3x3: Halloween triple features that span at least 30 years

The rules are that you’re going to screen a triple feature on Halloween. However, each of the movies has to be at least ten years apart! Here are our picks, which we explain at the 55-minute mark of our Cloud Atlas podcast:

Dingus’ triple feature of terror befalling families in a house
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Poltergeist (1982)
Paranormal Activity (2007)

Kellywand’s horror movie triple feature puzzles (listen to the podcast for the solutions!)
Jaws, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Armaggedon
Picnic at Hanging Rock, Secret Window, and Exorcist III
The Shining, Haunting of Hill House, P2

Tom’s triple feature of horror movies that don’t explain anything because that’s way scarier than horror movies that try to explain things
The Birds (1963)
The Long Weekend (1978)
Pulse (2001)

This week’s 3x3 listener submissions are as follows:

Nathan Schubert’s characters that embody evil triple feature
Halloween (1978)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
No Country for Old Men (2007)

Paul Weimer’s movies based on John Campbell’s “Who Goes There?”
The Thing from Another World (1951)
The Thing (1982)
The Thing (2011)

Scott McNeill’s black-and-white movies about the horror of being mistaken for someone else
M (1931)
Eraserhead (1977)
13 Tzameti (2005)

EDIT: As usual, I got the math wrong. Given that each movie must be ten years apart, three movies can span as few as 20 years. MATH IS HARD!!!1!

The overbearing mother triple feature:

Psycho - 1960
Braindead (aka Dead Alive) -1992
Black Swan - 2010

Needs more Carrie. But otherwise, very nice!


1st movie: Island of Lost Souls (1932)
2nd movie: The Fly (1986)
3rd movie: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

What the?

[spoiler]Okay, so I haven’t seen as many horror flicks as your typical Forry Fanatic. There are probably lots of 80s slasher films that could fit in here, and maybe The Stepford Wives, too. What I’m looking at here is a blend of terror and romance. In the first two movies, one romantic partner doesn’t make it. Then, in the last movie, both do, thereby teaching us the real meaning of Halloween.

The Island of Lost Souls has a tender romance underneath the House Of Pain and DEVO references. Richard Arlen comes to the Island of Lost Souls, owned by a Dr. Moreau. (The producers could have named the movie “The Island of Dr. Moreau” but they had access to a copy of Variety from 1996 that fell backward in time. After checking the box office reports, they wisely chose to go with the Lost Souls.) The natives there are not merely primitive Others about whom an English major could write an essay, a thesis, and a dissertation; they are also animals that have been surgically uplifted to sentience. Arlen meets a pretty native cat girl. The cat girl, Kathleen Burke, falls deeply in lust with him. Like most housepets in heat, she learns about unrequited love. Yet she and the marooned traveler share a special something or other before horrific things happen to the island. In this one, the girl doesn’t survive the relationship.

I think I used The Fly in a 3x3 about messed up Valentine’s Day movies or something. But it’s good for recycling. Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum hit it off as two young professionals and fall in love. Goldblum’s ambitions include dangerous extra-curricular activities though, and the relationship starts to break down. Geena survives a pregancy scare (and such a scary scare it is) and domestic abuse before assisting in in Goldblum’s suicide by shotgun. In this one, the boy doesn’t make it through.

Everyone has seen Shaun of the Dead, right? Simon Pegg and Liz Ashfield are in a crumbling relationship when a zombie attack reinvigorates it. In this one, both the boy and the girl survive the relationship and the movie.

Horror audience deconstruction trilogy. Films that make you complicit in the murders by telling you why you’re watching the movie and then making you feel bad for cheering.

Man Bites Dog (1992)
The mockumentary explains the tropes of serial killer movies and slowly winds its way around to ensaring the film crew and finally, the viewer. The killer is at times charming and reprehensible with his xenophobia and savagery. The turn makes it clear that the crimes are neither fun nor cool.

Funny Games (1997 or 2007)
A choice for the viewer. I think both films work equally well, but purists will say the original is the only one to watch. I think the US remake is just as good at subverting what the audience thought they wanted to see.

Hostel (2005)
Yes, it’s torture-porn, but the original had quite a bit to say buried underneath the blood and tendon-cutting.

Your math is off! The only rule is that they each need to be separated by ten years from each other. Plus, you picked an Eli Roth movie. Eww.

Maybe kick off your triple feature with Peeping Tom, a 1960 movie that fits the bill you’ve described? That gives you more room for your two of your other picks.


Oooh! Peeping Tom. Good one! I totally forgot that one.

Halloween, aggressive rodent style:

The Killer Shrews (1959)
Willard (1971)
Of Unknown Origin (1983)

At first it starts off light and fun, then it gets serious, then it gets real.

