Not going to the Village Parade? Staying in for Halloween this year? Why not put together a mini-marathon of scary movies set in New York!
Below, I’ve put together a (nearly) complete list of the best and worst New York horror movies, listed in no particular order. Did I miss one? Let me know and I’ll add it on! And be sure to post your favorites (or least favorites) in the comments.
THE DEVIL COMES TO NEW YORK
Young post-hippy newlyweds Guy and Rosemary get a steal on an apartment in the legend-shrouded Bramford and move in. Sure the neighbors are kooky, Rosemary’s first friend in the building jumps out a window, and her new tannis root necklace is a bit smelly, but it’s worth it for being so close to Central Park, right? Rosemary becomes pregnant, but soon begins to realize Guy might not be the father…
I love Rosemary’s Baby. I’ve heard modern viewers complain about it being dated or campy, but in my opinion, the characters are among the most realistic ever to populate a horror movie. Rosemary is both incredibly well-meaning and immensely naive, but she never comes off as a horror movie ditz. In many ways, it’s her bottomless desire to please others that results in her getting into such deep trouble.
And, though very much over the top, the Castevets are easily the most original Satanists every portrayed on the big screen. Thankfully avoiding the black-robes-and-eyeliner cliche, Rosemary’s Baby instead imagines what it would be like if your nutty uncle and aunt suddenly decided to bring about the rebirth of the devil. In a way, this makes it far more frightening, as even at the end of the movie, I don’t believe they realize what they’ve done.
FORGET ABOUT THE ALLIGATORS IN THE SEWERS…
C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers)
…It’s the CHUD’s you’ve gotta watch out for! A schlocky but charming B-movie about the result of dumping toxic waste in New York City sewers. If you’re looking to make fun of this MST3K-style, you might find yourself surprised. Daniel Stern actually gives a decent, non-hammy performance (a rarity!) as the head of a homeless shelter. Not too many scares, but a lot of creepy fun.
I’VE BEEN SLIMED! TWICE!