Pollyanna’s Halloween Movie Picks

Lyda here.

In my “Weirdness of Halloween 2008″ post, I said a good way to spend Halloween is to rent some horror movies.

Suggestions? Thought you’d never ask.

First: If you have kids, be sure to pre-screen any of these before you let them watch. Even some Disney movies have scenes that might be too scary for them. If you have small children, you might want to stick with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown“. No point in terrifying the little ones. They’ll be plenty of chances when they’re older. Bwahahahaha!

1.) Gory and scary?

 “I am Legend” (2007) – very scary, very exciting, very thought-provoking. And with the DVD you get the alternate ending, and the discussion of which one is better.  Pollyanna review here. Brains rating: 2 out of 5 brains for gore and scares.

For good zombie-killing fun: “Resident Evil” one, two and three (ya’ll know the third’s my favorite). Movies two and three have Oded Fehr. Just look at him. Drool.  Movie reviews here. 3 out of 5 brains for gore.

I also recommend “The Mummy” (1999) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001). The third movie may still be in theaters in your area; the Resident Sith Master and I loved it.  2 out of 5 brains for a couple of gross moments.

Mmmm, Brendan FraserOded Fehr, yummy (he’s in the first two movies). And some actress or another makin’ eyes at my men. (Rachel Weisz in the first two movies; Maria Bello in #3.) 

Yeah, I’m just peeved ’cause they got to kiss Brendan, and I haven’t.


And he thought the mummies were scary…

2.) Gory and funny and weird? “Shaun of the Dead” of course, “Black Sheep“, and “Fido“.

3.) Scary but not gory? Any Hitchcock movie. “The Birds” (1963) terrified me as a child, and still does today. And of course “Psycho” (1960).

4.) Classic scares? Start with the classic “The Wolf Man” (1941). My own personal first horror movie –  Lon Chaney Jr. has a lot to answer for! – and still one of the best. No gore, but still scary.

Night of the Living Dead” (1968) – a zombie and horror classic – for good reason. 3 out of 5 gory brains.

The first “Alien” movie (1979) – still scary (and gory).

Jaws” (1975) – yes, it still holds up. “Show me the way to go home…”

5.) For kids and adults alike: Classic funny with a few pretty safe scares?

The “Abbott and Costello Meet…” series of horror movies – my favorite is the first, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948),  which has Lon Chaney Jr as the Wolf Man, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, and Glen Strange as the Frankenstein Monster. 

Disney’s original “That Darn Cat” (1965) is still good – more of a mystery than a classic Halloween movie – a few safe scares but mostly played for laughs. And starring Haley Mills – definitely one of the Pollyannas favorite actors.

6.) Funny and gore-free?  “Young Frankenstein” is awesome for Halloween (and safe for the kids too). Pair it with Mel Brooks’ tribute to Hitchcock, “High Anxiety“, for a great double feature.

Ghostbusters” – which may be too scary for small children (that librarian ghost freaked out my nephews when they were little).

 “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” – ya’ll just have to see it to believe it. Crazy funny.

7.) Truly weird and funny-bad?

Start with “Plan 9 from Outer Space” – widely voted the Worst Movie Ever Made. Add anything else from this list or this list – or anything else made by Ed Wood – that strikes your fancy.

8.) Halloween TV?

Any of “The Simpsons” Treehouse of Horror  episodes (really funny, too scary for small kids, sometimes gross/gory).  “Dead Like Me” (weird, funny, no gore).  “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (weird, scary, violent, sometimes gory, funny) and “Angel” (ditto) of course.

9.) More from Pollyanna? Check this post. See this post for lists of scary movies. Or scroll down our blog and select “Category: Movies”.

10.) Check Rotten Tomatoes and especially They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara!  for reviews and ratings.


2 thoughts on “Pollyanna’s Halloween Movie Picks

  1. hand eye crafts

    When I was a child, the ability to sit through the entirety of “The Birds” was a big badge of honor.

  2. lyda Post author

    Yes, it was! I’m amazed that I made it through the whole thing. Saw it at the drive-in too. Sitting in the back of the pickup. Totally unprotected from aerial attacks.

    I watched the skies for weeks.


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