Horror Watch: 16 Spooky Movie Choices for Halloween at Home
Heat Vision's roundup of horror films on home video, from "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" to "Chernobyl Diaries" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
Horror fans, take heart: There are plenty of options for Halloween viewing this year – over and above Silent Hill: Revolutions 3D, which opens in theaters the week before the spookiest night of the year.
There are loads of movies to watch at home — perfect for either cuddling up with someone, or perhaps finding a partner to re-create some of the scenes you're about to watch. (Sick, yes, but that’s what October brings out in us.)
Frankly we at Heat Vision have lost track of all the movies hitting shelves this month, but here are some of our favorites:
1) Universal Classic Collection. The Essential Collection: This is the one that got Heat Vision most excited. Keep your slashers, your torture porn, your found-footage supernatural exorcisms. Give us the classic black-and-whites.
And in crisp, high-definition Blu-ray? Horror heaven.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has put together its eight classics – Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and The Creature From the Black Lagoon – in one handsome Blu-ray package.
Each movie also comes with a ton of extras (Black Lagoon includes a 3D version, for example). This will be playing in the Heat Vision household nonstop. (USHE has Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, a made-for-home entertainment sequel to its Benicio del Toro-starring Werewolf remake, out this week.)
2) Prometheus. The biggest Blu-ray/DVD title to be released this week, the movie was heralded as Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi when it was released in June. While Scott's original Alien was a horror movie in space, this prequel acts more like a big idea epic sci-fi tale. But it also has shades of Frankenstein, tackling issues like the creation of life and the loss of control of forces man wasn't meant to tamper with. And it also has freaky Lovecraftian-like monsters thrown in for good measure.
It's spellbinding at times, and the Blu-ray is loaded with chest-bursting extras, including deleted scenes and an alternate opening and ending.
3) Recent Anchor Bay releases. When it comes to straight horror, Anchor Bay never lets you down. The independent company is keeping the genre alive as an outlet for horror movies studios won’t touch or don’t know how to release.
Last week saw the release of Chained, directed by Jennifer Lynch, best known for her left-of-center movie Boxing Helena. Vincent D’Onofrio stars as a psychotic cab driver who picks up a mom (Julia Ormond) and her son, with the goal of turning her son into killer just like him.
Up this week is The Barrens, which stars Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Mia Kirshner (The L Word). Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed Saw 2, 3 and 4, is the helmer behind this tale of a family that spends a weekend in a New Jersey forest and faces the legendary Jersey Devil.
On Oct. 23, there’s 247 F, the tale of four friends trapped by a maniac in a sauna. It sounds like a joke, but don’t be fooled: This one is designed to make you sweat. (C’mon, that was a good one!)
Then there's Bait 3D, a movie about a shark on the loose in a submerged supermarket, and The Victim, a grindhouse thriller that marks the directorial debut of cult actor Michael Biehn (The Terminator).
4) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The big studios haven’t given up on horror, they just like to go big or go home. Fox went big with Lincoln, Timur Bekmambetov’s first directing outing since his 2008 hit Wanted.
The movie bit the dust at the box office when it was released in June (it grossed only $37 million domestically), even if it did have Tim Burton’s name as a producer. But home video could be its a chance to find an audience for its ax-swinging, neck-chopping president.
The Blu-ray hits Oct. 23 and features an audio commentary track by writer Seth Grahame-Smith among its extras. (That same day, Fox also releases Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, its straight-to-video homage to movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Are Alive.)
5) Chernobyl Diairies. Where’s the found-footage movie genre on this list, you ask? Here’s one from Warner Home Entertainment. The movie starts with a ready-made real-life premise: eco-tours of the Chernobyl nuclear site.
But despite the pedigree of Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) and other found-footage veterans, this one grossed just $18 million in the U.S. after its May release. At least it was cheap to produce.
With an alternate ending on the Blu-ray, you can find out if Chernobyl glows … or blows.
Happy Halloween all month long, my lovelies.
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