C’mon, summer; end, already! We’re jonesing for fall! And to sate that yearning, we turn to a few Halloween-themed features which remind us of that favorite time of year. Each one takes us to a time of cool crispness in the air and a little chill in our bones as we think of scary or seasonal fun stories. Check out the Top Five Movies For Pre-October Spirit below!
1. Friday the 13th I-7 (1980; 1981; 1982; 1984; 1985; 1986; 1988)
These are quintessentially summertime and Halloween season movies! You can watch them at either time of the year and it feels right. Follow the bloody exploits of Jason Voorhees — that fellow who brings intense definition to outdoor survival — as he stalks naughty summer camp counselors while packing a hockey mask and a machete… Or an axe… Perhaps a wrought-iron gate pole… Or maybe his bare hands… The point being that this seemingly immortal killer was the horrific stuff of campfire legend come to life; over and over again. He always delivered the suspense and campy humor (pun intended) with bad horror effects.
But to go really old-school, go back to the first Friday the 13th! See where the summertime slasher flicks began under the watch of another killer altogether… Someone we never expected until it was too late.
2. Evil Dead I & 2 (1981; 1987)
Again, a couple of scary movies which work in both the summer and the fall. Set in a small cabin deep within the wooded mountains, both movies show our groovy hero Ash (Bruce Campbell) surviving amidst evil undead spirits. Over the course of each movie he loses his friends, his girlfriend, and his hand to the dread force and relies on luck and his wits to make it out alive.
The Evil Dead is the true scary movie you’d watch to take your mind somewhere Halloween-ish. Evil Dead 2 does a fair job too, but it’s more a dark comedy than its predecessor; a pure horror flick. There’s blood, there are jump-scares, and it reminds you of any time you’ve roughed it in the cold open air while camping or shacking up in a cabin.
3. The Amityville Horror (1979)
This… movie… is… creepy! Its strength has always been in what we can’t see amidst the hauntings. The Amityville Horror, based on a much-debated “true story” of a haunted house, has the power to frighten with its subtle suspense and excellent sound in effects and score. It rarely relies on a revealed apparition to make a scary point pop out.
This story has a very fall season vibe to it; the blustery days and nights, George Lutz (James Brolin) constantly chopping and gathering wood for the fireplace… Watch it in the summertime and prepare to feel a bit of a chill.
4. Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1990)
Here the Halloween fare gets a bit more family-friendly; but nonetheless perfect for making us feel the call of October! This show is a bare half-hour’s worth of cute Halloween-themed fun in claymation! Join Wilshire Pig and his assistant Sheldon Snail as they search the castle of Victor Frankenswine during a Halloween Jamboree stocked with various monsters.
They just don’t make Halloween-themed specials like this anymore! It’s good fun for kids and the kid-at-heart who remembers this gem they probably watched in school.
5. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Halloween special to top them all! If this one doesn’t make you start jonesing for fall and Halloween time, nothing will. That beloved bunch of kids — the Peanuts gang — spend Halloween doing what kids do: trick-or-treating, attending Halloween parties, wearing costumes, and waiting for that Santa-like figure: The Great Pumpkin!
It’s silly, it’s funny, it reminds us of the imaginative possibilities we associated with each Halloween when we were kids.
There’s something about the scary, Halloween-themed movies which has a power to take us into that season of literal and figurative coolness. When you find yourself looking for ways to mentally skip ahead to that time, pop in one of these classic scary features and break out the pumpkin spiced-… Oh wait, none of that releases until fall!