These picks for Halloween movie night should appeal to both hardcore horror fans as well as those who only get into the spooky spirit this time of year.
Editor’s Note: I asked several of my writers to program the perfect Halloween movie marathon, each selecting five horror films they consider essential viewing.
JACKIE’S HALLOWEEN NIGHT MOVIE MARATHON
1. HOCUS POCUS (1993)
Knowing that guests are a mix of horror fans and those who don’t enjoy the genre as much, starting off with something that’s more palatable is a good idea. As far as I can tell, everyone loves Hocus Pocus, and it’s specific to Halloween too.
2. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
Though it’s mixed company, it’s still a Halloween movie marathon — so the scares can’t be completely avoided. A Nightmare on Elm Street from 1984 has a good mix of horror and gore with some laughs thrown in, and most people are so used to seeing Freddy Krueger that he won’t be the most intimidating villain.
3. HALLOWEEN (1978)
Once you’ve hit the middle of the marathon, you have to go with the classic – and aptly titled – Halloween from John Carpenter. This masterpiece is less about gore and more about tension, which should also make it a crowd-pleaser.
4. V/H/S (2012)
If you need to pick one truly scary film for the night, this anthology is the way to go. Those watching will get brief rests from the terrifying shorts, and the horror fans among them get to enjoy the jump scares, the tension and the gore that are all part of the V/H/S collection.
5. TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2010)
To round out the night, it can’t hurt to relax a little bit with this comedy that’s based on horror movie tropes. Despite its lighter tone, it’s a good one to save for the end of the night because it’s got plenty of blood; by this time in the marathon it won’t seem too bad to any non-horror fans left at the get-together.