Each year, by the time October 31 rolls around, much of the horror film blogging and listing has been going on for a full month, building up little digital libraries of insight into what makes scary movies scary. Today's the day to not only revisit some of the horrorthons I mentioned on October 1, such as Not Coming to a Theater Near You's "31 Days of Horror," Arbogast's "31 Screams" and the "Top 100 Horror Movies of All-Time" countdown at Wonders in the Dark, but also to sample several more choice Halloween roundups.
Let's start with lists. The Daily Beast has revived Martin Scorsese's from last year, "11 Scariest Movies of All Time," and why not. It's a great list, laced with clips and, after all, it's Martin Scorsese's. In the #1 spot is the "absolutely terrifying 1963 Robert Wise picture about the investigation of a house plagued by violently assaultive spirits," The Haunting (image above).
Novelist Dennis Cooper has handed the "Halloween slot" at his blog, DC's, over to Steven T Hanley, who's gathered the best clips, trailers, pix and more from all he's been posting all month long, including two terrific collections of lists, "Horror Icons' Top 10 Horror Films." Part 1 comes from the "Old School": George Romero, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Joe Dante and Sean S Cunningham; Part 2, of course, is the "New School": Eli Roth, Ti West, Lux (Hanley himself), Rob Zombie, Pascal Laugier, Alexandre Aja, Edgar Wright, Greg McLean, James Wan and Guillermo del Toro, who, for my candied corn, writes the most beautiful annotations to his list of the whole crew. He's listed ten pairings, so, for example, of his #1 choice, Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), he writes: "Two of the most brilliant films ever made. Paradise lost — never regained. Karloff embodies the plea of Man in a way few have ever done. Whale is in a state of grace as a filmmaker."
Another fun batch: Vice has "asked a lot of spooky people we're into to tell us about their favorite horror movie/movie moment. People like Elvira, Richard Lewis, Steve Little, Kane Hodder, Ti West, Christy Karacas, Paul Scheer, etc." The Alternative Chronicle posts its top tens. You might also want to revisit the Guardian's top 25 (#1: Hitchcock's Psycho). From the Playlist: "10 Haunted House Films Worth Discussing." The Boston Globe's got its top "50 scariest movies of all time" in order, plus the top "25 zombie movies of all time," while Ty Burr revisits those movie moments that still make us squirm.
"There really is no excuse for horror fans looking for new cinematic experiences to go wanting when they have Rupert Pupkin to turn to," writes Dennis Cozzalio. "Rupert (or at least an incarnation of him who is much more gregarious and pleasant than the one seen in Scorsese's The King of Comedy) has rounded up an epic cast and asked them to contribute a list of their most underrated horror films," and his list of links to all the contributors — and there are many — is followed by his own picks, all of them succinctly and entertainingly annotated.
TCM's Movie Morlocks have been at it for weeks now, too. You'll find Richard Harland Smith on a 1967 adaptation of a story by Nikolai Gogol ("Directed for Mosfilm by former production designer Georgi Kropachyov and actor-writer Konstantin Yershov, Viy bears the unmistakable stamp of the Soviet Union’s premiere fantasist, Aleksandr Ptushko, who served (at least officially) as this film’s production designer and shares the writing credit as well") and mummy movies, Kimberly Lindbergs on Eye of the Devil (1966) with Deborah Kerr and David Niven ("The movie went through various writers and directors before filmmaker J Lee Thompson was asked to complete the film with help from writer Dennis Murphy") and Ted Hooker's Crucible of Terror (1971), R Emmet Sweeney on Jacques Tourneur's Night of the Demon (1957), suzidoll on Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (1962), keelsetter on Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) and, of course, more.
David Cairns's "Halloween Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz" tops off his Edgar Allan Poe Week. A roundup from Phil Nugent: "Turner Classic Halloween." J Hurtado at Twitch: "For this, a very special Halloween edition of Video Home Invasion, we're going to take a look at Severin Films lovely collection of rare and unsettling cult horror films.:
You know who scares the Siren? "Joseph I Breen, dean of the Hays Office, enforcer of the Production Code, scourge of toilet-flushing, decolletage and the word 'lousy.'" Her explanation is peppered with notes from the censor himself and followed by links to yet more Halloween reading.
Listening. The AV Club's Noel Murray, Scott Tobias, and Keith Phipps discuss some of their horror movie recommendations.
Viewing. From Mike Everleth: "Watch the goriest, scariest and just plain frightening short films found online by truly talented filmmakers."
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