth I bet even your Grandmother has heard of the movie.
David Howard Thornton’s performance as Art The Clown is utterly incomparable, his intense stares and distressing body language all add up to why he is already, a Horror Icon.
The introduction of newcomer Lauren LaVera as Sienna was chef's kiss - talk about an ultimately badass Final Girl - the fight and showdown between these characters was brutal and delightful (if only a certain and recent big budget movie had this kind of showdown, huh?). It's not without its flaws, but I'm keeping this review short and sweet - this boundary pushing splatter-fest is just as gnarly and upsetting as people say.
FOR EACH OF MAN’S EVILS A SPECIAL DEMON EXISTS…
After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.
Special Make-Up FX ICON, Stan Winston didn't direct many films, which makes this outing all the more special. His solid understanding of horror is almost unparalleled.
This purely divine monster creation is placed within rural America, shrouded in an ominous atmosphere of thick fog, other-wordly cinematography and a backwoods nightmare storyline that's laced with so much depth.
My love for this film runs deep.
HALLOWEEN H20 (1998)
BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER.
Two decades after surviving a massacre on October 31, 1978, former babysitter Laurie Strode finds herself hunted by persistent knife-wielder Michael Myers. Laurie now lives in Northern California under an assumed name, where she works as the headmistress of a private school. But it’s not far enough to escape Myers, who soon discovers her whereabouts. As Halloween descends upon Laurie’s peaceful community, a feeling of dread weighs upon her – with good reason.
Well... this IS a Halloween list, so would be rude not to include at least one Michael Myers based movie.
Now, I know a lot of people dislike this sequel, stemming from their dislike of late 90's / early 00's slashers, Myers' ever changing mask, the CGI knife... BUT, even now, my love for this sequel is unchanged. This was my first Myers experience in the cinema back in '98, and for me, personally - the true sequel to '81's Halloween II.
Before non-horror writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride had the 'genius' idea to essentially remake H20 by stomping the same trodden path of creating a new timeline, for fans of the original movie, Jamie Lee Curtis coming back after 20 years WAS A BIG FUCKING DEAL. And Boy, did she KICKASS. The whole 3rd and final act is a big cat and mouse, Strode on Myers, brutal and euphoric battle to the bloody end, with a final head slaying reel to the backdrop of the traditional Halloween score - and it's fucking awesome.
Talk about a perfect book-end to the original Myers/Strode saga. And after the atrocities of Ends, I think a lot of people are gonna go back to this one with a different set of eyes - hell, it may even gain some brand new audience members.
PET SEMATARY TWO (1992)
RAISE SOME HELL
A teenage boy and his father move to his recently-deceased mother's hometown, where they encounter the ancient Native American cemetery with the power to raise the dead.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. Either, 'what the hell is this doing on the list?' - or 'Had no idea Pet Sematary had a sequel!?' - both are plausible. But fuck it, it's my list, this is my Halloween vibe and I love Pet Sematary Two.
Yes, this wasn't returning director Mary Lambert's intended vision, and yes, Stephen King did ask for his name to be removed from the final product... but did I mention I love this film!?
It has a small town Halloween vibe about it, almost in the vein of a Tales From The Crypt or Are You Afraid Of The Dark episode. Tonally very different from the original, it boasts some super fun and violent SFX (face being ripped off by a motorbike wheel), some bonkers WTF moments and is very high camp meets gooey glamour - but, surprisingly holds a lot of emotion. Clancy Brown's performance is definitely a standout - that dinner scene is both hilarious and fucking scary.
And there we have it, my Halloween 2022 vibes from a horror fanatic who's difficult job is to decide which horrors to watch each Halloween season - trying to pretend like it's different from any other season of the year!