Looking for a Halloween horror binge for the weekend? Stream the three seasons of Penny Dreadful on Netflix. Want to frighten your friends and loved ones? Turn on Splatterdays, Pluto TV’s free marathon of horror classics. Keep reading to learn more about the season’s best Halloween programming.
(Photo by Picture Alliance/Everett Collection)
31 Nights of Halloween, Freeform
The annual event on the network features its usual lineup of Halloween-themed movies — The Addams Family, Maleficent, Hotel Transylvania, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and of course Hocus Pocus — along with a special (31 Nights of Halloween Special Fan Fest) and an all-day Hocus Pocus marathon on the day itself.
Visit the streaming service’s Halloween-themed hub for a personalized selection of popular Halloween TV episodes and movies. Hand-picked Halloween collections include Freaky Franchises, Foreign Frights, Psychological Horror & Thrillers, Sci-Fi Scares, Indies, Zombies, Humorous Horror, Anthologies, alongside Hulu Originals and Huluween Essentials.
Netflix & Chills, Netflix
The streaming service’s spooky hub contains plenty of horror movies and horror TV series, plus a selection of original movies and series debuting throughout the month of October.
Splatterdays and 31 Nights of Horror, Pluto TV
In the free streaming service’s horror marathon, watch a different scary movie every night starting at 10 p.m. ET. Selections include classics like Day of the Dead and Hellraiser and modern hits like You’re Next and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. In the “Splatterdays” terror marathon, watch a marathon of slasher movies every Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. ET. Titles include Prom Night, Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, I Saw The Devil, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, and Severance.
On Halloween day, TNT will air nine hours straight of some of the CW hit’s spookiest episodes, including “Ghostfacers,” “Monster Movie,” “ScoobyNatural,” and many more. The marathon runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.
A Shudder Halloween Collection, Shudder
The horror streaming service is highlighting classics including the Halloween movies and originals including Belzebuth and Terrified.
13 Nights of Halloween, HDNet Movies
A mix of classic and modern horror and thriller films will play every night on the network. Highlights include a Night of the Living Dead Marathon, an Edgar Allan Poe/Vincent Price night, and a 24-hour marathon on Halloween itself.
American Horror Story 77% — Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX
Castle Rock 88% — available to stream on Hulu
Charmed — Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW
Creepshow — streaming Thursdays on Shudder
Daybreak 70% — streaming Thursday, Oct. 24 on Netflix
A Discovery of Witches 81% — available to stream on Sundance Now
Glitch 80% — season 3 is now available to stream on Netflix
Legacies — Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW
Halloween Baking Championship — Mondays at 9 p.m. on Food Network
Haunted — available to stream on Netflix
Into the Dark 69% — Blumhouse’s horror anthology — available to stream on Hulu
Marianne 94% — available to stream on Netflix
Mr. Mercedes 91% — Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Audience
Light as a Feather 50% — available to stream on Hulu
Penny Dreadful 91% — available to stream on Netflix
Prank Encounters 40% — streaming Friday, Oct. 25 on Netflix
The Purge 42% — Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on USA
The Walking Dead 80% — Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC
Zomboat! — streaming Friday, Oct. 25 on Hulu
In the Tall Grass (2019) 36% — the film based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, now streaming on Netflix
Fractured (2019) 59% — a family’s car trip goes wrong in this film starring Sam Worthington and Lily Rabe, now streaming on Netflix
Wounds (2019) 47% — a New Orleans bartender’s life begins to unravel after a series of disturbing and inexplicable events that begin to happen to him after picking up a phone left behind at a bar, now streaming on Hulu
Little Monsters (2019) 79% — the critically acclaimed Australian horror comedy about a school field trip that ends with a zombie outbreak stars Lupita Nyong’o and is now streaming on Hulu
Rattlesnake (2019) 30% — a single mother (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter drive across the country to start their new life, but things go wrong when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, premieres Friday, Oct. 25 on Netflix
The Top Ten Revealed: Rockin’ Ghoulish Songs — premieres Sunday, Oct. 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET on AXS TV
Agatha Raisin — premieres Monday, Oct. 28 on Acorn TV
World’s Biggest Ghost Hunt: Pennhurst Asylum — premieres Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. on A&E
The Very VERY Best of the 70s: Horror Films — premieres Thursday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV
The 13 Scariest Movies of All Time — premieres Thursday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, hosted by Dean Cain
(Photo by THE SIMPSONS ™ and © 2019 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
Evil 93% — “October 31” premieres Thursday, October 24 on CBS
The Conners 93% — “Nightmare on Lunch Box Street” premieres Tuesday, October 29 on ABC
Schooled 73% — “Run, Rick, Run” premieres Wednesday, October 30 on ABC
(Photo by Jack Rowand/The CW)
Riverdale 84% — “Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween” premieres Wednesday, October 30 on The CW
Nancy Drew — “The Haunted Ring” premieres Wednesday, October 30 on The CW
Young Sheldon — “Seven Deadly Sins and a Small Carl Sagan” rebroadcast Thursday, October 31 on CBS
Mysteries Decoded — “Vampires of New Orleans” premieres Thursday, October 31 on The CW
RELATED: The Scariest TV Episodes Ever
Horror has a way of making an unlit hallway look like a trek through hell, inducing heart attacks though jumping cats, and transforming everyday tools like chainsaws and double-barrel shotguns into instruments of doom. The marketing and posters for Us suggests that Jordan Peele’s new horror flick will do for golden scissors what Get Out did for tea cups, which also happens to be one of selections for the 25 most iconic props from horror movie history! Read on to get your fill of creaky carriages, demonic dolls, and bloody blades.
