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What Makes a Good Halloween Movie Marathon? [VIDEO]

For the last few weeks AMC has been filling time between The Walking Dead episodes with Friday the 13th and Halloween franchise movies.

I grew up loving The Friday movies.. I saw Friday Part 8 Jason Takes Manhattan the weekend it opened in a theater in Denver. It was the highlight of the year, even if the movie takes an hour to get to the Grande Maçã.

Watching the movies now I cannot see what was scary. The music alone telegraphs the scares way before they happen. Jason may be a cool bad-ass but he is really easy to get away from.

1. Stay away from Crystal Lake. Camping is just homeless practice. You have a van for a reason.

2. If you see Jason, walk away. Don’t “see what that sound was,” get out. Go home.

This got me thinking; what movies have I seen as an adult have been legitimately scary? What a great excuse for a list.

 1. 28 Days Later (2002)

The first one that comes to mind is 28 Days Later. This movie is about a world destroyed by an infection that turns people, not into zombies, but crazy infected creatures. They run and they want to destroy. The infection spreads when they get their fluids (blood, bite) on you. There are lots of good scares and surprises. The people in the film are great too, they didn’t cause the plague and aren’t trying to solve it. They just want to survive.

2. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

28 Weeks Later – I put the sequel to 28 Days on the list for the first about tenminutes of the move. The rest of it is good and the end has a nice twist. Bu the beginning freaked me out so much that I couldn’t finish the move for a year. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that I had kids by the time I saw this movie. The little boy and the Mother/Father Husband/ Wife dynamic in the movie hit home.

3. Cabin in the Woods (2011)

I can’t decide if this next movie was really freighting or just really, really cool. The Cabin in the Woods is possibly the perfect (zombieless) Halloween movie. It has a dash of the Scream Movies self-awareness and snark. There is an undertone of social commentary that is not shoved in your face. The people and their action make sense. There are so many great surprises and mystery that it is worth it to see it and not talk about it so that you can experience it with as little information as possible. Oh wait, there are zombies in it…oh I said too much.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A movie that still gets to me is Night of the Living Dead. Both the original and the 1990 remake are great. What makes this scary is that the Zombies just keep coming. There is no reasoning or bribing or freighting off the horde. They are coming and you don’t know why. All you can do is try to make it till morning.

5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

The 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead is really good. It is not so much scary as it is fun. And keeping with the modern trend in movies and TV, the story is based on plausibility, reality. And again the people are just trying to survive, not solve or save just survive.

6. The Road (2009)

The Road is not a traditional Halloween movie but if you want to inject you day with a healthy dose of dread then this is the movie for you. Especially if you are a father. In a post apocalyptic world a father and son to walk to the coast. Along the way they try to find food. Oh, and try to not be food for the roving bands of cannibals.

7. Contagion (2011)

Contagion is another non-traditional choice. It’s about what could happen in a worldwide flu pandemic. This move is about the people that cause and the people that fight the event. What makes it scary is that it is based on reality. No magic, no zombies, no ancient curse, no evil; just viruses, international travel and people being people.

I think I have a pretty good Halloween playlist here. But to be honest, I’ll probably end up watching Alvin and Chipmunks meet the Wolfman and Monster High while ‘inspecting’ the kids haul from their Samhain begging rituals. Here’s hoping for some Peanut Butter Twix.

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