So, we’ve gone over the major horror genres out there – what next? How about a ‘playlist’ for your Halloween enjoyment, given we’re barrelling head-on towards the big day? I gave a recommendation list early on… but certain media have titles that are particularly suitable for Halloween.
Besides. Some of those films (Freddy vs. Jason, anyone?) work best with some grounding in a lot of other films, and it’s not worth the trouble to really get into the full series just to watch the recommended film… especially if that full series is Friday the 13th. And much of what I put up was based on author or creator, rather than title, which makes for a rather large body of work.
So, what should you watch, play, read, or listen to this Halloween?
- The Beast with Five Fingers. The best part? It’s on Turner Classic Movies at 6:30 AM, EST, on 10/30 – so you can watch it for free!
- The Thing From Another World. On Turner Classic Movies at 3:45 AM, EST, on 10/30 – so Wednesday night, set up your VCR, DVR, or DVD recorder to catch these beauts. Never going to be a better time for it.
- Halloween. The first of today’s John Carpenter beauties, and a truly wonderful horror film. Just don’t watch the Rob Zombie remake – enjoy the classic, and try not to be too depressed by what happened when they made it into a series.
- In the Mouth of Madness. The second of today’s John Carpenter beauties, this film is one of the best examples of a Lovecraftian film I’ve ever seen. Unlike most of them, it doesn’t spend the entire movie throwing cheap monsters at you, and instead builds up a world that is slowly falling into madness around our protagonist. The best part? Only $5 on Amazon right now.
- Transylvania Twist. If you want a little fun in your Halloween, you can’t do much better than this spoof of the genre that predated Scary Movie by a solid decade or so.
- Midnight Syndicate’s “Gates of Delirium” and “The 13th Hour.” While they’re two separate albums, they really ought to be listened to together, forming the entire Haverghast Saga.
- Nox Arcana’s Darklore Manor. Some truly creepy moments in this one. Nox Arcana has also just put out Phantoms of the High Seas – and I mean Just put out – but I haven’t listened to it, so I can’t fully recommend it yet (though their track record says you probably can). Nox Arcana is also available through iTunes, rather than just on Amazon.
- Blood of Angels, by Nox Arcana and Michelle Bellanger.
- Wolfman Jack’s Halloween Special: Monster Mash Bash. No relation to the blogger, but this is a great collection of hit oldies with a slightly spooky twist.
- The Dark Adventure Radio Theatre collection – any of these three are delightfully wonderful, and they come with some of the coolest product tie-ins you’ll ever imagine.
- Hell House. Yes, I will keep saying you should read this, if you’re up for the nastiness of Emeric Belasco.
- What’s better than a fictional book about the most haunted house on earth? Hell House: & Other TRUE Hauntings from Around the World contains info on hauntings from all around the world. It’s a good read, and a very well put-together book.
- Spear of Destiny, by Trevor Ravenscroft, is a good read and a look at the occult history of the Third Reich. It’s a good read in general, but particularly for Halloween.
Four, five, and many more? The Leonard Wolf Annotated Gothic Classics, linked to under the Gothics.
- Still Life. Not a very popular piece, but one that had a killer story, one of many horror-themed “point and click” adventure games.
- Indigo Prophecy. Slightly better received, it’s much like Still Life in that it’s an adventure game, and quite different in that the story is far less rigid and open to a lot more evolution throughout the game.
- Resident Evil 4. I’ll probably be flogged for putting this game so far down the list, but I just wasn’t as thrilled with it as with the first two. However, it is one of the best horror-shooters I’ve ever played, even if it is a little frustrating in a few spots.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. I haven’t played Corruption yet (don’t have a Wii), but this game is one of the freakier titles out there in the sci-fi genre (he says, while hiding from the Dead Space fans….)
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. Woefully underrated, largely because the Gamecube underperformed, but now you can play it on your Wii, so give it a shot. Eternal Darkness is, hands down, one of the freakiest games ever. I only rate it this low because, to my mind, a major part of the end of the game suffers from being easily compared to pokemon. You, and most other people I’ve spoken to who’ve played it, might not think so, so give it a shot.
Listing those out… I just wish that Halloween were longer. Ah well – at least it’s on a Friday this year! So don’t think of Saturday and Sunday as the weekend – think of them as the 48 extra hours of Halloween and try to fit in as much spooky goodness as you can.
Because, really, what else is Halloween for, these days?