October is the best. Not only does it climax with the year's coolest holiday, it's also the time of year when all the best movies air! Now that we've entered the glorious month in which the basic cable channels dust off their scariest movies, it's time to pull your TV over to the bed, turn out the lights, jump under the covers, cuddle up with a mentally sound loved one, and let your Halloween season begin! We've only just started the first week, but things are already looking scary good:
The OthersWednesday, October 5 at 5:30pm on AMC
Are ghosts real? Nicole Kidman investigates.
The Sixth SenseFriday, October 7 at 11:30am and Saturday, October 8 at 8am on FX
Are ghosts real? Bruce Willis learns the hard way.
The ExorcistFriday, October 7 at 6pm and 8:30pm on BBC America
In this William Friedkin-directed classic, a troubled little girl does unspeakable things with gourmet cooking and religious iconography.
AlienSaturday, October 8 at 2:30pm on AMC
A greasy, slimy creature makes things awkward for a crew of futuristic space friends and their robot. Is it sci-fi, is it horror, is it sci-fi, is it horror? Who cares, it is PERFECT.
The ShiningSunday, October 9 at 5pm and 11pm on AMC
Jack Nicholson yells at Shelley Duvall a ton in this Stanley Kubrick-directed and Stephen King-disapproved classic.
The Skeleton KeyFriday, October 7 at 6pm and 10pm on Oxygen
Kate Hudson explores a New Orleans house, "Thinkin' she cute. She ain't cute!" —Woman in the theater when I first saw the trailer for this.
The StrangersSaturday, October 8 at 10:30am and Sunday October 9 at 7am on FX
For my money, this is the best modern horror film of the past few years. (Hypothetical, I don't have any money.) But no joke, The Strangers is verrrrry scaaaaary!
The Texas Chainsaw MassacreSaturday, October 8 at 5pm and 9pm on IFC
Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes has botched a lot of remakes, but I think time looks kindly upon this one, the production company's first attempt—it's a surprisingly solid re-envisioning of the lo-fi LSD trip that is the original. (Although, obviously, the original is preferable to this one for sure.)
Hostel Part IISunday, October 9 at 4pm on Syfy
Weird, a violent horror film where the victims are all female. How novel! Okay, it's not novel. But this movie is slightly better than Part I (which was pretty good!).
High TensionSunday/Monday, October 9 at 12am on IFC
Has anybody noticed that the French have totally hijacked the horror genre? Here's the flick that put director Alexandre Aja on the map, a truly disturbing and kind of genius film that basically commits suicide with the worst plot twist in history. Still though, it's a classic up until that point.
Ginger SnapsWednesday, October 5 at 5:45pm and 9:30pm on IFC
A Canadian adolescent girl becomes a werewolf in what must be the weirdest feature-length metaphor for "female problems" ever made. But it's really good, despite the wacky accents.
The Rocky Horror Picture ShowThursday, October 6 at 6pm and 9pm on Palladia
All right, this isn't terribly scary, but it IS appropriate for Halloween, the one day a year everyone is allowed to explore their sexual identities IN PUBLIC. Plus the awesome music. Plus the MEAT LOAF scene! BRB, gonna go watch this right now.
Troll 2Thursday, October 6 at 7pm and 11pm on Chiller
You'll probably enjoy this masterpiece more in the company of others. And alcohol. And maybe uncapped Sharpies.
Little Shop of HorrorsThursday, October 6 at 9pm and Thursday/Friday, October 7 at 12am on Logo
Here's another morbid hoot for you, starring Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, and Bill Murray in one of the coolest cameos in history. This movie is obviously amazing in every way, everybody knows this, but when you're done watching it be sure to check out the original ending on YouTube. It's NUTS.
Old Dead Things:
The Thing From Another WorldWednesday, October 5 at 8pm on Turner Classic Movies
Here's the original Howard Hawks film that inspired John Carpenter's splatterific '80s classic The Thing.
It! The Terror From Beyond SpaceWednesday, October 5 at 9:45pm on Turner Classic Movies
Whoops! The first manned expedition to Mars accidentally brings back an evil alien! A chilling cautionary tale.
The Curse of FrankensteinWednesday, October 5 at 11pm on Turner Classic Movies
That Frankenstein really had a mouth on him!
House of WaxSaturday, October 8 at 9:30am on Turner Classic Movies
This is not the one with Paris Hilton. Sorry!
Not Classics, But Can't Stop Watching
The Exorcism of Emily RoseWednesday, October 5 at 8pm and 10:30pm on AMC
Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter gets all jerky and shouts at everyone in this surprisingly subdued thriller that also features Laura Linney as a Laura Linney type.
Thir13en GhostsThursday, October 6 at 9pm and Friday, October 7 at 6pm on Syfy
Monk's Tony Shalhoub should try and limit his ghost friends to, like, ten. Ten seems alright. Or maybe eleven ghosts at most. But anymore than, say, twelve ghosts, and he's just asking for trouble.
The Amityville HorrorFriday, October 7 at 11:30am and 2pm on Oxygen
Remember that time Platinum Dunes made a horror remake and it was really just a sizzle reel for Ryan Reynolds' personal trainer?
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The BeginningSaturday, October 8 at 7pm and 11pm on IFC
This movie is seriously garbage, but it's filmed well and the cast is awesome (R. Lee Ermey! White Collar's Matthew Bomer! Jordana Brewster! Oliver from The O.C.!) But yeah, hurry up and watch it before the garbage man comes.
Saw Marathon (II, III, and IV)Sunday, October 9 at noon on Syfy
Of all the Saw movies, parts II, III, and IV are definitely three of them. Why not watch them all in a row and get super nostalgic for early-'00s jumpy white-flash video editing!
What scary movies are YOU going to watch this week?