Written by Patti Pauley
I directly credit my wonderful father for my passion within the horror genre. He introduced me to, what some uptight holier than thou parents, would probably consider quite a young age to horror films. It all started with the Universal Monster Films, then we moved to what I remember as my first true horror film, JAWS. Which I won’t lie here, did actually scare me off the beach for a good number of years in my adolescence. I distinctly remember being three years of age and on one of our many trips out to Jones Beach, forcing my dad to carry me even over the sand when we entered the beach grounds.
Yeah I wasn’t having none of that shit.
Yes, my wonderful life-sparker, thank you. Thank you for introducing your only daughter to the wonderful world of horror, that has now obviously opened doors for me. For those late night Silver Bullet showings that induced nightmares of werewolves and Busey chompers. For those fun times laughing our asses off at the later Nightmare On Elm Street films. For play acting scenes from Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein with me. Also, you’re welcome for that rather than pretty princess tea party. So in honor of all the horror loving fathers everywhere, whether you’re married, single, or even a fur-baby daddy, we salute you and I’ve put together a fun top ten just for you. So sit back, relax and consider taking a day for you while perusing some of these horror classics to binge watch for Father’s Day.
Yes, I already know this won’t be a popular choice with the majority here. However, I truly appreciate the suspense and sense of fear from these characters in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. I also think it’s a great film celebrating the father figure struggling to do right by his children, minus the alien invasion. It really dives deep into the emotional aspect of overcoming your greatest fears involving parenting and a friendly reminder that one should never take your closest ones for granted.
9. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
We all can agree it’s not the best installment, but you can’t deny it has its own unique charm. Also, if you didn’t bust a gut laughing at Johnny Depp taking a frying pan to the face, I don’t know what the hell to say to you. The sixth movie in the Nightmare series attempts to dive into Freddy’s past, pre-fried toast status, and gave him a family. A daughter. Turns out she’s not exactly daddy’s little girl and they end up in a daughter vs. daddy death bout. It’s pretty damn amusing if anything, and a fun little addition to throw in the DVD player today.
8. Father’s Day
This Troma treasure is a must watch for anyone that appreciates the majesty and flair of Lloyd Kaufman. While the film doesn’t actually take place on Father’s Day as one would assume, it focuses on one Chris Fuchman (yes, pronounced “Fuck-Man”), who has been killing fathers for close to thirty years. This absolute gore-fest, which I mean come on, is Troma’s trademark essentially, is a nice late night hoo-rah to settle in with a cold one in your hand and kids in the bed.
7. Monster Squad
Who doesn’t love Monster Squad?! If you need something to watch with the kiddos, this is it. Even though Sean’s father, Detective Del, isn’t a primary focus in the film, he’s still a badass dad who bends his logical reasoning when the unexplainable begins to invade their small town. The secondary story to this movie is clearly the struggles in Sean’s family, mostly focusing on a crumbling relationship between a busy husband (Del) and a wife (Emily) who feels neglected. However Sean and his father have some brilliant moments in the film. Like the scene where they’re just hanging out on top of the roof, eating some cheeseburgers watching some ripoff of Friday The 13th. What a beautiful bonding moment.
6. The People Under The Stairs
A truly underrated gem from the 90’s is Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs. Everett McGill plays “one twisted mutha” , er I mean “Daddy” alongside an equally insane Mommy in this weird but fun film. The couple whose seen to society as a couple of douchebag slumlords, prompt a visit from some pissed off renters looking to rob them. The intruders discover something… much more terrifying than outdated china. A lone girl living in a world of hell and a basement full of tortured young men. Seems like it’s not only the towns money they like to collect.
5. The Amityville Horror (1979)
Why not spend Father’s Day with the Lutz family?! You know, the peaches and cream family terrorized by one of horror’s most infamous haunted houses. James Brolin (George Lutz) and his beautiful beard of the Gods is targeted by the demonic entities in the home and he begins to slowly slip into madness. The classic parent gone bat-shit crazy and tries to murder his family premise is but of course, an obvious selection to enjoy with Dad today.
4. Pet Sematary
Both one of the THE most horrifying and tragic tales to come to the genre, (especially if you’re a parent) is also a prime choice for the holiday. The turmoil Louis Creed endures through the majority of the film is absolutely 100% heartbreaking. The man was great dad, no doubt, but his unbelievable anguish lead him to make some pretty regretful decisions. I’m not for second, going to say given the options he had, I wouldn’t take a risk myself; But Jud was right on the money- “Sometimes, dead is better.” Always listen to Herman Munster.
3. The Stepfather 1 AND 2
We certainly can’t have Father’s Day without that magnificent bastard Terry O’ Quinn! The original 1987 cult classic about every step-kid’s worst nightmare and its direct follow-up in 1989, are both a perfect way to REALLY appreciate the man who helped bring you into this world. The story of a serial killer who directly targets single mothers with children, woos them, gets them to marry him, and when he’s had enough of playing daddy- it’s so long folks. Speaking bluntly here, the guy just embodies the look of a serial killer to me, and if you’re to take anything away from this film, it’s that normal looking people are the ones to be afraid of.
In all seriousness here, ANYTIME is a good time to watch Creepshow. However, of course considering the first chapter within the five segment anthology series is the infamous Father’s Day, we all knew it was going to make an appearance here. From “Father’s Day” to “They’re Creeping Up On You”, the entire two hours is gold from start to finish. Grab your cake and bask in one of the greatest films to spill out of the eighties. Then pop in Creepshow 2 for double the dose of absolute bliss.
1. The Shining
Jack Torrance. Just like Amityville, another example of a father gone insane by the doings of something supernatural makes the tippy top of this list. The malevolent smile and brows of Jack Nicholson brings the character of Jack to life, a struggling writer who has become the caretaker of the magnificent Overlook Hotel. He and his family’s stay at the curious dwellings become more and more unnerving as strange sightings and the evil forces within begin to consume Jack entirely; and urges him to do away with his wife and especially, his gifted son. A taste of classic Kubrick is essential viewing for today. Don’t you agree?
As an added bonus, because why the fuck not; Let’s throw in a classic episode from our favorite horror show from years’ past, Tales From The Crypt. Holy hell, was this tale of love and betrayal one twisted piece of work. A couple experiencing marital woes are invited to their friend’s cabin to help celebrate their anniversary. When the wife and their friend, give out some suspicious vibes, husband Richard is convinced they are having an affair and loses his shit. However, as in all these tales, there’s always a twist to it. Enjoy the classic Tales From The Crypt episode “Three’s A Crowd” below!
Happy Father’s Day!