Top Halloween Outdoor Movies - Reviews
Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993)
Our first film on our Top Halloween Outdoor Movies is Tim Burton's celebrated animation, "The Nightmare Before Christmas". The film was initially conceived as a poem by Burton while he was working for Disney in the 1980's, but wasn't considered for a major motion picture until almost ten years later.
Burton is acclaimed by both critics and the public alike, and this past year had his retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York Ciy. His work can be appreciated for its filmic and artistic qualities - which makes The Nightmare Before Christmas the perfect selection for your Halloween Party outdoor movie!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is set in Halloween Town, the magical place where Halloween is planned and undertaken. Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), is the pumpkin king and leader of the town, and is frustrated with Halloween.
He solemnly wonders what the point of it all is, and goes on a walk with his ghost dog Zero (that has a lighted pumpkin nose). He discovers some doors that lead to the magical worlds of other holidays where he discovers Christmas! Jack is totally taken away, and desires to bring the spirit of Christmas to Halloween Town.
However, when Jack gets home and tries to explain Christmas to his people, he isn't able to give them the essence of the holiday. Jack sets out to capture the Christmas spirit, and eventually to steal Christmas from Christmas Town! Through the production of scary presents, the kidnapping of Santa Claus, and the staging of a new Christmas, Jack and his townspeople wreak havoc upon a world used to a certain way of doing things.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a fun musical stop-motion animation about community, desires that are common to all of us, and true love. The film is a perfect pick for the entire family, or for your entire community! It will no-doubt entertain the children in your community, but it will also fascinate parents and individuals of any age!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a great choice for your Halloween Party or Fall community Outdoor Movie! You could invite your community to come dressed in their costumes, and invite them to sing-along with Jack and his friends! Another great opportunity would be to have a haunted-house for children (not too scary of course), and Halloween themed concessions and classic games. Your event will certainly be the place to go this Halloween, and at the centerpiece of the evening will be a movie loved by all! If anyone is planning on screening The Nightmare Before Christmas at your Halloween event this year, please send us your images, or post them to the comments section below. We'd really love to see how your event turned out! Happy haunting!
The next film on our list of Top Halloween Outdoor Movies is Signs, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin.
Signs is the perfect pick for your next outdoor movie, and would be great at your community Halloween celebration, or annual party with friends. It is probably not a good picture to show to small children, as it is probably too scary, but Signs strikes a good balance between being scary, and not being overly violent or over the top.
Signs is set in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) lives with his children Morgan (Rory Culkin), who suffers from asthma, and Bo (Abigail Breslin), and his younger brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix). Their lives are fairly normal, until suddenly one day crop circles show up in their corn fields. Graham dismisses the event as a scam, until he and Merrill apprehend a figure on the roof of their barn, and it mysteriously evades them into the cornfield. They decide to get a baby monitor in order to communicate, and hear strange clicking noises as they listen. Then, Graham hears the clicking noises outside, and sees a green leg poking out of the cornfields.
The situation turns really intense when aliens are spotted in Brazil, and lights are seen hovering over Mexico City. As many locals are going to the lake as there is belief that the aliens are afraid of water, the Hess family decide to stay in their boarded up house. Signs is a scary movie that will bring the spirit of Halloween to any party. Signs is a fun film that is appropriate for a variety of ages, and so could be screened as an outdoor-movie for your entire community.
Why not screen the film near your local cornfield? It would certainly heighten the scare-factor. Or if you are planning on a screening for you and your friends, you could screen it in the middle of the cornfield, and have other friends planted in the corn making noises during appropriate moments in the film. You would definitely create one of the scariest cinema moments that your friends have ever experienced!
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Young Frankenstein, the 1974 Spooky comedy directed by Mel Brooks starring Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman. Young Frankenstein is a great selection for your community Halloween Outdoor Movie event, and will bring back nostalgic memories for those of older generations.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is a respected professor at a medical school, and is engaged to a woman named Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). He always insists, when anyone brings up his late grandfather, that his name be pronounced "Fronk'-en-steen". Frankenstein soon learns that he has inherited the estate of his family in Transylvania, and travels there to claim his property. Upon arrival he meets his new lab assistant Inga (Teri Garr), and the estate's servants Frau BlГјcher (Cloris Leachman) and Igor (Marty Feldman). Later, Dr. Frankenstein reads his grandfather's journals and is inspired to continue his experiments in reanimating the dead.
