There’s nothing quite like watching a horror movie right as fall approaches. Leaves begin to change color, the sun goes down earlier and “directed by John Carpenter” becomes the most beautiful phrase in the English language. Here are some of MOVE’s horror recommendations to watch this Halloween.
“Phantom of The Paradise” (1974)
This musical/satire/loving homage to horror history is my favorite movie of all time. The plot takes elements from “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “Phantom of The Opera” and the legend of Faust and throws them into a blender, while the soundtrack from Paul Williams (who later was nominated for an Oscar for writing “Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie”) is infectious. The movie is beautifully designed and filled with delightful sight gags and satire, and any fan of the similar “Rocky Horror Picture Show” would be remiss to skip it.
“Phantom of The Paradise” is available to stream on Shudder and for rental on Amazon.
“The Fog” (1980)
Save for the obvious “Halloween,” horror master John Carpenter doesn’t have a more autumnal film than “The Fog.” The plot is a bit silly on a surface level — the ghosts of leperous pirates seek vengeance on the residents of a town whose founders sunk their ship 100 years before — but the film’s atmosphere is undeniable. Taking place almost entirely at night and with Carpenter’s sleepy electronic score and soundtrack of jazz classics, watching “The Fog” feels like being told a ghost story by a campfire.
“The Fog” is available to rent on iTunes and YouTube.
This underseen ‘90s horror flick is ahead of its time. Following a sociologist who explores an urban legend and accidentally ends up becoming a part of it, the film tackles socioeconomic issues like gentrification and racism in an incisive way that feels influential on modern filmmakers like Jordan Peele. Phillip Glass’s beautifully chilling score adds even more to the film’s eerie, unsettling atmosphere, making it a perfect fit for a cold October night.
“Candyman” is available to stream on Netflix.
“Jennifer’s Body” (2009)
Misunderstood by critics upon its release in 2009, “Jennifer’s Body” now has been reclaimed as a feminist horror classic for the pop-punk era. The film has all of the best high-school and horror movie tropes, while also featuring a possessed Megan Fox devouring emo boys. Writer Diablo Cody’s dialogue is snappy and hilarious, while the film’s ensemble cast of Amanda Seyfried, Amy Sedaris, J.K. Simmons, Adam Brody and more is a delight.
“Jennifer’s Body” is available to rent on iTunes and YouTube.
A dance party on a cold winter night goes horribly, horribly wrong in the recent arthouse horror film “Climax,” which is not for the faint of heart. The film doesn’t have much in the way of plot, instead mostly serving as a showcase for extremely impressive choreography and cinematography. The constant pulsing dance music and bright neon lights throughout make the film feel akin to an actual nightmare, albeit one that makes you want to dance.
“Climax” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org