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The 2014 Halloween Movie Marathon

Happy Halloween, reader!

I was hoping that today I would be able to do some kind of post-marathon write-up about the movie spook-tacular I hosted in my house the weekend prior, but unfortunately that didn't quite work out.  Due to various life events (read: there's a fetus coming to full term), Stephanie and I did not actually host our annual movie marathon this year.  Much sadness.

The good news is that Halloween falls on a Friday this year (in case you haven't noticed) and there's plenty of time for anybody reading this to carry out the mundane plans we had saved up.  So, to those of you who are looking to do something fun tonight, but are too old to go trick-or-treating, too tired to go to a party, and hoping to get the most out of your Internet connection, I offer the following suggestions:

7:00 PM to 8:35 PM: The Burrowers


Clancy Brown and William Mapother join forces to hunt for what they think is a roaming band of violent Native American raiders on the Western frontier, only to face off against a vicious supernatural threat instead. The Burrowers is a bit of a slower movie that builds up a good sense of dread and atmosphere before it starts to introduce its more grotesque horror elements.

It's also got a good sense of dark humor, which will set the tone of the evening perfectly when you see what else is in store.

9:45 PM to 11:30 PM: Dog Soldiers


A squadron of Scottish special forces on a training mission accidentally stumble into a den of werewolves.  Features excellent performances, especially from the always-great Sean Pertwee, and has one of the best creature designs I've ever seen.  Dog Soldiers amps up the carnage and keeps the spirit of offbeat humor alive.

11:45 PM to 1:30 AM: Ravenous


Finally, to cap off the evening, take another trip back to the 1800s American western frontier with Ravenous, an excellent multi-genre movie that seamlessly mixes historical fiction and cannibalism.  Guy Pearce leads an outstanding ensemble cast in a story that never goes the direction you think it will and sustains a terrifying and intriguing mood throughout.  It also features one of the best movie scores you'll ever hear; the music that plays during the "Colqhoun's Cave" sequence is bone-chilling and evocative no matter how many times I hear it.

1:30 AM to 1:45 AM: The Wrap-Up

Now that you've seen all three movies, you can ask your guests to guess at what all three movies had in common.  This is much easier than it sounds; you can draw connections between pretty much any three movies if you think about it for a few minutes.  (For example: Hellraiser, Pompeii, and Over the Hedge all involve characters chained up at one point.)

The real fun in the guessing game, of course, is to pick something ridiculous and watch people struggle to figure it out.  If you actually are planning to screen these for your buddies, then I'll let you come up with your own answer for maximum enjoyment.  But below are a couple of suggestions:

The Theme (Easy Mode): Take your pick from Military Slaughter, Murder in the Wilderness, or People Eaten by Monsters.

The Theme (Difficult Mode / You Feel Like Being an Asshole Mode): Camping.

Whoever gets closest to your answer gets a prize.  My recommendation?  How about a spooky flask?  Perfect for your next creepy camping trip.

Enjoy your candy binge!