“Frankenstein” (1931) — Playing at the County Theater Wednesday, October 31st at 7:30pm and at the Princeton Garden Theater Thursday, October 25th at 7:30pm.

Your Halloween viewing guide, courtesy of our Local Haunts filmmakers

What better way to get in the Halloween spirit than with some seriously spooky films? We polled the filmmakers featured in our Local Haunts short film series for their expert opinion on the subject of horror. Read on for their take on which films to seek out, which to avoid, and which ones had them up all night.

“Suspiria” (1977) — Playing at the Princeton Garden on Wednesday, October 31st at 7:30pm.

Horror film that more people need to see:

“Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977) is something special. The soundtrack, the cinematography, the characters. They all collide to create a unique world and one of the greatest horror films of all time.”
Ethan Lewis — (Writer, Director) Huff

The Witch (2015) — A slow burn, but a deeply profound and disturbing film that’ll be sure to stick with you. One of the best horror films in years.”
Justin Knoepfel — (Writer/Director) Under The Covers & Washing Up

“Feature film: The Tale of Two Sisters (2003) by Kim Jee-woon. Short film: Dumplings (2004) by Fruit Chan. Both are some good horror that people need to see!”
Melissa De Leon — (Writer/Director) Paralysis

“Necropolis” D: Marc Reed.

Most overrated horror film:

“The original It (1990). If you watch it for the first time as an adult like I did, you wonder why everyone was so terrified of it. I’m sure it’s scary to kids… but so is Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989).”
Michael DC Hicks —(Writer/Director) Eugene vs. Humanity

“I never understood the appeal of Paranormal Activity (2007). The Blair Witch Project (1999) did the “is it real?” premise better in the nineties.”
Justin Knoepfel — (Writer/Director) Under The Covers & Washing Up

“For me, The Exorcist (1973). Considered a masterpiece by so many, but to me it’s Picasso: I just don’t feel it.”
Marc Reed — (Director) Necropolis

“Under the Covers” D: Justin Knoepfel.

Top pick for that friend who “just doesn’t like horror”:

Shaun of the Dead” (2004). A comedy that makes fun of and plays off the zombie sub-genre of horror. If you hate horror then you can at least enjoy making fun of it!”
Justin Knoepfel — (Writer/Director) Under The Covers & Washing Up

The Monster Squad (1987), it’s basically The Goonies fighting the Universal Monsters, what’s not to love!”
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out

“Watch An American Werewolf in London (1981) and then call me in the morning.”
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show


First movie that kept you up all night:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), I saw a few of the far campier sequels before the original, so as a kid I thought I could totally handle the first film. Those opening few minutes freaked me out too much.”
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out

Halloween (1978) really messed with my head when I was a kid. I shouldn’t have seen it when I was 11! I thought Michael Myers would get me for years to come.”
Ethan Lewis — (Writer, Director) Huff

“I saw Alien (1979) when I was a kid and it sticks with me to this day. Besides the scary alien, it’s the first movie that made me feel the remoteness of outer space. I remember being terrified by the idea of dying light years away from earth and my body being jettisoned to the stars.”
Marc Reed — (Director) Necropolis

“Lights Out” — Filmed entirely on location at the Ambler Theater. D: Brendan Joyce.

Your vote for “honorary horror film”:

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) is essentially a horror movie when you think about it. Not only is the entire premise super creepy on a number of levels, but there’s also that boat scene where Gene Wilder starts yelling at all the kids and everything gets all dark and spooky. You know what I’m talking about.”
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show

Zodiac (2007) The scene where Jake Gyllenhaal’s character is in the basement of the suspected killer’s house and believes he and the owner are alone until he hears footsteps walking around on the floor above him still sends chills down my spine.”
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Zombie hordes we can fight, but there’s no messing with Mother Nature.”
Aleksandra Svetlichnaya — (Writer, Director, Actor) DINNER

Chloe Carroll in “Wicked Conclusions”.

Scariest special effects:

The Thing (1980) has some of the best practical effects ever.”
Ethan Lewis — (Writer, Director) Huff

“My favorite special effects scene in any horror film is that part in John Carpenter’s The Thing when that one dude’s head falls off of his body and then turns into a big spider. Practical effects are always way scarier than VFX.”
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show

The Thing!”
Chloe Carroll — (Actor) Wicked Conclusions

“Eugene vs. Humanity” D: Michael DC Hicks.

The best/worst horror film:

Jaws 3-D (1983) Wherein an impossibly large shark swims into a lagoon in LAND LOCKED Orlando, FL.”
Michael DC Hicks — (Writer/Director) Eugene vs. Humanity

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) It’s shot like an 80’s MTV music video, with Freddy performing invisible Kung Fu. A total guilty pleasure.”
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) is the best worst horror film of all time. Nothing beats a popcorn bazooka and cotton candy corpses.”
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show

Bruce Campbell in “Evil Dead II” — Playing at the Ambler Theater on Wednesday, October 31st at 9:00pm.

The best line from any horror flick:

‘’Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.” — A Nightmare on Elm Street
Chloe Carroll — (Actor) Wicked Conclusions

“Ah. Well… I attended Julliard… I’m a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT… NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY… NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I’m qualified?” —Beetlejuice (1988)
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show

“Groovy.” — Evil Dead II (1987)
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out


Non-horror actor you’d like to see in something scary:

“Can we do The Expendables: Horror Edition?! I’m a huge action fan and I’d love to see Arnie, Bruce, Sly & co. slaying some monsters!”
Aleksandra Svetlichnaya — (Writer, Director, Actor) DINNER

“I’ll always vote for Adam Sandler. He’s done so well in dramas that he could be very sympathetic in a horror movie.”
Ethan Lewis — (Writer, Director) Huff

“Really wish Harrison Ford would have done a horror film in his prime, or even now. Would love to see a bitter, begrudging Ford be mildly inconvenienced by supernatural forces or something.”
Justin Knoepfel — (Writer/Director) Under The Covers & Washing Up

Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” — Playing at the Hiway Theater on Tuesday, November 20th.

The perfect horror movie:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is the gold standard of horror filmmaking, something that can be classified as an art house documentary but transcends that into real fear for the characters.”
Ethan Lewis — (Writer, Director) Huff

“Halloween. Even though the story may be simple, its execution is solid. Great acting, cinematography, tone and an iconic score from John Carpenter is why this film still stands the test of time 40 years later.”
Brendan Joyce — (Writer, Director) Lights Out

The Shining (1980). No question.”
Ryan Rigley — (Writer/Director) Cryptina’s Spook-Time Variety Show


We have a lot more spooky programming coming up this holiday season. Join us for these great screenings:

Princeton Garden Theatre:
Local Haunts— Wed, Oct 24th at 7:30pm
Frankenstein (Presented by filmmaker Lance Weiler) 
Thu, Oct 25th at 7:30pm
Suspiria— Wed, Oct 31st at 7:30pm
NTLive: Frankenstein — Sun, Nov 4th / Sun Nov 18th at 12:30pm
Ambler Theater:
NTLive: Frankenstein — Sun, Oct 28th / Sun Nov 11th at 12:30pm
Mary ShelleyTue, Oct 30th at 7:30pm
Evil Dead II — Wed, Oct 31st at 9:00pm
County Theater:
Frankenstein— Wed, Oct 31st at 7:30pm
NTLive: Frankenstein — Sun, Nov 4th / Sun Nov 18th at 12:30pm
Hiway Theater:
The Shining— Tues, Nov 20th at 7:00pm