Well, the final week of October is finally here and that means my list of 31 movies that are just what the mad doctor ordered for the Halloween season must come to an end. But it is good news in the sense that we have now arrived at the Top 3!

We’ve now gone through 28 movies judged not just by how good of a film they are, but on a set of criteria designed to weed out the films that just might not hit the spot this time of year. So, for the last time, here is a rundown of that criteria again.

Film Rating: First and foremost, is it a good movie. If it’s not, why even bother, right?
Maximum of 10 Points
Seasonalness: Does it take place on or around Halloween? Is it fall-esque? The more the better!
Maximum of 10 Points
Halloween Spirit: How much are traditional Halloween themes represented? Witches and whatnot.
Maximum of 5 Points
Scare Factor: Pretty self-explanatory. The closer you are to soiling your pantaloons the better.
Maximum of 5 Points
Pop Culture Value: You know what Jason and Freddy are even if you haven’t seen their movies.
Maximum of 5 Points
Rewatch Value: So you know how everything plays out. Still want to see it again?
Maximum of 3 Points

And, as always, before we unveil more movies off the list — even though it’s just three this week — let’s refresh everyone on the list as it has been released so far.

Week 1
#31 – Poltergeist (1982) – 24.7/38 Points (65.00%)
#30 – Carrie (1976) – 24.7/38 Points (65.00%)
#29 – Scream 3 (2000) – 24.9/38 Points (65.53%)
#28 – Evil Dead (2013) – 25.3/38 Points (66.58%)
#27 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – 25.5/38 Points (67.11%)

Week 2
#26 – Hostel (2005) – 25.6/38 (67.37%)
#25 – Dawn Of The Dead (2004) – 25.7/38 (67.63%)
#24 – Frankenstein (1931) – 26.0/38 (68.42%)
#23 – Scream 4 (2011) – 26.0/38 (68.42%)
#22 – An American Werewolf In London (1981) – 26.3/38 (69.21%)
#21 – Dawn Of The Dead (1978) – 26.7/38 (70.26%)

Week 3
#20 – Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) – 26.8/38 (70.53%)
#19 – The Strangers (2008) – 26.9/38 (70.79%)
#18 – You’re Next (2011) – 27.0/38 (71.05%)
#17 – Hostel: Part II(2007)  – 27.6/38 (72.63%)
#16 – Scream 2 (1997) – 27.6/38 (72.63%)
#15 – Friday the 13th (1980) – 27.7/38 (72.89%)
#14 – Children of the Corn (1984) – 28.1/38 (73.95%)
#13 – The Ring (2002) – 28.1/38 (73.95%)
#12 – Scream (1996) – 28.2/38 (74.21%)
#11 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – 28.3/38 (74.47%)

Week 4
#10 – Saw (2004) – 28.5/38 (75.00%)
#9 – The Conjuring (2013) – 28.5/38 (75.00%)
#8 – The Evil Dead (1981) – 28.8/38 (75.79%)
#7 –  Paranormal Activity (2007) – 29.0 (76.32%)
#6 – Halloween (2007) – 29.8/38 (78.42%)
#5 – The Exorcist (1973) – 30.0/38 (78.95%)
#4 – Halloween II (1981) – 31.2/38 (82.11%)

Once again, you can go back to any of those articles simply by clicking on the corresponding week.

Okay, we got all the necessaries out of the way for the final time, so here it is. Here is my Top 3 films that are perfect for Halloween!