It’s October, people! That means it’s time to sharpen your pumpkin-carving knives, stock up on candy, and…turn on your TV (or at least set your DVR) to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year. TV networks and streaming services are celebrating Halloween all month long with marathons, specials, series, episodes, and more.
Check back periodically throughout October as we update the list with the latest in Halloween programming!
(Photo by Picture Alliance/Everett Collection)
31 Nights of Halloween, Freeform
Expanding from 13 nights to 31, the network is celebrating Halloween all month long for its 20th annual celebration. Programming includes fan-favorite movies (The Addams Family, Maleficent, Hotel Transylvania, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the exclusive television home for Hocus Pocus), a new special (Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic), short-form content and an all-day Hocus Pocus marathon on the day itself.
31 Days of Halloween, Syfy
The network’s October programming includes the debut of multiple original movies, a new installment of horror anthology Channel Zero, new seasons of Z Nation and Van Helsing, and airings of fan-favorite scary movies including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Resident Evil, and The Cabin in the Woods.
AMC FearFest, AMC
Beginning Oct. 14, the network’s annual event includes marathons of the Halloween movies, The Exorcist, Hellraiser, Friday the 13th, and Stephen King films; a Slasher-thon; and the AMC debut of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Rob Zombie’s 13 Nights of Halloween, HDNET
The cable network is resurrecting the horror icon’s Halloween programming with 13 films hosted by Zombie himself, airing nightly at 9 p.m. beginning Oct. 19. Selections include Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, The Blair Witch Project, Flatliners, and more.
Classic Horror, TCM and Filmstruck
The classic film network is dedicating different days of the week to various Halloween-themed programming. Every Wednesday will celebrate a different Horror Star of the Week (including Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price), while Sundays are for the Monster of the Month: The Mummy (programming includes 11 of the best mummy-themed films ranging from 1936’s Mummy’s Boys to 1971’s Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb). On the network’s streaming service, Filmstruck, find a lineup of monster movies, Japanese horror films, and more.
Three new original series from Nerdist will debut on Legendary Digital Networks’ Alpha during October: Bizarre States: California, Vampire: The Masquerade – L.A. By Night, and The Dark Side, in addition to other Halloween-themed programming.
On Halloween day, TNT will air 12 hours straight of some of the CW hit’s spookiest episodes, including the pilot, “Bloody Mary,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester,” “Monster Movie,” and many more.
Halloween and Alfred Hitchcock Collections, Shudder
The horror streaming service is highlighting classics including Halloween, Halloween 4, Halloween 5, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; and an Alfred Hitchcock collection that includes Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rope, and Shadow of a Doubt.
Halloween Programming, Cartoon Network App
Check out Halloween specials for popular Cartoon Network Series The Powerpuff Girls, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, Unkitty, and more.
Halloween Movies, Pluto TV
Stream ‘n’ scream with plenty of holiday classics, including Night of the Living Dead, Paranormal Activity 2, Leprechaun In the Hood, Silent Hill, Idle Hands, and more.
BBC AAAAAAmerica, BBC America
Get in the spooky spirit with a week’s worth of programming with movie marathons, a takeover of The X-Files, and hours of Hitchcockian horror. Plus, the network is partnering with streaming service Shudder for a Saturday of original films seen for the first time on television.
Halloween Baking Championship — Mondays at 9 p.m. on Food Network
The Purge 42% — Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on USA
American Horror Story 77% — Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX
Mr. Mercedes 91% — Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Audience
Creeped Out — this horror anthology for kids bows Oct. 4 on Netflix
Into the Dark 69% — the first installment of Blumhouse Television’s monthly event series, “The Body” starring Rebecca Rittenhouse and Tom Bateman, bows Oct. 5 on Hulu
Z Nation — season 5 of the zombie series premieres Friday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Van Helsing — season 3 of the vampire hunter series premieres Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 p.m. on Syfy
The Walking Dead 80% — season 9 premieres Sunday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. on AMC
Light as a Feather 50% — based on the children’s game of the same name, all 10 episodes debut Oct. 12 on Hulu
Apostle — premieres Oct. 12 on Netflix
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell — the spooky baking show debuts Oct. 12 on Netflix
The Haunting of Hill House 93% — premieres Oct. 12 on Netflix
Charmed — the reboot premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. on The CW
Haunted — premieres Oct. 19 on Netflix
The Good Witch — season 5 premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. on Hallmark
Legacies — The Vampire Diaries and The Originals spinoff premieres Thursday, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. on The CW
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 81% — premieres Friday, Oct. 26 on Netflix
Castlevania 94% — season 2 premieres Friday, Oct. 26 on Netflix
Midnight, Texas 61% — season 2 premieres Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC
Channel Zero: Candle Cove 93% — “The Dream Door” premieres Friday, Oct. 26 on Syfy and airs in full across Halloween week
Tell Me a Story — the creepy fairy-tale anthology bows Oct. 31 on CBS All Access
Stan Against Evil — season 3 premieres Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. on IFC
No Escape Room — a father and daughter check out a small town escape room and discover there is something sinister about the place in this original movie debuting Saturday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Cucuy: The Boogeyman — a teenage girl confined to her home on house arrest soon discovers that the nightmarish urban legends of the Mexican boogeyman, El Cucuy, are actually true in this original movie debuting Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. on Syfy
