happy, happy halloween

I went to a costume party over the weekend, so tonight I can have one of those nice, lazy Halloween nights that's all about passing out candy and watching movies. This time of year is great because most of the channels put on their scariest shows, and while I might wish for a little more variety (AMC shows the same handful of movies every year), there's always something on that I'll like.

Here are some viewing suggestions for those of you who are, like me, staying at home this year.

6 pm
  • Halloween H20 (AMC)
    Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the role that helped launch her career, it's set 20 years after the events of Halloween and its first sequel.
8 pm
  • Halloween (AMC)
    If you somehow haven't seen Halloween yet, this is required viewing tonight. It's paced really well and manages to be scary with only a small amount of gore.
  • Gremlins (CMT)
    Also known as "the reason we have a PG-13 rating," Gremlins is a lot of fun.
  • Ed Wood (Flix)
    This is Tim Burton's best movie, and I don't only think that because it has a more realistic look that avoids his typical goth visuals that have started to feel tired in recent years.
9:30 pm
  • Night of the Living Dead (TCM)
    While it never actually uses the z-word, this movie took the zombies from their voodoo curse roots and gave them new life as apocalyptic monsters. And slow zombies are still scarier than fast ones.
10 pm
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (AMC)
    The plan was to have the Halloween movies branch out into other spooky stories that happened on the holiday.  Unfortunately, fans were too disappointed at the lack of Michael Meyers to really appreciate this one, but it's a lot of fun. It also has the best Halloween jingle ever.
  • Jason X (Encore)
    I'd like to shake the hand of the person who had the idea of doing Friday the 13th in space. No, really. It's Jason with a spaceship, a cyborg, and a holodeck-style scene that offers him a set of his stereotypical victims. I wouldn't say it's that scary, but it sure is fun
  • Ginger Snaps (IFC)
    Who doesn't love an indie coming-of-age werewolf drama?
10:15 pm
  • Pitch Black (Flix)
    Survivors of a spaceship crash face terrifying aliens in the dark, it's a great example of scary sci-fi.
11:15 pm
  • A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (TCM)
    As the only thing on this list I haven't seen yet, I can't say too much about it. But it's a special about how movies have influenced Stephen King, which sounds pretty interesting.
1:20 am
  • In the Mouth of Madness (Encore)
    This John Carpenter movie about an investigator on the trail of a missing writer is heavily influenced by Lovecraft, but manages to be better than most of the direct adaptations of Lovecraft's works.
2:00 am
  • The Haunting (TCM)
    The 1963 version of Shirley Jackson's novel is one of the best ghost movies around.

(These listings are from TV Guide, and are for US channels in Eastern Time.)

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