The month of October is the best time of the year if you’re a horror movie fan. From the 1st to the 31st, it’s a constant celebration of everything spooky and scary! While most Halloween staples include films like, Halloween, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas, there are other movies that will certainly be appreciated by horror movie fans, as well as fans that are looking for something a bit different.
If you’re looking for something different to watch during the month of Halloween, then here are 14 alternative horror movies for Halloween – which include some underrated horror movies that are perfectly atmospheric for this time of the year, as well as some more artsy horror films that you wouldn’t normally expect to watch during Halloween.
1. Lemora (1973)
Plot: Lyra is a young Christian girl who is called to visit her dying father. However, things take a terrifying turn when Lyra meets Lemora, a strange and beautiful woman who has an interest in Lyra.
What makes it different: It’s one of the most bizarre and beautiful horror films ever made. The atmosphere in Lemora is something that’s completely on its own, as it’s one of the very few horror movies that actually feels like a dream. The best part about this movie is the actress who plays Lemora, Lesley Taplin, and how she has this very creepy look to her – as well as a strange kind of beauty to her; which is all the more disappointing to know that this was her only movie role.
Director Richard Blackburn, who also hasn’t really directed/ written that many movies, should at least feel good by knowing that he created one of the best early 70s horror films. Lemora is an unexpectedly beautiful horror film and as far as unusual horror movies go, this movie is definitely a left field pick for Halloween viewing, but it is definitely worth watching.
2. Student Bodies (2015)
Plot: A heavy breathing killer is stalking and killing teenagers that have sex, so it’s up to the one girl who doesn’t have sex to stop the killer.
What makes it different: It’s a parody of horror movies, and the best part is that it’s not Scary Movie! Student Bodies parodies the then-booming slasher genre, and does so with mixed results. This movie, in all essence, is not that good! Because of this, the movie crosses into ‘so bad it’s good’ territory, as most of the jokes are very hit or miss.
It’s a hilariously bad horror spoof and will make for a better alternative instead of Scary Movie or Scream. It would make a great double feature with the equally bad horror spoof Saturday the 14th.
3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Plot: A vampire walks in the streets of an industrial city in Iran and forms friendship with somebody.
What makes it different: It’s a surreal treat, especially for fans of David Lynch. This movie has a weird tone to it that makes it unlike a lot of other Iranian films. The main drawing point to this film is the atmosphere, which fans of Eraserhead will completely love, and much like that film, this one has that surreal dream-like atmosphere which is not often seen in the vampire subgenre.
So no matter you’re a fan of David Lynch or you want a very different vampire movie, this movie will surely please you as long as you’re patient enough.
4. The Iron Rose (1973)
Plot: A couple ends up being lost in a cemetery at night.
What makes it different: It’s a bizarre art horror film, so of course it’s different for Halloween! There’s a certain simplicity to the horror in this film that makes it worthwhile to watch. In fact one might not even actively consider this film to be a horror film, however just know that it is. The Iron Rose is unique because it focuses more on the idea of terror and unseen horror rather than straight-up horror.
It might not appeal to everyone but if you want something more cerebral than most standard horror films, then this movie will appeal to you, especially if you’re tired of seeing re-runs of Casper and Friday the 13th, not to say those movies are bad, but at the same time they’re not as artful as Iron Rose.
5. Rockula (1990)
Plot: Ralph is a vampire with a bit of bad luck. He has been cursed to fall in love with the reincarnation of the same girl only to have her killed by a pirate with a rhinestone peg-leg on Halloween night. However, things might change when he meets the newest reincarnation of his former lover, and believes he will break the curse this year.
What makes it different: It’s a horror comedy musical! Just imagine the kitchyness of Rocky Horror Picture Show made in the late 80s. This movie is a blast to watch, and it feels like a fever dream with one hell of a rocking cast. Rockula features Dean Cameron, who’s incredibly likable, Susan Tyrell, Toni Basil (yes, that Toni Basil), Thomas Dolby (yes, that Thomas Dolby!), and Bo Didley( yes, that Bo Didbley!!)
It’s amazing that this movie has all of these strange elements above, but at the same time, that’s what makes it work. Everyone in this movie is just fun and likable and it really makes for a fun watch. So if you want an entertaining film for Halloween and are tired of watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show, then Rockula will satisfy you this Halloween.
6. The Strange Color of Your Bodies Tears (2013)
Plot: A man is trying to figure out the murderer of his wife, and thsi leads him to a nightmare of surrealism.
What makes it different: It’s another example of surrealism, but this time in the Giallo genre, although this one is a bit harder to watch.
This movie is a perfect example of style over substance, and unlike other surreal films like Beyond the Black Rainbow or Lost River which have a lot of redeeming qualities to them, this movie is just slow moving, tedious, and doesn’t really add up to much. However, the atmosphere and style is utterly amazing. It’s stylish and beautiful but doesn’t really have much of a plot.
7. The Night of The Hunter (1955)
Plot: Harry is a malicious preacher who is trying to look for the money his cell mate stole. When Harry gets out of prison, he goes after his cell mate’s family in order to find where the money is. While Harry seems to be the perfect man, all eloquent and deeply religious, things aren’t always as they seem. Especially when Harry’s darker, more psychopathic side begins to emerge.
What makes it different: It’s a beautifully made pseudo-horror film that’s not really a horror film. While this movie might not be a true horror film, there are a lot of horror elements that are present in this film, and that largely has to do with Robert Mitchum’s utterly terrifying performance, which he would give again in the film Cape Fear, another great pseudo-horror film for Halloween.
The Night of the Hunter is beautifully made and it’s unfortunate that director Charles Laughton didn’t direct any movies after this one. For fans of nontraditional horror films, this movie is a great example of that.