10 Media Treats from the House for Halloween Part I
Well folks October is officially here and you all know what that means….Halloween season! Aside from my son’s birthday being this month, Halloween is one of the big reasons October is my favorite month. Well that and pumpkin spice, cider, crisp air, changing leaves…yeah pretty much everything about this month is a slice of fried gold. So what better way to ring in the Halloween season than to kick things off with ten Halloween recommendations from the House. I’ve teamed up with darknite125 for this little adventure. Together our diabolical minds have painstakingly researched multiple sources of media to bring you the cream of the creepy when it comes to Halloween fare. I’ll be handling part one of this haunted sojourn, while darknite125 will bring you the sequel. And so without further preamble….
MOVIE: Trick ‘r Treat (2007) Director: Michael Dougherty Starring: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker
I’m ashamed to say I’ve only watched this film once because not only is this a great horror film, it’s quite possibly the best movie about Halloween I’ve ever seen. Heavily influenced by films like Creepshow and Twilight Zone: The Movie, Trick ‘r Treat consists of four stories. They are told in a non-linear fashion however each intersect at some point during the overall narrative. However, the center of the story does focus again and again on Sam, a strange trick or treater dressed in a creepy as fuck burlap sack that goes around making sure the “rules” of Halloween are enforced. The whole movie is terrifying especially the stories involving the school bus massacre urban legend and Brian Cox’s Mr Kreeg, a miserly miserable old man who steals kids candy and uses his dog Spite to chase off children. Anna Paquin (pre True Blood) also has some great moments in the film and the climax of her story is as surprising as it is horrifying. This film releases on Blu-Ray this month. Do yourself a favor and blind buy this one. It’s fantastic.
Podcast: The Witching Hour Hosts: Perri Nemiroff and Haleigh Foutch
This may be hard to believe but I’ve only recently gotten into podcasts. I’m still trying to figure out this damn contraption Marconi made. I kid, I kid. One of the great movie websites out there (besides the House of course) is Collider.com and amidst an excellent slew of programming is a podcast that just started up solely devoted to all things horror. It’s hosted by Haleigh Foutch and national treasure Perri Nemiroff. These two rock. Not only is their knowledge of horror extensive and insightful, they are genuine fans of the genre. The podcast is relatively new so do yourself a favor and hop on this haunted train immediately.
Audiobook: Pet Sematary Author: Stephen King Read By: Michael C. Hall
I’m a voracious reader. So much so that it extends to my car where I am constantly listening to audiobooks. Although I’ve read what I consider to be Stephen King’s scariest novel multiple times, recently I had the pleasure of listening to it. Although, the novel was published thirty-five years ago, it wasn’t until this year that the book was released as an audiobook. (King is adamant in not allowing unabridged recordings of his works.) Believe me it was well worth the wait. Michael C. Hall (TV’s Dexter!) makes King’s work pop in a way I didn’t think was possible, especially the climax. This sucker was creepy as fuck and I loved every second of it.
Novel: Something Wicked This Way Comes Author: Ray Bradbury Published: 1962
Ray Bradbury is the king of speculative fiction. Works like The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 helped shape my childhood. Also among them was a dark fantasy he published in the early 1960s called Something Wicked This Way Comes. Literary aficionados may recognize this as a line from Shakespeare. The novel follows the exploits of two best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Holloway. When a traveling carnival comes into town in late October one year, mysterious things begin happening and the two friends investigate what the Hell is going on. The carnival is led by the frightening Mr. Dark. It’s a truly terrifying book that feels like a Gothic novel Poe would have written if he’d lived in the 20th century. It’s an engaging and nuanced novel. I’d also suggest checking out the 1983 film as well staring Jonathan Pryce and Jason Robards.
Comic: 30 Days of Night Created By: Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith Published: August-October 2002
Most of you have probably heard of the 2007 horror film of the same name, which by the way is excellent. However, you may not know that the film was based on a three issue horror comic book miniseries. Dark and gritty, this comic is really worth your money. Not only is the vampire story original (vampires attacking a town that will be without sunlight for thirty days due to its Northern location) but Templesmith’s artwork (among many others) possesses a surreal quality to it. Everything feels simultaneously dream-like but grimy as well. It’s hard to make a whole town feel claustrophobic but that’s exactly what this comic does. Think, John Carpenter’s The Thing but with vampires. There’s also a ton of spinoffs and sequels so if your…ahem…thirst…isn’t slaked with just three issues, there’s plenty of others to explore.
So that’s it for Part I. Check back soon for Part II from my main man darknite125!
You can follow me on Twitter at @DarthGandalf1