Boils and ghouls, ladies and germs, respectable assorted article clickers: It’s that special time of year again when all across these United States, we gather around the television set and consume macabre moving pictures. They include, but are not limited to: Thrills, chills, spoofs, and the essential – goofs.
Yes, from coast to coast, we turn off the part of our brains responsible for empathy and divert all energy to the part that makes us scream to the high heavens and piss and shit inside of our pants. Would you be surprised to learn that each state has its own individual favorites? Causes of pissing and shitting their pants, I mean. In the form of motion pictures. ‘Movies,’ to some.
Today, the most spooky and evil of all days, we will run down the lists and crunch all the hard numbers to deliver you them all. From sea to shining sea.
Alabama – It’s Alive
Cited as a precedent on several occasions in the state’s legislature banning abortion as “If someone delivers to term and it turns out to be like the killer baby from It’s Alive, that would be cool, and we’d like to do that. We’d just like to see what happens”.
Alaska – The Thing
Classic Alaska style situation, makes sense. It’s cold as shit, everybody’s tense and weird, and there’s just enough incentive for everyone to stay.
Arizona – Bone Tomahawk
More than basketball, the Grand Canyon, or even its titular Iced Tea, nothing says home to an Arizonan like trapping through the desert with a bunch of similarly minded curmudgeons on a vaguely racist journey.
Arkansas – A Serbian Film
No idea what’s up with these fucking goons out there, but we can’t argue with the numbers. I’m not happy about it.
California – Hellraiser
Considering the sheer density of sexual perverts and debaucherous freak shows contained on the Liberal Coast, I’d believe it personally. This is probably like It’s a Wonderful Life for them. None of my business.
Colorado – Evil Bong
It’s legal like almost everywhere now. They’re not special anymore. It’s annoying, the weed stuff. Yet every Coloradan insists this is the sickest movie of all time. Grow up.
Connecticut – Gummo
Technically considered unironically a horror movie within certain gated communities.
Delaware – The Menu
Not really sure what’s up here, but would have to imagine the credit card company nut bars either think this is hilarious or a deeply serious cautionary tale. Stinks either way!
Florida – Jeepers Creepers
Famously shot using a rotating cast of bizarre locally cast brothers in lieu of a makeup FX team. You could never tell otherwise. Impressive what the water does to folks down there, frankly. I’d down a glass or two.
Georgia – The Stuff
Boy they loooooove to eat bullshit that comes out of a factory that kills you! It’s like the main thing down there, both in industry and pleasure.
Hawaii – Scooby Doo
Not as extreme as many would like, but there’s something even loosely satisfying to the idea that James Gunn almost certainly has a draft where the monsters just kill slews of tourists.
Idaho – Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
The natural enemy of the potato, or, the po-tah-to. It’s a bit of a tomato to-mah-to situation.
Illinois – Leprechaun
If I had to make an educated guess with this one, I’d have to say that the relative stature, style and general demeanor of Warwick Davis in the film brings to the surface warm memories of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s time in office. Like Stockholm Syndrome style.
Indiana – Sleepwalkers
They say the props department of this picture had something like several hundred frozen, dead cats in storage – and local Indianans were not only obliged but overjoyed to help source local! Indiana is notoriously the natural Frozen Dead Cat Capital of America.
Iowa – Children of the Corn
Ever meet an Iowan? Mentally, they’re all still children. And I’d bet the house they came from that damn corn.
Kansas – Critters 2: The Main Course
Arguably the only time any characters have been depicted having fun, or arguably doing anything remotely interesting, within the state of Kansas on screen. Fun at Easter time too!
Kentucky – Poultrygeist
A grim reminder to the people of Kentucky of how it’s handled relations with the chicken population over the years, and how it confronts the cruel practice of Kentucky Frying.
Louisiana – Texas Chainsaw 3D
Louisiana’s go-to point of regional cinematic pride! Filmed in beautiful Shreveport, Texas Chainsaw 3D is inseparable from the state and its legacy.
Maine – Maximum Overdrive
A bit of a de facto or principled choice, it is embedded in Maine state law by Supreme Economic Chancellor Stephen King to engage in an annual screening of this film, or face prompt execution. Bit of a numbers pump, if you were to ask me.
Maryland – The Blair Witch Project
As scary a notion to locals that you would have to be exposed to the elements for that long with no access to scratch off tickets, Old Bay or the Ravens as it is to the rest of the country to spend any time in Maryland at all.
Massachusetts – Dagon
Just normal up there. This is considered a slice of life in most of the state. We love our fisheries industry!
Michigan – Barbarian
Regionally marketed as a sequel to Gran Torino. Did crazy numbers.
