The 31 Days of October Movie Marathon

Must Watch Horror Films For Halloween

So here is the thing folks, I generally hate most of what passes as Halloween "Must Watch Horror" lists that make their way into every periodical and spring up all over every website, come this time of year. And while yes, I am always happy to see our genre get some ink in newspapers, magazines and on assorted blogs, who wouldn't say at this point that those lists have become just about as predictable as the sun rise? Admittedly, there are certain mainstays that belong on every list, every year; John Carpenter's Halloween, William Friedkin's The Exorcist, George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist and Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street to name but a few. But this just leads me to my other problem with the majority of the selected films on the majority of these lists: very few if any of them are actually about or set during Halloween. And if you are a dyed in the wool horror fan like me (if you're not, then what the hell are you doing here), chances are you watch any of the aforementioned films once or twice a year anyways. You're looking for something a little bit more specific yes? You want to really celebrate your Halloween by digging into 31 films set during or around your favorite time of year, right? Well, fear no more dear readers, we here at The October Country have compiled to be what we think is the real list of Must Watch Horror Films For Halloween. Yes, there will be a number of expected titles on hand (Halloween and few of it's sequels deserve the seasonal recognition they've carved out for themselves) but there will also be some overlooked gems, truly great films that celebrate the holiday just as much as anything starring The Shape or Sam (Halloween's new mascot), with his little hay sack face and candy knives. So check back in with us when you can , as a new film will be added to the list everyday. Alright boils and ghouls, lets get this started.

#31 May
(Written and Directed by Lucky McKee, Starring Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Kevin Gage and Nicole Hiltz)

Not since witnessing Sissy Spacek's turn as the shy and eternally put upon Carrie White have I so badly wanted a horror movie to not become a horror movie as I have with May. A daydream that is easy to fall into considering both films share the same assured plotting of getting us to the horror, eventually. But before either movie reaches their climatic massacres and actually become horror films (Carrie's during Prom Night and May's during a blood soaked Halloween) , they take their time during their first three acts by painfully acquainting us with their downtrodden anti-heroines. So much so, that when the nooses tighten and things begin moving in a direction where it is becoming abundantly clear that things are not going to end well for our poor abused lasses, you practically want to hit the stop button on your DVD player and pretend that Carrie had the best night of her life, arm in arm with Tommy Ross (finally) and that all of May's (Angela Bettis, in a powerfully moving performance that made her an instant household name in horror fans' homes the world over) awkward struggles for some meaningful love connection to another human being (be they men or women, cheers to that) payed off. Ultimately though, if Carrie White didn't bring the whole school down in a hailstorm of fire, blood, rage and revenge and if May didn't finally come completely unhinged and don the cutest little homemade Halloween costume of 2002 (and armed herself with with razor sharp scalpels, trailing a cooler on wheels so those recently severed body parts stay fresh) they wouldn't be horror films, and they wouldn't be being discussed on this website. The lesson? Life (as much as we might want it to), certainly doesn't play fair with some folks but at least there are those, like Carrie and May, who know how to turn the tables on their oppressors and give us horror fans (likely once bullied and picked on ourselves to some degree) a grisly, cathartic body count to root for. Well sort of. Like I said, their ascension into self-empowerment is one and the same with their ultimate fall from grace, which is where the final heartstrings get tugged on their behalf. *sob* Poor May.


  1. Hells yes, my good man. That opening paragraph RESOUNDED with me, as I'm actually in the process of compiling my own cinematic list of truly Halloween-themed fright flicks for next year's festivities (muahaha). Noble endeavor you're on here.

    Sad to say I have yet to see MAY, but seeing its inclusion here and reading your really great write-up of it, it's become that much more a priority. Great stuff, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of your countdown.

  2. Awesome! Glad to hear that I'm not alone with those sentiments. I can't wait to get to see your list buddy. And yes, you should check out May ASAP.


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