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Tubi Halloween Picks

I like discovering something new among the old and Tubi has an assortment of horror films from cinema's past for just such an occasion.

It can be kind of overwhelming at Halloween when trying to decide what movies to watch.  Some have a certain rotation of horror films that they check out in ritualistic fashion each year.  While I’m totally all for that and count myself among this clan of devotees, I also like discovering something new.  Currently Tubi, the streaming service, has an assortment of horror films dating all the way back to the 1960s.  A few stood out to me.  So I decided to watch them and share some of my thoughts below:

Tales from the Crypt movie poster

Tales from the Crypt:

Prior to the popular HBO series of the early ’90s, there was the 1972 film, also inspired by the vintage EC horror comics from the ’50s. This movie follows five individuals who become lost in a crypt, encountering a solemn robed figure. An elderly fortune-teller, this man unravels a series of vignettes, each portraying one of these five characters committing crimes and meeting untimely deaths. I took issue with the plausibility of one story, but, on the whole, each of these tales boasted remarkable originality and managed to be both scary and oddly satisfying. It’s almost akin to a retro Black Mirror. Moreover, the movie concludes with a rather spooky twist, adding an extra layer of creepiness.

The Crypt Keeper (Ralph Richardson)


I’ve been wanting to see this film for quite some time but never got around to it, until this Halloween season. Going in, my impression of this 1985 release was that it might be a bit slow for my taste. Thankfully, I was mistaken. House follows the journey of a famous writer named Roger Cobb (William Katt) who moves into his aunt’s house after her questionable death (suicide by hanging) to work on his next novel—a memoir, of sorts, covering his time in Vietnam. Of course, this particular home has other plans, mostly involving sinister otherworldly creatures and the reality-bending portals they use for travel.

House movie poster

For some backstory, we learn that Roger has split from his actress wife, mainly due to the loss of their son, who mysteriously disappeared from the house without a trace. What kind of secrets is this place hiding?

House sells itself as a haunted house story on the surface, but there are no ghosts here—just a few ghoulish, monster-like figures with claws, tendrils, and a lot of drool. I found it challenging to take the scenes with these creatures seriously, as the puppetry and animatronics haven’t aged well. Nevertheless, the film’s tone is intentionally humorous, and some of the more surreal sequences are imaginative and somewhat dream-like. It’s a good choice if you want a horror film that’s not overly scary and keeps things rather light.

House creature and Roger Cobb (William Katt)

The Wicker Man:

The Wicker Man begins like a typical detective thriller, complete with conspiracy and people who can’t be trusted. However, things take a wild and disturbing turn. The movie follows Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward), a religiously conservative police detective who arrives on a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. What he discovers is a hedonistic cult that engages in peculiar rituals, such as public fornication and dancing naked around fires. Moreover, everyone he talks to insists that the girl he’s looking for doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, our main character persists, firmly believing that something is amiss.

Willow (Britt Ekland) on The Wicker Man movie poster

The film features peculiar sequences involving nudity and a multitude of people wearing animal masks. However, by the end, these heathens have something far more sinister in mind. “The Wicker Man” may be a bit slow at times, but the finale truly delivers a punch, leaving me deeply unsettled (in a good way) for some time afterward. Furthermore, the pivotal role that crops and harvests play in our hero’s fate makes it a perfect choice for Halloween.

The cult donned in animal masks