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While undoubtedly seen as a western, especially American, tradition, Halloween’s unique rituals and striking imagery are recognized by people the world over.
The exact history of Halloween, which is annually observed on Oct. 31, may be vague to most people, but most know the associations with jack-o’-lanterns, costumes and trick-or-treating.
A more recent development is the release of Halloween-related films with supernatural and horror themes, like Frankenweenie and Paranormal Activity 4, which are set to come out in the next few weeks.
To help get into the mood for the scary day, here is a list of popular flicks that have become staple Halloween season viewing. (png)
Shamley ProductionsPsycho (1960)
What Halloween movie experience would be complete without watching history’s most famous horror film from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock? Apart from the notorious shower scene, its eerie atmosphere and unsettling tension have made it the American Film Institute’s top pick for its 100 Years…100 Thrills.
Any list of famous cinematic lines is bound to include this movie’s infamous “They’re heeeere!” Its creepy delivery is followed by one bizarre event after another, with trees becoming violent and objects spontaneously moving on their own. Despite its ghostly subject matter, its lack of gore and presence of black humor have made it a Halloween family favorite.
Universal PicturesShaun of the Dead (2004)
With their portrayals of terrified individuals struggling tooth-and-nail to survive an onslaught of reanimated corpses hungry for living human flesh, zombie movies are not exactly meant to be funny. However, this comedy surprisingly manages to be just that. Featuring hilarious dialogue, Shaun of the Dead is perfect viewing for those who love seeing zombies but prefer to have the experience accompanied by laughter instead of dread.
Falcon International ProductionsHalloween (1978)
This thriller was responsible for laying the groundwork for future slasher genre franchises like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. All the basic elements of these later movies can be traced back to the story of Michael Myers and his remorseless appetite for violence. Mass body counts? Doomed teenagers? Gruesome deaths? Halloween was the first to do all of this in one package.
20th Century FoxEdward Scissorhands (1990)
Of all the roles Johnny Depp has done in collaboration with Tim Burton, few are as iconic as his performance as the title character. Who could forget the unkempt hair, the body-hugging latex outfit, the perpetual frown, and those hands made of scissors?
These novel visuals, in addition to the movie’s heartwarming story, have made Edward Scissorhands a Halloween classic.