Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Best movies to watch on Halloween: Why Night of the Demons is the ultimate choice

Posted on

Everett Collection

If you enjoy horror, heavy metal, and zombie-ghouls being beaten to death with sex toys (and, really, who doesn’t?) then you should definitely check out the new movie Deathgasm, which is now available to view on VOD. Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jason Lei Howden the film concerns two metal heads who accidentally unleash hell upon a New Zealand town and would seem to be perfect movie to view this Halloween.

But what film does Howden himself regard as the ultimate Oct. 31 watch? You can see his GIF-powered answere, below.

JASON LEI HOWDEN: To me, Halloween is about devouring sickly-sweet things which may be bad for you, but hype you into an intense sugar-rush and leave you grinning like a post-coital Tony Robbins. So, I present Night of the Demons (1988) as the perfect Halloween party movie. 

It begins with a cartoony intro and an oh-so-’80s synth sequence that would make A Flock of Seagulls quiver and hide behind their haircuts. Flying skeletons, dark clouds and haunted houses on hills. It’s a pop-up book of classic Halloween tropes. 

 

A group of hormone-drunk, catchphrase-spouting teenagers attend a Halloween party at the infamous Hull House. 

 

Like, paaaaar-ty on!

But when goth-outcast Angela (Amelia Kinkade) convinces the over-sexed mini-WASPs to perform a party game involving an old mirror, all hell breaks loose because of course it must.

The performances are all fun, comforting ’80s teen stereotypes. Stooge, the undisputed king of horror assholery, is a scene-stealer. He rocks into the proceedings with a mullet/steps haircut combo and the word “bitch” never far from the tip of his tongue.

This haircut alone was responsible for the R-rating.

Angela transforms into the film’s boss demon, which she also played with even greater effectiveness in the 1994 sequel. It’s a shame she isn’t widely revered these days, because Angela is one of the quintessential ’80s female horror antagonists. 

Breaking the glass ceiling for lady-monsters!

But the standout is the scream-queen legend and totally babin’ Linnea Quigley as the boy-lusting Suzanne. 

 

From Silent Night, Deadly Night to Return of the Living Dead, Linnea was responsible for more worn-out pause buttons on VHS players than any of her contemporaries. The infamous lipstick-scene and sly-convenience-store-distraction alone made the tape a worthwhile rental.

“Linnea…” – Every teenage boy in the ’80s.

But we came here for the horror and Night of the Demons does not disappoint. Obviously inspired by Sam Raimi and Lamberto Bava, the possessed makeup and flesh-ripping gore is more than enough to sate horrorhounds. 

 

With great spooky costumes, gory kills, Bauhaus-featuring OST, scary demon makeup, and an amazing last-act twist ending which riffs on a famous Halloween urban legend, Night of the Demons will always be one of my Halloween favorites. It’s a fun seasonal treat best consumed with beer and copious amounts of Reese’s cups. 

“Damn rotten kids!”

You can see the trailers for Night of the Demons and Deathgasm, below.

Comments