Ever since Georges Méliès gave the world Le Manoir du Diable (released here in the U.S. as The Haunted Castle) in 1896, horror movies have said Happy Halloween as much as jack o’ lanterns, trick or treating and crazy costumes. Of course, we have a particular affinity for fright-inducing films that star our fellow East Enders, so without further ado we lower the lights and raise the curtain on a cinematic Top 10 Halloween Movies haunted by Hamptons stars.
Is it a comedy? A horror movie? Whatever the genre, the 1988 Tim Burton classic gave Michael Keaton all kinds of scenery chewing moments, but we love it for giving Amagansett’s Alec Baldwin his only role as a ghost in his 40-year career.
Another entry into the funny-but-then-creepy ghost stories on the list, this 1996 flick directed by Peter Jackson stars Quogue’s Michael J. Fox as an architect who can communicate with the dead—although we have to admit that the special effects were the breakout star in this one.
When this tale of three resurrected witches—Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Amagansett’s Sarah Jessica Parker as the terrible trio—hit theaters in 1993, nobody saw it becoming the cult classic into which it has evolved more than a quarter-century later. You can go see Hocus Pocus on Halloween night at a free drive-in movie screening courtesy the Mattituck Lions Club at Strawberry Fields in Mattituck. Gates open at 5 p.m
Who does Halle Berry’s tormented psychiatrist turn to for help when she’s incarcerated and accused of murder in this 2003 psychological thriller? East Hampton’s Robert Downey Jr.—well, him and a vengeful ghost, fellow inmate Penelope Cruz and a few others, too, but we’ll always go with Iron Man.
One of the genuinely scariest films of all time, this 1982 supernatural chiller written and produced by East Hampton’s Steven Spielberg (seven years after he terrified beachgoers with Jaws) earned three Oscar nominations and made the simple term “They’re here” two of the most frightening words ever uttered on the silver screen.
Montauk’s Naomi Watts will make you think twice about drinking well water ever again in this darkly atmospheric 2002 film that will send chills down your spine…and make you understand exactly why VHS tapes fell out of favor so quickly.
Rumor has it that this 1996 satire and slasher hit caused called ID use to triple, thanks in no small part to Sagaponack’s Drew Barrymore and her film-series-defining role as Casey Becker. What’s your favorite scary movie? If you ask us—and we’re glad it’s you doing the asking, and not Ghostface—it’s hard not to put this one near, or at, the top of the list.
There are some who say Amagansett’s Gwyneth Paltrow gave away a bit too much of this 1995 classic by dressing up in a brilliant Halloween costume three years ago as her character—sort of—from this thriller in which she stars as the wife of Brad Pitt’s detective David Mills. We say it was just about the most perfect outside-the-box costume ever.
Under the Skin
Maybe not so much a true Halloween film like the others here, but Amagansett’s Scarlett Johansson earned critical raves as an otherworldly predator in this 2014 film that landed on numerous “Best of…” lists and should have landed more support at the box office. Now’s your chance to right that wrong while we all wait for Black Widow to arrive.
While most of the bold-face Hamptons names find their name in the credits of only a single scary movie, Montauk’s Julianne Moore has, well…wait for it…quite a few…ugh, um…more. Starting 30 years ago with Tales from the Darkside the Movie(1990), then the remake of Psycho(1998),Hannibal(2001), 6 Souls(2010) and another remake of another classic, Carrie(2013), Moore offers a movie marathon all by herself.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Okay, so there is a distinct lack of East Enders in the cast and crew of the original and the remake, but we do have our very own Elm Street in Southampton, so…