For over a decade, my wife and I have had a tradition where I draft up a selection of horror films for Halloween viewing, and she picks one from each group: contemporary, classic, and cult, and I thought I’d share my suggestions this year.
Due to timing and circumstances, I provided our contemporary first yesterday, and now it’s time for classic and cult. This is classic! I’m also including some personal notes to provide context.
“A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.”
One of the most popular non-Hitchcock Daphne du Maurier film adaptations, and also one of the greatest portraits of Venice. Certain facets of it haven’t aged well, but it’s still very thrilling.
FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)
“A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.”
There was a recent remake of FRIGHT NIGHT, oddly starring David Tennent and penned by Marti Noxon (BUFFY, UnREAL, DIETLAND). While it’s surprisingly good for a remake, the original is more fun.
“The Staten Island apartment of lovely model Danielle becomes the scene of a grisly murder that is witnessed by her neighbor, Grace, a reporter. But the police don’t believe her story, so it’s up to Grace to solve the murder mystery on her own.”
Brian De Palma’s breakthrough film. (We just saw the end of his OBSESSION.) It also features Margot Kidder, and has some very inventive visuals that — while cribbed from Hitchcock — manage to feel fresh.