#3: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Halloween H20

Okay, I readily admit I have some explaining to do on this one and it probably won’t do anything to change that skeptical look on your face right now. Everyone has that horror movie they can’t defend but also can’t deny they love it. A “guilty pleasure” of sorts. Well, ‘Halloween H20’ is that for me. But how, you ask, can you possibly place it in your Top 3? My answer is I didn’t; the criteria did. First off, it’s a ‘Halloween’ sequel, so it’s going to have perfect scores in Seasonalness and Halloween Spirit just by default. Also, it’s definitely going to walk away with some points in Pop Culture Value. You know the ‘Halloween’ franchise, you know who Michael Myers is, you can’t deny any sequel points there. The place where my own personal subjectivity came in is film rating, and that, I admit, is up for debate. But ‘Halloween H20’ is the first ‘Halloween’ sequel where the “kill scenes” have a palpable fear to them. Not since 1981’s ‘Halloween II’ have the victims felt so “hunted”, where I personally believe Michael Myers is at his best. Also, the deaths have a much better slasher element to them. For the first few films in the franchise, every death was pretty much the same: someone dies in a very “plastic-feeling” slash scene where it is more implied that someone was stabbed rather than shown. But ‘H20’ pulls out all the stops. How about a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt getting a splitting headache via a hockey skate? Or Adam Arkin not just getting stabbed, but then being lifted up by said knife? There’s a lot of innovation here for a film that is seventh in its franchise, and for that, I’ll gladly put up with LL Cool J’s cartoonishly bad security guard character.

Film Rating: 8.3/10
Seasonalness: 10.0/10
Halloween Spirit: 5.0/5
Scare Factor: 2.5/5
Pop Culture Value: 3.0/5
Rewatch Value: 2.5/3
TOTAL INDEX SCORE: 31.3/38 (82.37%)

#2: Halloween (1978)

Halloween

Going over this list, you’ll discover at least one trend: the first is almost always the greatest, and the ‘Halloween’ franchise is no exception to that rule. It’s almost baffling that it took until the year nineteen hundred and seventy-eight for someone to make a horror movie titled ‘Halloween’ in which a depraved psychopath begins to murder people on old Hallows’ Eve, but it did. A lot of the same elements that made the ‘Scream’ franchise so great are in play here as well. Everyone can relate to the fear of being hunted in your own home by a masked murder wielding something as simple as a kitchen knife. The difference here, though, is that John Carpenter gives his killer a purpose. Michael Myers isn’t killing people for the sake of killing people, he has an objective: Laurie Strode. And he’s so driven by said objective you simply must die if you’re in his way. So then why isn’t ‘Halloween’ the best horror movie to watch on said holiday? Well, simply put, there are much scarier movies out there. Carpenter’s premise is scary, sure, but ‘Halloween’ falls victim to the same problem many older films do where newer films have been more successful in taking a scary situation and actually instilling fear in you, the viewer, on the other side of the screen. The difference in overall score between ‘Halloween’ and my #1 movie is 2.5 points. The fact that ‘Halloween’ is missing three more possible points in Scare Factor is almost surely not a coincidence.

Film Rating: 7.7/10
Seasonalness: 10.0/10
Halloween Spirit: 5.0/5
Scare Factor: 2.0/5
Pop Culture Value: 5.0/5
Rewatch Value: 2.5/3
TOTAL INDEX SCORE: 32.2/38 (84.74%)

#1: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Blair Witch

There’s no denying that ‘The Blair Witch Project’ is a polarizing film. You either love it or you hate it, there is no middle ground. Well, I at least love it. To me, the scariest movies are the ones where you’re not quite sure what is going on. Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street and, yes, even Halloween, let you know what’s going on. You have complete situational awareness. In ‘Blair Witch’, it’s never quite clear what is going on. All that is clear is that it’s bats*** scary. So you’ve got your excellent Scare Factor score (full disclosure: no horror movie received a perfect ‘5’ for Scare Factor). What about the Seasonalness? Shots of Halloween decorations make it pretty clear what time of year it is. Halloween Spirit? Not as good as some others, but like we said: there are some very “Halloweeny” scenes to get you in the spirit. Plus, hunting down the legend of a witch? That’ll always be good for a couple points here. So the only part (again) that’s up for debate is film rating. And like I said: you either or love or hate this film. Considering no movie was given higher than a 9.0 on film rating, my stance on ‘Blair Witch’ seems to be pretty clear. And because it’s all of the above, it gets a perfect score for Rewatch Value as well. It is the best horror movie to watch for Halloween.

Film Rating: 8.7/10
Seasonalness: 10.0/10
Halloween Spirit: 3.5/5
Scare Factor: 4.5/5
Pop Culture Value: 5.0/5
Rewatch Value: 3.0/3
TOTAL INDEX SCORE: 34.7/38 (91.32%)


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