A Story About What Keeps Us Up at Night

No, this is not about the issues of the day, it’s about scary movies. Halloween has become the second biggest commercial holiday after Christmas and it’s certainly the number one timeframe for releasing horror movies. It’s good for box office and incidentally for MPRM as well. We just finished working on the LA based Screamfest Horror Film Festival and its opening night movie, The Retaliators. In addition, as part of our gift guide outreach for Disney Consumer Products, we are busy promoting Halloween costumes, including an adaptive line for the disabled, a truly inclusive venture.

Scary movies genuinely keep me up at night. I like action and suspense but horror gives me nightmares so with a few exceptions — mostly work related — I stopped watching them. Fortunately that’s not true of my MPRM colleagues who are far more representative of the fanbase and have been generous in sharing their favorites.

Opinions vary, especially between generations, and first scary movie experiences really stayed with them.

  • My first scary movie experience was Jeepers Creepers and it haunted me for months after watching it. I would stay up looking out my window to make sure he wouldn’t come for me. Fast forward, three years ago I re-watched the whole Jeepers franchise and can still say that Jeepers Creepers is terrifying. — Kim
  • My step dad let me stay up and watch The Howling as a kid and I went to bed totally freaked out. My pranking uncle woke me up in the middle of the night, making wolf noises outside my bedroom window, including scratching the walls. Needless to say it’s a night I’ll never forget. More recently my wife and I have been watching a bunch of older scary movies to see if they still have the same magic as they did when we saw them as kids. Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street were still good but the original Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis, genius! And then there is Scream, which I think deserves more credit. — Dustin
  • Hocus Pocus was a favorite as a non-scary (kinda) Halloween movie and I also loved Addams Family so it’s not surprising that my son likes the new animated version. I moved on to The Birds, PsychoPet Cematary and The Shining in my tweens, although I’ve never seen the Halloween movies. — Caitlin
  • Less that it was scary, but more that it’s an incredibly nostalgic film for me, I don’t think I’ve gone one Halloween without watching Hocus Pocus. And being a kid who grew up with Scream as one of the most popular horror films in the 90s, that’s another one I love to watch in October. — Natalie
  • I love the classics like The Omen, scary but classy and believable, and with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, real movie stars. The Innocents, with Deborah Kerr going mad in gorgeous black & white and Psycho, the granddaddy of them all, are also favorites. — Mark.
  • I find the RKO Val Lewton films to be very creepy, particularly Cat People (1942) and The Seventh Victim (1943). Favorite specific horror films would be The Thing (1982), Suspiria (1977), The Wicker Man (1973), Spoorloos [The Vanishing] (1982) and recently the George C. Scott haunted house movie The Changeling (1980). Jordan Peele, Ari Aster and Robert Eggers are recent favorite directors currently working in the genre. — Alex

Quite a range and so many hold up to repeat viewing. Links are included if you are inspired to check out our team favorites. Happy Halloween!