Updated: Nov 3, 2020
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL WRITERJUMP BLOG! I can't believe I get to kick this adventure off with a post about my hands-down favourite time of year.
So here's the deal: I love Halloween. I'm not talking about some flippantly attributed, casually-thrown-around kinda love, as in I love those heels! or I love a good brewskie at the end of a busy day! I'm talking about that deeply romantic, borderline-erotic, "you get me" kind of love usually reserved for lovers and soul mates.
That's partly about my lifelong affinity for autumn. The changing colours of the trees. Those nostalgic notes of cinnamon and allspice wafting from neighbours' homes into the newly cool evening breeze. Pulling those comfy sweaters out of storage and feeling like you're getting a new wardrobe. The knowledge that winter celebrations aren't far behind.
But mostly, it's about scary movies. Bring 'em on, the sooner the better. For some of us here in Canada, Halloween season begins the day after our Thanksgiving (approximately the second week of October). For me, it starts somewhere around August. My first guest: Sir John Carpenter (the knighthood is mine) and his 1978 titular holiday classic.
"Top" lists are dubious from the get go, I understand this. After all, who decides what qualifies as the "best" in any particular area or category? Critics? Fans? Some online "expert"? So let's just cut through all the smack and red tape and settle on the answer that ultimately matters most: me. That's right. I decide what's best. For me, that is. Because when it comes to making a choice and pressing play, I am the audience that matters most to me, just as you are the audience that matters most to you. Forensic, academic deep dives into objective sets of criteria to establish cinematic excellence have their place. But what some expert or instructor or even best friend thinks makes a "great" film will, in the end, always take second place to your own personal preference when choosing how best to spend the next two completely irretrievable hours of your life.
So my Halloween faves don't come from some official list I'm supposed to love, even if, coincidentally, some of them do happen to be considered classics. These are the movies that interest me, thrill me, disturb me, and in several cases, tickle me. I prefer slow creeps to jump scares, mind games to blood and guts. I want to be romanced with fear, filled with growing dread, brought to genuine tears or cathartic laughs. They're the ones that feel like home, even if it's a little weird to have ghosts, serial killers, zombies, and heads that sprout legs as guests.
The Exorcist (1972)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Shining (1980)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Thing (1982)
Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Trick R Treat (2007)
What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
Very honourable mentions: The Orphanage (2007), Midsommar (2019), REC (2007), Prince of Darkness (1987), The Witch (2015), The Ring (2002), The Descent (2005), Sinister (2012), Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982), Poltergeist (1982), Hereditary (2018), Paranormal Activity (2007), Blair Witch (2016), Evil Dead (both the 1981 and 2013 versions), Carrie (1976), Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019), Event Horizon (1997).
What are yours!
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