Halloween Movie Mix

October 31st, 2012By Category: Arts & Entertainment

It’s that time of the year again, and streets all over the world will be filled with parades of people wearing costumes this Halloween. In fact, in Japan, as early as last week, Halloween decorations have been spotted on some of the areas in the city and ads for costume parties have popped up here and there.

Sure, Halloween is a time for costumes, parades and parties, but there are so many things to do and try. For some, going out to attend a costume party or watch the parade could be exhausting especially if they’ve been doing the same thing and donning the same costume for years. Personally, (and also because I like watching movies) I’d go for a scary movie marathon with my buds. Halloween is also the perfect time to watch the most terrifying movies ever made with your friends.

Japanese horror films are great, in fact, some of them have left me paranoid over ordinary stuff at home like the TV, my locker and even my mobile phone. But why not try mixing things for your movie marathon weekend this time? Besides, Halloween is supposed to be a fun day. Since there are already a lot of Halloween movie lists out there with the scariest lineup, why not play it a little different and add a little bit of each: laughter, terror, cheesy moments and good music.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“A different set of jaws.”

I know, I know. Almost all of the lists online have this one on their lineup. This movie remains a fan favorite at special midnight showings in theaters all over the world. Some people get it, some people don’t. But for some, the “ridiculousness” is part of what makes it fun. But you have to admit that Tim Curry in drag outfit is funny and scary at the same time.


“Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous.”

This hit from the 80s has lost none of its ability to scare and entertain. Gremlins is more than a monster flick. The characters itself possess a sick sense of humor, establishing a twisted comic tone. Though Gizmo the Mogwai (mog-why) looks like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise, the movie attempts to send subtle and not so subtle greater life lessons and messages.

twisted/sick yet fun moment (s) : “Have a Safe and Happy Holiday” sign shown while a science teacher is rather indelicately butchered and Spike, the malicious Gremlin leader, hops into the school swimming pool and multiplies exponentially.

The Frighteners

“No Rest for the Wicked.”

Before The Lord of the Rings hit the theaters, and carved a permanent record in Hollywood, director Peter Jackson has ventured into one of the fun genres in the industry. The Frighteners is a 1996 comedy horror film starring Michael J. Fox. It tells the story of Frank Bannister, an architect who develops psychic abilities after an accident and his wife’s murder allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts. He initially uses his new abilities to work with various spirits to cheat money out of customers for his “ghosthunting” business. However, the spirit of a mass murderer comes back from Hell, able to attack the living and the dead, as the ghost of the Grim Reaper, forcing Frank to investigate the supernatural presence. Buried secrets, old houses and hospitals gave additional scare factors in the film.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

“How do you kill what’s already dead?”

memorable quote: “I know that there are some things worse than death. And one of them is sitting here waiting to die.”

There are worse things in the fantasy world than evil twins or fanged neighbors: zombies that sprint after you. Old school zombies (if such term exists) are supposed to stumble and groan and moan and eat your brains and move on, but this remake of the George Romero 1978 movie made me hold on to my seat literally when I first saw it. It’s a mix of suspense, action, guts and horror, that makes you want to join Doomsday Preppers at one point, so that if a zombie apocalypse hits town, you’ll be underground enjoying stock food.

memorable scenes: All the flesh eating scenes. You either might get fed up or throw up if you’re that squeamish.


“Time to nut up or shut up”

The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Together they take a road trip across Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a zombie-free place…and a Twinkie. The story has mixed action, romance and comedy perfectly. It is great fun from start to finish, packed full of humorous scenes and witty dialogues but not in a forced way. Very funny, often thrilling and full of neat little touches that should make it entirely rewatchable. Let’s not forget the rollicking soundtrack that goes with it. Metallica, Van Halen and The Black Keys made several scenes unforgettable. (Click here for track list)

Shaun of the Dead

“A romantic comedy. With zombies.”

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British zombie comedy film. It tells the story of a young man named Shaun, who is attempting to straighten out his life by winning back his girlfriend, dealing with his parents and coping with a zombie apocalypse. If you’re looking for a laugh out loud zombie film other than Zombieland, this is the perfect one for you. There’s a lot of zombie singing, and dance-kill scenes.

It’s Mr. Bean meets The Walking Dead.

Ju-On: The Grudge (Japan)

The Grudge. Hollywood messed their version up. The film sets a creepy atmosphere, and the setting takes you back to old haunted house stories, buried secrets and revenge. For those who haven’t seen the film would be in for a treat (if “treat” means scaring the hell out of you)

After watching the film: 1) whatever you do, don’t be in a place that is frequented by someone who died with a deep, burning hatred for something or someone. 2) a kid with a bluish white skin and pops out of nowhere isn’t human. 3) creaking sounds aren’t always old floorboards or rusting door hinges.

Shutter (Thailand)

This is considered by many to be the greatest horror film from Thailand. It tells the story of a photographer and his girlfriend who are haunted by a vengeful spirit, which, as the story progresses, relates to a particular time in one of the characters’ life.

Thai version was creepy. The remake was crappy.


“The Dolphin Hotel invites you to stay in any of its stunning rooms. Except one.”

This is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King short story of the same name. It tells the story of famous horror writer who ironically, believes on things that he can see with his eyes and touch with his hands. His curiosity led him to investigate the infamous room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City and as bizarre experiences in the room start to occur, he starts to wonder whether or not where he’s in is true or just his imagination.

Stephen King has a way of letting his fantasy seep into your brain and stay there as long as it can. With a creepy old hotel setting and a couple of underrated actors, it’s one of those films that would haunt you and leave you wide awake at night, asking “what if…?” questions.

Trick ‘r Treat

“If you don’t follow the rules tonight, you won’t live to see tomorrow.”

There are a lot of films about Halloween but this one is said to be one of the most underrated scary movies out there. Sure, we’ve all enjoyed Tales from the Creep and other anthology films, but this one could just surprise you.

The film is an anthology of four Halloween-related scary stories. One common element that ties all the stories is the presence of Sam, a mysterious little trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head. He makes an appearance in all the stories as a ‘friendly-reminder’ to those who break Halloween traditions. Obviously, the consequence of not following the “rules” are deadly.

There is a long list out there of horror/suspense films that you can check out. Halloween is a fun day and a scary movie marathon is one of the many activities you can do with your friends. Besides, if you’re looking for something less expensive but fun, this could be just the perfect treat. Laugh, sing, scare each other and have fun…gorge yourself to some drinks and be sure to pass the popcorn to your friends…but be sure that’s really your friend beside you. [insert evil laugh]

So…what’s your favorite scary movie?

Photos by: base10peirzDaleC/@flickrfumeswvstangi_bertinViktor Hertz and charamelody via Flickr Creative Commons

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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