After exhuming the body of a dead criminal, he puts Igor to the task of obtaining the brain of a famous dead scientist. But things don't go as planned, and instead he returns with a brain labeled "Do Not Use This Brain! Abnormal".
Dr. Frankenstein is successful in breathing life into his creation of body and mind, but his experiment quickly gets out of control with his new creature experiencing the world in innocent yet destructive ways. Young Frankenstein is a great selection for your Halloween Outdoor Movie celebration, whether you're at home with your backyard cinema equipment, or at your local park with the rest of your community enjoying the film on the big screen with your Cinebox Elite system!
This film is great for all ages, but may not be entertaining for young children. This classic film presents some great opportunities to engage with your community during the Halloween season, and to make their experience memorable and exciting. Why not have your MC dress up as Dr. Frankenstein himself, with a white lab coat and crazy hair? You could also host your annual costume contest, with a Transylvania inspired theme!
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The film is based on the bestselling 1977 novel of the same name by Jay Anson, and stars James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, and Murray Hamilton. The film is probably too scary for most children, but would make an excellent pick for your scary film festival or Halloween outdoor movie party with friends.
Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. A year later, George Lutz and his family moved into a home into the Lutz's home, but only stayed for 28 days due to their experiences with paranormal activity. Despite their involving a local priest in an effort to exterminate the activity, the film continues in a scary narrative that will leave you and your friends on the edge of your seats!
This is one of the scarier films we've seen, and so it deserves a spot on our Top Halloween Outdoor Movies list (besides the fact that you voted it as your favorite!). If you're looking to really scare your friends, then this is the movie for your outdoor cinema Halloween party! The Amityville Horror is the perfect film to watch outside your local haunted house! Imagine how scared your friends will be as they watch this film with haunted architecture as backdrop! If anyone has screened this film as an outdoor movie, please post your story or images to the comments section below. We always enjoy seeing how outdoor movie enthusiasts are using their Open Air Cinema gear!
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, the instant stop-motion classic set in Victorian Era Britain! The film was nominated for Best Animated Picture at the Academy Awards, but was bested by Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is a great selection for your next city-wide community outdoor movie event or backyard cinema Halloween celebration! The film is appropriate for all ages, and is entertaining to children and adults alike.
The young and nervous Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), son of rich fishmongers Nell and William Van Dort (Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse) is set to marry Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), the neglected daughter of bankrupt aristocrats Lady Maudeline and Lord Finis Everglot (Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney). His soon to be in-laws are cold and stuffy, and simply want to restore their family wealth and status. During a wedding recital, Victor stumbles through his lines, and is unsuccessful at reciting them. The priest overseeing the events banishes Victor until he is able to successfully deliver his lines, and so he sets off in the woods, practicing and memorizing. He finally masters his lines, and decides to momentarily place his lover Victoria's ring on a branch that resembles a human hand.
Victor quickly realizes that the branch is actually a human hand, or rather the hand of a corpse Bride named Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), who was killed on the night of her elopement as her husband only wanted her money. Emily is convinced that Victor is to be her new husband, and will undo her waiting and curse after all these years. Victor then tries to explain that he made a mistake, and is actually engaged to someone else. But the spirits in the underworld don't pay attention to what he's saying, and move forward in celebration of Emily's final release!
Corpse Bride continues in a fantastic story of love and hope, that will truly entertain your community, and will bring the spirit of Halloween in a fun and creative way. Tim Burton's imagination will captivate your community in ways that modern animation techniques won't be able to do. Burton's artistic achievements have recently been celebrated by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as a full fledged retrospective of his career. Many of the artifacts and clips from Corpse Bride were included in the exhibition.
Casper, the 1995 film based off the Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons and comic strips starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci. Casper is a great selection for your family Halloween movie, or community Halloween outdoor movie celebration! It is appropriate for all ages, and will keep the children entertained as well as parents and grandparents.
