From classic films to heartwarming family shows, eerie poems and captivating theater productions, Halloween has long been a source of inspiration for various forms of media.
Halloween-themed content has evolved over the years, appealing to different generations along the way. In the 1960s, the season was a time for classic frights, with The Addams Family series, The Munsters, and Psycho being released. The ’70s marked the beginning of horror classics, including Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie, The Shining, and Ghostbusters. And those who were raised in the ’90s likely remember Disney’s family-friendly approach to the holiday, with fan-favorites such as Halloweentown, Casper the Friendly Ghost and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
“A great horror film that’s lesser known is French, Les yeux sans visage (“Eyes Without a Face”), directed by Georges Franju, from 1960. This is the same year as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which is largely credited with inaugurating the modern horror film as we know it.
Some believe this gives short shrift to Franju’s disturbing, poetic masterpiece. From the same year is a low budget British film—with strange parallels in its unusual narrative structure to Psycho—The City of the Dead, sometimes called Horror Hotel, directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. It is extremely atmospheric.
Here’s my idea for a theme for a triple-feature Halloween party blowout: “It’s 1960!” Save Franju for last, when you’ll be tired, and your defenses will be lowered, and he will chop your brain into mincemeat.”