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'Tis the Season

What he has to say:

He

No, not that season, but the one for ghouls, goblins, serial killers and all kinds of other bad guys! The month of Halloween is upon us, so I wanted to say a little something on what I think is one of the most fun times of the year.

Though I don't do anything particularly special for the holiday most years, I hope to one-day move to the kind of small town that celebrates with a vengeance. Fairs, parades, makeshift "haunted houses" while I hand out my candy, maybe a few movie marathons at the local theater, I could really go for that kind of stuff. Though I may actually need a time machine for that last one.

One of the things I really enjoy about a good "scary" flick is the variety they offer. Monster movies, supernatural flicks, serial killer movies, psychological thrillers, you name it the genre has it. Even within each specific type you can find comedies, family movies, or something just for us grownups.

If I'm in the mood for something light, but still spooky I'll watch something like The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. Maybe the cult classic The Monster Squad (think of The Goonies, but with monsters) is more your style? Or even better yet, The Ghostbusters, which is arguably the best adventure/comedy of the entire genre. If you haven't seen that movie in a long time, pop it into the old DVD/Blu-ray player. Seriously. I loved it as a kid. Loved it. But it's really worth a revisit as an adult if you haven't seen it in a while. A few similar recommendations are Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.

Oh and speaking of zombie movies, there's a genre that has really grown in years. The two I mention above are comedies, but if you are in the mood for some good, old-fashioned, scary zombies the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead is quite entertaining. Of course there is the movie that started it all, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Though not technically zombies (but rather "infected people") 28 Days Later and the remake of The Crazies are also well done. The point I'm trying to make here is the one thing these 4 movies (and zombie flicks in general) have in common is that they examine human nature. Put people in horrible circumstances and then you'll really see what they are really made of. Sometimes they end up being more terrifying than the undead trying to eat them.

What about other monsters? You can watch vampires and werewolves go at  it in the Underworld movies. Or if you prefer your vampires a little more serious there's always Interview with the Vampire, which is an excellent movie. Are aliens more your pace? You can always check out the original sci fi/horror classic Alien. In space, no one can hear you scream. Remember that one?

Then there is perhaps the most disturbing type of them all. The one's in which the antagonists are nothing more than the average (at least in appearance) men and women. Silence of the Lambs for example, is a terrifying (and disturbing at times) movie. Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter is perhaps one of the scariest characters on ever put on the big screen. He's just a man, but can easily frighten you as much or more as any creepy crawlies I talked about above. You could always check out the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not an "entertaining" movie imo, but it sure did scare the hell out of me. Oh and there's always Psycho. * Movie trivia alert* The villains in all 3 of these movies are based on real life killer Ed Gein.

That is the beauty of this genre. It offers a little of something for everyone. So if you haven't done so in a while, do yourself a favor and take advantage or this time of year and enjoy a good scare!

Oh and don't forget to check out AMC's new series The Walking Dead. It premieres on Halloween and looks like it has real promise.

This article was written on October 16, 2010.