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Must-See Halloween Movies 2: The Gore the Merrier

Last year I told you about some scary movies you should consider to get you in the Halloween spirit. Would you like some more of that? Good. I tried to make my choices a little more obscure this time in an effort to help you broaden your horizons. Just remember, it’s Halloween. Everyone’s entitled to one good scare.
 
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
Just kidding. Yes, this is like the eighth time I’ve made that joke.  
 
Dog Soldiers (2002)
As I said last year, there really aren’t that many great werewolf movies. Off the top of my head, I can name three. Last year, I mentioned “An American Werewolf in London,” and “Silver Bullet” is also up there.  Then there’s “Dog Soldiers,” from Neil Marshall, the director of “The Descent.” Here’s all you need to know: Soldiers vs. Werewolves. It’s exactly as awesome as it sounds.  
 
Slither (2006)
Like most things that Nathan Filion did before “Castle,” “Slither” was criminally overlooked when it was released back during my first stay at Ole Miss because, yes, I’m that old. Basically, alien parasites attempt to take over a small town and it’s up to Sheriff Fillion and his girlfriend Elizabeth Banks to deal with the problem. Not interested yet? Why are you even reading one of my columns, then?
 
Hatchet (2006)
Billed as “Old School American Horror,” this movie certainly lives up to that mantra. “Hatchet” is a loving tribute the to slasher genre, even pulling out some old favorites like Robert Englund, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder. “Hatchet” is probably the most fun you’ll ever have watching people be mercilessly hacked to death by a grotesque, swamp-dwelling, disfigured behemoth.  This is one of the most fun horror movies I’ve ever seen.  As is often the case, avoid the sequel at all costs.  
 
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
This movie recalls anthology films like “Creepshow,” and “Tales From the Crypt,” but at some point it goes beyond those and does its own thing. “Trick ‘r Treat” was never released in theater, which is a shame, because other than “Halloween,” I can’t think of another movie that captures the Halloween spirit quite like this one. It begins by telling a series of separate stories but you learn they might not be so separate, and they all take place on Halloween night.  If I’m being vague it’s because I don’t want to ruin it. Netflix this baby.
 
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007)
This movie is a breath of fresh air. The slasher genre hasn’t meant much since “Scream” came along and ruined it, but some movies (such as the aforementioned “Hatchet”) still believe the slasher is king. “Behind the Mask” is an interesting animal, as the first half is mostly comedic in nature. The movie takes place in a world where slashers like Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers really exist, and aspiring serial killer Leslie Vernon invites a student film crew along to document his reign of terror.  It’s an ingenious (and ingeniously silly) concept that turns to horror at precisely the right moment. Where’s my sequel?
 
Exorcist III (1990)
Speaking of sequels, here’s one that shouldn’t even exist, let alone be good. “The Exorcist” needed a sequel about like I need another parking ticket, but it’s had three, and two of those three (“Exorcist II: The Heretic” and “Exorcist: The Beginning”) set new standards of awful. “Exorcist III,” however, is a modern marvel. It’s a sequel that has almost nothing to do with the original but comes very close to matching it. I’ve mentioned before that “Halloween” is my all-time favorite horror film, but “Exorcist III” is in my top five. This movie creates such a feeling of dread, that I, a grown man, shudder at the thought of watch it. You can have your “Paranormal Activity 9: Paranormal Activity on the Moon;” I’ll take “Exorcist III” any day. It has a taut, suspenseful, and frightening story with a strong sense of dread throughout, and also features the single best jump-scare in movie history.