Casper is set in Friendship, Maine, and opens with two kids who break into a mansion hoping to get a picture inside, but are scared off when they confront a spiritual apparition. Then, a neurotic and self-entitled old lady Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty), moves into the home after it is willed to her as explained by her father's lawyer Rugg (Ben Stein). An invisible inscription on the wall hinting at buried treasure in the mansion leads Carrigan to hunt for it, but they are soon confronted by the friendly Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson). When they panic, they summon Casper's three obnoxious uncles: Stretch (voiced by Joe Nipote), Stinkie (voiced by Joe Alaskey) and Fatso (voiced by Brad Garrett).
Determined to find the treasure, they hire a therapist, James Harvey (Bill Pullman) who travels around the country with his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci), as they look for the spirit of his deceased wife Amelia. Casper confronts Kat, and is totally in love, but his obnoxious uncles begin to torment her and her father until they are sucked up into a vacuum cleaner! Casper continues on a heart-felt journey that highlights how friendship and love are the things that tie us together as individuals.
Casper is the perfect film for your outdoor movie Halloween event, and it presents a few really great opportunities for inflatable movie screens! If you have access to a creepy old mansion (doesn't everybody?), why not screen the film inside or near it with your Cinebox Home System? Or if you're screening Casper as a community event, why not have a ghost costume themed night, with a contest for the best dressed ghost!
You might have a difficult time determining who has the whitest sheet, but the activity will certainly solidify the event in your community members minds as one that was fun and brought them together with their neighbors and friends. Besides, watching a film on the big screen that hasn't been in theaters in over a decade is always an exciting event!
Tim Burton's 1988 comedy/ horror film Beetlejuice is our next stop on The Top Halloween Outdoor Movies list. The film features a star-studded cast with Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, along with Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Sylvia Sidney in supporting roles. Beetlejuice is a great choice for your annual Halloween outdoor movie party, and is appropriate for the entire family.
Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam (Alec Baldwin) Maitland go on a vacation to decorate their beautiful New England country home. While driving back from town, they swerve to avoid a dog in the road, and instead plunge into the river after busting through a covered bridge. They return to their home, and realize they might be dead when they can't see their reflections in the mirror. They consult the "Handbook for the Recently Deceased", and confirm their suspicion to be true. Adam leaves the house in disbelief, but finds himself in an otherworldly place called Saturn, a strange dimension covered in sand and populated with giant worms. When they return to their home for refuge, their house is sold to a new family from New York City, the Deetzes, which includes Charles (Jeffrey Jones), aspiring sculptor and Charles' second wife Delia (Catherine O'Hara), and Charles' goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) from his first marriage.
The Deetzes redecorate the idyllic home with a modern pastel theme that drives the Maitlands nuts! They learn that they must stay in the house for 125 years, and that if they want the Deetzes to leave they'll need to scare them out! So they hire Beetlejuice, a bio-exorcist who scares the living, for a living. But things turn crazy and eventually the Deetzes and the Maitlands want him out.
Beetlejuice is a great film for your backyard cinema event with family and friends, or outdoor movie screening with your entire community in attendance. The film celebrates the "spirit" of Halloween, without being too scary or violent.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin, and Vincent Price. The film was a financial and critical success, and received a number of nominations including from the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Saturn Awards, as well as winning the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Edward Scissorhands is a perfect pick for your family Halloween backyard cinema event, or your community Halloween party and Outdoor Movie series!
Edward Scissorhands begins with an old woman telling her granddaughter where snow comes from: an inventor long ago was inspired to make an artificial man as he was inspired by his inventions with anthropomorphic forms. He was successful in his creation of a young boy, but died of a heart attack before completing his hands. The film flashes forward years earlier where a young woman Peg Boggs, selling Avon products, decides to go to an old mansion on a hill above the town. She finds Edward alone in the house, and in need of a friend, and decides to take him home and care for him.
