Halloween is upon us: a time for candy indulgences, carving overpriced pumpkins and deciding if we are too old to dress up.
However, for some, a night in front of the television, watching horror movies, cuddled up with a blanket or significant other is the only treat we need. Here are five films that will set the mood for Oct. 31, with the tagline by famous director Alfred Hitchcock, “remember, the next scream you hear may be your own!”
“Young Frankenstein” (1974):
Scream-induced thrills of another sort. Mel Brooks’ cult-classic comedy is a must for those who wish to enjoy the spirit of Halloween. Beautifully shot in black and white by Gerald Hirschfeld, Brooks’ classic is hilarious, a reminder of the comedic geniuses that were Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman. Where to find it: iTunes, Amazon.
“Fright Night” (1985):
Made during the pinnacle of the slasher film craze that made Freddy and Jason household names, this self-reflexive vampire flick pumped new life into bloodsucker lore. Chris Sarandon, who plays the bloodthirsty, next-door neighbor, makes the wavy -haired vamp contemporary and engaging. Shoulder pads under Sarandon’s 80s-chic shirts never looked so good. Where to find it: Netflix.
“ Blue Velvet” (1986):
The iconoclastic David Lynch may have broken new ground with 1977’s “Eraserhead,” but it wasn’t until this film that Lynch’s ominous cinematic vision reached mainstream audiences. The late Dennis Hopper, in a defining supporting role, plays death-driven madman Frank Booth who will leave you gasping and feeling repulsed the next time you hear a Roy Orbison song. Where to find it: iTunes, Amazon.
“The Blob” (1958):
If ever there was a film that represented everything that was so right and yet so wrong in the 1950s, it is this campy horror film starring a young Steve McQueen before he came an icon of cinematic coolness in the late 60s and early 70s. Along with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “The Blob” is a terrific example of Cold War hysteria and ever-growing fear of the communist threat poisoning American values. Where to find it: Hulu Plus.
“Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman” (1943):
The title speaks for itself in this horror film from the studio that created the horror genre, Universal Studios. Made as the country was thrust into its second year in World War II, the film brings a more explicit reading of ridding Hitler’s Nazi state to the silver screen. Horror icon Bela Lugosi co-stars as the man-made monster, a role he originally turned down in “Frankenstein” by director James Whale in 1931. Where to find it: iTunes, Amazon.