Finally, Halloween is here! It's an exciting day. Children will soon reap the rewards of the past year's bad behavior, rewarded with sweet, sweet candy for acting like ghouls and goblins. It's fun for adults, too, or mostly young adults, who will dress up in revealing costumes or as ironic pop culture references and drink gross drinks from party punch bowls until it is time to stumble home and go to bed, because we all have work tomorrow. But what if you're staying in? Though there's plenty on TV tonight, Halloween is really a night for scary movies. Which one should you watch? Here are some suggestions.
If you just moved into an apartment by yourself. You're finally a real adult! No more roommates cramping your style or telling you when/how to wash dishes. No more sharing a bathroom or awkward morning encounters with your roommate's one-night stands, slinking into the living room in their going-out clothes from the night before while you sit in your pajamas watching HGTV. Nope, it's just you. All you. At long last. So, what fun, festive, scary movie to watch tonight? Well, you love Scream, but, hm, the movie begins with a person who's home all alone getting brutally murdered. So maybe not that one this year. Though, now that you think about it, that's kinda what happens in Halloween, too. And sort of a lot of other horror movies. Hey what's that creaking sound? Probably nothing. You and your roommates used to love curling up on the couch together and shrieking to the high heavens at scary movies — remember The Descent?? You nearly peed your Slanket! — but now, hm, something's off. It's different now, when you're all alone. And it's quiet. And, if you're honest, a little creepy. So, Scandal it is. Nothing scary tonight, come to think of it. Guess your days of horror movies are over. Welcome to adulthood.
If you're having a date over to your house for the first time. So you've been on a few dates. First drinks. Then a couple dinners. You went to see Gravity and there was a little hand-holding kinda sorta in the dark. There's been some only somewhat embarrassing public making-out outside of bars and apartments. Things have been going well, you guys make each other laugh and conversation flows smoothly, but there's still one, er, tension that has yet to be relieved. And because you both have pretty light work days tomorrow and, what the hell, it's Halloween, tonight is the night that you casually invited them over to your house, to y'know, "save some money" and "just hang out." You both know where this particular date is heading, but you can't just jump on them when they walk through the front door. You gotta play it cool, pretend to watch a movie until things get hot and heavy. Which means you don't want something too gross or gory, or with an embarrassing excess of graphic sex. ("That's what we will hopefully be doing later only probably less sexy and definitely worse lit," is not a great thing for you to be thinking before doing the deed.) But definitely something scary that will provoke cuddling. Watch The Ring. You've both seen it a million times, so if you're making out, or more, by the time Samara first comes crawling out of that well, it won't really matter. Good luck!
If you want to scare the hell out of your kid, but in a good way. Finally! After years and years of dumb Halloweentown and Monster House your kid is old enough to watch a real scary movie. Sure Hocus Pocus is a classic (your son sure does seem to love it! It's probably because of Vinessa Shaw, he has a crush on her, right? Right??) but Halloween is for real scary movies. And now you think your kid is ready for one. But, and this is very important, which one to show them? Not only do you want to develop their taste in this holiest of genres in the right way, but y'know, your spouse will kill you if you show the rugrat something too scary. Is the 1968 Night of the Living Dead too scary? Zombies are all the rage right now, so maybe it's important that your child knows where they came from. Obviously you'd really like to show them Evil Dead, but there's all the gore and of course the thing with the trees, so yeah, probably best to wait until they're a teenager for that one. What's something you liked when you were a kid, something that was spooky and scary and well-made, something that will make them feel excited to be watching a "grownup" movie but not give them scarring nightmares for the rest of their life? Ah, there it is: The Omen. Dark and creepy but just silly enough to not seem all that real. The hanging scene is horribly frightening, yes, but it's quick, and then there's the cool decapitation at the end. Yes, this is perfect. And no, not the remake. Jeez, what kind of parent are you?
If you hate Halloween. What's there to like about Halloween? You're too old to go trick-or-treating, you're too smart to wear some stupid sexy costume and bump up against a lot of idiots at some bar. Lord knows you don't have any kids. And this years sucks in particular. Your favorite roommate just moved out because they want to "live on their own" and your other roommate is going over to someone's house to watch The Ring and make out. So you're just gonna sit at home, call up an equally grumpy friend and have them come over, and maybe make fun of Scandal or something. But, eh... Aren't you always being this not-fun? This much of a Scrooge? Those partygoers you hear stumbling by your window do sound like they're having a good time. And you used to love Halloween as a kid. Maybe you should try. Invite your friend over and insist on watching a scary movie. Because, come on, why not. When in Rome. Or, when in Halloweentown. Whatever. You've both never seen Poltergeist, so maybe you'll watch that. How scary can it be, it's just about dumb old ghosts and— HOLY S--T!!!!!
If the babysitter says you can pick whatever you want. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The original. It will scar you for life, but that builds character. Everyone should have a healthy fear of both rural places and saw-wielding flesh monsters, so put on your big-kid pants and watch that movie. The years of nightmares may mean that you can never live in an apartment by yourself without getting scared, but it's worth it. Nothing wrong with a little deep-seated, blood curdling fear.