Peg's friends are impressed with her new friend Edward's ability to trim hair and garden bushes, and he becomes loved by almost everyone. Yet two individuals, a religious fanatic named Esmeralda, and a jock named Jim decide that they don't like Edward and plan to do him in. The rest of the film is a comedic adventure that is about the values that keep us together, and the necessity of appreciating everyone for their unique qualities, however different they may be from us. Johnny Depp delivers on of his best performances, in an endearing manner that will leave your community's hearts touched, or your family closer together.
Screening Edward Scissorhands on an OAC Elite system, will bring the magic of the big screen back to your community. This film is a perfect pick for your Halloween event, and presents a number of opportunities to bring your community together in significant ways. You could host a Halloween costume contest along with your screening of Edward Scissorhands, and if you're really daring, you could have Edward himself host the event as MC (of course you'd dress up a member of your staff)! Doing these sort of activities above and beyond a screening of the film will entertain your family or community, and will make the event far more memorable.
Ghostbusters, the 1984 hit starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Ghostbusters is a well known film that will be an instant hit as an outdoor movie at your Halloween community or family event! Last year Open Air Cinema produced a screening of Ghostbusters at the Los Angeles Film Festival as a part of their throwback cinema series for families, and it was a great success.
After being fired from Columbia university in New York City, three parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Murray), Raymond Stantz (Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Ramis) decide to start up their own paranormal extermination service as "Ghostbusters".
They set up shop in an abandoned firehouse, and business gets off to a slow start. But business begins to boom after they begin work on a haunted hotel, and successfully catch and contain their first ghost. But when the EPA shuts down the power at their facility, the hundreds of captured ghosts are set loose, creating a disaster situation throughout the city.
Meanwhile, they begin to deal with a woman who is intricately tied in with a plot to destroy the world, and ultimately they confront the face of evil. Ghostbusters is a movie that your community will come out and see, as they will not have viewed the film on the big screen since it was released in the 80's! With screening Ghostbusters as an outdoor movie, you could hold a costume themed contest for the scariest ghost, or best impersonation of a Ghostbuster! If anyone screens this film for their community this Halloween, share your story by posting to the comments section below! We'd love to hear how it went.
Jaws, the 1975 thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's wildly successful novel of the same name. Jaws is a great selection for your annual Halloween outdoor movie party!
In Jaws, Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen. After a young 23 year old goes missing, it is determined that she was killed by a shark, and Hooper wants to close the beach in order to protect vacationers from the deadly predator. But his decision is overturned by the city council, and Jaws continues in a fast-paced thriller that will bring the spirit of Halloween to your annual party!
Jaws presents some great opportunities to make your outdoor movie screen event memorable for your guests or family. Specializing the setting for your outdoor movie always makes for a great experience, so if you are in a boating community, this movie is for you! We've seen a number of Open Air Cinema customers who have produced beach-side screenings, where they've set up their pro or elite screen right on the sand!
We've also seen boat drive in setups, where the audience will watch an outdoor screen movie from their individual boats, listening to the sound through their radio transmitters. This requires the event producer to get a powerful transmitter that will produce a strong enough signal so everyone can hear the audio loud and clear. If you are unfamiliar with such transmitters, fell free to contact us at Open Air Cinema, and we'd be happy to explain more!
Also, don't forget the refreshments! Bringing a few snacks for your audience will significantly add to their outdoor movie experience. And if you're screening Jaws for your Halloween event, apple cider and candied apples would make great refreshments.
Arachnophobia, the 1990 movie about a thing that is absolutely scary to many- spiders! Arachnophobia is a great selection for your outdoor movie at your Halloween backyard movie party, whether you are entertaining your friends and family, your neighbors, or your entire community! We recommend that you carefully consider your audience when screening this film on your outdoor screen, as it is probably too scary for small children.
Arachnophobia opens with a group of scientists, deep in the Amazon, who discover a new species of deadly spider. One of the scientists is attacked by one of the spiders and quickly dies, but as his body is carried back to his hometown, Canaima, nobody notices the spider that hitches a ride in his coffin. Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels), a physician, moves to Canaima with his family, but his condition of arachnophobia (fear of spiders) is set off as the Amazonian spiders breed with a local species and get totally out of control. Arachnophobia continues in a fast paced scary movie that will keep your family and friends on the edges of their seats (and looking for nearby spiders)!
