I hate Halloween. Number of reasons why: gives people permission to act like arseholes just because it’s Halloween; trick-or-treaters constantly knocking on my door; and, most of all, the shit ton of shit horror films released every year! So, how do I get through the 31st day of October every year? Alternative Halloween films! Films that have elements of a scary film, but have something a little different about them. So, here are my four alternative Halloween films to watch.
I dare you to say his name three times. Beetlejuice was one of the first alternative horror films I ever watched. When I did see it for the first time, it did freak me out, but I was 8. This is Tim Burton at his best, creating something different from everything else going around at the time. While freaky and a bit odd, Beetlejuice is a funny film with a star-making performance from Batman himself, Michael Keaton, as the obnoxious ghost. It showed that Burton was willing to take chances in his films with an unconventional story that could have flopped badly. Instead, it became a cult and domestic hit with audiences and has even led to a sequel being in development. See 8-year old me, Beetlejuice isn’t that bad after all. OH MY GOD I JUST SAID HIS NAME THREE TIMES!
You can’t get a more alternative Halloween film than The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The comedy-horror-musical is a landmark film and a cult favourite. Rocky Horror is so different from anything else, it’s not scary, but it does pay homage to the old school monster movies and gives them a different twist, mainly through its musical numbers. The songs are memorable, the imagery of the film is iconic and Rocky Horror showed that it was willing to take risks that played out incredibly successful. It’s one of those films that should be on everyone’s watch list, if they haven’t seen it already. It’s entertaining, funny and brilliant to watch with someone who's never seen it before, especially when you are doing the whole routine to The Time Warp and they think there is something wrong with you.
Rule 32: Enjoy the little things. This is a rule I actually follow in my life and it’s all thanks to Zombieland. The second highest grossing zombie film of all time breathed new life into the zombie genre before The Walking Dead came onto our screens. Instead of focusing on the threat of the zombies, what happened to humanity or how the infection started, the film focuses on the surrogate family relationship between four people simply trying to survive. There are great performances from everyone, it’s incredibly funny, has the best cameo EVER, and has one of my favourite lines of all time in it, “You are like a giant cock-blocking robot, like developed in a secret f**king government lab.” Zombieland was able to strangely show that you can have fun in the zombie apocalypse and even if you are not a fan of the zombie genre, it’s very enjoyable ride to take.
This is a film that has haunted me to this day. I don’t mean that it scared me; it’s just that I get called "Shaun of the Dead" constantly (it was my nickname at school... well, that and Sean Paul). Shaun of the Dead is the first entry in the Three Flavour Cornetto Trilogy and is the film that helped make Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright household names. The great thing about Shaun is not only is it hysterically funny, it is also scary and gory. Edgar wanted to remain faithful to the zombie genre, making sure that the film wasn’t a spoof but an homage to the genre instead. It’s a film that people absolutely love, is still discussed to this day as one of the best British films ever made, and launched a new genre - the zom-rom-com. Because of all this, Shaun of the Dead is my top alternative Halloween film.