Non-Halloween Movies That Feel Like Halloween Movies
Halloween is here! Everyone is getting ready to watch the usual Halloween fare and Horror movies set on Halloween. John Carpenter’s Halloween is played everywhere. A new Halloween is in theaters. Trick ‘r Treat engrosses everybody in it’s Halloween atmosphere. Hocus Pocus is on tv for the 400th time during the month.
But there are so many movies that though not set on Halloween, have a very Halloween feel to them and are a perfect watch for the October viewing season. So I thought it would be fun to list 6 movies we watch every Halloween season that have nothing to do with Halloween in the movies, but give off such a good Halloween vibe that we cannot skip them in our 31 Days of Horror marathon.
These are October favorites for many a horror and Halloween fan, yet you won’t find any Jack-O-Lanterns (except for one VERY brief moment), Trick or Treaters, or Halloween Hosts in any of these films.
These are all personal favorites of ours this time of year and are all highly recommended by us. All are well known Horror and Comedy films among Horror fans and if you are new to Horror or just looking for something spooky to watch this Halloween, then these are all highly recommended by us. So have fun, set back, and let’s talk about 6 movies to watch this Halloween that are NOT Halloween movies.
1. The Fog
The Fog is a 1980 John Carpenter movie. It features Jamie Lee Curtis in one of her early scream queen roles and the always entertaining Tom Atkins.
The Fog is essential a ghost story and a tale of revenge. A town is celebrating it’s 100 anniversary of it’s founding when we discover that this town has a dark secret. The town was founded on stolen gold from a leper colony that wanted to settle nearby. The leper colony was traveling on ship and was lured into the rocks through trickery. 100 years later and they are back!
There is glowing Fog everywhere in this movie (which is how the ghosts travel) giving it that eerie Halloween vibe. A ghostly tale of revenge is already a great tale for some Halloween viewing but as an added effect, the ghosts in this film also give off a bit of a zombie vibe, as well as a pirate feel as they were lost at sea 100 years prior. This movie scratches all the Halloween itches you need to scratch.
Ok, disclaimer. There is actually one instance of a Jack-o_lantern at the very start of this movie but it’s so brief and so forgettable I couldn’t let it not let me include this movie on this list. The movie really doesn’t have anything to do with the Halloween season at it’s core.
Creepshow is an anthology film directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. It’s broken up into 5 different horror tales and a brief prologue/epilogue about a child who loves horror comics and an overbearing Dad (once again, played by the awesome Tom Atkins) that doesn’t approve. The stories are told from the horror comics the boy’s father throws in the trash.
The 5 stories include:
- Father’s Day which features a zombie coming back from the grave to seek revenge and get his cake. Watch for a spectacularly odd choice of dance move by veteran actor Ed Harris in this one.
- The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verill is a story of a meteorite found by a backwoods bumpkin that starts to overtake everything with plant life. Stephen King plays the titular character in this story and he goes so over-the-top in his acting that it’s fantastic!
- Something to Tide You Over has Leslie Nielsen in a rare horror role. What’s his is his and no one else can have it! The water zombies in this one scared the heck out of me as a kid watching this movie on late night television.
- The Crate is just that. A mysterious crate is found at a university that was from an arctic expedition. It just so happens this crate seems to be the home of a vicious indestructible creature.
- They’re Creeping Up on You is about a cut-throat ruthless business man who treats everyone like insects. He also happens to be a germophobe and his penthouse apartment is being over-run by cockroaches.
This movie is such a love letter to the classic E.C. Horror comics of the 50s. It’s oversaturation of color and use of comic style panels and coloring give it a feel all it’s own. I definitely recommend checking it out for yourself and seeing what you think, especially if you are a fan of old horror stories of people getting what they deserve. Tales From the Crypt fans would love this one.
3. The Evil Dead Movies
What can be praised about the Evil Dead trilogy that hasn’t been said already. To many a horror fan it is one of the pivotal trilogies in all of horror. These movies made Bruce Campbell a legend in the horror community.
The first Evil Dead is a nightmare inducing terror ride filled with gore and screams that should suit any horror fan’s lust for blood. This one is filling with blood and goo with our hero Ash Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) tries to get his sanity, and his life, while battling his friends turned demons, invisible evils, and bookshelves. Man he really can’t stop running into bookshelves.
