It’s October. Outside a colorful array of dead leaves skitter across the ground. A brisk chill clings to the autumnal air. And pumpkins of all shapes and sizes dot the front lawns and porches of homes strewn in cobwebs.
Inside, on our TV screens, scenes of mayhem and murder play out daily. Every day we’re visited by masked killers, ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, the unknown, the undead. We watch these celluloid nightmares unfold day after day, film after film, with our eyes yellow from staring at screens for too long and our ears ringing with blood-curdling screams. Yet as the nights grow longer and the specter of Halloween looms larger with each passing day, we continue binging on these moving images of terror, possessed by a desire to exist in a realm of darkness where we can dance with the Grim Reaper, but remain unharmed by its glittering, murderous scythe.
Eventually, on Samhain, after we’ve blown out the candles in our jack-o’-lanterns and retired to bed, the ancient spirits of the holiday will smile upon us, knowing that we’ve carried on a tradition that is now as inseparable from the season as pumpkin patches and “The Monster Mash.” I’m talking about the horror movie marathons we acolytes of the holiday indulge in every October — but only after we’ve created calendars and watchlists that catalogue what films we’re watching for each day of our monthlong journey to All Hallows’ Eve. This newfound tradition is often known today as the “October Horror Movie Challenge,” or, as I prefer to call it, the “31 Days of Halloween.”
If you listened to Red River Horror Podcast’s latest two-part episode, “31 Days of Halloween,” you would’ve heard Eddie, Joe, and me discussing the movies on our two respective watchlists (Part 1 & Part 2). On those two shows the three of us rattled off the names of the 50-some-odd films that appear on both our lists. There was some overlap between our lists, naturally. Still, in the end, we covered dozens of horror and Halloween-related movies that span both time and horror subgenres, ranging from immortal classics to hidden gems to modern masterpieces. So if you’re in need of something spooky to watch this month and want some ideas, sit back, grab a box of candy and a glass of apple cider, and give those two episodes a listen.
Also, below is the full list of films I’m watching this month. It’s a list I carefully, lovingly cultivated to reflect the spookiest time of year and the magical night of Halloween. If you have any thoughts or comments, email DrHalloween666@gmail.com.