A triple feature of horror classics to spooky up the weekend

As Halloween approaches and fall weather begins to close in, there is no better thing to usher in the spookiest time of the year than a good horror movie. Whether your preference is slashers, paranormal thrillers or psychological horror flicks, there is always a movie to commemorate the scary season with. Here are some of my favorite classic horror movies that you should watch as the holiday nears. Grab your cider, snuggle up tight and check the doors, because Halloween is upon us.

Leatherface, one of cinema’s most iconic horror villains, gives a hint about how his movie got its name. (photo by Legendary)

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

Director Tobe Hooper shocked audiences worldwide with his 1974 horror flick, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The movie was a pioneer of the slasher genre. Before there were Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy and countless other slasher villains, there was Leatherface, the chainsaw-wielding, human mask-wearing member of a cannibalistic family. The story of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” begins with Sally (Marilyn Burns) and a group of friends on their way to visit her grandfather’s gravestone, which they suspect has been vandalized. On the way they decide to detour and visit the old family farm, only to find that the neighbors next door are anything but normal. The group struggles to survive and escape Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and his cannibalistic family. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was loosely inspired by the story of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. It created all kinds of horror movie tropes that we know of today, such as the “final girl,” nighttime chase scenes and a group of teenagers being hunted by an unknown figure, forcing them to band together to survive or perish.

The titular “Christine” was a hot rod from hell. (photo by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Christine (1983)

Christine follows the story of a young boy and his first car. The movie (adapted from a novel by legendary horror author Steven King) was directed by horror movie titan John Carpenter. High school nerd Arnie (Keith Gordon) and his best friend Dennis (John Stockwell) come across an abandoned 1958 Plymouth Fury. Arnie immediately falls in love with the car, and despite Dennis’ protests, he buys it. Arnie becomes increasingly obsessed with the car and begins to change from a shy, bullied nerd into a deranged psychopath. Christine possesses Arnie and together, they begin seeking revenge on all who have wronged them. Christine is sentient, can repair herself and does not forget nor forgive. “She is seductive, she is passionate, she is possessive, she is pure evil; she is Christine.”

Though it wasn’t his fault, Cujo was not a good boy to one unlucky mom and her son. (Photo by Lionsgate)

Cujo (1983) 

Yet another film adaptation from the mind of Steven King, Cujo is a cult classic that centers around a mother and her young son held hostage by a rabid dog. Directed by Lewis Teague, Cujo follows the story of a Saint Bernard that was bitten by a rabid rodent. Cujo becomes infected and attacks his owner and his owner’s friend. The owner is a mechanic that Donna (Dee Wallace) and her son Tad (Danny Pintauro) were on the way to see concerning a malfunctioning car. Cujo begins to attack and stalk the pair, forcing them to barricade themselves within the vehicle. Facing dehydration, injuries and a rabid 180-pound dog, they must do everything in their power to hold off for help, or become a treat.

These classic horror films have stood the test of time by thrilling audience for decades.  If you are looking for a good scare this Halloween, you can’t go wrong with these choices or any of the other films featured in our “13 Days of Halloween Movies” feature.

Edited by Justin Shepard