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My 24 Hour Horror Movie Marathon List

It was recently brought to my attention that there is a contest being held in which one lucky person will receive $1000 to watch and live-tweet a 24 hour horror movie marathon comprised of movies of their choice this Halloween. While I’d love to win the honor, I’ve got other plans this year, so I’ll have to settle with following the account and/or hashtag of the person who does carry it out.

But I couldn’t help but wonder which movies I’d pick to populate my marathon if I did win…I’m a huge horror movie fan, after all. The selection process was tricky for me. I wanted to include movies I love, a couple classics, and at least two movies I haven’t seen. Plus I wanted one that was particularly and consistently loud for those last hours when I might otherwise slip into sleep!

My first draft of the list was over 30 hours long, so I had to make some cuts (which I’ll outline below). But here are the 14 movies that made the cut along with why they secured a coveted spot.

Movies 1-5: Most of the Child’s Play Franchise

Listen: If you know me at all, you know I love most of the Chucky movies. They scared the ever-lovin’ crap out of me as a kid, but I rediscovered them as a teenager and now I watch all seven of them at least once ever year. 

I might have a problem.

If I’d left these off, though, those that know me would suspect that this list wasn’t mine. Chucky is that much a part of who I am now.

So 7 hours and 21 minutes of my marathon would be comprised of:

  • Child’s Play (1hr 27m)
  • Child’s Play 2 (1hr 24m)
  • Child’s Play 3 (1hr 30m)
  • Bride of Chucky (1hr 29m)
  • Cult of Chucky (1hr 31m)

Seed of Chucky doesn’t make the cut because it is hands down the worst of the bunch. Easy decision there. And I ended up cutting Curse of Chucky to make room for a movie I hadn’t seen. Bride and Cult make the cut primarily because I wanted close to a 2:1 ratio of outright horror and comedic horror, so they help strike that balance.

Movies 6-8: Horror Comedies

Shaun of the Dead (1hr 40m), Tucker and Dale vs Evil (1hr 29m), and Cabin in the Woods (1hr 35m) join Bride of Chucky and Cult of Chucky as my comedic entries for a slight change of tone and pace. All three are excellent parodies of the genre and are well-deserving of precious marathon time.

Movies 9-11: Classics

John Carpenter’s The Thing (1hr 49m) is one of the best horror movies ever made. No Halloween is complete without its viewing. Fight me.

The Fly (1986, 1hr 36m) is another film I absolutely adore! Watching Jeff Goldblum slowly devolve is amazing every time, and the fact that, at least for a while, he embraces the descent and transformation is chilling. I also had The Fly II on my list because I dig it as well, but it was among the first to hit the cutting room floor in favor of some of these other titles. It’s good, but I can do without it for a day.

Alien (1hr 57m) was another no-brainer. It also leans into the sci-fi genre more than any other title on this list (besides its sequel, which I get to below), which will be another good shake-up to the marathon. Let’s go to space!

Movies 12-13: Movies I Haven’t Seen

I wanted to have at least two movies on the list I hadn’t seen for two reasons:

  1. They would make for more interesting live tweets as I react to them as opposed to anticipate them.
  2. If I save these for later in the marathon, their “newness” might just help keep me awake!

So I picked Suspiria (1977, 1hr 39m) because it is a classic I’ve somehow managed to avoid. I know there’s a remake out, but I’d rather watch Argento’s original to begin with. The remake was only made possible by the original’s success, after all.

And I also added Us (1hr 56m) – Jordan Peele’s second horror movie after the excellent Get Out (which I cut in part to make room for Us). I honestly don’t know much about it, but I trust Peele and also look forward to his work on the new Candyman.

Movie 14: Something LOUD

I wanted to intentionally include something absolutely bombastic in the event that my eyelids grew heavy, so Aliens (2hr 34m) rounds out my marathon. Not only is it a great movie, once the action starts there’s gunfire and ‘splosions aplenty. All that noise will hopefully carry me on through to victory.


All totaled, this adds up to 23 hours and 36 minutes of runtime. The other 20 or so minutes are left for bathroom breaks, the replenishing of snacks, and the transition between movies. It’s about as tight as I can make it! I also wouldn’t necessarily watch the movies in this order.

In 2012, I sat in a theater to watch all of the MCU movies leading up to the midnight premier of The Avengers. I think it was a 14ish hour endeavor, and that felt grueling at times. Probably mostly because of The Incredible Hulk, am I right? But seriously: Tacking on another 10 hours is daunting, for sure, but I think this carefully curated list gives me my best chance of seeing things through.

It pained me to leave titles like The Descent (too dark…I’d defs fall asleep!), Jaws, It Follows, and Let Me In off this list! But there was no way to fit all of my favorites into 24 hours.

What movies would make your list? I’m curious to see what makes the cut for the lucky winner of the contest!