Halloween-inspired tales have shaped much of the American film noir and horror landscape of today. From Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, the human imagination continues boundlessly to explore the savage depths of human nature—while considering the shrouded influences of specters and devilish forces all around us. To celebrate this unhallowed of seasons, the Keys Weekly team recommends three time-honored films that are sure to make you leave a light on at bedtime.
- “The Exorcist” (1973): This is the horror flick that most everyone lists among their top three most horrifying movies. And it’s also the film that you can likely recall exactly where — and when — you first experienced the realistic realm of demonic possession. Like many horror classics, “The Exorcist” was a book adaptation, but it changed the horror genre as we know it today.
- “Halloween” (1978) : No Halloween season is complete without a terrorizing trip to the small town of Haddonfield. This is the crown jewel of director John Carpenter’s lineage of spooky classics and it introduced the world to horror icon Michael Myers. The film also catapulted the career of a young Jamie Lee Curtis and has been retold numerous times throughout the years. But it’s the original version that remains a timeless “must watch” during the Halloween season.
- “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974): “Disturbing.” How else can one describe a family of cannibals led by the infamous Leatherface? “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” proved that horror hits could be produced on low-budget sets, while challenging the R-rating parameters of extreme violence and graphic content (it was immediately banned in several countries upon its release). Since 1973, the film has been crafted into a movie franchise, but the grainy effects of ’70s culture and low-budget cinematography offer an unsettling experience every time.
Honorable Mentions : “IT” (2017), “Carrie” (1976), “The Shining” (1980), “Psycho” (1960), “Saw” (2004), “The Ring” (2002) and “The Blair Witch Project” (1999).