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Halloween Movie Recommendations

by Clayton Bushong

October is my favorite time of year at The Picture House – and normally our busiest. Fall Film Club gets underway and we get to watch advance screenings of some Oscar-worthy films as well as amazing documentaries that may go unnoticed in the busy fall movie release season. But what I love the most about October is all of the frightfully fun programming we get to do to coincide with Halloween (one of my favorite holidays). I hope that these recommendations of some of my fall favorites help you celebrate the holiday weekend when you may be foregoing your usual Halloween parties and activities. 

Happy Halloween!

Clayton Bushong

Director of Programming

Spooky Fun for the Whole Family Hotel Transylvania

This animated family film has something for everyone. It’s a coming of age drama starring Adam Sandler playing a vampire single father trying to run a lavish resort for monsters while raising a rebellious ‘teen’ vampire girl. A sometimes touching, not too scary, Halloween film with fun jokes that appeal to the silliest of movie fans while not being over-the-top. (Rated PG, 92 minutes)

Slasher Flick A Nightmare on Elm Street

Slasher flicks can all too often use gratuitous gore, scene after scene, in an attempt to kill a practically indestructible villain (does he really die in the end?) but Wes Craven’s classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street, combines a multi-dimensional story line with some pretty clever bloodstained scenes and the unforgettable Freddy Krueger – not to mention a very young, pre-Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp role which is a fun throwback. (Rated R, 101 minutes)

Rock and Roll Horror The Rocky Horror Picture Show

For the first time in eight years, we aren’t doing our Rocky Horror run the weekend before Halloween. While I suggest not messing up your house like we’ve seen in the theater (the first year we were cleaning up rice for months after someone brought a 20-pound bag…) I do encourage you to stick with some of the fun traditions of newspapers, toilet paper, and costumes. The music is timeless and Tim Curry playing a campy version of Dr. Frankenstein is something that will never get old. (Rated R, 101 minutes)

Great Classic Horror Frankenstein (1931)

There is an abundance of great black and white horror films to choose from, but this year I’m going with the 1931 Frankenstein. The movie is a fantastic interpretation of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel of creation and brilliance and what happens to our creations when they take on a life of their own. Beautifully shot, with a terrific score, there are many layers to enjoy in this classic sci-fi film. (Rated NR, 71 minutes)

Recent Horror That You May Have Missed  Goodnight Mommy  (2014)

In recent years we’ve seen a resurgence of thoughtful and suspenseful horror movies – making this one super hard to pick. My son will be mad at me for not choosing Hereditary, which is truly a fantastic film. I wanted to go with Get Out,but I think most everyone has seen it – if you haven’t, you should –but Goodnight Mommy is an incredible movie from Germany about twin boys who are suspicious of their mother who is recovering from face-altering surgery in a rented house with them in the lonely countryside. (Yes, it has subtitles but there’s not too much dialogue.) The twists are multiple, suspenseful, dark, and fun. If subtitles aren’t your thing then I also highly recommend The Witch (2015), an incredibly accurate supernatural period film set in 17th century New England – thought-provoking, visually compelling, slow-building horror. (Rated R, 100 minutes)