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Wow, August going into September has been a busy time for me. Besides my usual articles, reviews and the ongoing job hunt I am also working on three submissions for gaming related products. The first two are adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (going to two different companies) and the third is a short story which I hope will be picked up for a fiction anthology for an indie game. I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Alas, such is the way of life. I just keep slamming back the [drink of choice] and pounding away at the keyboard.

Reviews and a Blog entry on Flames Rising DOT com.

Articles and Reviews on Examiner DOT com.

Wow, that is a lot of articles. I need to stay on top of those.

Stay frosty my fellow geeks and gamers!

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Top Ten Movies for Halloween

Halloween is the best time of year to watch scary movies but with thousands of options it really is hard to choose just one. With that in mind Geek Manor has compiled a list of the top ten movies to watch this Halloween. You can pick one or two or watch the whole list but we guarantee you will not be disappointed.

The best place to start your Halloween festivities is with House on Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price. This is a classic movie about the strange millionaire Fredrick Loren, his demented fourth wife Annabelle, and the party they host in a house on Haunted Hill. Five guests are invited to the haunted house knowing they will be locked inside until morning and whoever should survive the experience will receive $10,000. However, not all of the guests have the well-being of the others in mind and there is far more haunting the Haunted Hill than anyone realized. While this movie is quite dated it still holds a creepy ambience that can send chills up any spine.

For our purposes you can ignore the Mr. Toad portion of the popular Disney release The Adventures of Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad (1949) but it is a great movie for people of all ages. The movie is an adaptation of Irving Washington’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820). Ichabod Crane, a superstitious schoolmaster, competes with Brom for the favor of the town beauty Katrina Van Tassel and Brom decides to tell Ichabod the story of the Headless Horseman to scare him away. Sure enough when Ichabod leaves to head home for the night… Well, that might be saying too much. Bing Crosby, singer extraordinaire, narrates this terrifying tale.

In 30 Days of Night (2007) we visit the tiny town of Barrow, Alaska where the sun sets and does not come back up for thirty days. What better place is there for a horde of hungry vampires to chow down without having to worry about catching a nasty tan? These vampires do not sparkle and they are not interested in becoming your boyfriend. They just want to eat you. What will you do to survive? What would you do to protect the people you love? Those are the kinds of questions this movie tackles and it does it so well. This is a great survival horror movie.

“They’re here,” says Carol Anne, child star from the movie Poltergeist (1982), and we shiver in fear and anticipation. What begins as a simple and somewhat charming haunting quickly turns into a terrifying experience when the dark entity haunting the house kidnaps little Carol Anne. The family calls on a team of parapsychologists to help save their daughter. This movie is excellent on its own but for more fun you can follow it up with Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986). Very few sequels live up to the originals but this one expands the story in interesting ways and makes the first movie even better. Unfortunately the third movie does not live up to the same standards so you can skip that one.

Sam Raimi may not make the best super hero movies but his strength has always been horror films. The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992) are all great films for the horror buff but Drag Me to Hell (2009) really is Sam Raimi at his finest. Poor Christine is a bank loan officer who is pressured into evicting a nice old lady from her home. It is just too bad that nice old lady has the power to curse Christine drawing supernatural forces to haunt her and drive her to her inevitable doom. Raimi has a unique talent at producing scares and grossing out his audience while making them laugh at the same time. This perfect balance keeps you on edge right up to the surprise ending.

What good would any top ten list be without something starring Michael J. Fox? No good! The Frighteners (1996) is directed by Peter Jackson and stars Michael J. Fox as Frank Bannister, a man who gains the ability to see ghosts after a near death experience. Frank recruits ghosts to haunt homes so he can come in and “clean the house” of all supernatural activity. It is the perfect con job. Well, it is until the day the Grim Reaper starts killing people and carving numbers into their foreheads. Frank and his ghostly friends are the only ones who can see the killer ghost forcing them to investigate the murders and bring a stop to the Grim Reaper’s rampage.

Very few movies are as horrific as The Exorcist (1973) a movie about Reagan MacNeil, a young girl who makes the ultimate mistake. She plays with an Ouija board. Through the board an evil entity possesses her and starts to torture her and those around her. When medical science cannot cure the child her mother calls upon an exorcist to rid them of this evil entity. Thus begins an epic battle of good versus evil and the prize is the soul of a little girl. Or is it?

For a little bit of science fiction and horror one need look no further than John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). At a remote U.S. geological station in the Antarctic strange things start to happen when two Norwegians in a helicopter chase a dog into the American camp and then accidentally blow themselves up with a hand grenade. Why were they chasing a dog? What happened at the Norwegian site? Why is everyone acting so strange? It is because some of them have been replaced by The Thing. But who?

Zombies have become quite popular (almost as popular as lovable vampires) but you need to look no further than the first great zombie movie The Night of the Living Dead (1968) to get a full dose of zombie awesomeness. This is the iconic zombie movie created by John A. Russo and George A. Romero in which the dead begin to rise from the grave to haunt the living. Survivors find themselves corralled into a rural house with no hope of being saved and no one to lash out at but each other. Classic!

Perhaps the best movie you could ever watch on Halloween would be none other than John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). On a miniscule $300,000 budget (later extended to $325,000 to allow them to add Donald Pleasence to the cast) Halloween is the story of Michael Myers, a young sociopath who kills his sister and is institutionalized. Years later he returns to finish the job by killing off the remainder of his family and anyone who gets in his way. However, he isn’t happy just stabbing them and being done with it. He stalks them, watches them and terrifies them before going in for the kill. Enter Dr. Sam Loomis who is perhaps their only hope of stopping Michael Myers.

“I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.”

Whether you watch any or all of these movies we hope you enjoy at least one of them this Halloween. Have a great holiday and keep your eyes open. You never know what is creeping around in the shadows out there.

Top Ten Movies for this Halloween Recap

10 – House on Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price

8 – 30 Days of Night (2007)

7 – Poltergeist (1982)

6 – Drag Me to Hell (2009)

5 – The Frighteners (1996)

4 – The Exorcist (1973)