Three films about single-sex groups trapped together and trying to survive:

Lord of the Flies (1963)
The Thing (1982)
The Descent (2005)

If you’ve got the time, you can throw in Deliverance (1972) as well.

Dangerous blobs:

The Blob (1958)
The Stuff (1985)
Slither (2006)

I was tempted to call it “Horrific Goo” and sub in (sigh) Prometheus.

Halloween movie spoofs / satires!

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Scream (1996)
Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Creepy ghost stories edition!

“Night of the Demon” (1957). Also entitled “Curse Of The Demon”, confusingly. Just saw this this past week, and I’m calling it the first modern supernatural horror movie…and that’s even with the questionable directorial decision at the end to show the demon ghost, which is an awful feat of bad budget movie making. Absolutely an excellent film, still works incredibly well.

“The Shining” Kubrick, 1980.

“Lake Mungo” 2008

Haunted house movies:

House on Haunted Hill (1959) - Slightly campy, but still effectively scary.
The Changeling (1980) - OK, I was pretty young when I saw this for the first time. I think it psychologically scarred me a little. But I saw it again a few years and it’s still pretty scary.
The Grudge (2002 or 2004) - either the American or Japanese versions, they’re both creepy as hell. Not sure what it is about this movie, but there’s something terrifying about the thing in this movie. Even the sequel (which is much worse) is pretty fucking scary.

Great picks, guys. I really like Penny Dreadful’s single-sex and gameoverman’s rodent themes. Nicely played!

I was trying to figure out how to fit Lake Mungo into a triple feature with older movies, but it just feels so, well, unprecedented. Triggercut’s “creepy ghost stories” category is a bit too obvious for any self-respecting horror aficionado. :)

Maybe something to do with horror about grieving? Russian nesting doll plots? Female ghosts? I don’t know. The best I could do was with the fake documentary angle, pairing it with Ghostwatch, a 1992 made-for-TV BBC live telecast mockumentary that holds up really well if you can find it. But I can’t think of a third movie worth pairing with Ghostwatch and Lake Mungo, both of which are very good, that fits the time restriction.


One day someone will make a movie about a shoggoth. Come on, people, let’s make it happen.


I didn’t get this one in on time for the podcast since I had to work this weekend and my little boy got sick, but I think it’s probably just well - I’m kind of going in a different direction with my choices. My theme is my favorite kind of horror: existential dread. Hey, quit yawning!

  1. I have to include my all time favorite, Night of the Living Dead, even though Christien beat me to it. I saw this as a young lad and it always stuck with me. The main reason I still totally love this is because things should have worked out for the protagonists, but they didn’t: the young people should have been able to refuel the truck and escape. The family Christien mentioned should have been safe in the cellar. The rest should have been ok for the night barricaded in the house. But they’re all undone, whether by luck, having a family member turn against you, or being shot by the law enforcement that should have been there to rescue you. The best zombie fiction knows that zombies themselves are only one form of encroaching doom, and even if they don’t get you something else will.

  2. Miracle Mile probably isn’t really a horror movie but it is a horrific movie: what if you were out with a date and happened to pick up a pay phone call telling you nuclear war had started and everyone would die in an hour? What would you do? Who do you tell? Where do you go?

  3. Twelve Monkeys is one of my favorite science fiction films, though I usually hate films about time travel. Why does this belong in a horror list? Because fate is inescapable. Bruce Willis’s character saw his fate play out before his eyes as a boy even if he didn’t understand it. The world can’t be saved, the scientists send him back to find the cause of the plague not to prevent it but to try to salvage some hope for the few survivors years from now. The story isn’t determined as if by an author but guided by players who can’t play any other way.

I love your theme, Pogue, but is Miracle Mile really horrific? I kind of took it as the opposite of your existential dread theme. It’s about finding the right person just in time! Basically, a love-triumphs-over-all story where all equals the end of the world. For another example of this, see Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a truly grating self-consciously quirky “oh-so-indie” comedy in which Steve Carrel and Keira Knightly have all the chemistry of two stars cashing in on a throwaway buddy cop movie. And by “see”, I mean “skip”.

Ooh, now I want to steal your existential dread topic to fit Lake Mungo into a triple feature.


Go with “Haunted House Movies” then.

Existential dread makes me think of stuff like
Spoorloos 1988
Open Water 2003

and of course, The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

I mean, try to tell me that the people living in Boggy Creek aren’t just filled with it!

Well, the funny thing is, you’re not wrong. It is ostensibly about that cute little love story, but just happens to be surrounded by nuclear war and some random guy being tasked as its herald! So it’s mainly what the movie evoked in me, more than what it was really about, if that makes any sense.