Karma — when recent college grad Manny has trouble making ends meet, his father-in-law offers him a job evicting delinquent tenants. Manny soon finds himself unleashing a karma demon which stalks him at every turn in this original movie debuting Saturday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Killer High — Sabrina’s perfectly planned high school reunion goes south when a monster keeps killing all the guests in this horror-comedy original movie debuting Saturday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on Syfy
The Good Witch — “The Tale of Two Hearts”
Dead in the Water — an all-female crew on a boat in the middle of nowhere must deal with an invader on their ship in this original movie debuting Saturday, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. on Syfy
(Photo by Fox)
Fresh Off the Boat 94% — “Workin’ the ‘Ween” premieres Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. on ABC
Last Man Standing — “Bride of Prankenstein” premieres Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. on Fox
Raven’s Home — “Switch-Or-Treat” premieres Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel
Speechless — “I-n-Into the W-o-Woods” premieres Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ABC
The Simpsons 85% — “Treehouse of Horror XXIX” premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. on Fox
Bob's Burgers — “Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street” premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox
Family Guy — “Big Trouble in Little Quahog” premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rel 44% — “Halloween” premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox
The Goldbergs — “Mister Knifey-Hands” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC
American Housewife — “Trust Me” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC
Modern Family 85% — “Good Grief” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. on ABC
The Cool Kids 75% — “Politician, Freemason, Scientist, Humorist and Diplomat, Ben Franklin” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 24 9:30 p.m. on ABC
Superstore 93% — “Costume Competition” premieres Thursday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. on NBC
Young Sheldon — “Seven Deadly Sins and a Small Carl Sagan” premieres Thursday, Oct. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS
MacGyver — “Dia de Muertos + Sicarios + Family” premieres Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS
Hawaii Five-0 — “A’ohe mea ‘imi a ka maka (Nothing More the Eyes to Search for)” premieres Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. on CBS
We meet again. Here, on the internet. What are the odds? You, me, at this junction in this series of tubes, when we could be anywhere else online: Watching a movie, scattering reasonable comments on news, or ordering replacement Encarta 95 discs. All just wonderful stuff.
But were you aware of the internet’s dark side? This Friday, Friend Request plays on every parent’s worst online fears: That their daughter will become Snapface friends with a thing that looks like a man but the thing is really the devil!! Welcome to the darkest web, triggering this week’s gallery of 24 best and worst movies about the internet by Tomatometer!
Rings is out in theaters this week, continuing the ghostly VHS story started by the first American Ring 15 years ago. Not a bad length for a horror franchise that started this century, but in this week’s gallery we look at 24 series that have been taking a stab at audiences for over two decades. Remember: If your franchise has gone over four movies without a Fresh rating, consult a script doctor.
We here at RT went deep into the vault of horror franchises to tally up the victims of some of film and TV’s most deadly psycho killers. Take a peek at the results — if you dare!
Haunting Grounds: Bates Motel
Estimated Body Count: 20
Has there ever been a cinematic slasher more pitiable than Norman Bates? The poor guy is practically at war with himself, and his mom nags him from beyond the grave. Heck, every time he makes friends, they seem to end up dead. If Psycho exerted a profound influence on the slasher genre (and onscreen violence in general), it wasn’t because Norman was a particularly prolific killer. Alfred Hitchcock’s original (and the sequels) depicted a man in the clutches of inner torment and madness that was so gripping and scary that it didn’t need buckets of blood (or, in one memorable case, chocolate syrup) to be deeply unsettling. Nine deaths are attributed to Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) on the five-season AMC prequel TV series Bates Motel. But, really, who can say for sure?
Haunting Grounds: The Jeepers Creepers series
Estimated Body Count: 20
When Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer wrote “Jeepers Creepers” in the late 1930s, they surely never guessed their snappy little pop ditty would go on to provide the theme song for a murderous winged creature who possesses a bee- and dog-like ability to smell fear, and who can regenerate body parts by ingesting those of his victims. And that’s not all — the Creeper can also overcome overwhelmingly negative reviews, too! Although critics kept 2001’s Jeepers Creepers from a Fresh certification, the Creeper was back just two years later with a sequel, and there was even talk of a third installment. Not bad for a bad guy who’s limited to a single 23-day feeding frenzy every 23 years, right?
Haunting Grounds: The Thing from Another World, The Thing, The Thing
Estimated Body Count: 20
Human beings have long wondered what otherworldy monstrosities might be lurking out in the far reaches of space, which helps to explain the enduring appeal of John W. Campbell’s 1938 short story, Who Goes There? It’s the tale of an Antarctic research team that unwittingly rescues a malevolent alien from an icy grave. The creature repays the favor by forcibly (and messily) assimilating every living being within reach, including 20 unlucky scientists and a handful of dogs. Campbell’s monster — referred to as the Thing — has provided rich fodder for filmmakers over the decades, inspiring 1951’s The Thing from Another World, John Carpenter’s 1982 cult classic The Thing, and, most recently, the 2011 prequel/reboot of the same name.
