TV tricks or treats: What to watch this Halloween
My nights of ushering our costume-clad kids around the neighborhood for Halloween ended long ago. Now, I tend to spend fright nights handing out candy and hunkering down in front of the big-screen TV for a good spooky movie or two. (With the lights off, of course).
This year Halloween falls on a Monday, which means we have an entire weekend run-up to sample some of television’s tricks and treats. Sounds good to me.
So what to watch? My top recommendation would be to jump on Netflix and binge out on the buzzy (and creepy) hit “Stranger Things.” It’s good, scary fun without over-the-top violence.
If you’ve already seen “Stranger Things,” you could always catch up with — or relive — some of the best episodes of “The Walking Dead,” “American Horror Story” or “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” Still, if you’re looking for something else, here’s a cursory rundown of what television has to offer over the coming days:
On the cutting edge
If you’re into the slasher classics, AMC has your back.
As part of its “Fear Fest 20” celebration, on Saturday, AMC dives deep into Michael Myers-style mayhem by airing three of the “Halloween” films in consecutive order, beginning with the 1978 original (7 p.m.), followed by “Halloween II” (9 p.m.) and “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (11 p.m.).
On Sunday, of course, AMC is all about “The Walking Dead” (9 p.m.), which, at times, is the scariest thing on TV. But on Monday, AMC returns to the “Halloween” franchise with airings of the fourth (6 p.m.) and fifth films (8 p.m.), followed by another dose of the original (10 p.m.).
Fresh (burnt?) offerings
Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more contemporary. Syfy has a new TV flick called “The Night Before Halloween” (9 p.m., Saturday). The log line: When a Halloween prank goes wrong, it unleashes a creature that wants to hunt down each of the participants and kill them. At least it’s not another Sharknado.
Over on Lifetime, there’s “Amish Witches: The True Story of Holmes County” (8 p.m., Saturday). It’s the story of a reality-TV crew that gets recruited by a group of young women to record strange and inexplicable events plaguing their small society following the death of an Amish witch. Apparently, it’s inspired by real events.
Ghosts in the machine
How do you compare the 2015 remake of “Poltergeist” to Steven Spielberg’s chilling 1982 version? By watching them back-to-back.
On Sunday, HBO airs the original at 5:25 p.m. and it’s immediately followed by the reboot at 7:20 p.m.
Be advised that these films come with an Evil Clown warning.
Rocking the fishnets and heels
Did Fox’s recent remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” leave you yearning for the real thing? You’re in luck.
On Halloween night, IFC goes into a Time Warp with back-to-back airings of the kooky and kinky 1975 Tim Curry original beginning at 9 p.m. We do not recommend throwing toast at your TV set.
For the little trick-or-treaters
Freeform has been airing the witchy 1993 film “Hocus Pocus” all over its schedule this month. Upcoming airings include 9:25 p.m. Saturday, 7:25 p.m. Sunday, and 9 p.m. Monday.
Also on Monday, after an early candy run, you can make a return trip to “Hotel Transylvania” (8 p.m., FX), the computer animated movie from 2012.