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article imageOp-Ed: Top 5 movies for your Halloween weekend

By Greta McClain     Oct 31, 2014 in Entertainment
Halloween is upon us, and many of us find ourselves in search of the perfect horrifying holiday movie to help get us into the spirit of All Hallows Eve.
There are many traditions celebrated at Halloween. Whether it is carving pumpkins, giving and receiving "treats" or donning consumes, the majority of us, young and old, enjoy Halloween. One tradition I am particularly fond of is watching horror movies. Although I love a wide variety of movies, here I list my top five movies by category:
Modern Movie
Roger Ebert called Paranormal Activity "an ingenious little horror film, so well made it's truly scary."
Released in 2007, the film watches as a young, middle class couple, Katie and Micah move into their dream suburban home. The dream quickly becomes a nightmare when Katie finds herself haunted by an "evil presence." Micah sets up a camera in their bedroom so he can record what occurs as they sleep. The camera records noises, flickering lights and doors moving on their own. The couple eventually hires a psychic who is immediately overwhelmed by demonic energy when he enters the home.
A scene from Paranormal Activity
A scene from Paranormal Activity
Magic of Movies
The International Business Times calls Paranormal Activity "one of the scariest films to come out in recent years." Cinemablend calls the film "brilliant" before adding:
"Not only is it very well made, but it’s downright terrifying. Everything from the actors to the cinematography is so natural that when the unnatural aspects pop up, they’re intrinsically terrifying."
Classic Movie
I love classic movies, no matter the genre. Whether is it a classic western, a love story or horror movie, there is something enchanting about an old black and white movie.
When it comes to classic movies for Halloween, nothing can top the 1931 movie, Frankenstein. The Frankenstein movie was based on Mary Shelley's 1818 book of the same name. Although the 1931 Universal Studios' version was the second Frankenstein movie to be released in the United States, I prefer it to the 1910 silent movie version.
Boris Karloff's portrayal of the Frankenstein monster catapulted the actor to stardom. He
Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster  Marilyn Harris as Little Maria
Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster, Marilyn Harris as Little Maria
reprized his role as the scientific experiment gone awry in the 1935 movie Bride of Frankenstein, and again in the 1939 movie, Son of Frankenstein.
The film is about Dr. Henry Frankenstein, a mad scientist who is obsessed with creating a living person by taking body parts from dead people. When he places the brain inside the head of his creation, the monster awakens, prompting Dr. Frankenstein to shout "It's alive. It's alive...Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!"
In a New York Times review published December 5, 1931, Mordaunt Halls calls the film:
"An artistically conceived work....[which] is naturally a morbid, gruesome affair, but it is something to keep the spectator awake, for during its most spine-chilling periods it exacts attention."
Frankenstein can be seen in it's entirety on Vimo.
Children's Movie
The animated television movie It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is perhaps the most watched Halloween movie of all time. Released in 1966, the movie has become a Halloween staple, shown on television in the United States every October.
Linus and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin
Linus and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin
Screen Capture
In 1967, the movie was nominated for an Emmy in three categories, including Outstanding Children's Program. Following the 2008 release of the Peanuts: 1960s Collection, the movie was also nominated for a Best Youth DVD Satellite Award.
Based on the Charles Schulz comic strip, Peanuts, the movie focuses on Linus as he patiently waits for a letter from the Great Pumpkin. Once Halloween night arrives, the Peanuts gang go trick-or-treating as Linus sits in the pumpkin patch, confident he will catch a gimps of the Great Pumpkin despite being ridiculed by his friends. Does the Great Pumpkin ever appear? You'll just have to watch the movie to find out.
Cult Movie
The 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, is second only to American Werewolf in London according to Forbes' top 10 cult classic horror movies of all time. In my opinion however, it is number one, especially at a time where zombies are so popular.
Zombies swarm around the house  searching for living human flesh.
Zombies swarm around the house, searching for living human flesh.
The 1968 film focuses on seven characters trapped in a rural farmhouse in Pennsylvania who are attacked by unnamed "living dead" monsters. Cult Flicks calls the film an "über-classic cult film" that "makes lethargic, brain hungry....nursing home rejects the scariest predators a small town....has ever seen."
The movie was highly criticized initially, with Vincent Canby, film critic with the New York Times, called Night of the Living Dead a "junk movie." Movie goers didn't agree however, and the film grossed more than $12 million in the United States and $18 million internationally. BBC movie reviewer, Almar Haflidason, later said the movie "represented a new dawn in horror film-making."
Zombie Movie
Zombies have become increasingly popular over the past few years. It only makes sense that zombie movies would also be popular.
In the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead, director Zack Snyder pays tribute to the 1978 movie by the same name. In this version, residents of a Wisconsin town find themselves isolated from the rest of the world as an ever-increasing horde of zombies stalk them in search of living flesh and blood.
Movie poster for Dawn of the Dead
Movie poster for Dawn of the Dead
Rotten Tomatoes calls the movie:
"A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms."
The film comes in at number three on Rolling Stones Top 10 Best Zombie Movie list.
Having grossed approximately $59 million in the U.S. and over one hundred million dollars worldwide, Dawn of the Dead is not only critically acclaimed, but a box-office smash as well.
Whether you are looking for a classic or modern movie that will leave you horrified, or a movie to watch with family, there are undoubtedly plenty of quality movies to keep you entertained this Halloween.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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