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Silly scares, safe at home

So you want to get in the mood for Haloween? Rent a few horor movies. Here are a few films to keep in mind when you visit your local video store. All of them include the tricks and treats of the horror film genre: flesh and blood, heads and tales, shock and schlock.

HALLOWEEN (1978, Media Home Entertainment, 92 minutes): A film worthy of its title. A boy commits murder on Halloween. Then exactly 15 years later, he shows up on Jamie Lee Curtis' block, and well, there goes the neighborhood.

PSYCHO (1960, MCA, 109 minutes): Statistics tell us that more injuries happen in the bathroom than any other room in the house _ especially at the Bates Motel. Anthony Perkins is chilling as momma's boy Norman Bates. One of Hitchcock's classics.

FATAL ATTRACTION (1987, Paramount, 120 minutes): Glenn Close teaches Michael Douglas a lesson about the price of messing around.

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980, Paramount, 87 minutes): The one that started it all. Before there was Jason, there was his mother, who kills a camping party. In the sequels, Jason carves a niche for himself. Like mother, like son.

FRIDAY THE 13TH _ THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984, Paramount, 90 minutes): If only it were. Hollywood has produced more Friday the 13ths than a calendar.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984, Media Home Entertainment, 92 minutes): Robert Englund is Fast Freddy Kreuger, the comic villain with the clawed gardening glove, thrift-store hat and bad skin who slices and dices his way up and down Elm Street and back again in the hit movie and multiple sequels.

THE EXORCIST (1973, Warner, 120 minutes): Give the devil his due. This made millions of dollars and inspired trillions of spoofs. It's worth seeing ... once. But wait at least 30 minutes after eating.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968, Video Yesteryear, 95 minutes): George Romero's classic. Don't watch this alone.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974, Media Home Entertainment, 84 minutes): More fun than a Texas barbecue. It takes some guts to watch this movie, but not as much as it took to make it.

THE THING (1982, Fox Hills, 80 minutes): You are what you eat _ at least if you're the alien organism in this movie that goes on a feeding frenzy and takes the shape of its last meal.

BLOOD SIMPLE (1984, MCA, 96 minutes): Because blood shouldn't be so darn confusing. From the same guys (Joel and Ethan Coen) who brought you the offbeat comedy Raising Arizona and the new gangster movie Miller's Crossing.

CUJO (1983, Warner, 94 minutes): A Stephen King thriller about a rabid dog that roams and foams the countryside terrorizing Dee Wallace Stone and her child, who are stranded inside a broken-down car. Mad doggie, bad doggie.

ALIEN (1979, CBS/Fox, 116 minutes), and ALIENS (1986, CBS/Fox, 138 minutes): Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) survives one killer alien only to go back for more in the sequel. Believe it or not.

WORK HAZARD: Jason (Jonathan Emerson) discovers his night job has grave consequences in Stephen King's Graveyard Shift.