Oh October! The spookiest month is upon us so you know what that means, time to get in the spirit of the season! I have chosen of few of my most treasured gems to share with you fearless readers.

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Gremlins: Admittedly, I haven’t watched this one in a few years as I have small children now and I don’t want them to know the trauma that their mother endured as a tiny toddler herself. Why does everyone think this is a kid’s movie?! Show of hands if you were afraid to use the bathroom in the middle of the night because a gremlin lived under your toilet! Just me then? This movie also ruined the Christmas classic, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” because there are probably gremlins in my Christmas tree too!

 

Carrie: Crazy awkward Sissy Spacek was the perfect choice to play lonely, rejected Carrie White for this Stephen King adaptation. Carrie was needled and abused by her peers, yet chose to believe there was good in the boy that took her to the prom (spoiler alert: it does NOT go well). Piper Laurie is ridiculously, sublimely over the top as Carrie’s fanatical mother. These women are the reason to watch this version and stay aware from the remakes.

 

Night of the Living Dead (1990): I enjoy the 1968 original version too; it began the zombie genre as we know it and George Romero (the director of the original) was also involved in this re-telling. What I enjoy the most about this version is the strong female character, Barbara. In the original, she cries and whimpers and doesn’t last long. The 1990 version gives her strength and the respect of her peers (mostly). Also, the Candyman plays a good guy! And the ending, while always ambiguous as to what started the dead roaming the earth, is pretty satisfying. While the 1968 version gets the genre going, this film gives it a nice shot in the arm.

Black and White and Dead all over

Dawn of the Dead (2004): The original Romero film is a great concept with decent writing but the pacing, much like the antagonists, is slow. The 2004 remake is fun to watch with decent characters that really makes fast zombies panic inducing. This movie also introduced me to Richard Cheese so it holds a special place in my heart.

 

Scream: I saw the first Scream in the theater before the industry started cracking down on kids watching rated R movies. This movie was so clever and was filled with so many pop culture tidbits, I was hooked! The rest are not as good or as much fun, but the original is an excellent little snapshot of the late 1990s, when the skirts were short and the cell phones were large.

 

Candyman: The truly terrifying tale of what happens when you repeat things into mirrors! It’s like the Bloody Mary urban legend combined with the hook hand on the car door, only with with more gore! The year this movie came out I might have played a terrible childhood prank that involved repeating the name into a mirror with some friends and a glow in the dark Jason Voorhies mask. Sorry random childhood pal!

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Pet Sematery: Yes, dead or alive cats are jerks, the dad from the Munsters wasn’t such a bad guy after all and creepy sister Zelda (shown in a flashback) still gives me the willies. AND, the Ramones wrote the theme song. Stephen King movies got a lot of play on TNT back in the day so these little scary nuggets are imbedded in my psyche for all time.

 

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Megan is also a contributing writer on Bookmans.com