It's October, and you know what that means… scary movies at the multiplex. Well, a few of them, anyway. The slate for horror fans seems a little on the thin side this year, so it's pretty easy to single out which of upcoming scary movies are worth getting excited about. Here's what we're looking forward to for the rest of October, a.k.a The Top 5 Halloween Movies for 2012.
Paranormal Activity 4 (October 19)
The Paranormal Activity saga continues on October 19 with the fourth installment of the hit micro-budget franchise. As usual, we expect a subtle build up of suspense with a big payoff, but we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we? The most successful found footage film series continues to haunt audiences across the world, and while some of us are getting a little weary of the gimmick – especially since the success of the original Paranormal Activity owed so much to the element of surprise – there’s no denying that it’s one of the most anticipated horror films on the horizon.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (October 26)
Christophe Gans’ original adaptation of the video game franchise Silent Hill may have been a little wonky with the subtext (those buxom nurses don’t mean as much to a female protagonist searching for her daughter as they do a widower with a frustrated libido), but it’s still considered by many to be the best video game movie made so far. Now, Deathwatch director Michael J. Bassett is trying to make lightning hit twice, and we’re very curious as to how close he can come to the eerie thrills of the source material, especially since he’s filming it in attention-grabbing 3D. Adelaide Clemens stars as a girl returning to the town of Silent Hill to discover the truth behind her own identity, and “Game of Thrones” co-star Kit Harington comes along for the ride.
Wrong Turn 5 (October 23)
Call us crazy, but we’ve taken a shine to the cynical (to the point of sadism) Wrong Turn series, about a family of cannibal hillbillies who wreak havoc on one group of urbanites after another with unapologetic aplomb. The kills are always inventive, the sense of humor irrepressibly dark, and the endings tend to be the scariest part of all, since the crazy bastards always seem to get away with it. The new Wrong Turn co-stars Doug Bradley, aka “Pinhead” from the Hellraiser franchise, as the new sociopathic leader of these mass murderers, who sits in a prison cell for most of the movie, waiting for his “boys” to come save him with their typical impish, homicidal, outlandish glee. As straight-to-video horror franchises go, Wrong Turn has quietly turned into one of the most fascinating.
Frankenweenie (In Theaters)
Tim Burton is back, finally, with a film that evokes the same rebellious romanticism that made him such an iconic director in the first place. After years of remakes and hit-or-miss adaptations, he’s returned to his original 1984 short film – about a young boy who turns to mad science in order to resurrect his beloved dog – for the inspiration for this stop-motion animated feature, shot in impressive 3D and gloomy black & white. The story is emotional enough to work for adults, and the energy Burton gives to his puppet creations, combined with a host of fan service for horror lovers of all ages, make it one of the best Halloween movies we’ve seen in years.
Halloween (October 25)
John Carpenter’s original classic is coming back to theaters Halloween weekend, and there’s really no reason to see anything else if it’s playing at a theater near you. Halloween stars Donald Pleasance as a psychologist determined to save the sleepy town of Haddonfield from the soulless Michael Myers (played by Nick Castle, the future director of The Last Starfighter), who has escaped from his asylum to murder a string of babysitters played by young P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis and of course Jamie Lee Curtis, in her breakout role as the prototypical “Survivor Girl.” Carpenter directed the original Halloween with surgical precision, showing everything he needed to and withholding the rest, giving the film a sharp efficiency that still chills to this day. There’s a reason it’s one of the best horror movies ever made. It’s the same reason why it’s our #1.
Full Disclosure: This article has been sponsored by Open Road Films.