1. Halloween — Horror films ultimately aim to make you feel vulnerable and look over your shoulder in fear. What better way to heighten that feeling than watching one outside amid the bumps in the night? Halloween is a definitive horror film — one that casts a spell and keeps moviegoers gripping their armrests. The brilliantly simple tale of babysitters stalked by a masked madman is a timeless masterpiece.
2. The Matrix — Yes, it proved to be prophetic with its ideas about our enslavement to technology and simulated reality. But this film is also simply a magnificent spectacle — one with images as iconic as the shadow on the shower curtain in Psycho or the bike ride across the moon in E.T. This film is chock-full of marvels — elegant and exciting martial arts fighting, intense shootouts, terrifying foot chases and more.
3. Jurassic Park — Remember that scene in the car? When the camera lingers on the cup of water shaking from the dinosaurs’ movements in the distance? Wouldn’t it be cool and scary to experience that in your car on a quiet, breezy summer night? The answer is yes.
4. Twister — Apparently a key to watching a movie outside is that you have to
be scared by your surroundings — or in this case, scared that your surroundings will be swept away by a tornado. There’s not much more to say about this one. It’s about storm chasers, and it kicks ass. Oh, yeah … Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman are among the twister-seekers.
5. Apollo 13 — Wouldn’t it be magical to watch this film outside and be able to look up into space where most of its action takes place? Again, the answer is yes. A piece of history brought to stunning cinematic life, Apollo 13 is a classic.
6. Batman — The one that started it all, tossing aside the campy Batman of the ’60s
and giving The Dark Knight the pitch-black tone he deserves. Imagine being outside when the Batwing cuts across the night sky.
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey — Nearly 50 years after its release, this film is still a spellbinding spectacle. In fact, it’s more visually impressive than most of the CG-fests in theaters right now.
8. Night of the Living Dead — This one is a no-brainer. It’s almost too obvious. But we’re putting it on this list anyway!
9. Spawn — The pulpy tale of a government assassin sent to Hell to lead
Satan’s army. How is this not a cult classic already? It’s trashy … but in the best way … like greasy fast food.
10. Killer Klowns from Outer Space — Yes, klowns with a “k.” It’s about aliens disguised as clowns who trap humans in cotton candy cocoons. It’s every bit as strange and unsettling as it sounds but you won’t regret spending a night inside this candy-colored nightmare.