Flixtream this! Special Halloween 2010 edition

Flixtream this! Special Halloween 2010 edition

You can get streaming Netflix in a lot of different ways: directly on a computer, through a Roku device, through a gaming system (Wii, XBOX 360, PS3), even through some TVs.  You can watch all the streaming stuff you want (and get 1 DVD at a time) for $8.99 a month.  I’m going to start recommending some things for you to watch…I call it Flixtreaming (for “NetFlix Streaming”).

Halloween and scary movies…for me, they go together “boo-tifully”.  ;)  A lot of the classic costumes are based on those movies: the flat-headed Frankenstein’s monster (Jack Pierce’s brilliant design for Boris Karloff); the evening-dressed Dracula (Bela Lugosi); and the hairy-faced wolfman (Jack Pierce again, for Lon Chaney, Jr.). 

Other people extend beyond the Universal horror movies…Freddie Kreuger from A Nightmare on Elm Street; the shuffling zombies from Night of the Living Dead; and the sexy vamp Elvira.  Yes, TV can count, too. 🙂

Whether it’s keeping the kids entertained waiting for trick-or-treat time, or a party for adults, streaming Netflix makes it easy to get in the Halloween mood.  I’m going to make some suggestions…be careful, not all of them are good for all audiences. 

Dracula (1931)

This is the classic, the one that issued in the whole Universal horror cycle.  Bela Lugosi, who had starred in the stage hit, stars as Count Dracula…and yes, the action starts out in Transylvania.  Great lines (“I never drink…wine.”) and Dwight Frye as the maniac Renfield make this the must-see.  Is it hokey?  Sure…and what is that armadillo doing in a European castle?  Still, I would definitely put this on the list.

Frankenstein (1931)

Boris Karloff is brilliant in the largely non-verbal role of Frankenstein’s creation.  While he later would be associated with the role of the mad scientist, that honor belongs to Colin Clive in this James Whale-directed classic (he also directed Dracula, above).  Ken Strickfaden’s electrical work for Dr. Frankenstein’s lab has been imitated many times.

The Addams Family (1964…)

If you want one that will entertain the kids and adults alike, I’d recommend a marathon of the 1960s sitcom.   While “mysterious and spooky” to the outside world, this is actually a loving family.  While somewhat dated in its plots, its outsider mentality fits right into today.  If it had been a musical (well, it is now, but that’s not the same thing), it would have been great for Glee. 

Dark Shadows (1967…)

Prefer your vampires and werewolves as romantic leads?  Consider revisiting this 1960s soap opera with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins and David Selby as the werewolf Quentin.  Just like with the Addams Family, there are enough episodes for you to watch all day.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not for kids!  It’s really the writing that makes this terrifying…although there is gore.  If you’ve never seen it, I’m not going to spoil anything.  Just be prepared for a difficult night’s sleep afterwards…if you sleep at all.

The Exorcist (1973)

This story of a possessed girl (Linda Blair) scared people in a way that movies really hadn’t done before.  Based on the best-selliing William Peter Blatty book (itself inspired by an actual event) this can be really disturbing, in ways beyond a quick scare.  Again, definitely not for kids.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Not for kids for a different reason.  :)  This one may certainly be best in a group with a party atmosphere.  It’s a musical tribute to the Universal horror movies…but with a definite twist.  If you’ve ever seen this one, let me say…it’s a lot better on the second viewing.  Why?  There is a lot of foreshadowing.  Tim Curry deserved an Oscar nomination for this one…although that wasn’t going to happen. 🙂

Paranormal Activity (2009 wide release)

With the sequel in the theatres, this is a great opportunity to see the original.  It’s one of the most profitable movies of all time…but don’t think that means it looks cheap.  I was pleasantly surprised by it.  The strength is in Oren Pell’s directing and writing and Katie Featherston’s naturalistic performance.  It’s really creepy…very intense.

There are a few suggestions for you.  :)  I could list a hundred more, but I’ll leave it up to you.  What movies and TV shows (available on streaming Netflix) do you recommend for Halloween?

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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