Halloween is almost here, and cable is overflowing with horror films, both classic and awful. Despite the abundance of cable channels, some underrated classics fall through the cracks (usually to make room for Friday the 13th Part 17: Jason Is Still a Dick). If you’ve already watched tried and true classics like The Shining and The Evil Dead, here are nine suggestions worth tracking down via Netflix or Amazon, or in rare cases, an actual local video store.
The 1972 film follows the adventures of two young twin brothers in a depression-era farm town. Niles and Holland Perry recently lost their father, and Holland is acting out, but his pranks become more and more deadly. Beneath everything is a twisted secret that turns the film on its ear. The Other also features a pre-Three’s Company John Ritter in a small role. No Don Knotts, unfortunately.
John Carpenter earned his horror film credibility with the classics Halloween and The Fog, before creating his masterpiece The Thing. The weight of those successes may be why 1987’s Prince of Darkness is often overlooked. The story features a group of academics and a pries fighting evil, and the film covers everything from weird messages from the future to the apocalypse to Satan himself. It can stand proudly with Carpenter’s other horror triumphs.
This film really deserved better. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty (who wrote the original Exorcist novel) The Exorcist III is as creepy as all hell. George C. Scott takes over the role of Detective Kinderman from the first film and investigates a string of serial killings, all of which point to a man who was executed more than 15 years earlier. The movie wisely ignores the disastrous Exorcist II, and contains a couple of the scariest moments I’ve ever seen in a movie.