By Taufiq Morshidi
Halloween is coming, and what’s better than to have an amazing marathon of movies! Although Halloween is not the norm in Malaysia, we do associate it with great movies for the season. So strap in folks, here’s some great recommendations for everyone!
- Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus is a great kids-friendly comedy horror film from Disney about resurrected Salem witches. It features children as leads alongside non-violent, safe yet funny and scary moments for kids. It was also Sarah Jessica Parker’s debut as an actress with a great cast that also includes Bette Midler and Thora Birch.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington from Halloween Town became enamored with Christmas Town to the point where he ends up kidnapping Santa! This classic horror film produced by Tim Burton is another Disney classic fun for the whole family!
- Alien Trilogy
This classic horror series needs no introduction. They’re the ultimate must-have in ANY horror movie marathons, and nothing else needs to be said. However, Alien 3 needs to be watched with The Assembly Cut, in respect to David Fincher’s lost vision.
- Event Horizon
Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne go on a journey across space to find a lost spaceship, only to discover Dante’s Inferno in space. A cult classic among Sci-Fi and horror fans, Event Horizon is a great addition to any movie marathon this Halloween.
- The Color Out of Space
When a comet fell down to the backyard of a home in New England, a family led by Nicolas Cage began to experience changes unexplained by anyone. This 2019 adaptation of a classic HP Lovecraft (which I wrote about in my first article in this portal) short story marks a great return not only for Nicholas Cage, but cult director Richard Stanley after the failure of his adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau two decades prior.
- The Lighthouse
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, this sleeper black and white hit directed by Robert Eggers captures the isolation and madness of living in an empty island in the 1890s, inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe.
- The VVItch
Another hit by Robert Eggers, The VVitch captures the pain and horror of living as a family in 17th century England, capturing similar themes of Isolation as seen in The Lighthouse.
- The Nightingale
An Irish convict in Tasmania enacts revenge against her British captors with the help of an Aborigine tracker in 1825. This film sparked controversy at film festival circuits for its daring portrayal of racism and violence in Australia’s dark history, and is a powerful feminist tour de force by director Jennifer Kent.
- TV Shows
- Twin Peaks + The Return
David Lynch’s cult television series needs no introduction, but the third season of the series called “The Return” from 2017 is a masterpiece of its own and watching both the two original seasons with the 2017 series makes for a fantastic binge.
- The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor
Netflix’s Haunting anthology has released its second season, and at the right time too. With season 1 being an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel (that was also adapted into a 1999 film starring Liam Neeson) and season 2 adapting Henry James’ Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Hill House & Bly Manor are fantastic TV binges for a late October weekend.
- Dawn of the Dead 1978+2004
This classic zombie film by the late George Romero is the sequel to 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, but Dawn’s popularity helped put zombies into the mainstream zeitgeist. However, the 2004 not only repopularized zombies and helped inspired the popular Walking Dead TV series, but also were major breaks for director Zack Snyder and writer James Gunn. Both the original and the remake are fantastic action-filled zombie films for a Halloween marathon.
If you liked The Guardians of the Galaxy films, you’d love this mainstream directorial debut by filmmaker James Gunn. Featuring regular James Gunn collaborators like Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillon, Slither is one of the funniest body horror films with heavy inspiration from David Cronenberg and Gunn’s old boss Lloyd Kaufman.
This direct-to-video sleeper hit is part-action, part-teen comedy and part-horror movie, as a pregnant teenage girl realizes that she’s not only pregnant, she’s pregnant with a thousand-year old Mayan creature. One of the most underrated horror films of the late 2010s.
This classic by John Carpenter needs no introduction. A classic that helped introduce Jamie Lee Curtis to the world, Halloween is the father of the modern slasher. Not only does it feature the terrifying scent of Michael Myers for years to come, it also features Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis, one of Pleasance’s best roles outside James Bond.
- Nightmare on Elm Street
Like Halloween, Elm Street needs no introduction thanks to the popularity of Freddy Krueger, but what makes it still a great horror film for the age is the ability to reflect the fears of Reagan-era suburban America. Also, Johnny Depp’s first ever debut in a film.
- The Babadook
While not technically a slasher flick in a sense, The Babadook still took inspiration from Freddy Krueger and Pennywise in a way that creates horror in a unique way. Jennifer Kent infuses feminist psychology into horror and creates a gripping tale about a widowed single mother raising a child while being terrorized by a creature called “The Babadook”. – New Malaysia Herald