Evil Dead 2 is a semi-remake of the first film in the first 20 minutes or so and then becomes a full on sequel. They didn’t have the rights to the first movie anymore when they were making the sequel, so they basically did a quick retelling at the start of the film. This one adds a lot of comedy to the mix while keeping it’s horror elements. Campbell gives an amazing performance as Ash, especially in the scenes where he starts going crazy. Plus this movie features Bruce Campbell fighting his own hand in one of the best fights in horror ever! If you can’t enjoy that, I don’t think we can ever be friends.
Army of Darkness is the third entry in the original trilogy and while still holding some of it’s horror elements, it mostly ditches them for fantasy and humor. Ash travels back to Medieval times to do battle with the Deadites and become the hero of time. This movie does, however, features an INSANE amount of skeletons! Skeletons ALWAYS feel like Halloween to me. If you want skeletons, this is your movie. The battle with the army of the undead is a ton of fun and equally as hilarious. Plus you’ll be able to spout one-liners from this movie for years after watching.
If you can only choose one, Evil Dead 2 is my favorite of the set. The first is a pure horror, the third is more of a comedy, but the second film balances the comedy and the horror perfectly which makes for an entertaining ride whether you are in the mood for screams or laughs. It’s one of my favorite films.
4. Universal Monsters
These guys are practically the mascots of Halloween with how ingrained into pop culture they are. They’ve been parodied in countless Halloween specials and movies, and are staples in costumes and merchandise. Yet the movies don’t have anything to do with the Halloween season. they’re just the definitive classics of Horror!
With so many iconic performances from legendary actors like Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, you can really just take your pick of any of these black and white classics. These guys created pretty much everything we think of when we think of these monsters. If you can do silent films (which I admit, I have a hard time with) you can try Phantom of the Opera but I feel that hasn’t aged nearly as well as the “talkies” did.
Make sure you check out these classic monsters in particular but there’s a whole bunch of sequels and other films to see from that era:
- Bride of Frankenstein
- The Invisible Man
- The Mummy
- The Wolf Man
- Creature From The Black Lagoon
5. The Monster Squad
If you want to talk classic monsters and 80s pop culture, look no further than The Monster Squad! This is a Fred Dekker film from 1987. Dracula has returned and he’s gathering other monsters to help him find and destroy and amulet that will disrupt the balance of good and evil forever. He enlists the help of the Wolf Man, the Mummy, Gillman, and an innocent Frankenstein’s Monster to aid him.
Of course little does Dracula know, there’s a group of savvy kids who have a monster club and they’re not going to take this sitting down. Seriously, how 80s of a concept is this movie.
Sometimes I can’t figure out if this movie wants to be a kids movie or not. I generally has the feel and theme of a kids movie, with lots of comedy interjected, but also has some moments that are genuinely pretty creepy, a bit of blood, and some language that would make your mother grab for the soap faster that you can say Palmolive.
This is a great one to watch to see if your younger viewers are ready for the step up in horror or not and any 80s kid is going to get huge nostalgia vibes from this one. This is a yearly watch for sure and it’s highly recommended if you want a fun movie for Halloween.
6. Young Frankenstein
Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite movies of all time. We watch this movie every Halloween night and it makes us laugh without fail every year. This is my favorite of all Mel Brooks’ films.
Gene Wilder is absolutely amazing in this film. His slow decent from denial of any relation or relevance to his uncle Victor Frankenstein to his crazed obsession to follow in his footsteps can be seen in every shot of his face throughout the movie. He’s no longer Fronkensteen, he’s Frankenstein!
Marty Feldman does a hilarious take on Igor… sorry, Eye-Gor. The comedy is top notch and though a parody, pays so much respect to the original Universal Frankenstein movies that it almost feels like one of the classics itself, with it’s haunting score, atmosphere and black and white feel. If you are a fan of the classic Universal Monsters, do yourself a favor and check out this comedy. You won’t be disappointed. Watch for a cameo by Gene Hackman that shouts back to Bride of Frankenstein.
Happy Halloween Viewing!
So that was 6 movies for Halloween that have nothing to do with Halloween (5 if you want to be a real stickler). These are perfect for adding to your Halloween viewing. Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!
What movies do you have to watch every Halloween season?
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