A few years ago if you had asked anyone about Halloween they probably would have said it was a classic but worn out horror movie franchise that wasn't particularly relevant to the horror scene today. But that was before the Halloween reboot came out. The Halloween reboot followed the story of now-grandma Laurie Strode and her endless battle against the terrifying Michael Myers, and if it's box office success is anything to go by then it single handedly rescued this flailing franchise.
The Halloween reboot definitely has it's roots in the original Halloween but also feels like a somewhat different animal than the many Halloween sequels. This is a Halloween for a new era, and it's a movie that is earning the entire franchise a legion of new fans. So if you can count yourself as a new (or maybe an old!) Halloween fan, then here's ten movies you need to add to your watch list.
10 Halloween: H20
Halloween is such a popular horror movie franchise that if someone wanted to recommend movies to watch if they liked the Halloween reboot then they could probably make up a list entirely consisting of Halloween sequels. However, some entries into the Halloween franchise are more relevant to the reboot than others. This latest installment saw Laurie Strode demolish Michael Myers, and Halloween: H20 has a pretty similar overall story and theme. In this iteration Laurie Strode is protecting her son instead of her daughter, but seeing Jamie Lee Curtis back in action once again makes H20 worth the watch on it's own.
If anyone is a fan of Halloween then it's likely because they either love Laurie Strode or they love Michael Myers, so why not watch a movie where you kind of get a two for one deal? In Brian de Palma's film adaptation of the Stephen King novel Carrie, Sissy Spacek plays the titular character of Carrie White. Carrie is a generally sweet outcast who is abused by her ultra-religious mother (played masterfully by Piper Laurie), and she discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Carrie ultimately winds up becoming the villain of the piece, but if you like scary girls then Carrie is must see TV.
Film making can be a somewhat cannibalistic industry, most filmmakers love to draw inspiration from other materials and reinterpret it in their own special way. Horror tends to be an especially self referencing genre, and there is no film that is more intentionally, gleefully referential than Scream.
Writer Kevin Williamson clearly adores classic horror movies like Halloween, because Scream draws from all of those classics and puts a fun and modern twist on it. And if the references to horror classics weren't obvious enough, the characters of Scream actually watch Halloween in one scene and Randy, the self appointed horror movie expert, explains all of the rules of horror movies as they watch along.
7 The Silence Of The Lambs
The dynamic of the innocent young woman versus the terrifying male villain is a dynamic that has played out in horror films an incalculable number of times, but one particularly impressive interpretation of that is The Silence of the Lambs. The Silence of the Lambs is such a good film that many people wouldn't even think of it as a traditional horror film, but any movie with a lead character colloquially known as "Hannibal the cannibal" clearly belongs on the horror movie shelf. Hannibal is the real star of this film, but FBI ingenue Clarice Starling makes for a very formidable opponent.
When it comes to horror and thriller films, the fear of the unknown expresses itself in a lot of different ways. Often times it's in a literal manifestation of the unknown or unknowable, and in the instance of Halloween it's a silent, blank faced man who's single-minded goal is carnage.
But in Ridley Scott's Alien it takes the form of a literal alien life form that destroys all of the humans in it's wake. And much like in Halloween, one shockingly tough lady is what ultimately comes between this unknown force and the destruction of all of the other people this being wants to harm.
5 Ginger Snaps
Women in danger is one of the most popular recurring themes in horror films, and horror film creators always manage to find different ways to put a new spin on that theme. With the Halloween reboot, it's obvious that Laurie Strode has transformed herself from a scared girl into a warrior. And in the movie Ginger Snaps, a teenage girl finds herself transformed from the innocent girl into the actual monster. Ginger Snaps is a werewolf movie that is clearly meant as an allegory for the scarier aspects of the teenage girl experience, and it's a brilliant movie for anyone who is a fan of the Halloween reboot.
4 The Descent
The entirety of the Halloween franchise has ostensibly been about Michael Myers, but the best bits of the Halloween series have always been about Laurie Strode. Laurie Strode transformed from the classic last girl standing into a formidable warrior woman. And if anyone enjoyed a movie about a formidable warrior woman, then why not multiply the amount of badass chicks to make a movie even better? The Descent is a terrifying movie about a group of besties who go spelunking and run into some seriously dangerous and scary monsters in the cave they're exploring. It's a horror movie, so obviously not everyone survives, but that makes the adventure all the more thrilling.
3 You're Next
The Halloween reboot centers around Laurie Strode, her estranged daughter, and her granddaughter, but is it possible that Laurie had another estranged daughter that she just forgot to mention in this movie? Because if she does, then that girl is named Erin and she's the protagonist in the movie You're Next.
You're Next is a movie about a home invasion where one of those home's residents was raised by survivalists and happens to be exceptionally capable of handling a gang of masked murderers. And even if Erin's last name isn't Strode, she would undoubtedly fit right into the Halloween reboot family.
2 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Halloween film franchise is one of the most beloved, well known, and successful horror franchises in movie history. But if you're looking for a movie that feels like what Halloween would be if it happened in real life, then The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one you need to add to your watch list, pronto. Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one horror movie that even the most hardened watchers will feel unsettled by, and the ultra-realistic feel of the film is what has made it into the enduring classic that it has become in the intervening years since it's original release.
This seems like a given, but if you're a huge fan of the Halloween reboot then there is no better place to start than with the OG. Any horror fan worth their salt has probably already seen Halloween before, but the reboot was a smashing success and it's a near guarantee that at least a few people who saw the new Halloween didn't catch the original. It's a horror classic for a reason, and after seeing the ultra badass Jamie Lee Curtis kick Michael's ass for good in the reboot it's fascinating and thrilling to go back and see the scared teenage version of Laurie Strode.