Haunting Grounds: The Jaws series
Estimated Body Count: ~21, if you count the whale in Jaws 2
Most of the slashers on our list are bona fide film icons, but few of them can boast of having changed the entire industry the way Peter Benchley’s great white shark did: Before Jaws‘ 1975 debut, studios actually held their big films out of the summer market, believing the vacation months to be a commercial graveyard. Almost $500 million (and lots of bloody ocean water) later, a franchise was born — and although the third and fourth installments aren’t good for much besides unintentional humor, the original remains a certified classic with a 98 percent Tomatometer rating. Granted, the kill count here takes into consideration the havoc wreaked by multiple great whites over the course of the franchise, but it merely illustrates what Benchley already knew: the ocean is scary enough even without a gigantic bloodthirsty shark chasing you around, so tossing one in the mix just ups the ante.
Haunting Grounds: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series
Estimated Body Count: 30
The twisted true-life tale of grave robber Ed Gein has inspired many notable cinematic grotesques, from Norman Bates in Psycho to Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. However, Tobe Hooper may have done the most to immortalize Gein in the annals of perverse pop culture by emphasizing his habit of making clothing out of human flesh. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre introduced Leatherface, a developmentally disabled fellow under the control of his cannibalistic family. Though he started out as a pretty timid guy who was as afraid of visitors as they were of him, Leatherface came out of his shell in the sequels and reboots, making up for lost time in liberally employing his Poulan 306A.
Haunting Grounds: The Hellraiser series
Estimated Body Count: 35
By the late 1980s, the slasher genre was starting to feel a little stale — and then along came Pinhead, the sadomasochistic leader of the extradimensional pack of hooligans known as the Cenobites. The spike-headed hook fetishist wasn’t featured heavily in 1987’s Hellraiser, but Pinhead’s combination of creepy appearance, selective taste for victims, and clear fondness for gruesome torture stole the movie; throughout the eight-film series (four of which were released straight to DVD), Pinhead has remained the only constant, and for good reason: although his body count may be relatively low, no one else can match his prowess with a sharp, well-placed hook.
Haunting Grounds: The Child’s Play series
Estimated Body Count: ~38
Chucky may have devolved into a pint-sized Tony Clifton at this point, but the original Child’s Play was a superior genre piece — creepy, suspenseful, and blessed with an insidious sense of humor. Child’s Play riffed on the idea of innocence gone horribly wrong, with a quasi-Cabbage Patch Kid embodied by a vicious serial killer thanks to a voodoo ritual. Subsequent sequels — the most recent of which, Curse of Chucky, just recently made its way onto home video — have delivered more camp than scares, but Chucky’s left a trail of more than 35 corpses in his wake — and probably didn’t enamor himself to Teddy Ruxpin.
Haunting Grounds: The Nightmare on Elm Street series
Estimated Body Count: ~39
Arguably the most recognizable movie monster of the 1980s, Freddy Krueger may not be able to compete with other horror icons when it comes to killing in bulk. But the dermatologically-challenged Elm Street resident certainly wins points for style; in addition to his expert use of claw-tipped leather gloves, Freddy is adept at shape-shifting, strangulation, and generating geysers of blood from the bodies of future heartthrobs. Even accounting for the various forms Freddy has taken over the years in his efforts to turn the sweetest dreams dark and bloody, we’ve got his kill count somewhere in the vicinity of 39. That might be fewer than one might expect, but Mr. Krueger is an artiste who chooses his victims very specifically.
Haunting Grounds: The Final Destination series
Estimated Body Count: 39
Remember the old margarine commercials that said you can’t fool Mother Nature? Well, according to the Final Destination series, you can’t cheat Fate, either. It’s often said that revenge is a dish best served cold — but for the unseen hand of Fate, it tastes even better when garnished with a series of incredibly brutal (and, it must be said, very morbidly entertaining) booby traps. The series’ unseen antagonist has dispatched 39 victims, using everything from the mundane (death by falling brick) to the cleverly rewind-worthy (shower cord strangulation, ladder through the eye, death by falling cherry picker). By the time we surpassed The Final Destination and got Final Destination 5, the series was clearly aware of its silly appeal, and each creatively choreographed death was equally as hilarious as it was cringeworthy.
Haunting Grounds: The Scream franchise, Scream (TV series)
Estimated Body Count: 49
One of the rare slasher antagonists who’s a killer by committee, the Scream series’ Ghostface is played by a revolving door of mask-donning, knife-wielding psychopaths. Their motives are different (peer pressure, revenge, etc.), but the results are the same, no matter who wears the Edward Munch-inspired getup: teenagers will turn up dead, following the conventions of horror movies. And, as with other horror franchises, the body count increases with each sequel. Adding to the mayhem was the first season of MTV’s Scream, which aired this summer. All in all, this council of killers is responsible for at least 49 slayings.
Haunting Grounds: The Leprechaun series
Estimated Body Count: 50
The Leprechaun series is the embodiment of the finest that Irish culture and letters has to offer, easily surpassing the works of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. The titular antihero is murderously committed to acquiring a pot o’ gold, an undertaking that prompts travel to such exotic locales as Las Vegas, Compton, and outer space. Despite his diminutive stature, the Leprechaun’s super-sharp claws and teeth have helped him tally 50 onscreen fatalities, including a very young Jennifer Aniston, who made her big screen debut in the first film.
