There’s something almost dualistic about yearly traditions. Whether it be an anniversary, holiday, or just a specific day you try to recognize every year, it’s both a comfort and a terror. A wonderful moment of contemplation from a familiar date, faced by the inevitable recognition that another year has gone by and you’re on year closer to the grave. Depending on your situation, however, you might be even closer. Here are horror’s seven deadliest calendar killers guaranteed to help you through a long week and dread that certain date just a little bit less.
7. The Purge (2013)
The worst part about The Purge was the fact it made us all sit back for a second and wonder if it could actually work. In the near distant future of 2022, the government has allotted one night a year, deemed “Purge Night” – where all crime is permitted, including murder. This means for posh family with the patriarch played by Ethan Hawke (Sinister), the night quickly devolves into sheer terror at the hands of a masked game, thirsty for bloodshed. Legal bloodshed.
6. Sint (2010)
Probably the film featuring the most humor on the list, Sint is a twist on the classic character Sinterklaas. While at a quick glance it might seem venturing on Krampus territory, Sint is deliciously morbid and funny. The movie features the brutal murder of former bishop Niklas and his gang on December 5th, 1492. Subsequently, every year after that the date occurs on a full moon the gang returns as murderous ghosts seeking revenge. Fast forward to the present, where the public acknowledges the benevolent version of Niklas with the Roman Catholic Church keeping the hundreds of murders in the past a secret. On December 5th, 2010, a full moon hits and the gang returns for more mayhem and murder. They succeed, slaughtering hundreds until chased off by fire.
5. It (2017)
I’ve yelled enough about the OG adaptation, so its time to show the remake some love. And boy does It deserve it. We all know the story – the entity known as Pennywise comes around the small town of Derry, Maine, every 27 years to feed on the local children before going back to sleep. This means becoming the actual, physical embodiment of children’s nightmares in order to feed. We see a dancing clown, a bloodied rotting man, a werewolf, and the world’s most terrifying painting. The film flourishes in its bloody moments, from dismembering a little body to an utter bloodbath, proving not all remakes are made equal.
4. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Regardless of its abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score, few films have scared me as much as Jeepers Creepers did. Whether it was the blaring horn of the Creeper’s truck, the tilted camera views as body parts are ingested, or the Creeper himself surrounded by a horde of cats, the film ripples with tension. The horrific creature known only as the Creeper is hard to pin down, he walks like a man, flies like a bat, and eats body parts to rebuild himself. If he loses a tongue, that’s what he needs to eat. Not to mention he picks his meal off the smell of their fear. He resurfaces every 23 years for 23 days, only to feast. The film features more than its fair share of decapitations, shotgun blasts, and gouged bellies, but few things were as horrific as the church basement ceiling comprised of stitched together bodies.
3. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
I can’t help it, I’m a romantic. And few things are as romantic as a Valentine’s Day dance. Better yet, one that comes with a promise of murder. My Bloody Valentine is a classic Canadian slasher that I accidentally rented once imagining a plot similar to Footloose. The small mining town of Valentine Bluffs reinstate the once-banned Valentine’s Day dance after a mining accident that led to a miner resorting to cannibalism and murder before being locked away in an asylum. It goes off from there, the miner escaping and avenging to kill anyone who celebrates the day. The movie features impalement, dismemberment, and everything in between. The film is so gory it initially received heavy censorship, having around nine minutes cut.
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
A franchise that few can hold a candle to, Friday the 13th features a dozen films, comic books, novels, and tv. Our favorite hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees features a kill count of over 100. The films have spawned numerous discussions on sexuality, teenagers, and the relationship between boys and their mothers. But it all started in the beginning, with the drowning of a young boy and the wrath of a mother. The film is more subtle in its clues of the date, with offhand mentions the date that are so quick they’re easy to miss. The movie itself is rich with horrific moments of decapitation, bloody throats, and angry machetes. Friday the 13th helped revolutionize the slasher genre and helped breath new life into an old superstitious date.
1. Halloween (1978)
Few film franchises are able of striking such imagery in the mind as Halloween. The film is heavy with beautiful, stark imagery and spooky aesthetic that resonates even today. Not to mention the blessing that is Jamie Lee Curtis (Prom Night), helping revolutionize the “final girl” trope. The story goes that Michael Myers, age six, brutally stabs his sister Judith to death on Halloween. After being incarcerated in a sanitarium for years, naturally he escapes and begins to stalk Laurie Strode, a babysitter, on Halloween. The tension escalates from there, Myers proceeding to stab, strangle, and stalk anyone who gets in his way for years and films to come.