October is kind of a mixed bag as far as horror releases. Shockingly it’s not a month that has many of them; however, a lot of significant hits have happened in October (for obvious reasons). To celebrate this “holy” of horror months, I thought I would talk about some of my personal favorite October releases over the years.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre represents so much of what I love so much about the horror genre. It shows that a few passionate people can come together with very little and still create something terrifying. Released October 1st, 1974 this movie was hated by many, but for all the reasons that it eventually became a horror classic. It is often lauded as one of the precursors to the slasher craze of later decades and rightfully so. A bit of the pacing is off with age, but for the most part, this has remained one of the best horror movies ever.
Night of the Living Dead
If you read my blog or know me in real life, you likely know that I find this film not only to be great but an essential piece in the horror history. Romero took this chance to change what a “zombie” was completely and pretty much created what we would now consider the modern zombie flick. While the follow-up Dawn is probably the better movie, Night of the Living Dead is suspenseful and well done. It also simply can’t be ignored or forgotten because of how it pretty much created a sub-genre when released October 1st, 1968.
I will admit this is kind of cheating the movie did actually release before but had it’s countrywide release October 16th, 1992, so I am counting it. Candyman is an absolutely terrifying underrated horror gem. It explores a lot of themes and does so well. I have said before that I don’t super love that how you call Candyman is basically Bloody Mary, but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise brilliant film. It’s worth watching, and I am curious to see how the teased potential remake unfolds. Also, Tony Todd is everything.
David Cronenberg’s October 10th, 1975 body horror movie has four names, but we are going with the one I know it by, Shivers. This movie is like so many of his odd, terrifying, uncomfortable, and damn brilliant. I never know exactly how to feel when I walk away from his movies, but I keep coming back to them. The one hard part for Shivers is that the subject matter is extremely uncomfortable, and yet there is an odd sort of humor to it. When I first watched it, I found myself laughing at things I knew I shouldn’t and realizing “oh god” when digesting later.
Released October 18th, 1985 Re-Animator is one of my favorite horror movies, and I think a marvel as far as horror comedy is concerned. Like many horror comedies it has you laughing at uncomfortable and morbid things that a small voice tells you “no, that’s not funny.” The movie also has some actual horrific scenes never wholly letting go of the horror aspect. It’s an entertaining film, and I never get tired of it.
The Evil Dead
So it doesn’t have a solid release date due to its nature, but I am going to use the October 15th, 1981 showing. Much like TCM, The Evil Dead is an excellent example of what passion can do to overcome experience and the movie is funny, scary, and gave us one of horror’s most beloved characters. Sam Raimi did release a much-improved film in Evil Dead 2, but there is something about Evil Dead that just remains close to my heart. Also, the idea of Mr. Raimi just throwing everything at the audience that he can is present here and I love it.
Much like Candyman this film also had a pre-release before a nationwide release on October 29th, 2004. Given that this movie then launched the “Halloween” release that the rest of the films in the franchise were known for, we are going to again count it. While I am iffy about the franchise overall, I love Saw. It had a great story, well acted, suspenseful, and a great twist ending. The follow-ups have inventive kills, and I find most of them entertaining enough. However, I thought the first was a truly great movie.
Of course, this was on the list. I would be pretty ashamed of myself if it weren’t. Released October 25th, 1978 it remains, to me, the Halloween movie. Suspenseful, tense, and in my personal opinion so much better than any of the follow-ups due to the unknown nature of Michael Myers. It is hands down my favorite slasher film and easily in my top ten horror films of all time. I don’t think any of the sequels, or the Rob Zombie reboot came close to catching what makes this movie for me. I can only hope that in a few weeks it will finally get the sequel it deserves.
So what do you think about the movies on this list? Are there any other October releases that you’ve loved. Let me know!