I’m sitting here with my pumpkin ale, watching Fright Night on VHS and waiting for trick-or-treaters. What’s it to you?
I’m not even sure if there’re any children in this neighborhood. It’s like something out of Nightmare on Elm Street, where all the kids have vanished, leaving the town in disarray. If anyone wants some candy, I have an entire bowl sitting here. I’d eat it all myself, but I have a dentist appointment next week and don’t want to face the wrath of their judgment.
I believe I got all the Halloween mileage I could get out of this much-anticipated month. I attended Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, celebrating their 30th year. I threw my first Halloween party in my first house. I decorated my new office, watched dozens of horror films, and battled a horde of bloodthirsty vampires.
If you most know, the vampires were a family that lived next door. I first noticed something odd when they never left the house during daylight. It was all evidence I needed to break inside and slay them with a stake through the heart as they slept in their coffins. Truth be told, they weren’t so much coffins as they were beds. But that was just another clever vampire trick to throw me off their scent.
With October coming to an end, we have boring ol’ November to slog through. I suppose the month is necessary to bridge Halloween and Christmas. We can’t just go dashing through the snow into the biggest holiday of the year, can we? I speak, of course, of Kwanzaa. And let’s not forget about Hanukkah either. Mazel tov.
I never did my extensive top ten horror retrospective. It remains yet another unfulfilled goal, like all those pottery seminars I had on my calendar. Alas, I present an abridged version of mandatory horror film classics:
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
- Halloween (1978)
- The Shining (1980)
- Psycho (1960)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Thing (1982)
- Alien (1979)
- The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Big surprise, I know. My apologies for Exorcist II: The Heretic not making the cut, nor any of the Universal monster movies. Those listed are simply my favorite Halloween-viewing horror pleasures each year. I would need to make a top 100 to really cover the bases.
There comes a time, however, when one should venture outside the familiar movies of yesteryear and watch something new, bold, and original, like Halloween Kills. Not in this lifetime. What could be scarier than watching Al Gore’s Oscar-winning propaganda film An Inconvenient Truth? How about Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake? Twenty years later, I’m still trying to figure that one out.
As the evening comes to an end, I’ve given up on trick-or-treaters and resumed my voyeurism of the seedy neighborhood à la Rear Window. I do love this month, and Halloween’s closure is always bittersweet. There’s a certain joy in decorating and getting into the spirit that hasn’t been lost on me since my first childhood trick-or-treat outing. Back then, we’d cover sprawling blocks with the singular goal of candy in mind. It was a lot of work, but free stuff has its requirements.
Best wishes for a Happy Halloween! And whatever you do, don’t look out your window. The masked menace waiting outside can sense your fear.