This is the start of a tough time of year for us horror fans. November can always be a bit of a bummer, especially at the beginning. Halloween is our Christmas. It’s our biggest time of year, the time when we’re allowed to celebrate everything we love publicly and without shame.
But that’s just it. For us horror fans, Halloween is the one time a year when everyone else in our lives takes a genuine interest in the things we obsess over year round. The weird quirks they roll their eyes at the rest of the year, those are the things they want us to show off. We get to put our extensive horror knowledge on display for one month out of the year. But like all holidays, it ends.
Of course, as horror fans it’s also our duty to keep the Halloween spirit alive all year long. To keep that black candle lit. So, if you’re out of ideas for titles to watch to keep going once the big day is done, here are some that work for me. Here are seven great horror flicks to watch once the season is over to avoid the dreaded post-Halloween blues.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
This movie, like a lot of entries on this list, is just like comfort food. It’s fun, it’s funny, but it’s also sincere and emotional with a pretty good message about judging people at first glance. The performances by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are comedy gold. This is one I think a lot of fans are clamoring for a sequel to, and for good reason.
Halloween is over, but maybe you’re still in the mood for a genuine slasher. Well, look no further than Black Christmas. This has all the mood, atmosphere and dread that you want—but it’s also extra creepy in that the bad guy gets away at the end. He doesn’t just come back for one last scare, as is the usual tradition, we literally never find out who he really is. I think that’s a large part of this film’s lasting allure.
If we’re going in a more Christmas-y direction, then Gremlins is also worth a mention. This feature has it all. You still want scares? It’s got ‘em. But you might also want laughs, action, adventure, camp… Gremlins is loaded with criss-crossing genres and tones. And somehow it manages to pull all off this off in a way that is still near-perfect over thirty years later.
An American Werewolf in London
Like Tucker & Dale, An American Werewolf in London is pure comfort food. It’s an exceptionally well made horror comedy, arguably the best of all time, but as much as it succeeds on a filmmaking level it also succeeds on a level of pure joy. Even if the story is very dark and ultimately bleak, you’ll have a smile on your face almost the entire time. Yet it also packs some genuine, legitimately frightening scares.
I’m not about to tell you Thankskilling is a good movie, but it’s not remotely interested in being one, so that’s fine. We’re notoriously short on Thanksgiving horror, but Thankskilling goes out of its way to be the trashy holiday-themed exploitation feature that we so richly deserve.
On the off-chance you didn’t actually watch this one in October, Beetlejuice is a great way to segue out of the most notorious month of the year for horror. It’s not technically a horror film. It’s a mainstream comedy, and yet it has a totally Halloween-oriented look and feel. It’s completely on the periphery of horror, yet it also manages to stand on equal footing as a comedy, albeit one with incredibly dark subject matter. That’s all part of its charm.
Like Beetlejuice, The ‘Burbs isn’t considered to be a horror film by most audiences. But what’s great about it is that it is a horror flick for most of its main characters, that’s what’s so funny. It’s presented as a basically imagined situation, up until the end. I think fans who are used to seeing horror-related imagery everywhere and are now looking for pumpkins and ghosts on every corner might be able to relate.