3. Trick r Treat (2007)
Most notable for the creation of Sam – possibly the most unique horror icon of the 2000s –
Trick r Treat is a film that is known by many but seen by few.
Taking place in the rarely chosen horror location of Ohio, Trick r Treat makes the most of the state’s horror traditions and pulls off the “small town Halloween” shtick well – it’s a film well worth watching for its Halloween visuals and scares alone.
The film follows four stories: Principal, Halloween School Bus Massacre, Surprise Party and Sam. Each story offers up its own dose of spooks and scares, with all four being modeled after some form of classic scary story. Screenwriter-director Michael Dougherty still manages to balance the Halloween archetypes with some originality, adding humour, unforeseen twists and gripping narrative turns to create an interconnected story that is as satisfying a horror watch as was released in the decade.
Trick r Treat may be known for the iconic Sam, but its cult following will be able to attest to it being so much more than that.
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4. The Monster Squad (1987)
Perhaps one of the more well known movies on this list due to Nostalgia Critics’ review of the film back in his prime, The Monster Squad brings together the most famous movie monsters of all time – Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and Gill-Man (the most obvious Creature from the Black Lagoon rip-off you will ever see) – into one big family fun adventure; The Goonies meets Universal Monsters.
Not only is it enjoyable, but a script from famed screenwriter-turned-director Shane Black (Predator; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Iron Man 3) ensures that it is genuinely well made too, with some excellent world-building and some lovable and hilarious characters you can’t help but to become invested in.
Recommended for you: Where to Start with Universal Classic Monsters
5. The Burning (1981)
Often overlooked as simply a Friday the 13th cash-in, The Burning is a rare example of a rip-off that is actually superior to the movie it’s ripping off. Although it can’t offer up as big of a cast (Friday the 13th had Betsy Palmer and Kevin Bacon, The Burning has ‘Seinfeld’ star Jason Alexander) or as inventive kills, The Burning has its predecessor beat in other areas – most surprisingly in practical effects. Tom Savini worked on both films and had improved his craft in the time between shooting Friday the 13th and The Burning.
Its role as a rip-off often leaves many disregarding The Burning in spite of critics’ far more favourable reviews towards the movie. It’s a film that no doubt deserves a 2nd chance, and now seems like as good a time as any.
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