Haunting Grounds: The Saw series
Estimated Body Count: 60
John Kramer was first christened “Jigsaw” by detectives who discovered the serial killer’s calling card was a puzzle piece-shaped hunk of flesh carved from the corpses of his victims. The name stuck as the cops closed in on Kramer and realized his elaborate, irony-laden traps were designed to punish those he deemed guilty of criminal acts or taking life for granted (he must have been a fan of Se7en). More characters and plot twists (Jigsaw doesn’t work alone! Something about cancer!) were introduced as the series wore on, and Saw evolved into a labyrinthine annual soap opera drenched in blood and agony. A Grand Guignol for our times.
Haunting Grounds: Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal, Hannibal Rising, Hannibal (TV)
Estimated Body Count: 98
Before 1991, you may not have even known what fava beans were — but after Anthony Hopkins’ first appearance as Doctor Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, nobody ever thought of them the same way again. Like Jason Voorhees, Lecter doesn’t appear in much of the famous reboot — he’s only in a little over 15 minutes of Lambs — but it was the first time we actually witnessed the good doctor rack up a few kills on screen (both Manhunter and its remake Red Dragon only imply Lecter’s murdered some folks), and audiences had a clear, um, appetite for the flesh-craving serial killer’s brand of mayhem: he’s gone on to appear in a number of other books and movies. Although we just saw the end of Hannibal‘s three-season run on NBC, series creator Bryan Fuller insists we haven’t seen the last of Lecter just yet.
Haunting Grounds: The Halloween series, minus Season of the Witch
Estimated Body Count: ~107
The best-known escapee of Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, Michael Myers has never been a big fan of babysitters, nor is he particularly fleet of foot. He digs Blue Oyster Cult, and makes special use of Star Trek paraphernalia and kitchen cutlery. Since the release of John Carpenter’s landmark Halloween, Myers’ legend has been told in a number of sequels, and if his reasons for killing are obscure, he’s still coldly efficient at the task; he’s racked up a whopping 100-plus notches on his belt.
Haunting Grounds: The Invisible Man (1933)
Estimated Body Count: 123
We were shocked (shocked!) to discover that killers with high body counts could even be found in Old Hollywood fare. Based on the H.G. Wells 1897 novel, James Whale’s pre-code horror film featured Claude Rains (Casablanca) in his American film debut as the titular villain, also known as Dr. Jack Griffin. Hiding away in a snowy village, Griffin experiments on himself while working on a drug called “monocane,” which he believes is the secret to invisibility. Although he does succeed in turning himself invisible, he also becomes a crazed murderer. Killing those who get in his way, and a train full of people just for kicks, Griffin eventually causes the death of 123 people – including himself.
Haunting Grounds: The Friday the 13th series
Estimated Body Count: 146
Rocking facial protection that would do Jacques Plante proud, Jason Voorhees terrorized Camp Crystal Lake with cold precision (and an ability to cheat death that Rasputin would envy) in Friday the 13th. Occasionally, he breaks out of the bucolic confines of the countryside to wreak havoc in the big city (Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan), Hades (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday), and the future (Jason X). According to our research, Jason has put a whopping 146 unfortunate souls on ice. Pretty impressive for a cat who drowned in 1958.
En español: Read this article in Spanish at Tomatazos.com.
The most successful horror franchises tend to feature protagonists audiences can root for — heroes that viewers hope will beat the odds and emerge from their respective situations victorious and, well, alive. With that in mind, we here at RT decided to look back at some of cinema’s most stubborn survivors, those characters that somehow managed to avoid being offed in multiple horror movies.
Needless to say, you may want to avoid what follows below if you’re allergic to spoilers. Without further ado, here are our choices for the Horror Movie Survivor Hall of Fame!
Survived: The Alien Franchise
You can’t keep a good woman down. Case in point: Ellen Ripley. Even if she only survived two-and-three-quarters of the first three Alien films, the DNA in her blood cells was enough to create a pretty killer replica (which gives us all hope for future Chuck Norris clones, but we digress).
Ripley could have gone the way of Dr. Frank Poole a whole bunch of times throughout the series. As the only survivor of the Nostromo (not counting Jones the cat), she still could have been torn to shreds when the alien hid on her shuttle. In Aliens, Ripley and a few of her compatriots survived a tough battle with the Alien Queen aboard the Sulaco. Even a universe-saving suicide in Alien 3 barely slows Ripley down — the follow-up isn’t called Alien Resurrection for nothing. How does she do it? Our guess is those decades-long stasis naps do a body good.
Survived: The Evil Dead Franchise
You can possess him with a few demons. You can chop off his hand. Hell, you can even send him back through time. But the one thing you cannot do to Ashley “Ash” Williams: keep him down for good.The same can’t be said of Ash’s friends, who, in the first two Evil Deads offer up a survival rate of exactly zero. Ash is actually supposed to have died in the final frames of The Evil Dead, but the sequel retcons the whole thing, causing him to re-endure a gory getaway in the forest cabin. In the process, he loses his hand, but hey, chainsaw hand as replacement.
In the final Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Ash is sent to 1300 AD. His only way to get back to the present time and his job at S-Mart: Going through a horde of the undead (led by an Ash clone) to retrieve the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. Groovy.