If you are watching Arachnophobia as an outdoor movie, an Open Air Cinema Home outdoor projector screen will make a beautiful surface on which to watch the film. There are some really great opportunities to make the screening extra special. Try to thematize your refreshments. How about spider gummy candies, or spider sugar cookies? Or, try placing black plastic spiders in your guests popcorn, so when they dig to the bottom for that last bite, they'll be totally scared! If you are located in a small town, screen the film in your local field. You'll create an atmosphere that is analogous to the setting in Arachnophobia, and will make it a memorable night!
Your Open Air Cinema inflatable screen will make your annual Halloween party the talk of the town! Your neighbors, friends, and family will look forward to this annual event for years to come, especially as you do those things that will make the night extra special.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project is the next film on our list of Top Halloween Outdoor Movies. The film is a perfect selection for your backyard cinema Halloween party (imagine watching it on your new OAC 9' outdoor movie system), especially if you really want to scare your friends! The film probably isn't suitable for young children or community outdoor movie screenings (although it's always up to you to know your community).
The Blair Witch Project follows three film students, Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard as they investigate the myth of the "Blair Witch" in Burkittsville, Maryland (formerly Blair) for their documentary film. Their initial interviews with locals reveal a handful of legends attributed to the Blair Witch. One story is about a hermit, Rustin Parr who kidnapped children and tortured them in his basement, supposedly because of promptings from the Blair Witch. Another individual, Mary Brown, says she had encounters with the Blair Witch as a young girl.
The students decide to set out into the woods to see if they can find evidence of the witch. They discover a cemetery with several cairns, and some other evidences of the Blair witch. But things get really scary, as they begin to hear sounds in the woods at night, and wake up with cairns built around their tents. We think The Blair Witch Project is one of the scariest films ever produced (hence why it's on our top list), and presents some great opportunities that are unique to outdoor cinema.
Why not set up your Home or Pro outdoor movie screen in the middle of the woods for your Blair Witch screening? Invite all your friends, and have them sit on blankets in the trees. In the middle of the film (when the characters hear things in the woods), plant people in the woods to make noises with cracking branches, etc. You'll definitely scare your friends, and give them an unforgettable experience!
Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island, a 2010 film by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio is next on our list of Top Outdoor Halloween Movies. The film is based upon Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name, and is a psychological thriller that will keep your guests on the edge of their seats!
U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are assigned to investigate the strange disappearance of Rachel Solando at the Ashecliff Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island located in Boston Harbor. They begin working with Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), and quickly come face to face with the many fears and paranoia of the patients.
Daniels begins to suspect a conspiracy on the island, as things aren't quite adding up. Yet his several efforts to expose the mis-deeds of the doctors by leaving the island are thwarted by the hospital staff and natural phenomena. The rest of the film continues in a psychological thriller with twists and turns as exciting and original as any movie we've seen in a long time.
Shutter Island makes a perfect pick for your outdoor movie at your Halloween Party! The film is probably too intense for small children, but is the perfect selection if you want your friends to be genuinely scared! And if you want your audience to be extra scared, inflate your Open Air outdoor movie screen in a setting that will add to the psychological atmosphere of the film, such as in the woods, in or near an old abandoned building, or if you're near the ocean, on the beach! Then, come prepared with Halloween treats for your audience to munch on, and you'll have the perfect formula for a Halloween party that your friends will never forget!
We're willing to bet that outdoor movies will become an annual Halloween tradition, and the highlight of your celebration.
Scream, the 1996 Horror film that single handedly revitalized the slasher horror genre in the 1990's, and produced a number of sequel and knock off films. Scream is a great selection for your annual Halloween Outdoor movie this weekend! The film is probably not a great pick if you're having small children attend your event, but is perfect for a scary evening with close friends or family.
Scream is set in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, (filmed in Santa Rosa California) where high school student Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) is murdered by a killer named Ghostface who questions her about horror film cliches. Casey's friends are understandably upset about the incident, and quickly become of interest to the killer. The entire town is thrown into terror, and Scream continues in a scary narrative that will keep your audience screaming and on the edges of their seats.
