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article imageOp-Ed: The top five classic Halloween movies to watch tonight

By Andrew Moran     Oct 31, 2012 in Entertainment
Toronto - Halloween is here and that means everyone is entitled to a little fright now and then throughout the day. As goblins and ghouls engulf the streets demanding candy, now is the perfect time to enjoy these top five classic Halloween films.
The weather in Toronto right now is fantastic to stay in, grab a bag of popcorn, your favorite soda and snuggling under your blanket to watch the greatest of horror pictures ever made, whether it’s from Hollywood or abroad.
For the past century, the motion picture industry has produced some unforgettable horror films that have set a precedent for future filmmakers. A lot of picture makers, who didn’t even specialize in the horror genre, have made at least one, such as Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman.
To avoid being slaughtered by leatherface, scared to death by a black cat by Boris Karloff or having Max von Sydow force me to lose my mind, here are the top five horror classics to view tonight (in no particular order).
“The Black Cat” (1934) – Starring: Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi
This was one of many films that Lugosi and Karloff co-starred in. Each man was a legend in his own right, and although Karloff had more of a distinguished career than his counterpart, Lugosi certainly delivered in this picture.
In this picture, one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema took place.
“You killed her as I am about to kill you...” Lugosi vehemently states as he pulls out his gun, but unfortunately, a black cat comes and scares the daylights out of him. Then the sounds of Ludwig von Beethoven’s 7th symphony begin as Karloff delivers a superb monologue.
“The Shining” (1980) – Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd
Of course, the sheer sight of Shelley Duvall can terrify just about anyone, but the picture itself can be quite frightening. For many, including myself, psychological horror can be more brutal than physical horror, such as blood, guts and gore.
It can be described as one of Stanley Kubrick’s many masterpieces and it deserves that title. Everything about this picture can be labelled as creepy: Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance, the ambiguous soundtrack, the ominous and isolated house and the various shots that Kubrick directed.
If you have seen it a dozen times, what’s one more time on Halloween?
“Frankenstein” (1931) – Starring: Boris Karloff, Mae Clarke and Colin Clive
The acting isn’t anything fantastic, especially from the lovely Clarke, who has starred in such films as “The Public Enemy,” “The Waterloo Bridge” and “The Great Guy,” but the history of this movie is enough to witness at least one showing.
A lot of it is different from the original Mary Shelley novel, however, Karloff pulls off a superb monster and creates a tremendous amount of sympathy as a creature yearning to be loved and accepted into society.
This was Karloff’s breakout role. According to research, Karloff was quite unknown that he wasn’t even invited to the movie premiere. Another interesting fact is that Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Bela Lugois were considered for the film (having Howard and Davis would’ve been a better choice).
“Hour of the Wolf” (1968) – Starring: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin
This is another psychological horror masterpiece, but this time from the creative mind of Ingmar Bergman. Watching this picture could be quite a surprise for the admirers of Bergman, who has been known for his depressive stories that focus on God and our own existence.
Although this is quite different from the standard horror films that we all have come to know in recent memory, “Hour of the Wolf” is a horror classic for those interested in the human psyche, living in isolation and witnessing von Sydow perfecting his craft.
“The Seventh Seal” can also be considered a fantastic horror classic because what’s more terrifying than confronting our own death?
“Les Diabolique” (1955) – Starring: Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot and Paul Meurisse
Once again, a psychological horror film that deals with love, deceit, violence and even a touch of the paranormal. Based on the novel by Pierre Boileau, Alfred Hitchcock originally wanted to do this story, but instead Henri-Georges Clouzot got it and positively delivered his magnum opus (in my opinion).
At the end of the picture, it implores the audience not to reveal the ending because it definitely is a shocking one. Usually, I can tell what’s going to happen at the end of a film, but not this one. Go on, see it!
Honourable Mentions
- “Dracula” (1931)
- “Nosferatu” (1922)
- “The Hands of Orlac” (1924)
- “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1945)
- “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
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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