Survived: The Frankenstein Series by Hammer Films
Some folks just don’t know when to quit. You’d think that Baron Victor von Frankenstein would reconsider his diabolical experiments in reanimation after nearly getting his dome lopped off in The Curse of Frankenstein, but no; this guy’s got a one-track mind. Unlike the Frankenstein of Mary Shelley and the Universal movies, our man Vic (played with eyebrow-raised relish by Peter Cushing) doesn’t evolve from hubristic to guilt-ridden — he’s pretty much a murderous mad scientist from minute one. After surviving the guillotine in The Curse of Frankenstein, the Baron continued his artificial life experiments in a bunch of Hammer films (either five or six, depending on whether you count the Cushing-free The Horror of Frankenstein as part of the cannon — many don’t). It’s pretty amazing that Frankenstein can perpetually stay one step ahead of death, given that angry townspeople, public officials, and even his own stitched-up creations are always trying to kill him.
The Friday the 13th series only had two protagonists who would carry themselves into sequels. The first was the original camp survivor who would be unceremoniously offed in Part II‘s opening sequence. The other: Tommy Jarvis. He first appeared in arguably the series’ best installment, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, as a young boy vacationing with his single mother and sister. With a penchant for masks, he and his sister succeed in confusing Jason, before Tommy is taken over by madness and hacks poor ol’ Jason Voorhees to death. The ambigious final shot of The Final Chapter suggests he has taken on an evil spirit.
In the godawful sequel, A New Beginning, Tommy is a taciturn mental patient, drifting in and out of institutions. As copycat murders begin around him, he suspects that his psychosis is taking over under the cover of night. Turns out the killer was just a disgruntled paramedic. In his final appearance, Jason Lives, Tommy attempts to tear Jason’s corpse asunder, but a steel pipe left in his heart attracts a bolt of lightning and Jason is resurrected. Ultimately, Tommy lures him back to the lake and to a watery grave. But we all know how long the dead stay dead in horror movies, don’t we?
It’s no wonder that Laurie Strode takes a breather every couple of Halloween installments; neither sleep nor time nor even a franchise reboot can rid her of Michael Myers. In the original Halloween, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) survived the babysitting gig from hell, successfully keeping Michael Myers at bay (though he killed a couple of her friends). In Halloween II, she learned why she’d been stalked — it turned out that she was a blood relative of the knife-wielding psycho.
Laurie lay low for the next four Halloweens, but reemerged in Halloween H2O; she had faked her own death and changed her name, but she couldn’t stay hidden from her brother forever. Unfortunately, Myers finally got the best of Laurie in Halloween: Resurrection. Rob Zombie’s 2007 franchise reboot began at the beginning of the Laurie Strode story, with Scout Taylor-Compton stepping into the role; whether this incarnation of Laurie Strode shows the same survival instinct as the first remains to be seen.
Survived: The Halloween Franchise
Most psychology PhDs don’t receive gun training in school, tranquilizer or otherwise. Not sure about cursed zombie entrapment (that could be covered during mandatory intern hours), but Dr. Samuel James Loomis is somehow capable of all these things. At one point in Halloween 4, he agilely escaped death by diving behind some convenient barrels while his unkillable former patient took out a gas tank with a truck, causing a near-fatal explosion.
Dr. Loomis’ constant attempts at shooting Michael Myers really only impeded the guy’s momentum. It only took the first two films for Loomis to realize that bullets just wouldn’t work. At the end of II, he decided to be the martyr and blow both Michael and himself up using a combo of oxygen and ether.
Oh wait… but they both survive — somehow. Maybe Loomis got the explosive recipe wrong. But that’s great because then we got him for four more films! In those films we saw him use Michael’s female prey as bait to lure him into a trap consisting of a metal net, a tranquilizer gun, and his fists. But it was when he used his shrink skills to reason with the monster that we thought, “Oh yeah, that’s what he was trained to do.”
Survived: The Hellraiser Franchise
Puzzle boxes were all the rage in the 1980s. Of course, when Kirsty Cotton played with one, she suffered the consequences: the opening of another realm filled with sado-masochistic Cenobytes led by none other than Pinhead himself. Pinhead’s posse included Butterball, Chatterer, and the Female. After attacks from a deceptive dead-skin-wearing uncle, a group of deal-reneging “explorers” from another realm, and a stepmother hell-bent on devouring her boyfriend, Kirsty even withstood a trip to the Cenobyte realm. In Hellraiser III, she existed only through old interview footage, but she returned in Hellseeker with some gruesome tricks up her sleeve.
Being orphaned could inspire one to focus on new hobbies and interests, like mastering such a puzzle box, incidentally called the “Lament Configuration.” That, and a propensity for turning the tables on your loved ones, could be all you need to survive when confronted by violent unearthly beings that thrive on the pleasures of pain.
How exactly does one defeat a nemesis who manifests himself in the dream world and makes nightmares come true? Nancy Thompson seemed to have figured out the trick, but not before notorious burn victim Freddy Krueger dispatched a good number of her friends and family in gruesome ways.
After Freddy skewered her BFFs and effectively turned her boyfriend into a bloody geyser in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy somehow managed to escape, only to meet her end in Part 3: Dream Warriors. But here’s the kicker: Freddy actually came after the actress who played Nancy, Heather Langenkamp, in Wes Craven’s [very meta] New Nightmare, in which he also terrorized director Craven himself and the man who portrayed him in the movies, Robert Englund. Whoa… And maybe, you might think, a name change would help protect poor Nancy, but Freddy’s too smart for that.
