Top 5 Halloween movies you probably haven’t seen

Alright, kiddies! It’s that time of the year where we break out the hot air popcorn makers, turn down the lights, grab a few flicks from Blockbuster, and settle in for a fun and-wait…what year is it? Oh, right. Sorry, I meant to make sure your Amazon Prime order of popcorn is on its way, use your iPhone to dim the lights, select a few horror movies you’ve had in your list on Netflix, and settle in for a fun and scary, albeit convenient, evening. Man, times have changed.

But even though the years have come and gone, one thing still remains in this spooky season: watching scary movies is the best thing ever! At least in my house, this tradition is year round, and doesn’t just happen around Halloween. But to those who love to bask in the ghostly ambience of the season with an other-worldly movie, let’s take a look at a few movies that you may have missed, and can gladly add to your collection. Let’s take a peek at Nerd Reactor’s top 5 films you probably haven’t seen!

5. Eyes Without a Face (Les yeux sans visage) (1960)

Let’s start this list off by going back to a time where the turn of the decade began to see a shift in filmmaking, going from mystery to science fiction. The space wars were on, and every child wanted to be a spaceman. Around this shift, a French film surfaced that would set the tone for the macabre and surreal style of filmmaking. Directed by Georges Franju, the film surrounds a surgeon who causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.

Around the time it was released, however, the general critical reaction was poor, with film critics giving the film scathing reviews. One French critic stated the film was “in a minor genre and quite unworthy of his (Franju’s) abilities.” That didn’t stop the film from gaining cult status, and becoming a milestone in the horror genre. The film would later be re-released uncut (and under its original title) to US theaters for the first time on Halloween night of 2003.

4. The Monster Squad (1987)

Let’s go back in time, to an era that is truly defined by its fashion, music, but most of all, its films. That’s right, I mean the ’80s. In 1987, Fred Dekker and Shane Black fought tooth and nail to achieve this glorious coming of age film that incorporated the most iconic horror icons of the century. Unfortunately, the film debuted the same year many other powerhouse films came out, including Predator, Robocop, The Princess Bride, Spaceballs, Full Metal Jacket, and the list goes on!

The Monster Squad was released amidst what would be a stellar year for cinema, and ultimately fell away to more prominent films. Oddly enough, though, the film still held a cult following once it was released on home video, creating an easy candidate for this list. In ’80s fashion, the film follows a young group of monster fanatics in their attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his monsters.

3. Audition (1999)

Fast forward to the ’90s, where the horror genre began to shift and change, becoming a international tour de force. A small film out of Japan debuted at the tale end of the century, creating a style of filmmaking that would become the predecessor of most modern day horror movies. Audition takes the meager premise of a widower taking an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The film, however, takes a huge detour from normality, giving fans one of the most brutal takes on not really knowing the person you’re with.

As I said, this was early in the years of Japanese horror filmmaking, and although many films found their way to an American audience, this one took a little longer. Many foreign horror films ended up even getting an American adaptation, but we’ve yet to see Audition be one of those films. Here’s to wishful thinking!

2. The House of the Devil (2009)

Although Netflix’s Stranger Things is sweeping the world by storm with its nostalgic style, it wasn’t the first to create a project that was a unique throwback to the ’80s. Back in 2009, The House of the Devil debuted, bringing horror movie fans a blast from the past, and delivering a chilling yet satisfying homage to the scary movies of the ’70s and ’80s. True to being a period piece, the film takes place in 1983, where financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

Directed by Ti West, a man known for his place in indie horror history, the film truly embodies the era it pays homage to, from being shot on 16mm film and the usage of ’80s props and music, to even being promotionally released on VHS in a clamshell box.

1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

In lieu of the season, and to one of the best Halloween films out there that you may have not heard of, let me present to you Trick ‘r Treat! I don’t even care that I’ve mentioned this film in other lists that I’ve made for Nerd Reactor, this film is a must for fans of the creepy season. It’s odd though how many people I run into who still say they haven’t seen it! The film, an anthological work in horror weaving 5 stories that occur on Halloween night together, was directed by the talented Michael Dougherty. Totally slipping below the radar, the film gained cult status immediately after it was released on home video.

Fans flocked to it, falling in love with the movie as soon as they saw it. The film is, holistically, an homage to every horror director and film out there, encapsulating the very thing that makes us love Halloween so much: the lore and roots it’s grounded in. The film has gained a large enough fan following that the director even created a few short films relating to the film after the fact, releasing them on YouTube. There’s even talk of a sequel in the works.

All in all, these are just a drop in the bucket of all the great horror films out there! Known or unknown, indie or mainstream, take some time this Halloween season to check out as many movies as you can. But most of all, make sure to have a good time doing it. From all of us here at Nerd Reactor, we hope you have a spooky Halloween!

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