Episode 45 – ‘Cause This is Thriller: A Halloween Special
Why Watch That
It’s Halloween again! So, after you’ve finished trick-or-treating, check out this special Halloween-themed episode. Whether you’re into thrillers, suspense, or horror, we have something for you. In this episode, the Critic and the Referee provide a diverse list of movies and TV shows that will whet your Halloween whistle. A few of these selections will take you completely by surprise! Enjoy!
The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him. The film established Shyamalan as a writer and director and introduced the public to many of his signature traits, most notably his affinity for surprise endings.
Mike Tyson Mysteries is an animated television series from Warner Bros. Animation for Adult Swim. Mike Tyson, his adopted daughter, a friendly ghost, and an alcoholic pigeon solve mysteries. It premiered October 27, 2014. The series features Mike Tyson solving mysteries, in the style of Scooby-Doo!, Jonny Quest, and Mr. T.
Se7en is a 1995 American neo-noir thriller film written by Andrew Kevin Walker and directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin Spacey in supporting roles. The newly transferred David Mills (Pitt) and the soon-to-retire William Somerset (Freeman) are homicide detectives who become deeply involved in the case of a sadistic serial killer (Spacey) whose meticulously planned murders correspond to the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust and envy.
Shadow of the Vampire is a 2000 British-American horror film directed by E. Elias Merhige, written by Steven Katz, and starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. This film is a fictionalized account of the making of the classic vampire film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, directed by F. W. Murnau, in which the film crew begin to have disturbing suspicions about their lead actor. The film borrows the techniques of silent films, including the use of intertitles, which explain elided action, and iris lenses.
Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. A psychopath nicknamed Buffalo Bill is murdering women across the Midwest. Believing that it takes one to know one, the FBI sends Agent Clarice Starling to interview a demented prisoner who may provide clues to the killer’s actions. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn, this film is based on Thomas Harris‘s 1988 novel of the same name, the second of Harris’s to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.
Hitchcock is a 2012 American biographical drama film directed by Sacha Gervasi and based on Stephen Rebello’s non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. Hitchcock centers on the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) during the making of Psycho, a controversial horror film that became one of the most acclaimed and influential works in the filmmaker’s career.
Strangers on a Train is an American psychological crime thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It was shot in the autumn of 1950 and released by Warner Bros. on June 30, 1951. The film stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker, and features Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, and Laura Elliott. The film is number 32 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills.
Fright Night is a 1985 American horror film written and directed by Tom Holland and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall, and Amanda Bearse. The film’s plot follows young Charley Brewster who discovers that his next-door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire. When no one believes him, Charley decides to get Peter Vincent, a Vampire Hunter TV show host, to stop Jerry from starting a massive killing spree. The film was released on August 2, 1985 and was followed by a sequel, Fright Night Part 2 in 1988, and a 3D remake in 2011, which was followed by an in-name sequel/reboot in 2013.
Constantine is an American television series airing on NBC, based on the characters appearing in the comic series Hellblazer published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint. The series stars actor Matt Ryan as John Constantine. The pilot episode was directed by Neil Marshall and written by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer.
Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King‘s 1987 novel and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances Sternhagen. Directed by Rob Reiner, the film received critical acclaim for Bates’s performance as the psychopathic Annie Wilkes. Bates won the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role, making Misery, as of 2014, the only Stephen King adaptation with an Oscar win. The film was ranked #12 on Bravo‘s 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way.
Slither is a 2006 American science fiction–horror–comedy film written and directed by James Gunn in his directorial debut, and starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker. A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters. The film was produced by Paul Brooks and Eric Newman.
The Referee’s Honorable Mentions
Candyman, Jaws, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Critic’s Honorable Mentions
28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, World War Z, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Alien, Aliens, Prometheus, Gremlins, and Gremlins 2: The New Batch