Bonus Points: DVD Reviews

Oh, the DVD Horrors

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By Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 24, 2006; 12:00 AM

With Halloween a week away, many home video viewers may be seeking serious scares -- or at least some gentle, good-natured boos -- on DVD. Whether you want something festive for the kids or an adult shocker destined to cause nightmares, plenty of recently released options should fit the bill. The following guide offers a DVD suggestion for each of the eight nights between now and Oct. 31. Feel free to follow it to the frightful letter, or check our DVD section for more ideas.

Tuesday, Oct. 24: It may not have been worth a $9 movie ticket. But "Monster House," released today, is fast-paced and entertaining enough to make for a perfect pre-Halloween DVD experience. Just be wary of letting your littlest ones watch; this may be a cartoon but some of the scares could look quite real to young eyes. ($28.95)

Wednesday, Oct. 25: It's not Halloween if you don't watch a gory horror classic. Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 2-Disc Ultimate Edition" provides plenty of murderous freakiness, not to mention a wealth of extras to keep the Leatherface party rolling. ($29.98)

Thursday, Oct. 26: Who better to follow Leatherface than the equally handsome Freddy Krueger? Get reacquainted with the striped-shirt psycho in the special edition of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" released last month. Wes Craven's 1984 horror hit may provoke more laughs than screams, but it's far less silly than most of the sequels that followed it. ($26.99)

Friday, Oct. 27: They don't call the man the Master of Suspense for nothing. Alfred Hitchcock is most famous for his consistently spellbinding films, but in the 1950s, he also lent his name to a TV series. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Two," which arrived Oct. 17 on DVD, includes 39 chilling episodes of that show, with appearances by such actors as Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Vic Morrow and a very young Harry Shearer. Hitchcock even steps in as director on three of these installments. ($39.98)

Saturday, Oct. 28: You have the whole day off. So why not spend it buried in "Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection"? The three-disc set features 1930s-era fright fests like "Mark of the Vampire," "The Mask of Fu Manchu," "Doctor X" and "Mad Love," and performances by icons Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Fay Wray and, yes, even Humphrey Bogart. ($39.98)

Sunday, Oct. 29: Is it wrong to watch "The Omen Collection" -- featuring the original "Omen" and sequels II through IV -- on a Sunday? I'll let you make that call. If it makes you feel less guilty, you can always just watch this year's remake of "The Omen," starring Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles. (Collection: $49.98; "The Omen": $29.99)

Monday, Oct. 30: It spawned one of the catchiest TV theme songs of all time. And it still makes for some spooky, ooky fun. Pay a call on "The Addams Family: Volume One," a three-disc collection packed with the first 22 episodes of the short-lived 1960s series. ($29.98)

Tuesday, Oct. 31 -- Halloween Night: Sure, it already aired Friday night on ABC. But there's no such thing as too many viewings of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," recently reissued (again) on DVD, along with the 1972 cartoon "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown." Watch the home video version or, if you can't cover the cost, there's always YouTube. ($16.99)

On DVD This Week: "Nacho Libre" and more.


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