The best part about screening Scream on your Open Air Cinema inflatable movie screen, is that there are some really great ways that you can make the event memorable for your audience. For starters, you could have a horror movie cliche quiz or survey (just like Ghostface's list in Scream), with the winner getting a special Halloween prize for getting all the answers right! You could also host the event wearing a Ghostface mask, making the screening extra scary as you dish out refreshments during the film. There are a myriad of games and activities that would make the screening special for your guests.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
The film was directed by Roman Polanski, is based on the bestselling 1967 novel by Ira Levin, and stars Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Maurice Evans, Sidney Blackmer, and Charles Grodin. Rosemary's Baby is a great selection for your Halloween backyard cinema party (only suitable for mature audiences).
Rosemary's Baby is a classic horror film that will entertain your family or friends as you celebrate Halloween with your inflatable outdoor movie screen from Open Air Cinema! The film depicts the young girl Rosemary in New York City, and her horrifying experience as she unknowingly carries the child of the devil. Polanski delivers a breathtaking film that is well made and is supported by magnificent acting from the star studded cast.
As you plan your Halloween party this year, an outdoor movie screening of Rosemary's Baby is a perfect centerpiece to your event. Your Open Air Cinema outdoor screen and outdoor projector will go up like a breeze, creating a setup that will make the evening memorable for all your guests. As the weather begins to be a bit cooler in October, make sure to bring the blankets. For a screening of Rosemary's Baby, you could have chocolate mousse as a refreshment (the dish Rosemary partakes when she is abducted by the secret cult), and hot apple cider to keep the spirit of the Halloween season (and to make sure your guests are warm!).
If you really want to go all the way, setting up your inflatable movie screen near a scary old apartment building (like the one depicted in Rosemary's Baby) would really add to the atmosphere of your event.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist, the 1973 classic horror movie that is adapted from William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name, and based on the exorcism case of Robbie Mannheim. The Exorcist was financially and critically successful, and garnered ten Academy Award nominations (including best picture), with a total of 3 actual wins. Director Martin Scorsese even placed the film on his list of top 11 scariest films of all time! The Exorcist is the perfect horror flick for your Halloween outdoor movie event, especially if you want to really scare your friends and family. The film is not suitable for young children, both for its violent content and profanity, and the fact that it is genuinely scary.
The Exorcist tells the story of Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), an actress in Georgetown, Washington D.C., and the strange behavior of her 12 year old daughter Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Her behaviors include seizures, unnatural powers such as levitation and great strength, and cursing and blaspheming in the voice of a male demon. As Chris is worried about Regan, she takes her to a doctor, who initially suspects the activity is caused by a brain lesion.
But after a number of tests, she is found to be okay, and the physician recommends that Regan see a psychiatrist. But after the psychiatrist is assaulted, and the director to Chris's film is murdered outside their apartment, the doctor finally recommends an exorcism, claiming that if Regan's behavior is psychosomatic, she'll respond to it positively.
The Exorcist continues in a frightening narrative of demonic possession, superstitious rites, and a flurry of truly scary events. Many cite this film as being the scariest they have ever seen. Watching The Exorcist as an outdoor movie near the woods would certainly heighten the scare factor! Backyard cinema has never been this scary!
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead, a horror / comedy / romance (and a Parody of the 1978 Dawn of the Dead) directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and written by Pegg and Wright. Shaun of the Dead is the first of Wright and Pegg's Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy with Hot Fuzz as the second and The World's End as the third. The film is not suitable for young children, as it is fairly violent and deals with themes only suitable for adults. However, it is a perfect selection for your backyard cinema Halloween party with friends. You might not scare your friends with Shaun of the Dead, but you'll certainly entertain them, and keep them laughing all the way home!
Shaun of the Dead is about Shaun (Simon Pegg), a 29 year old Brit with little direction in his life. His local sales job is going nowhere, his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) is giving up on him, and his best friend and roommate Ed (Nick Frost) is a total loser, making things difficult with his stuffy housemate Pete (Peter Serafinowicz).
