Halloween is looming and we’ve all got our costumes picked out (I’m going to be Heisenberg!), but prepping for the big day includes throwing on some great horror and dimming the lights. Here’s our Top 13 Films to Watch With the Lights Off on Halloween in honor of the release of the Halloween catalog from Anchor Bay, which includes such titles as the Halloween box set, Lords of Salem, Evil Dead, Nothing Left to Fear, Let Me In, the 30th anniversary Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Scream 4 as well as some other beauties.
Here’s where we would normally list the honorable mentions, but they could honestly go on all day. Films to watch with the lights off on Halloween? There must be hundreds of good choices. Thankfully, we’ve really whittled that number down for you. We’ve got a solid 13 here with some great honorable mentions to flesh the whole thing out.
To gain inclusion on this list, the only requirement was the movie has to be downright f’n scary. If it’s set during Halloween, even better. But the most important thing was: If you put this movie on and turn down the lights, is your first natural reaction to hug a pillow close to you and curl up your toes? These are no joke movies, Dreadies. These are the real deal chilling.
The Crow kicks off our honorable mentions. Certainly not a true horror movie at all, but how we love it (“It can’t rain all the time…”) and its Halloween setting. The beloved Halloween-themed indie Satan’s Little Helper certainly deserves mention here as well. And, although they aren’t necessarily Halloween-themed, we must mention Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Demons as two movies that would make hair stand up on arms as lights go off in living rooms. Other great Halloween-flavored fare includes The Karate Kid, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. and The Nightmare Before Christmas (or is that a Christmas movie?). Anyway, all these movies are great to throw on, dim the lights, and enjoy.
Great movies make for a great Halloween, and those honorable mentions would do you well. But please, read on and discover the Top 13 Films to Watch With the Lights Off on Halloween.
If you have the balls to dim the lights during the Halloween season and throw on The Exorcist, you are truly a hardcore horror fan. Of course we all know it was directed by William Friedkin and adapted from William Peter Blatty’s legendary novel. But here’s a little known fact: The Exorcist, when adjusted for inflation, is still the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. As far as the power of the movie, it can’t be understated. If there is any movie that can get you into the Halloween spirit, The Exorcist is it. It is pure evil! Demons, desecrations, and deviancy, oh my! The Exorcist is a film that will not only kick off Halloween in the best possible way, it’ll still be haunting you when you carve the turkey a month later!
House of 1000 Corpses
Rob Zombie’s initial foray into the cinematic horror genre was a long awaited film indeed. After the insane trailer hit theaters, featuring a closing scene with Bill Moseley pulling back a skin mask and saying, “…the boogeyman is real…and you found him,” it would be years before it hit theaters. Finished after a 28-day shoot in 2000, The House of 1000 Corpses didn’t actually hit theaters until being bought back by Zombie from Universal Studios and then resold to Lionsgate and released in 2003. It fits so perfectly on this list with a Halloween setting, incredibly charismatic characters, and a no-holds-barred filmmaking attack. It’s a fantastic movie to cuddle up with your sweetheart and enjoy during this Halloween season.
Speaking of cuddling up with your sweetheart, no movie gets me more soft-hearted than Lucky McKee’s legendary May. May Dove Canady is one of my all-time favorite horror characters. She’s so beautifully broken. May is a perfect look at a damaged soul. One who is trying to do everything right but ends up unintentionally hurting so many. Angela Bettis is off-the-charts amazing in this one, a role that would solidify her as a genre mainstay. Also set during Halloween, May is the date movie to enjoy with your deepest, darkest soulmate…the one you can’t take home to mommy! This Halloween turn down the lights, and let the magic that is May take you away.