Ideas for Hosting a Horror Movie Marathon

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Horror Movie Marathon: Halloween Films

Horror Marathon: Halloween Movies
'Tis the Season to Be Scary. © Warner Bros. / Compass International / International Film Marketing

Perhaps more than any other genre, horror movies are most fun when seen in groups, so why not throw your own horror movie viewing party? Here are some ideas for horror movie marathons.

Concept:

There's no better time of year for a horror movie marathon than Halloween, and what better theme to get you in the Halloween spirit than...Halloween! You and your guests can dress up as your favorite horror movie characters and enjoy these cinematic "treats".

Potential Lineup:

  • Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Night of the Demons (1988)
  • Satan's Little Helper (2004)
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999)
  • (2009)
02
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Horror Movie Marathon: Classic Films and Their Awful Remakes

Horror Movie Marathon: Bad Remakes
They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To. © Warner Bros. / New Line / Dimension

Concept:

Most horror fans can agree that the flood of horror remakes is out of control. Now you can fully appreciate the urgency of the problem by watching the classic originals back-to-back with the modern Hollywood bastardizations. While the originals are enjoyable on their own, you and your guests can find pleasure in the remakes by booing and mercilessly heckling their every misstep. Hand out unbuttered popcorn and other non-staining foodstuffs for the audience to toss at the screen.

Potential Lineup:

  • The Haunting (1963) / The Haunting (1999)
  • Halloween (1978) / Halloween (2007)
  • The Hitcher (1986) / The Hitcher (2007)
  • Island of Lost Souls (1932) / The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
  • One Missed Call (2003) / (2008)
  • The Wicker Man (1973) / The Wicker Man (2006)
03
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Horror Movie Marathon: Films Where the Black Guy Dies

Horror Movie Marathon: Black Guy Dies
Look Behind You, Hallorann!. © Dimension / Warner Bros.

Concept:

It's a horror movie cliché we're all used to by now: the black guy (or gal...or really any gender minority for that matter) doesn't live to see the final credits. Honor this thankless role player, who often gives his/her life in order to save the hero, with a marathon featuring African American characters who give their all...including their lives. After all, what's a horror movie without victims? Celebrate the occasion by yelling warnings at the screen whenever the doomed "black guy" appears: "Don't go in there!" "Run far away!" "Step away from Paris Hilton!" Deliver a eulogy when he bites the big one.

Potential Lineup:

  • Ghost Ship (2002)
  • House of Wax (2005)
  • Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
  • Mimic (1997)
  • Predator (1987)
  • Scream 2 (1997)
  • The Shining (1980)
04
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Horror Movie Marathon: Aquatic Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Aquatic Films
Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water. © Universal / 20th Century Fox / New World Pictures

Concept:

If it's warm outside (or if you have an indoor pool), set up a screen poolside, toss in a bunch of inflatable rafts and see how man of your guests dare stick their toes in the water once you start showing these aquatic horror movies. Dive underwater at some point and grab random appendages. Throw in some red food coloring.

Potential Lineup:

  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • Dead Calm (1989)
  • Deep Blue Sea (1999)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Lake Placid (1999)
  • Orca (1977)
  • Piranha (1978)
05
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Horror Movie Marathon: George Romero Zombie Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Romero Zombies
Marathon of the Living Dead. © Continental Distributing / United Film Distribution Co. / Media

Concept:

Legendary filmmaker George Romero redefined zombie movies as we know them. Now relive his entire six-film, 40-year-spanning Dead series with fans dressed as their favorite characters from the franchise -- dead or alive. Board up the windows, encourage zombie moans from the audience and serve Jell-o "brains" to the hungry masses.

Potential Lineup:

  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  • Day of the Dead (1985)
  • (2008)
  • Land of the Dead (2005)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Survival of the Dead (2010)
06
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Horror Movie Marathon: Camping Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Camping Films
Camp Hack-a-Limboff. © Paramount / Artisan / American Eagle

Concept:

Not to be confused with "campy" horror movies, this marathon focuses on horror movies set in a summer camp or with people (read: victims) "roughing it" outdoors. Get your guests to bring their sleeping bags, light a (controlled) campfire, roast some s'mores and bring a LONG extension cord into your backyard to screen these outdoorsy horror movies under the stars.

Potential Lineup:

  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  • Campfire Tales (1997)
  • Friday the 13th (1980)
  • Madman (1982)
  • Sleepaway Camp (1983)
  • Wolf Creek (2005)
07
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Horror Movie Marathon: Uwe Boll Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Uwe Boll Films
Bring Me the Head of Uwe Boll. © Artisan / Romar Entertainment / Lionsgate

Concept:

Tap into your inner masochist with a marathon of horror movies from perhaps the most reviled director of the 21st century. Take advantage of the ample opportunity for jeers and groans. Make up rules for audience participation, such as "Every time there's an unnecessary Matrix-like slow mo, yell 'Matrix!'" or "Every time Ben Kingsley appears on screen, yell 'Sellout!'" Tape a photo of Boll to a punching bag for people to get out their frustrations.

Potential Lineup:

  • Alone in the Dark (2005)
  • BloodRayne (2006)
  • BloodRayne: Deliverance (2007)
  • BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011)
  • Blubberella (2011)
  • House of the Dead (2003)
  • (2008)
08
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Horror Movie Marathon: Blaxploitation Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Blaxploitation Films
Afro Pick of Death. © American International / Exclusive International

Concept:

Break out the bellbottoms, the platform shoes and the afro wigs for this funky '70s-themed night of blaxploitation. Have the audience repeat any era-specific slang they hear in the films -- "groovy," "out of sight," "jive turkey," etc. Consider holding a pimp strut contest.

Potential Lineup:

  • Abby (1974)
  • Blackenstein (1973)
  • Blacula (1972)
  • Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)
  • J.D.'s Revenge (1976)
  • Sugar Hill (1974)
09
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Horror Movie Marathon: Domestic Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Domestic Family Films
Home Is Where the Still-Beating, Ripped-out-of-the-Chest Heart Is. © Warner Bros. / New Century Vista / 20th Century Fox

Concept:

For some of us, nothing's scarier than the thought of speeding time with our families, so bring the terror home with these horror movies centering on deranged family members -- mothers, fathers, sons and daughters alike. Set up a family-styled dinner table with a fake Thanksgiving turkey and give everyone rubber butcher knives to fight over who gets the first cut.

Potential Lineup:

  • The Bad Seed (1956)
  • The Good Son (1993)
  • Mother's Boys (1994)
  • Orphan (2009)
  • Parents (1989}
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Stepfather (1987)
10
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Horror Movie Marathon: Animals Gone Wild Films

Horror Movie Marathon: Killer Animal Films
When Animals Attack. © Buena Vista / Film Ventures International / Columbia

Concept:

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Nature goes wild in this animal-themed marathon. Everyone brings stuffed animals to randomly "attack" other viewers when genre clichés appear: mysterious carcasses found half eaten, warnings ignored by local authorities, nerdy scientists called in to investigate and shots from the animal's POV.

Potential Lineup:

  • Alligator (1980)
  • Anaconda (1997)
  • Arachnophobia (1990)
  • Cujo (1983)
  • Frogs (1972)
  • Grizzly (1976)
  • Them! (1954)