Minnesota – Hey! Stop Stabbing Me
There’s something to the title of a slasher being phrased as a polite, if not slightly haughty request, that encapsulates Minnesota’s collective credo so well.
Mississippi – Mississippi Burning
Hate crimes are a pretty scary notion, no matter how you slice it. Scarier still? The aberration that the FBI would do anything to stop it. Ooooh spooky!
Missouri – Ernest Scared Stupid
Released locally under the title Ernest Scared Into the Average IQ, Somewhere Roughly in the Middle, Which is Normal
Montana – Terror on the Prairies
Montanans to this day still remember the state-wide emotional and physical tremors felt from the day Ben Shapiro skipped into their fair state. It will live in infamy. They also all universally agree on Gina Carano’s bangability. Reactionary politics or not, you can’t argue with the calculus there.
Nebraska – Five Nights at Freddy’s
The state leader for child kidnappings since 1987! Keep up the good work, folks.
Nevada – Tremors
It was actually this film that lead to the long debated legislation that allowed for Graboid domestication. They ride them to and from the grocery store now. It’s actually a big TikTok thing this year to dress them up like the Beetlejuice worms.
New Hampshire – In the Mouth of Madness
This film did for New Hampshire’s tourism industry what The Hobbit Trilogy did for New Zealand. Which is to say, not totally negligible business.
New Jersey – Cleaver
A product of the pride of New Jersey, Carmine Lupertazzi Jr! A classic film all should see, and easily too. It’s very easy to find, just look. It’s real.
New Mexico – Them!
Historically, the first film to be named expressly after a pronoun, making it the first woke horror picture. Of course, this is also why we now recognize the iconic irradiated giant ant as a sort of Reverse Pepe figure in larger culture.
New York – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
A nearly 1:1 depiction of how it feels to travel through New York, about three quarters of your time spent trying to get where you’re going, just so a weirdo can get confrontational with you. City never sleeps, baby!
North Carolina – I Know What You Did Last Summer
Think if the cast of Scream had a real penchant for fishing & drunk driving. Not that this is ever really on the surface, but you can just smell it off them.
North Dakota – The Messengers
Well, seeing as how we already gave Leprechaun to Illinois, this is all that’s left. At least it’s something, okay? Try practicing a little gratitude.
Ohio – A Nightmare on Elm Street
Set in Ohio, but clearly filmed in California, it fulfills the dream of most Ohioans that they live anywhere else.
Oklahoma – Bug
The first and only movie celebrating the state’s favorite official pastime: getting into an increasingly bizarre and violent highway motel spat with strange women! Classic Oklahoma.
Oregon – Ravenous
The closest the state will ever be to an adaptation of their number one cultural export, Oregon Trail.
Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Sure, there’s plenty of George Romero flicks to choose from, but what’s scarier than a zombie? Autoimmune disease.
Rhode Island – The Resurrected
The fact that this is the only studio produced Lovecraft adaptation to take place in Rhode Island is criminal. Shameful, even. Get real.
South Carolina – Halloween Kills
Considering how much David Gordon Green likes this movie, I’d bet the house that he counts enough for the entire state. At least someone does!
South Dakota – Beast from Haunted Cave
You have no idea how lucky South Dakota is to be getting thrown a bone here. The options are so slim they’re transparent. You’ll take your Corman slop and you’ll like it.
Tennessee – Tales from the Hood
Bubbles to the surface almost purely on the basis of how much the poster is just a Three 6 Mafia tape cover.
Texas – The California Axe Massacre
Folks, call it counterculture, call it blasphemy, but across the board this was Texas’ premier choice in tool-based massacres. Your guess is as good as mine.
Utah – The Exorcist
Would have to imagine the state’s Mormon population owes a certain debt to this film as it would’ve tripled their congregations in the 70’s.
Vermont – Dead Poets Society
Wait a minute, Dead? Society? This thing has to be terrifying! Gotta check it out ASAP.
Virginia – The Redeemer: Son of Satan!
Alright, there’s no gag here. It was made in Virginia, so it checks the box, but truly you just need to watch this. It’s batshit. Here’s a taste. Moving on!
Washington – Clearcut
Frequently referenced by several NFL officials as the inspiration to keep their old football team’s name for as long as they did. I don’t get it either.
West Virginia – The Mothman Prophecies
Sure, Mothman’s a local legend and all, and I’m sure that’s enough to make this track on its own. But if Richard Gere would do what he did to a gerbil? I shudder to think what he might do to a moth.
Wisconsin – Troll 2
The natural default as it is the only dairy-based horror movie in existence.
Wyoming – Deliverance
I think they might read this more as a slice of life comedy than a horror film out there, but hey, it’s all subjective.