Throughout all the twists and turns of the Saw franchise, one woman emerged as the series’ unlikely hero (seriously, the bad guys got waaay more screen time than the goodies): Jill Tuck, the ex-wife of serial killer Jigsaw. Jill was a rehabilitation clinic director who suffered a miscarriage after an assault from a junkie, prompting Jigsaw’s descent into madness.
Despite the Saw series’ brutally high body count, Jill survived five filmed appearances. After Jigsaw’s death in Saw III, she received a mysterious box via his will. For a while, her role as either protagonist or antagonist was up in the air, making her the most compelling character outside of Jigsaw himself. Then it was revealed her final role in Jigsaw’s twisted blueprint was to “test” his apprentice, crazy corrupt cop Mark Hoffman. Jill almost took him out, but was eventually killed in the final Saw with the infamous reverse bear trap.
Survived: The first four Scary Movie movies
A high-school-student-turned-college-student-turned-anchorwoman-turned-professional-boxer-turned-caregiver, Cindy Campbell knows how to throw down and maybe even snap some necks. Her response to a home-attack by Ghostface? What else? Throw a HOUSE PARTY! That would be the safest thing to do, right? But everyone ended up dead. Go figure. Her Matrix-like aerial fighting skills got her through another night, but could she survive a wedgie in Scary Movie 2? Turns out… she could and did!
This one was handy though. Only Cindy Campbell could MacGyver random objects into a tractor, allowing her to crash through the door of a refrigerator she was locked in. Even a UN nude-ray couldn’t stop this savvy ingénue. At one point, an alien Command tripod ensnared her with Venus flytraps in a grimy old bathroom, and she was instructed to find the key to free herself and her friend Brenda. The key was located behind her eye, but it wasn’t a problem for Cindy. She’s got a glass eye (old bar fight injury).
Cindy has survived a lot. She’s slick and sagacious. But we’re still not sure whether she’s still with us, since she sat out Scary Movie 5.
Survived: The Scream Franchise
Poor Sidney Prescott. She survived an entire franchise dedicated to her demise, and it really all came down to reasons that were far beyond her control. What’s that saying about “the sins of the father” (or, in this case, mother)? Yeah, Sidney sort of represents the epitome of the adage.
Consider this: Sidney’s own boyfriend, Billy, played the long con on her and ultimately tried to off her in the first Scream because Sidney’s mom broke apart his parents’ marriage — yikes. But it got worse: who should come around for revenge in Scream 2 but Billy’s mom herself, understandably upset, along with an accomplice who just wanted to be famous for killing Sidney. Scream 3 saw Sidney terrorized by a half brother she never knew she had, upset about being rejected by their mother, and 4‘s Ghostface Killer turned out to be Sidney’s own cousin, itching to get a taste of Sidney’s fame. Sidney is safe and sound as of now, of course, but you never know; there might be a great granduncle or a step-niece just rarin’ for a go at her.
Survived: The Resident Evil Franchise
At first, it wouldn’t appear that the Umbrella Corporation of the Resident Evil films planned very well for a possible outbreak of their zombifying T-virus. In fact, the soldiers sent to Umbrella’s secret lab in 2002’s Resident Evil spent most of their time simply trying to survive.
But even in the face of this population-decimating epidemic, there was one particular survivor who eventually went on the offensive for the good of all mankind, and her name was Alice. The folks at Umbrella must have spotted her potential, too, because in Apocalypse (2004), they outfitted Alice with some genetic modifications, and in Extinction (2007), they even cloned her in hopes of building a butt-kicking army. She’s survived attacks by all kinds of mutations, speedy, strong, and grotesque, but she hasn’t fallen yet. Alice and Umbrella both know the whole ordeal is Umbrella’s fault, and her quest to bring them to justice continues through to the franchise’s sixth installment, which is scheduled to open next year.
Sometimes they come back from the dead…again! And sometimes…they never come back at all. That’s what happened to the horror movies in this gallery: they never got the sequel they deserved, so we’re dreaming up our own. You’re welcome, Hollywood!
[Spoiler alert for the whole gallery!]
As a special treat for Halloween, Team Tomato recorded an audio commentary for the 1978 John Carpenter classic Halloween. Matt Atchity, Grae Drake and Kerr Lordygan are joined by Ryan Turek from Shock Till You Drop for this special edition of the podcast. Download this podcast, listen to it while watching Halloween, and it’s almost like having Team Tomato in the comfort of your own home!
The four-billion-dollar-plus summer comes to a close over the long Labor Day holiday weekend with three new wide releases all targeting male moviegoers. Slasher fans get to relive old days with the latest incarnation of Halloween, teens looking for a laugh get the ping pong comedy Balls of Fury, and adults interested in Kevin Bacon‘s brand of revenge have the action thriller Death Sentence. With target audiences for the new pics having lots of overlap, and the existing holdovers also catering to similar crowds, the marketplace will have to work hard to expand as many of these titles will eat into each other.
Setting a new industry record for the widest opening ever over Labor Day weekend, rock-star-turned-director Rob Zombie‘s Halloween attacks theaters aiming to connect with horror movie fans. The R-rated entry marks the first new installment in five years for a franchise about to hit the three-decade mark. 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection bowed to $12.3M and a solid $6,291 average in mid-July of that summer proving that Michael Myers still had the muscle to draw in his fans. The arrival of a new Halloween flick coupled with the selection of a buzzworthy director makes for an interesting combo that will spark interest with genre fans.
