A person into horror flicks tends to go a little nuts this time of the year. I get it. This is the main event. OUR Super Bowl. Part of the allure is that everyone who doesn’t normally love horror movies suddenly wants a piece of the action. It makes you feel like a seedy drug peddler who now has a slew of ravenous customers begging you for a taste. A horror movie feeding frenzy is practically inescapable.
If you just start perusing though your movie collection or favorite streaming option, you’re likely to get overwhelmed. What you need is a plan. No, you need a guide. Fuck yeah! What you need is “Wolfman Mike’s Halloween Horror Movie Guide”…patent pending. Some people turn to Google searches for “Best Horror Films” while others may ask for recommendations on social media. Let me be your personal Crypt Keeper-esque guide to horror. Hopefully, this will give you a good idea on how to attack the month. Feel free to tweak it as necessary, but by all means steal my ideas!
1. Watch Hammer Horror
I’m a lover of classic horror cinema and Hammer Films are one of my favorites in which to indulge. They provide me with all the Gothic horror that a grown man needs. Sometimes, I watch a favorite like Horror of Dracula. Other times, I explore and pop on a Hammer movie I’ve never watched. They have plenty of options ranging from classic movie monsters to their own take on Phantom of the Opera. They range in terms of quality, but it all feels totally appropriate to watch this month. Honestly, my Halloween Season just doesn’t feel right without taking a stop in London and getting re-acquainted with all my Hammer friends. Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Terrance Fisher, and more. These guys add the proper dosage of class and panache to my horror movie viewings. It’s October and that means it’s Hammer Time bitches.
2. Watch Universal Monster Movies
If I’m taking the time to view some Hammer Films then you better believe my Universal Monsters Movies will be stalking my nights in October! These films are TIMELESS. They have an alluring quality and if I’m being honest, the only way to describe them is “Horror Royalty”. Whether I’m watching scientific madness with Dr. Frankenstein, running through the foggy forest with the Wolf Man, or listening to Claude Raines’ remarkable voice as the Invisible Man, it all brings me back to my monster obsessed childhood. It’s not all a nostalgia kick, though. Many of these films hold up with the tragic story lines, haunted locales, and almost otherworldly atmosphere. If for some reason you’ve never seen ANY of these films, I’d start with the following three: The Mummy, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and Frankenstein.
3. Watch An Entire Franchise
I think it’s a fun challenge to watch an entire film franchise amid your Halloween horror binging. Try to pick something with three films or more so that you can spread them out during the entire season. This year I’m getting re-acquainted with my everyone’s favorite Good Guy, Chucky. The fact that a new Child’s Play movie came out this year was the deciding factor. In previous years I’ve watched all of the Nightmare On Elm Street Films, Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc… Hell, you could even try running through one director’s horror oeuvre if you wanted. Do you want to watch every Dario Argento film you can get your hands on this October? Go for it! It’s a great way to go back and re-watch favorites and possibly uncover some new ones!
4. Watch a Werewolf Movie
Look, you shouldn’t be at all surprised! You’re visiting a site called the Wolfman’s Lounge. Clearly, we like these hairy bastards of horror. For me personally, the werewolf happens to be my all time favorite monster. So when October rolls around I try to watch, at the absolute minimum, a single werewolf flick. It usually ends up being quite a few more than that. I always try to watch one I haven’t seen before, and then I revisit a handful of favorites. Maybe werewolves aren’t your thing. That’s OK. Maybe you love vampires, or zombies, or mummies. Whatever it is that is make’s your horror heart skip a beat…indulge yourself!
5. Learn About Something New to You
This isn’t a cop out! I don’t just mean randomly find some shit and watch it. No, I’m suggesting that you purposely formulate a plan and further your horror knowledge each October. Find some niche or something in particular that you’d like to learn about in the horror genre. Maybe you’ve never dabbled in Italian horror films before. Well, prior to October, have your lazy ass do some research on the subject. That way, once the Halloween Season gets here you have a solid jumping off point. Maybe you end up watching a couple of films you end up hating and that’s alright. It’s fine! Learning what you don’t like is also as important as finding out what thinks trigger your Pavlovian doggy saliva reaction.
And…yeah, there you have it. That’s essentially how I plan out my Halloween viewing season. It’s a mixture of new and familiar as well as modern and classic. I think it’s important to not deprive yourself of the films that nourish your horror obsessed soul, but it’s also imperative to strike out and forge new ground. You don’t wanna be the guy who only watches home invasion films. The neighbors will certainly talk. Yeah, they’ll start spreading creepy lies about you in hushed tones. You don’t want that. Nobody wants that. Instead, watch something totally bonkers like Pieces. Then follow that up with something goofy and dumb like Leprachaun in Space. Finish it off with something that will turn you pale as a ghost like The Changeling. It’s all up to you and there is no right or wrong answers.
Come back tomorrow where I reveal the films that are an absolute MUST WATCH each and every Halloween season. These are the flicks that are based on the Holiday itself and really help me get in the mood to carve pumpkins, hand out candy, and scare the shit out of my neighbors (hey they’re spreading vicious lies about you…what do you care if I terrorize them?). See you tomorrow! Keep howling and keep spreading the Word of the Wolf!