Halloween Movie Marathon Ideas from The A.V. Club

Halloween is the closest thing to an annual horror movie marathon holiday. You can’t swing a dead cat during Halloween without hitting a horror movie or a horde of people lunging to consume it. So – if you want to have your own Halloween movie marathon, what the fastest way to conjure up a 24-hour unholy vision of the gaping maw of hell?

If you are a do-it-yourselfer like myself, you probably just want a great list of horror movies to start from. I wrote a Horror Movie Marathon Where-to-Start article a while back.

However, I was surprised to find out the A.V. Club (affiliated with The Onion) are big fans of 24-hour movie marathons – and a 24-hour Halloween movie marathon is one of their annual traditions. Even better, the A.V. Club is well-connected enough to have celebrities put together Halloween movie marathon schedules for them! Check out their Halloween movie marathons from years past:

If assembling one of these schedules sounds like work, maybe channel surfing is more your style. So what’s on TV this Halloween? American Movie Classics seems to be throwing themselves most enthusiastically into the horror fray with their AMC Fearfest. But if you need more options, there are other Halloween Movie Marathons on TV too. Or you can assemble your own marathon from the list of Halloween movies on the Huffington Post. There are a lot.

If bothering to look up showtimes of horror movies on cable TV sounds like work to you, dang, are you one lazy bum! There is yet still a way to stream images of violence and depravity on-demand directly into your ocular receptors. Check out Reel Life with Jane’s 31-day Netflix Halloween Movie Marathon.

I hope one of these horrible options works well for you. Happy Halloween! Don’t turn off the light!

Update 22 July 2017: Updated list of links for mid-2017. All of the other TV schedule references are still from 2014.

Quick Links: The B-Horror Blog

The folks at the B-horror blog can proudly state that they have engaged in five horror ultimate movie marathons and lived to blog about them. They have Final Destination, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Nightmare on Elm Street, and…Twilight? Wait, say what? Well, at least they admit that was a bad idea.

Sadly, according to the blog’s latest post, working for a living has claimed another victim. We’ll just have to revel in the blog’s past glory I suppose.

Horror Movie Marathon – Where to start?

Nothing inspires movie marathons quite like the horror genre. Seriously, the movie marathon landscape is littered with them! (for example, see the Ohio 24-hour horror movie marathon, Brookline horror, etc.)

Why is that? There are lots of psychological theories on why we like to watch horror films. Most of them sound like utter malarkey. I like the theory that we enjoy the jolt of adrenaline experienced in a safe environment.

Regardless of the reason, if you want to have a horror movie marathon, you have a lot of material to choose from. Horror movies are cheap, and there are a lot of them. IMDB lists 53,915 entries in the “horror” category (this includes both film and TV) and there are almost 25 horror subgenres out there according to this authoritative-looking infographic. So where do you start?

How about viewing the entire history of horror films in one day? By that, I mean watching the most ground-breaking, influential horror films ever made. The movies that spawned a thousand imitators. At least it gives you a good, horrible foundation of classics to start with. I have a sample schedule for you below. Enjoy 24 hours of sheer terror!

Horror Movie Marathon Movies


NosferatuMy take: The very first monster movie as we think of them today. This silent movie relies on creepy, dreamlike visuals instead of LOUD NOISE! scares.


FrankensteinMy take: The first and one of the best classic Universal studios monster movies. Features heady subjects for the 1930s – like mad scientists, grave robbing, reanimation of life, child killing, etc.


Godzilla 1954 PosterMy take: One of the first and best of the 1950’s “giant monster” / “nuclear threat” movies.


PsychoMy take: The horror movie that deconstructed horror movies by being so violent, sexual, and shocking that it smashed all audience expectations.

Night of the Living Dead

Night Of The Living DeadMy take: The movie that invented zombies as we know them today, plus a gleeful abandonment of good taste and some social satire to boot.

The Exorcist

The ExorcistMy take: So scary and controversial, it caused moviegoers to faint and ruined Linda Blair’s career for no logical reason.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw MassacreMy take: A template for slasher movies to come, shot in realistic-looking documentary style.


JawsMy take: The movie that defined the “summer blockbuster”.


HalloweenMy take: The wildly successful independent film that set off the 1980s trend of “mindless killer slasher” films.


AlienMy take: A perfect mixture of science fiction and realistic horror.

The Shining

The ShiningMy take: The horror movie like no other horror movie. So out there, it was nominated for two Razzie awards, but now is considered one of the best horror films ever.

The Evil Dead

The Evil DeadMy take: One of the first independent horror films on VHS, and the inspiration of many famous directors today.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch ProjectMy take: The horror film that started the”found footage” and “shakey cam” style.

Horror Movie Marathon Schedule

Start TimeTitle
12:00 PMNosferatu
01:45 PMFrankenstein
03:00 PMGodzilla
04:45 PMPsycho
07:00 PMNight of the Living Dead
08:45 PMThe Exorcist
11:00 PMTexas Chainsaw Massacre
12:30 AMJaws
02:45 AMHalloween
04:20 AMAlien
06:30 AMThe Shining
09:00 AMThe Evil Dead
10:30 AMThe Blair Witch Project

Movie Idea: The Wicker Man

After listening to the 101 films you should have seen podcast, it could not be more clear to me that I need to include The Wicker Man: The Final Cut in my next movie marathon. As they put it:

 If you’ve never seen The Wicker Man, you’re in for a treat. It’s a bizarre, enticing film that draws you in with its weird, sometimes funny depiction of life on a remote Scottish island before knocking you down with a sensational ending. Famously, it’s almost impossible to categorise: perhaps the closest you could get is a comedy-musical whodunnit with a hint of horror. Whatever it is, it’s unmissable.

I’m always game for a movie that is truly unique – something I’ve truly never seen before. And good news for us in the United States – this “final cut” version of the film is available for sale on January 7th, 2014

Here is the trailer for the re-released version of the The Wicker Man.