Greetings, boos and ghouls. For a few years now, I have held a massive horror movie marathon on Halloween. In its first year, the event was inspired by a local cinema that was showing a 20 hour horror movie marathon. I loved the idea but the films looked pretty average, so I decided to create my own.
The format has changed over the years, starting at 20 hours for the first year, reducing to 12 hours in the second year and reaching what seems like a Goldilocks-esque 13 hours this year. But the concept has remained the same — lots of horror films, snacks and caffeine.
Here is an overview of this CJ’s Halloweenathon 2017. For more thoughts, check out the hashtag #CJsHalloweenathon on Twitter.
I started with Annabelle because I hadn’t seen it since it was in cinemas and I had watched the first and second films in the Conjuring universe in the first and second years of the Halloweenathon respectively. This film still holds up as a supernatural horror. There were parts that I knew were about to happen that still made me flinch. A great start to the day.
The Scream series is one of my favourite film series of all time, not just horror. While the original is a classic, the first sequel in the franchise continues the story well. The opening sequence with Jada Pinkett-Smith is almost as iconic as the first film’s opening starring Drew Barrymore and undeniably hooks the viewer in. All hail Queen Sid.
Okay. Jason X is an objectively terrible movie. But it is one heck of a good time nonetheless. I just love that somewhere a conversation took place along the lines of:
“Zombie killing machine as a villain just doesn’t seem to be working anymore.”
“Put him in space?”
“Put. him. in. space.”
Very fun. Very cheesy. Very gory.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
I love Freddy Krueger. In his first film, he’s gross and a little terrifying (if somewhat dated now), but as the character evolves throughout the years he gains so much more personality than his comrades in the early slasher trinity — Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. I have seen A Nightmare on Elm Street many, many times over the years and it is still one of my favourites.
Ghost Ship is a fantastic horror film that balances gore with atmosphere and genuinely likeable characters to engage the audience. The cast is full of “I know them” actors that create a fictional salvage crew with a great dynamic. Shout out to one of my all time favourite opening sequences in horror. It’s unexpected, grisly and very well executed, despite the special effects being a smidge dated now.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I haven’t seen I Know What You Did Last Summer in years so thought I would throw it in the mix. So glad that I did because it is a very entertaining slasher flick that has held up well over the years. I legitimately forgot Johnny Galecki was in it until he popped up at the start in the credits. I had also forgotten the details of the ending so it was a good catch up.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Fun fact: While the first and second Halloween films take place on the same evening, the third film is not related. John Carpenter wanted to make the Halloween films an anthology, telling a different story each year. The third film flopped so badly that they decided to stick with Michael Myers after that. The resulting fourth film is a pretty good follow up to Halloween 2 despite lacking the physical presence of Jamie Lee’s Laurie Strode.
The last film in CJ’s Halloweenathon is John Carpenter’s Christine which is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. John Carpenter and Stephen King — could this be a better ending to the Halloweenathon?
This year’s Halloweenathon was, by my account, a great success. While it leaned heavily on the slasher genre, there were a few supernatural horror films to balance things out. A horror marathon isn’t complete without Freddy, Jason, Michael or all three making an appearance so it was certainly well accommodated in that regard.
How did you celebrate Halloween? What’s your favourite scary movie? What would feature in your ideal eight movie horror marathon?