31 Lists of Horror: The Halloween 24-Hour Movie Marathon (Part One)

Howev­er you want to say and/or spell it—Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hal­lows Eve, All Hal­low Even, The month of BOO!—Octo­ber 31 is indis­putably the cor­po­rate-man­dat­ed spook­i­est time of year. With that in mind, I present 31 lists of Hal­lowee­nie stuff, of my own and of my lit­er­ary brethren both near and far.

These are per­son­al, high­ly sug­ges­tive lists of rec­om­men­da­tions, avoid­ances, and/or rem­i­nis­cences. I make no guar­an­tees, save one: if you don’t read the whole of each list, locusts all devour your crop. I don’t make the rules.

October 6, 2017

24-Hour Horror Movie Marathon (Part One)

Look, there’s absolute­ly no pos­si­ble way I can sit through 24 sol­id hours of any­thing. I’m too old, too tired, too you name it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t plan a spec­tac­u­lar full day of Hal­loween hor­ror movies just for you! So order up some piz­zas, crack some brews, and enjoy! I’ll pop in from now and then, just to keep and eye on you.

9am-3pm, October 31 — Classics

We want to start strong with some absolute mas­ter­pieces of the genre. Stuff that tran­scends space and time to live on long after the last reel has played. Stuff that also gets more intense as we go, so that we’re primed and ready for when the gory stuff begins.

With that in mind, let’s start with:

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir. James Whale — 75 min.)

We’re start­ing old, old school with a mon­ster movie that didn’t invent the genre so much as reveal what the genre could be. After tak­ing huge lib­er­ties with Mary Shelley’s source nov­el in the orig­i­nal 1931 Franken­stein, James Whale pushed the con­cept to absurd new heights, bring­ing in a lev­el of camp that infused Karloff’s take on the mon­ster with true pathos. For one of the first times in cin­e­mat­ic his­to­ry, audi­ences were asked to real­ly con­nect with a monster’s point of view (clear­ly where Whale’s sym­pa­thies lay).

The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise — 112 min.)

Stay­ing in moody B&W, we move for­ward almost three decades to Robert Wise’s remark­ably faith­ful adap­ta­tion of Shirley Jackson’s beloved bone-chiller. This pin­na­cle of the Haunt­ed House genre finds a sci­en­tist and a few sub­jects attempt­ing to dis­cov­er the hid­den mys­ter­ies of Hill House, the moth­er of all mod­ern haunt­ed man­sions. If you can’t find a copy, or pre­fer colour, try 1973’s The Leg­end of Hell House as an alter­na­tive. Do not try the 1999 Haunt­ing remake, which replaces spooky silence and intense sound design with bom­bas­tic CGI and Owen Wil­son.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, dir. Philip Kaufman — 115 min.)

All the iter­a­tions of Jack Finney’s orig­i­nal nov­el have their fans (well, maybe not The Inva­sion), but for my mon­ey, Philip Kaufman’s adap­ta­tion takes the gold. You’ve got Don­ald Suther­land at his most flus­tered, Leonard Nimoy play­ing off his Spock per­sona, and Jeff Gold­blum at his skin­ni­est. You’ve also got an immense feel­ing of dread and para­noia, freaky flower-pods, a hobo-box­er hybrid that ter­ror­ized me as a child, and one of the most down­beat, ter­ri­fy­ing end­ings this side of The Mist.

And that’s it for the first six hours. Now, take a quick break, go to the restroom, stretch, and run right back to your seat on the com­fy couch for the next six hours (which I’ll out­line in an upcom­ing blog­post).

To whet your appetite, I’ll tell you that hours 3–9pm will be made up of a selec­tion of movies from one of my favourite sub­gen­res; that of Slimy Beasts.

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