One of my favorite Halloween traditions is curling up in front of the TV with the lights off, pulling up a giant bowl of popcorn, and binging horror movies. There is a static rotation of holiday favorites that I go through: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Halloween, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Friday the 13th, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and so on.
However, I also like exploring and discovering new B Horror movies around Halloween. With that in mind, I trawl through recent additions to IMDB and reviews on B movie blogs to find worthy selections. All B level horror movies have something special to offer so I present my 2018 B movie watch list for Halloween.
There’s a little something for everyone on this list, whatever flavor of horror you like – classic, campy, comedic, creepy, or gory – there is something here for you.
1. Night Of The Living Dead HD (1968/2018)
“There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.”
2018 is the 50th anniversary of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. In honor of the occasion, a special HD 1080p version of the film was released. If you’ve never seen this classic cult B-Movie, Halloween is the perfect time to. If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch it there for free.
Granted, HD can only give a minimal increase in visual clarity to this 1968 black-and-white film, but watching it on a 4k TV does give it a lovely depth of field that makes the viewing experience more immersive. This film is on my watchlist every year, but the discovery that it can now be viewed in HD was a happy revelation.
Another way to enjoy this film is with the Rifftrax commentary, which has been around for a while but gleefully points out the many, many endearing flaws of the film. With several ways to enjoy it, there’s no reason not to.
2. Insectula (2015)
“A giant alien mosquito-type insect is drawn to earth from the CO2 pollution in search of blood. Del, a government agent, loses loved ones to the creature and is on a personal vendetta while Dr. Kempler is captivated by it and attempts to help the creature cleanse the earth.”
This film, made in 2015, has flown largely under the radar (only about 600 reviews on IMDB) but should not be ignored because it is a beautiful love letter to B movies. It’s included in this 2018 list because it recently became available to watch on Prime Video. See if you can catch all the nods to cult favorites that Peterson cleverly works in.
If you love Ed Wood, The Twilight Zone, creature features, milquetoast main characters with fake mustaches that somehow pull down gaggles of ladies, and cheesy gore, you are in for a treat. This movie is tailor-made for cheesy B-movie fans.
3. Slice (2018)
“When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf?”
This little gem is great if you’re into campy horror – murdered pizza boys, inept detectives, ghosts, werewolves, a nosy journalist, witches, hell gateways, small-town tropes galore. With a surprisingly decent production value, Slice really delivers fun one-liners, death jokes, and clever camp but is sparse on the gore.
Slice also has a cast of both fully recognizable and “where have I seen him/her before?” talented B-listers, including Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Chris Parnell, Chance the Rapper, Paul Scheer, Joe Keery (Stranger Things) and more. Come for the fun 80s B-horror throwback theme, stay for the meta-comedy.
4. Pyewacket (2017)
“A frustrated, angst-ridden teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother.”
With an impressive 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Pyewacket is definitely worth a watch. Nicole Munoz (Defiance) gives a wonderful performance, I’d love to see her in more films to come. She is the perfect angsty teenager – definitely nerve grating at times but it feels intentional, as part of the focus on the strained mother-daughter bond.
Normally I’m not a huge fan of occult/ghosty films, but the mind-twisting creepiness of this film overrides my predisposed bias against the genre. It’s filled with quiet, tense moments that make you question what will happen next. I’m a sucker for slow-burn psychological thrillers, especially the “be careful what you wish for” variety, and highly recommend this as an after-dark watch for Halloween.
5. Blood Fest (2018)
“Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. As festival attendees start dying off, three teenagers – more schooled in horror-film cliches than practical knowledge about neutralizing psycho killers – must band together and battle through various madmen and monstrosities to survive.”
This movie is a Blood Fest, indeed. While the plot is pretty thin and the tropes are in full force, the film definitely does not shy away from gore. It’s a self-deprecating meta-horror comedy that was, unfortunately, universally panned – and I get it. The amount of “look how much I know about horror” that is spoon fed to the audience throughout the film can get irritating.
At the same time, one of the main reasons I watch horror films is for the blood and guts, the more ridiculous and copious the better. Blood Fest has that, cheerfully, in spades. This movie is a literal celebration of horror movies made specifically for horror fans and deserves a watch. It’s perfect as an appetizer for your Halloween horror bingeing.
6. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)
“When Edgar decides to sell a nefarious looking puppet at a convention, all hell breaks loose when the puppets come alive and go on a killing spree.”
Fans of the Puppet Master franchise will not be disappointed in this B movie slasher featuring Nazi puppets. It ticks all the “B” boxes: gore galore, boobs, offensive dialogue, and just the barest hints of an actual story.
It’s a welcome relief after a slew of confusingly bad-bad sequels to the original Puppet Master. Thank goodness they are starting to realize what their audience really wants from these movies; cheesy, over the top murder scenes and ridiculous plot. We want it to be so bad it’s good.