Get scared for Halloween with these horror flicks

It’s the time of year for snuggling up with someone to watch creepy movies, the films that make you peer at shadows more suspiciously and wonder what that noise is in the middle of the night.

Filmmaker Hank Braxtan recommends the “Friday the 13th” movies, but I’ve selected a few of my favorites that you may want to add to your list of horror movies to watch:

■ “Poltergeist” — This is the first real horror movie my parents let me and my siblings watch. I’m sure they regretted it, because from then on every time the TV would blip out and someone needed to shut it off, none of us would go near that static, for fear of being kidnapped by demons.

If this show doesn’t make you wonder if your home is built on an old graveyard, I don’t know what would. This is the film that also made me wary of closets and short-people mediums. “They’re heeeeere!” (shudder)

■ “Nosferatu” — Although this movie is silent (and old, from 1922), it is probably the creepiest vampire movie of all time. And it is on Netflix Instant Play!

Anyway, this German movie depicting Count Orlok as Dracula has an interesting history and is incredibly terrifying. Something about the graininess of the film and the way the director filmed the vampire skulking makes my hair stand on end.

This guy is way more entertaining than those pubescent, glittery “Twilight” wusses.

■ “Alien” — This is a nontraditional kind of horror film. It is not conventionally Halloween-ish, but I still think it warrants a mention.

The scenes with Sigourney Weaver wandering around that cavernous ship, protecting the orphan girl and waiting for aliens to attack around every tangle of wires and pipes is suspenseful.

Plus, there’s the “chest-burster” scene, begging to be re-enacted at every dinner table.

■ “Sleepy Hollow” (The Tim Burton adaptation) — Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman are the first horror characters I can remember ever watching. Yes, it was Disney’s 1949 animated version called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but it still counts.

Johnny Depp’s Ichabod Crane is believable, but I have to say Christopher Walken’s portrayal of the horseman is what makes this movie worth watching. He’s simply the creepiest.

■ “The Shining” — There is absolutely nothing scarier than “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” and Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows. Seriously.

Half of what makes this flick so terrifying is the soundtrack. Plus, you’ve got to love that the story was inspired by a stay in a Colorado hotel: The Stanley in Estes Park.

I’ve heard Stephen King wasn’t happy about this movie version of his book, but I still love it, except for that one really scary part in Room 237. I still shut my eyes!

■ “The Ring” (and “The Grudge”) — I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about hair sticking to everything in these movies that enacts my gag reflex. And just like “Poltergeist,” it made me freak out about static on televisions.

The way the director filmed the ghoulish Samara’s jerky, slow actions with her limbs at weird angles also is incredibly disturbing.

■ “Army of Darkness” — I love this movie. There’s a reason Bruce Campbell is a cult movie icon. Any movie with a possessed book of the dead, a heroic big-box retail worker using a chain saw as an arm and time travel back to the Renaissance must to be good, right?

Its prequel, “Evil Dead,” is entertaining in a campy kind of way, but you don’t have to watch it to get the gist of “Army of Darkness,” which is much funnier in an almost indescribably sick-humor-mixed-with-slapstick-gore manner. Watch the movie, you’ll get it.

■ “Rosemary’s Baby” — This flick is more along the lines of scary in a psychological, watch-out-for-the-Satanic-cult kind of way. It is an oldie but a goodie, and you’ll definitely wonder about your neighbors more after watching it.

■ “The Exorcist” — No list of scary films would be complete without this one. Who can forget Linda Blair’s projectile vomit and that possessed demon voice?

Not to mention, there were lots of weird things that happened on set during the filming of the movie. It is definitely a must-watch.


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