Scary Movie Marathons

During this month of unbridled spookiness, consider
curling up in front of a cozy flatscreen and trying out
these combos.  I’ve graded them on a Scary Scale
of 1 (Dark Shadows as an adult) to 10
(Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre seen as a teen).


The Witches. Anjelica Huston rocks as usual as a rhymes-with-bitch who causes all sorts of mayhem for a little boy. (3 on the Scary Scale.)
Warlock. A clever script by David Twohy and two very pretty Brits (Richard E. Grant and Julian Sands) elevate this B-movie to a superfun B-movie. (SS2)
The Craft.  Girls just want to have vengeful magical powers in this teen thriller. (SS3)

Manbeasts Within
The Howling.  Okay, the special effects are so Velveeta, but this first and best in the series still manages to drum up some visceral creepiness. (SS2)
The Company of Wolves.  Little Red Riding Hood meets your darkest coming-of-age fantasies in this fluid, dreamlike gem. (SS3)
An American Werewolf in London.  Truly scary, funny and poignant.  “Stay on the road.  Keep clear of the moors.” (SS5)

Vampires (if you aren’t sick to undeath of them yet)
The Hunger.  Some beautiful people doing hot things in a cool background.  Susan Sarandon (girlcrush), Catherine Deneuve (girlcrush) and David Bowie (crush-crush). (SS3)
Near Dark.  Vamps as mad dog honky-tonk killers.  Bloody and riveting. (SS7)
Let the Right One In.  I thought I was sick to undeath of the fangy ones until a friend brought over this Swedish import.  So much of what’s great about it is what’s not shown, what’s not said.  A gory but sweet love story. (SS6)

Unholy Terror
The Omen.  Gregory Peck could sell holy water to vampires and he totally sells a father slowly realizing his kid might not be a chip off the old block.  He might not even be human, exactly.  (SS2)
Constantine.  God and the Devil gamble with souls and especially John Constantine’s soul in the lovely form of Keanu Reeves.  (I’m a long-time Canoe apologist, what can I say?)  Cool demony images.  (SS4)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  The visuals and the acting make up for the lame attempt to sell this as “based on actual events.”  38 years after the Exorcist, spiderwalking is still pretty creepy. (SS7)

Monsters in the Dark
Relic.  Ancient evil unleashed in a museum.  Gets me every time. (SS3)
Mimic.  Oscar winner covered in bug slime.  Good times.  Plus, it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro.  Very good times. (SS4)
The Descent.  Chicks with ropes–and secrets.  Don’t think about it too much afterwards and it’s genuinely frightening. (SS8)

Use Your Imagination
The Exorcist Three.  I know, I know, the second one sucked and not in a good vampy way.  But the literate, tortured script was written by William Peter Blatty who wrote the original book that started it all.  And George C. Scott could sell acting lessons to Gregory Peck.  Some truly spine-chilling moments.  (SS9)
Blair Witch Project.  Forget about why they kept filming and just enjoy having the bejabbers scared out of you.  If enjoy is the word.  Don’t watch if you’re planning to go camping any time soon. (SS10)
Paranormal Activity.  Ahhhhh!  That’s pretty much my whole review.  Wait, I was too scared to scream.  Number of nights I slept with the lights on afterwards: 4. (SS10)

Whatever you do, do NOT buy this house
The Uninvited–Brother and sister and a house in the English countryside that will not stop crying.  In gorgeous black and white. (SS2)
Burnt Offerings–Creepiness mixes with camp as Karen Black ages rapidly.  (SS1)
Skeleton Key–Surprising, twisty little chiller as Kate Hudson takes a job on a New Orleans plantation.  She should have tried unemployment. (SS7)

Evil Kids
Village of the Damned.  Moves slow because it’s old, but there’s something super-eerie about the super-blond kids and their super-starey eyes.  (SS3)
Children of the Corn.  Shlocky but kind of effective, especially that Isaac kid. (SS2)
Home Alone.  Macaulay Culkin, ahhhhh! JK.
The Ring.  A cursed tape.  Seven days to figure it out.  Naomi Watts as a mom/reporter trying to save herself and her child.  And the boy is almost as disturbing as the real evil kid, Samara-from-the-TV. (SS7)

Got Kids?
Casper.  Christina Ricci was just so cool and the ghostly uncles are a lot of fun. (SSjr. 4)
The Iron Giant.  Something lands in the woods near Hogarth’s house. Full of early 60s boyhood nostalgia. (SSjr.3)
Monster House.  Captures how fun it was to be scared by the spooky house across the street. (SSjr. 6)

No Kids But You’re a Big Fraidy Cat?
Young Frankenstein.  “My grandfather’s work was doo doo!” “Give him the sedagive?!” “Could be worse. Could be raining.” Come on. It’s just as funny as you remember. (SS1)
Tremors.  A wild ride in the desert with some fast-moving sand worms and Kevin Bacon being cute. (SS2)
Arachnophobia.  All the characters in this congenial horror film are fun to spend time with. (SS1) Unless you’re afraid of spiders, then it’s (SS10).

What would be your ideal Scary Movie Marathon?  Whatever you do, have a Haunted Halloween.

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2 Responses to Scary Movie Marathons

  1. Excellent choices for the vampire films!
    A note of respect for “Let Me In”, which Americanized “Let The Right One In” without ruining it (Americans sympathize more with Abby and Owen than Oskar and Eli, IMHO)

    “The Craft” = the dark-side version of Hogwarts 😈

    “The Wicker Man” = the 1973 original, not the 2006 comedy remake 😉

    Race With The Devil” = the basic premise of “The Wicker Man”, done as a road trip/car chase film. You don’t have to be a B-movie-loving gearhead to enjoy this one (particularly the still-creepy-after-all-these-years ending scene!). Warren Oates + Peter Fonda = two walking cans of bad-ass!


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Thanks! I still haven’t seen the American remake of Let the Right One In, thougn it got excellent reviews. It’s on Showtime or Starz or something–I’ll have to check it out.

      The original Wicker Man was a sweet, gradually-building little horror film. Out of control pagans would be the category for that, I guess. 😉

      Race With the Devil sounds great. I’ll watch that if I get the chance.


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