Scary Movies for a High-Def Halloween

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Check out some high-definition DVDs this Halloween that are really frightening—or just frighteningly bad.


Oct. 24, 2007 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In terms of scary movies, I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan over the years. Just not my bag, baby. But I married someone whose favorite holiday is Halloween and loves the movie of the same name as well “Friday the 13th” and others.

On most Halloweens, or on the Saturday night before it, we like to re-view some horror flicks. Some that we haven’t upgraded just don’t look quite as scary anymore on the old VHS tapes we have of them. Our DVD copy of “Halloween” has done the job … still, while standard-def may make me bounce up in my seat a little bit during the really scary scenes, I think watching some of these movies in high-def would find me leaping off the couch.
So for this Halloween season, here’s a list of some frightening flicks to keep you on the edge of your seat, in the competing high-def DVD formats HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Some may be available on both, but to simplify things, we’ve given you 10 titles for each format. The horror, the horror!

HD DVD

  • “An American Werewolf in London” (1981) - A classically howling good time, with those gut-wrenching transformation scenes to tingle your spine.
  • “Corpse Bride” (2005) - If it’s Tim Burton, it must be creepy. And he’s got animation at his disposal for an even wider array of weirdness.
  • “Darkman” (1990) - Liam Neeson as the trenchcoat-wearing protagonist and that mentally challenged guy from L.A. Law as a bad guy. Ooooohhh.
  • “Disturbia” (2007) - Isn’t this Hitchcock’s Rear Window with some hip young actors instead of Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly? That’s a scary thought.
  • “Gothika” (2003) - Some of Halle Berry’s movie roles since her Monster’s Ball Oscar win have been frighteningly bad.
  • “Purple Rain” (1984) - Killer soundtrack from Prince and the Revolution, and looking back at the mid-80s will make you scream.
  • “Red Dragon” (2002) - Not as scary as Silence of the Lambs, but Hannibal Lecter’s character can still give any movie some bite.
  • “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) - Lots of zombies, plus the scene where they use vinyl to kill a few could give audiophiles nightmares.
  • “Slither” (2006) - One giant slugfest, and we don’t mean Red Sox vs. Rockies or Rosie vs. The Donald.
  • “The Thing” (1982) - Might not be cold enough yet for this Antarctica-set thriller, but it’s still bound to give you chills.

Blu-ray Disc

  • “A Clockwork Orange” (1971) - Stanley Kubrick’s look at the future, where a little bit of the ultra-violence can make your blood curdle.
  • “Alice Cooper Live at Montreaux 2005” (2005) - Alice rocks the heavy metal, and he’s always pretty frightening looking.
  • “Arlington Road” (1999) - Tim Robbins in the villain role. The ol’ good-guy turns evil in character, and he’s easy to be afraid of.
  • “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) - If it weren’t for this classic zombie flick, we wouldn’t have had the title Shaun of the Dead.
  • “The Devil’s Rejects” (2005) and “House of 1,000 Corpses” (2003) - Can something directed by Rob Zombie not be a gore-fest? Like a car wreck, you just can’t look away from these companion pieces.
  • “Halloween” (1978) - Michael Myers made everyone want to stay in their houses instead of going trick-or-treating.
  • “Hostel” (2005) and “Hostel Part II” (2007) - Yeah, you might want to cancel your European backpacking trip after a double dose of these director’s cuts.
  • “Return to the House on Haunted Hill” (2007) - It’s a big scary house on a big scary hill, so why did they return to it?
  • “Saw” (2004), “Saw II” (2005), “Saw III” (2006) - Since the plot twist at the end of the first Saw was so inane, they decided to make to more films to see if they could top it. Have a marathon.
  • “Scooby-Doo” (2002) - The Mystery Machine crime solvers know how to roll, and there’s always a villain to unmask at the end of a good Scooby-Doo thriller, right?

Do you have a must-see scary movie that didn’t make our list? Are there any horror flicks that you can’t wait to see on HD DVD or Blu-ray? Let us know by posting a comment below.



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