Liz decides to break up with Shaun after he fails to book a table at her favorite restaurant for their anniversary, and so Shaun decides to drown his sorrows with Ed at his favorite pub, the Winchester. When they get back to Shaun's apartment, Pete relates a story of being bit by some crackheads, and tells Shaun to get his life in order.
The next morning there are alerts of a zombie led apocalypse, but Shaun and Ed are too hungover to notice, until Pete's new Zombie self confronts the duo in the living room. Shaun and Ed are thrust into responsibility, as they now must defend themselves against the growing zombie opposition! Shaun is worried about his now ex-girlfriend Liz, and sees the imposing doom as an opportunity to prove his worth. So Shaun and Ed set out on a mission to save the ones they care about most, with the ultimate goal of ending up at the Winchester, the place they see as being most safe from zombie infestation.
Shaun of the Dead is a hilarious movie that will thoroughly entertain your friends or family at your annual outdoor movie Halloween celebration! There is no better time to host your Halloween costume party, than coupled with the joys of backyard cinema. Imagine watching Shaun of the Dead on your new OAC Home 16' system, with friends and family all around. Don't forget the candied apples or cider! If anyone has screened Shaun of the Dead as an outdoor movie, please share your story by posting it to the comments section below! We'd love to hear how your event turned out.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Actiivty, the horror film that took 2009 by storm, thrilling audiences across the nation! The film was directed by Oren Peli, and premiered at the Screamfest Film Festival while later being screened at the Slamdance Festival during Sundance 2008. Paranormal Activity was a nearly no-budget film, and became one of the most profitable films of all time, raking in nearly $200 million worldwide! This film is probably not suitable for young children, as it is pretty intense and really scary, but it is the perfect selection for your outdoor movie Halloween party with friends!
Paranormal Activity is about Katie (Katie Featherston) and her boyfriend, Micah (Micah Sloat), who move into a new home in suburban San Diego, California. We quickly learn of Katie's history of a ghostly presence that has followed her during her life, a presence which she believes has come to their new home.
She hires a psychic Dr. Fredrichs (Mark Fredrichs), who tells her that the being is not a ghost, but indeed a demon, and cautions them not to taunt the demon, but to contact demonologist Dr. Johan Averies. Micah doesn't believe a word of what Frederichs said, and instead decides to point his video camera at their bedroom at night in order to capture footage of the demon. But things get scary as his footage reveals actual evidence of the paranormal activity. Increased taunting produces a flurry of activity, and the young couple are significantly disturbed and frightened.
By screening Paranormal Activity at your Halloween party, you'll leave your friends or family with an experience they'll never forget! If you really want to scare your audience, you could plant a friend or family member around the periphery of the screening area, making strange sounds and moving objects in a paranormal fashion!
Session 9 (2001)
As we begin to wrap up our Top Halloween Outdoor Movies list, we'd like to review Session 9, the 2001 Horror film that is considered by many to be one of the scariest movies ever. Although not appropriate for young children (due to the sheer scariness of the film), Session 9 is the perfect selection for your Halloween outdoor movie screen party!
We need to reiterate something. This movie is really scary! We recently screened it on our OAC outdoor screen, and couldn't have been more scared.
Session 9 is set in the abandoned Danvers State Hospital in Danvers Massachusetts, and was filmed on-site in the historic structure. An asbestos removal company has been contracted to clean up the Danvers State Hospital, but as they begin to work, they discover dark history in the objects left behind. Then, when one of the workers disappears, the crew is increasingly spooked. Session 9 continues in a psychological narrative that will truly scare your audience!
There are some really great things you can do to make your outdoor inflatable screen event special and memorable. Many towns have abandoned old mental institutions near them (here's a link to historic Kirkbride Plan mental institutions), and setting up your OAC Home system next to an old, dark building will totally heighten the scare factor! Also, bringing refreshments and seating or cushioning will create a special experience for you and your guests. Hot apple cider and fresh sugar cookies are always welcome during Halloween! And most important, don't forget to snap a picture of your setup, as you'll want to remember all your hard work. You'll be able to use the documentation to recruit more guests for your Halloween outdoor movie party next year!