To say that horror has hit some bad luck at the box office this year is putting it lightly. R-rated fright flicks in 2007 have struggled but Halloween will try to change that. Excitement among fans is considerable and with no other gorefests out there, competition will come mainly from the many action films or teen comedies. The Jeepers Creepers films proved how successful Labor Day weekend could be for a horror pic and now MGM and The Weinstein Company hope demand will still be there for their newest entry. Attacking 3,472 theaters, Halloween might collect about $20M over the Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend.
Since Labor Day weekend tends to be a catch-up time when people see popular flicks they’ve missed out on, another strong performance is likely to greet The Bourne Ultimatum which has easily been the top-grossing film of the past month. The new films will cause a distraction with younger moviegoers, but mature adults who may not have had time for Jason Bourne’s identity-revealing saga are sure to line up. Look for the four-day gross to dip by only 10% from last weekend giving the Universal blockbuster about $11M for the long weekend which would allow the assassin pic to cross the $200M mark on Monday.
Fellow threequel Rush Hour 3 should experience a larger drop and could fall by 25% to about $9M. That would put the total at $121M for New Line.
LAST YEAR: Mark Wahlberg scored back-to-back box office touchdowns with his sports drama Invincible which remained at number one for the second straight time with $15.4M over the four-day holiday weekend. Opening in the runnerup spot was Jason Statham‘s action pic Crank with $12.9M over the long weekend which edged out the debuting Nicolas Cage drama The Wicker Man which took in $11.7M. Final grosses reached $27.8M for the Lionsgate film and $23.6M for the Paramount pic. Rounding out the top five were Little Miss Sunshine with $9.6M and The Illusionist with $8.1M over four days.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Sean Hood, screenwriter of "The Watcher," "Halloween: Resurrection," and "The Crow: Wicked Prayer," will pen the new "Hercules" adventure for Millennium / Nu Image producer Avi Lerner. No word yet on who’ll be directing.
This project is in no way related the 1957 version, the Kevin Sorbo TV series, or Disney’s (very underrated) flick of the same name. But, like Variety says, it was probably conceived with visions of "300" dancing through the producers’ heads. (Plus you don’t have to pay anyone to use the name "Hercules.")
I know, I know: You hear the phrase "Birds remake" and you start getting all fidgety and mad. That’s a good reaction to have. But producer Brad Fuller wants to make one thing perfectly clear: The new-fangled version of "The Birds" is a new re-telling of the original short story, period. Those expecting stuff found in the Hitchcock flick will probably be disappointed.
From our pals at IGN FilmForce: "We’re not remaking Hitchcock’s movie. That movie stands on its own and it is a wonderful piece of filmmaking. It’s a very difficult thing to say, ‘We’re remaking a Hitchcock film,’" Fuller said. "What was interesting to us was that the short story [by Daphne Du Maurier] the Hitchcock film was based on was chock full of stuff that Hitchcock didn’t use in his film. And so we went to those things and that’s the basis of our film. It’s the same title because it’s based on the same short story but we don’t have characters like what they have. The concept of birds, certainly, that’s the core of the movie but the situations and the plot come from the short story not from the Hitchcock film."
Hell, still a remake, tho. Right?
If you love the original "Halloween," but have grown a little weary with the endless sequels, it looks like shock-maker Rob Zombie might have just the answer: He’ll be writing and directing an all-new installment in the series (don’t call it a sequel!), which will be ready for release in October of 2007.
One of the little guys got there before The Hollywood Reporter did, so let’s give fair credit to Bloody-Disgusting.com: "Dimension Films is proud to announce that they will make a new “Halloween” movie with Rob Zombie ("The Devil’s Rejects," "House of 1000 Corpses") writing, directing and serving as a producer. Malek Akkad of Trancas International Films ("Halloween H20: 20 Years Later") will produce the feature along with Andy Gould of Vision Entertainment Group ("The Devil’s Rejects," "House of 1000 Corpses"). Zombie will also serve as music supervisor on the film. Miramax Films will co-finance the development with Dimension Films. The announcement was made today by The Weinstein Company co-chairman, Bob Weinstein.
Zombie’s vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic "Halloween" legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga. This new movie will not only appeal to horror fans, but to a wider movie-going audience as well. It will not be a copycat of any prior films in the "Halloween" franchise. The film is set for an October 2007 theatrical release."
Akkad, 75, and his 34 year-old daughter, Rima Akkad Monla, were in the lobby of the Radisson SAS in Amman when bombs went off in a simultaneous attack on three area hotels; Monla also died.
Akkad, a Los Angeles resident, had enjoyed a nearly 20-year career in filmmaking despite the difficulties of being Arabic and Muslim in Hollywood. The native Syrian began by directing his own Muslim-themed films: "The Message" (1976) and "Lion of the Desert" (1981). Following the resulting acclaim and religious controversy, Akkad turned to horror films, executive producing John Carpenter‘s legendary "Halloween" (1978).
After the seminal thriller took off, making stars of director Carpenter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, Akkad went on to produce every one of the seven "Halloween" sequels; in fact, he is the only person connected to the franchise to boast credits on every one of the "Halloween" movies. An announced eighth sequel, "Halloween: Retribution," has been slated for a 2006 release by The Weinstein Co. and will be produced by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, who worked with Akkad co-producing "Halloween: H2O" (1998) and "Halloween: Resurrection" (2002).