Halloween is juuuuuussst around the corner. At Windows Central, we're getting in the fall-holiday mood with some (mostly) creepy films, shows, music and reads. Below you'll find our latest set of recommendations, including a classic slasher flick, a modern take on the theme song from that classic movie, and a very gory book that ended up being turned into an even gorier film in the '80s, way before overly bloody movies were commonplace.

If you're not into the scary stuff, or just don't see anything you like, we have more picks where these came from. Just hit the link below.

More media recommendations from Windows Central

Movies

Very unsettling

Eraserhead

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

If you've not seen David Lynch's Eraserhead — great. I won't spoil too much because it's best to go in blind and let things unfold on their own, but it centers around Henry (played by Jack Nance), a worker living in a bleak part of town who must care for his child after its mother leaves. If you're thinking this doesn't sound like it belongs in a Halloween-themed collection of great stuff to watch, please just watch it.

And for anyone who has already seen Eraserhead, isn't it time to take another trip into the weirdness?


Who goes there?

The Thing

Recommended by Samuel Tolbert, freelancer writer

When John Carpenter's The Thing opened in theaters in 1982, it was an utter bomb critically and commercially. Since then, the movie has attained a cult following and garnered more of the reputation that I feel it deserves: as one of the finest horror films ever made. The practical effects still hold in 2019 and the gore is horrific, yet that's not what makes the film scary. Rather, it's the slow-burning tension, a consistent, gnawing sense of doubt as intelligent people make intelligent decisions while trapped in an extreme environment...but sometimes, that's not enough. After all, how can you fight something if you don't even know who the threat is?

At an Antarctic research base, MacReady (Kurt Russell), Childs (Keith David) and several other American staff come into conflict with some Norwegians intent on killing a dog. When the American crew investigates the Norwegian base, they find evidence of something that has been buried in the ice. Something that has woken up. Something that means they can't trust anyone.


Stupid fun

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news editor

As Halloween approaches, scary movies are at the top of my list. But I'm going to kick things off with one movie that's just stupid fun: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. The titular Tucker and Dale are just two friendly hillbillies who unfortunately find themselves mistaken for killers while on vacation in the middle of nowhere. What follows is a hilarious take on the trope of backwoods killers, in which a group of college kids is gradually killed off by their own actions as Tucker and Dale are just trying to do the right thing.

There's still a lot of ridiculous gore involved here, but Tucker and Dale is always a fun watch.


Killer on the loose

Halloween

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Michael Myers was just six-years-old when he stabbed his sister to death in 1963 and was sentenced to a mental hospital to serve 15 years locked away from society. Myers has managed to escape and plans to return to Haddonfield to unleash chaos on Halloween.

Halloween is considered the firestarter for all the slasher movies we've had since and there are plenty of gruesome deaths to squeal at. This isn't just a great movie to enjoy at this time of year, Halloween is also a good place to start your journey down horror lane.


TV

Golden Age

Rome

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

HBO has nailed some series over the years and the first season of Rome is nothing short of epic. This series — as the name implies — follows the historical bloody events that saw the birth of the Roman Empire. Should you be able to overlook the use of British actors in place of Roman citizens, this is one of my favorite shows to sit through.

Much like Game of Thrones, there's plenty of nudity, blood and gore, as well as vulgar language. During the first season, you'll be introduced to the likes of Caesar, Brutus, and Cleopatra. If you've been needing a brutal show to scratch that itch you've had for some time, Rome is certainly worth checking out.


Music

Modern twist on a classic

John Carpenter's 'Halloween' theme song — Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

John Carpenter's seminal film Halloween is one of, if not the, best slasher flicks ever made. It's nearly perfect. And one of the best things about the movie is its haunting theme song. It's the kind of tune that immediately demands mental conjuring of the film's antagonist, the memorable Michael Myers.

In 2017, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor released his take on the classic horror tune. It's similar enough as not to mess with something that's already a masterpiece but it also puts his own sinister-sounding stamp on the song. It's perfect for a Halloween party or just for getting into the fall holiday spirit.


Spooky Synth

Dance With The Dead - B-Sides: Vol. 1

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Synthwave is incredible in that it can span multiple genres with metal and horror being but two related to the spook-filled holiday. Dance With The Dead specializes in such sounds, fusing classic metal and synth together beautifully and B-Sides: Vol. 1 is one of my favorite albums. Better still, with pumpkins and the like coming out in due course, now's a good a time as any to blast some Skeletons in the Attic.

Other fantastic tracks included in this album that are worth checking out: The Man Who Made a Monster, That House, Blood Moon, Snap, and Tilt World.


Books

Gothic with a side order of gore

The Hellbound Heart — Clive Barker

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

This novel is the inspiration for the classic '80s gorefest that is "Hellraiser." It's also the first book that introduced me to one of my favorite horror novelists, Clive Barker. It's really a "novella," as it's quite short. But Barker packs a whole into a small space.

The story is about a young, bored wife who finds a mysterious box in her new home that somehow allows her to reanimate her husband's dead brother, who is way more interesting than the husband … but also quite evil. The whole reanimation thing doesn't come without some serious consequences, though, and they come in the form of some truly evil bad guys, called Cenobites. If you're familiar with the "Hellraiser" film, its leading man, Pinhead, is a Cenobite, though he plays a much smaller role in the book than in the movie.


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