The Horror Honeys: Happy Hexmas: Top 5 Sci-Fi Films for Halloween

Happy Hexmas: Top 5 Sci-Fi Films for Halloween

A Sci-Fi Honey Hexmas Movie Playlist by Katie

October can be a tricky month for horror fans; although we watch horror all year long, sometimes we try to cram in an extra helping (or 30) to ring in our favorite Hexmas Holiday, Halloween. With so much to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the perfect playlist to accompany your festivities. Lucky for you, I’ve curated a list of the five perfect sci-fi oriented films to watch on Halloween – ranging from schlocky to scary – that’ll add just the right amount of spacey spookiness to your frightening fiesta. Enjoy!

Film #1: The Blob (1958)
What it’s about: While it’s still light out and the kids are getting ready for their trick-or-treat revelry, pop in this popcorn classic from 1958 and enjoy all the ooey-gooey b-movie awesomeness it brings to your screen. In his first starring role, Steve McQueen plays a teenager trying to escape killer space goo that has crash-landed to earth via meteor. When the amorphous monster attacks a midnight horror movie screening, all earthly hell breaks loose.

Why it’s perfect for Halloween: The Blob will get your night started out with an irresistible dose of sci-fi camp, setting a lighthearted mood for the scares to follow.

It even eats your Halloween candy!

Film #2: Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
What it’s about: An ideal chaser to the cheap thrills of The Blob, Ed Wood’s mega cult classic Plan 9 from Outer Space is the definitive time capsule for the very best (and worst) that 1950s sci-fi/horror had to offer. A flying saucer lands on Earth and reanimates corpses, enacting an alien “Plan 9”: a plot to populate the planet with undead armies that can destroy all of humankind. For reasons.

Why it’s perfect for Halloween: Mercilessly funny and awful in the best possible way, Wood’s magnum opus was stitched together by slapdash editing, half-hearted takes by b-grade actors, and props so phony that they make the cardboard tombstones in your front yard Halloween display look worthy of a big-budget blockbuster.
The special effects are out of this world!

Film #3: Village of the Damned (1995)
What it’s about: The 1960 version of this film will work for your Halloween playlist as well, but if you want a change from something mid-century, take a gander at this John Carpenter-helmed remake from 1995. Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley star as doctors trying to solve the mystery about why the women of a small town are inexplicably (and simultaneously) pregnant, and then deliver identical babies that grow up to be steely-haired, dead-eyed psychic clones.

Why it’s perfect for Halloween: Because your Halloween is likely to be overrun with children, and children are inherently creepy. For proof of this, see: every horror movie ever made.

"Trick or Treat, smell our feet..."

Film #4: Donnie Darko (2001)
What it’s about: Without going too deep into the litany of things this plot entails (for that level of detail, check out my review here), Darko is about a teenaged boy (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is coping with an adolescent personality disorder, communicating with an imaginary man in a rabbit suit, and learning how to navigate the convoluted possibilities of time travel. See? It’s simple.
If you see a guy in this costume on Halloween night, run.
Why it’s perfect for Halloween: October 31 is an integral date for the plot, with the culmination of events taking place on a fateful Halloween night. Be sure to mark your calendar, and make it a Darko night.

Film #5: Alien (1979)
What it’s about:
This sci-fi Hexmas playlist may have begun in a relatively merry place, but it’s Halloween, dammit, and things are going to get scary. Finish your evening by engulfing your living room in pitch blackness and turning up the volume on the scariest sci-fi/horror hybrid ever made: Ridley Scott’s timeless masterpiece, Alien. From the sets, to the creatures, to the top-notch effects and unnerving suspense, everything about this movie holds up on repeated viewings and elicits just as many chills today as it did more than three decades ago. 

Why it’s perfect for Halloween: Roger Ebert once called this movie “basically just an intergalactic haunted house thriller set inside a spaceship”, but that’s precisely what makes it so good; whether we’re hiding out from ghosts or aliens, their menace is all-pervading and the scares in this one are the real deal. If you want to go to bed with visions of Xenomorphs dancing in your head, be sure to end your Hexmas revelries with a screening of this essential Halloween holiday viewing.

Happy Halloween from Ripley!