Halloween 2014: Top Alternative Viewing Choices


We’ve all come to trust in certain films. We know the pictures that never fail to let us down, we know the pictures that force our girls to leap in our laps, and we know the pictures that make for a perfect fit on Halloween.

There is no losing with a small Halloween marathon (particularly parts 1 through 3). Friday the 13th, though not a Samhain-themed film of any sort, makes for an excellent choice on the 31st of October, as do Trick ‘r Treat, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Monster Squad. They’re all classics that hold a place in the viewing traditions of Halloween hounds.

But there are some other – far more recent – options out there worth looking into. In fact, a number of the recommendations you’re about to read are already gaining a lot of steam with fans and stand to be future go-tos for the holiday. So, if you’re looking for some new alternative seasonal viewing, you’ll want to take a few notes because we’ve got some great recommendations for you.

Halloween Viewing

The Anthology

All Hallows’ Eve: An indie anthology that doesn’t necessarily rival the beauty of Trick ‘r Treat, Damien Leone’s grimy anthology All Hallows’ Eve boasts a few thrilling stories and an excellent wraparound tale. But the truth is, that’s not what really elevates the film. What pushes this one over the top are the unbelievably eerie visuals. Art the Clown is one disquieting creation, and when he’s on screen, bringing to life terribly awkward physical mannerisms, generating very real fear, it’s impossible to deny the effectiveness of the picture. The steady dose of organic Halloween sights and sounds also proves engaging. Don’t approach this film with the hopes of witnessing glossy, high budget terror; prepare yourself instead for a pic that feels like it crawled straight out of the 80s on a mission to make clowns petrifying once again.

The Inevitable Found Footage

The Houses October Built: Impactful found footage films are becoming a more significant rarity by the day. Every guy with a camera and an “idea” has decided they’re fit to go shoot a found footage flick. Most of these movies are drab, boring and unoriginal affairs that borrow every technique used by every other handy-cam movie already made. The Houses October Built is a different animal. It’s set during Halloween (and the week building up to it), and it utilizes an idea that hasn’t been dabbled with in this format: A group of 30-somethings are on a holiday road trip to visit all of the scariest haunt attractions they can find. Their desire to experience the most extreme of these haunts will prove – as expected – ill-advised, but the journey to reach that pinnacle of terror is quite entertaining. These characters aren’t complete morons (for the most part, that is); they use quite a bit more common sense than your average FF player, and most of them are actually likable. The antagonists of the picture, however, are not likable; they’re scary as, well, hell, and once you get a good look at them, you’ll realize that the special effects and makeup crew showed up with the intention of leaving a mark on the minds of viewers. If you’re going to watch a found footage flick this Halloween, The Houses October Built is a strong recommendation.

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