Gizmodo Movie Night: Halloween Is Sorted With These Campy Horror Flicks

Gizmodo Movie Night: Halloween Is Sorted With These Campy Horror Flicks
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If you are looking for some Halloween movies but are bored of watching the same ones each year, don’t fret, this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night has you sorted with all the fabulous campy horrors you could dream of.

There’s a lot of contention about the actual definition of camp, especially what makes a film campy. A lot of people on Tiktok have decided to pick up the phrase to describe well, literally anything as being camp. My personal favourite is someone describing their very heterosexual father as camp. Heterosexuality? Totally camp. Moving on.

The problem with the concept of camp is that you cannot clearly define it because any intention to be camp is not camp, unless it is extremely intentional, in which case it is then perfectly camp. Got it?

We can thank Susan Sontag for the introduction to the chaos that is defining camp in her 1964 essay Notes On ‘Camp’Camp is also heavily associated with the LGBTQI+ community because the word was literally defined as “ostentatious, exaggerated, theatrical; effeminate or homosexual”. As someone who was once described as “camp as a row of tents” I think I am overqualified to give you these recommendations.

So without further ado, here are the campiest horror movies of all time.

Scream 3 (2000)

Halloween Campy Horror
Image: Miramax

Really any Scream film can find its way onto this list but nothing is campier than Scream 3. From a meta plot, somewhat terrible acting, dry humour and Courtney Cox’s criminal bangs, Scream 3 is nothing short of a camp masterpiece. The movie is based around the chaotic life of Sidney Prescott, who everyone seems to want to kill and this time Ghostface has taken us to the set of Stab! (the movie based upon the original killings that followed Sidney). In a stroke of camp genius, Wes Craven (may he rest in peace) conjures up a movie within a movie, meaning we get not one but two (2)! Gale Weathers.

Unlike other slasher films, Scream notoriously references horror tropes in the film which adds to the tension of knowing who is going to get the chop next. Scream 3 takes this one step further and literally tells us who is next based upon the script for Stab! and yet you are still completely blindsided by the identity of the killer. Horror movies that are almost satirical of the genre is what makes them camp, which Scream 3 does perfectly. No Halloween is complete without some sort of Scream. 

You can watch the trailer here.

Scream 3 is currently streaming on Stan.

While you’re on Stan, you could also give Scream and Scream 2 a run in preparation for the upcoming Scream film.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Halloween Campy Horror
Image: IMBD

Rocky Horror Picture Show  is the epitome of camp horror and definitely should be on your Halloween watch list. Not only is the film completely centred around the devilish gender-bender Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) it also blends the genres of horror, musicals and romantic comedies together. If you think of camp horror, this is probably going to be the top of your mind, hence why it has found itself on this list.

Two recently engaged lovers (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) find themselves broken down in the middle of a storm with only a creepy castle in sight. They then find themselves stuck in the world of the extraterrestrial Dr. Frank-N-Furter who has just created the perfect man (I wish), who also commits some pretty bad crimes (see: murder). The plot itself is completely nonsensical and convoluted which adds to the campiness of it all. You aren’t meant to know what is happening, you are just meant to adore the soundtrack and Tim Curry’s sensuality.

The recent remake of the film is good, but not as great as the original. Curry just serves Frank-N-Furter up covered in camp. This film is special to many LGBTQI+ people because of the unapologetic Dr. Frank and the overall theme of being whoever the hell you want to be, which is inherently camp.

You can watch the trailer here.

Rocky Horror Picture Show is currently streaming on Disney+.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Image: 20th Century Studios

This Halloween, please, please, please try revisiting this flick because Jennifer’s Body deserves much more credit than it gets. When first released, Jennifer’s Body copped horrible reviews and that was mostly because of the way it was marketed, which completely misunderstood the main message of the film. It was originally marketed towards horny teenage boys, when in fact the film implicitly calls out that exact behaviour. Nowadays, it has become a cult classic for the lesbian community, when you watch it, you will understand why.

After a demon possesses the body of cheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox) she starts to crave human flesh, particularly male flesh. To stop her from killing all the boys in school, her best friend Anita (Amanda Seyfried) must find out why she is possessed and how to stop it.

Almost everything about this movie is campy. The plot appears to make no sense, but it does. The character tropes of the nerdy girl and the sexy cheerleader are reinforced to extreme levels. The costumes and visuals are dreamy, yet bone-chilling. Even the way Jennifer murders is campy.

You can watch the trailer here.

Jennifer’s Body is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Death Becomes Her (1992)

Image: Film Still

In what is dubbed as one of the best cult camp films of the 90sDeath Becomes Her really takes the cake for camp horror. I don’t think I need to mention much of why this is camp besides gorgeous costumes, a nonsensical plot, fabulous sets, jealously, husband-stealing, attempted murders and zombified Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. It is literally as camp as camp can get. Death Becomes Her is the perfect movie to watch this Halloween, especially in today’s era of cosmetic surgery and Instagram models.

You can watch the trailer here.

Death Becomes Her is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Addams Family Values (1993)

Halloween Campy Horror
Image: Paramount Pictures

Anything Addams Family belongs on every single Halloween movie list, but one film in particular, Addams Family Values, was made for this listThis movie is known for turning its camp levels up to the highest notch and nothing less is expected from any film that has Anjelica Huston in it.

Even the plot is campy. The Addams Family are trying to rescue their Uncle Fester from none other than his gold-digging wife who may also be a serial killer with a desire for rich men. I am telling you, nothing is campier than a gold-digging serial killer going after some inheritance.

This movie has got all you need this Halloween. And Joan Cusack playing a drop-dead gorgeous serial killer? What more could you ask for?

You can watch the trailer here.

Addams Family Values is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: The Best Entry Level Horror Movies For Beginners