Halloween is that special time of the year where we as a society gorge on sweets, dress in costumes and indulge in scary stories. While most people know Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, there are other monsters that stalk the night. Let’s take a look at some more lesser known horror movies and specials.
1) “Horror of Dracula”
Dracula can be considered one of the most well known characters in fiction, but I’m talking about the 1958 version starring Christopher Lee. This film is overshadowed by the Bela Lugosi version from 1931 and more modern films, which is a shame. While the plot of “Horror of Dracula” has a very different plot than the book, it’s the closest to the tone of the book. Dracula is a nigh unstoppable force hunting in the night. Filled with styled blood and gothic imagery, this is a must watch for any vampire fan.
2) “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”
The “Halloween” film franchise was supposed to be an anthology with only the first two featuring Michael Myers, with the rest being different Halloween themed stories. But when the third was released and fans flipped out at the lack of Michael Myers, every film in the Halloween franchise has had Michael Myers since. They were all awful. “Season of the Witch” however is a very interesting horror film. It’s a supernatural thriller as opposed to a violent slasher of the other film. The film centers around the popularity of the Silver Shamrock Halloween masks and how the company is more sinister than they appear.
3) “Over the Garden Wall”
This 10-part mini-series that aired on Cartoon Network follows two brothers who are lost in a mysterious wood called “The Unknown.” In order to get home, the two most face ghosts, pumpkin people and a beast who devour children’s souls. The series is a love letter to old animation from the 40s with a lot of winks and nods from cartoons from that era. “Over the Garden Wall” also breathes fall. From the weather, the colors and the whole environment of the unknown, I’ve never seen a show that embodies fall like this show does and brilliantly balances scares and laughs.
4) “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
Speaking of 40s animation, there’s the Disney classic, “Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It’s packaged with an adaption of “The Wind and The Willows.” The two films are collectively titled “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” but let’s focus on “Sleepy Hollow.” A loyal adaptation of the short story by Washington Irving and narrated by Bing Crosby, this short is oozing in creepy atmosphere. Especially the final chase between the headless horseman and Ichabod Crane. It has been overlooked in recent years in favor of more modern films which is a shame. It’s perfect spooky fun.
5) “Trick ‘r Treat”
This is the holy grail of Halloween movies. Following a Halloween night in a small town with several interlocking stories, this film has everything you associate with Halloween: ghosts, pranks, vampires, werewolves, urban legends, slashers and trick-or-treating. This was meant to be theatrically released but Warner Brothers only released it to DVD and Blu-Ray which is a shame. “Trick ‘r Treat” is one giant love letter to Halloween and Horror. Director Michael Dougherty also directed last year’s Christmas horror comedy “Krampus” which had similar sensibility.