If you’re like me, every October is a month long celebration of all things Halloween, from decorating my home with Jack Skellington and a vampire Mr. Potato Head to putting a Spider-Man costume on my dog. The Halloween season also includes an annual screening of horror films, including mainstays Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” trilogy, Peter Jackson’s “The Frighteners,” Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” and, naturally, his classic “Halloween.”
Most people know about those. Here are some cult horror films that may not be entirely mainstream, but nonetheless are worthy of the season.
Attack the Block (2011)
Joe Cornish’s alien invasion movie plays like a R-rated, sci-fi version of “The Goonies,” except with inner city London kids instead of Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and company. Featuring a supporting turn from Nick Frost, the film would make for a terrific bookend as a double-feature with Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead.”
Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2010)
Barely given a theatrical release, “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil” almost got lost in the glut of direct-to-DVD horror films that are currently flooding the market. What sets “Tucker and Dale” apart is reversing the college kids against hillbillies sub-genre by making the hillbillies the good guys. Bloody and hilarious.
The Stuff (1985)
Quite possibly the best horror film about consumerism gone wrong next to the original “Dawn of the Dead.” A delicious liquid oozes from the ground, and anyone who tastes it instantly falls in love with it. They can’t get enough of the stuff. At least until the stuff literally eats them alive from the inside out. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s cheesy fun.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Yes, “Cabin” came out in April, but not only is it the best horror of the year, it’s one of the best films of the year. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard crafted a genius film that deconstructs not only horror films (like “Scream” did before it) but the entire horror movie going experience. A must see for any horror fan.
Near Dark (1987)
Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire western may take a few liberties with vampire mythology (a complete blood transfusion cures people), but the film is an underrated gem in the sub-genre. Taking a stripped down approach, Bigelow’s vampires are lowly drifters, traveling from place to place feeding on people. A fascinating look at the clash between old world monsters and the dangers the modern world presents.