“Scary Movie” airs on MTV. And “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is among the many other horror films on T.V. this Halloween.
What’s on TV
SCARY MOVIE (2000) 6 p.m. on MTV. Keenen Ivory Wayans’s horror parody had the biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie at the box office when it first came out in the summer of 2000. Eighteen years and four sequels later, it remains what it always was: a raunchy, gag-filled 90 minutes that’s good for those looking to laugh rather than scream on Halloween — though its humor will not appeal to all. “If you’re amused by jokes involving male genitals, female pubic hair, flatulence and dismemberment, it should be a big hit,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The New York Times. “If you’re not, and you haven’t seen the half-dozen or so blockbusters it alludes to (“The Blair Witch Project,” “The Matrix,” “The Sixth Sense” and “The Usual Suspects” in addition to the “Scream” and “What You Did Last Summer” movies), then by all means miss it.”
HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989) 7 p.m. on AMC. Nearly three decades before the latest “Halloween” movie hit theaters, Danielle Harris played the niece of the killer Michael Myers in this fifth installation in the series. The infamous killer is here played by Donald L. Shanks, and Donald Pleasence reprises his original role as Dr. Sam Loomis, the heroic psychiatrist. It’s fun for fans of the series, but not a great choice for those who have T.V. facing their front doors and expect trick-or-treaters — the movie’s R rating is well earned.
HOUSE OF WAX (1953) 8 p.m. on TCM. “This first major whack with 3-D is a bundle of horrifying claptrap that was cheap and obvious twenty years ago,” Bosley Crowther wrote in his April 1953 review in The Times of this over-the-top movie, from Warner Bros., when it was released that year. While T.V. audiences won’t get to experience the 3-D effects of the original theatrical release, they can still experience this tale of a sculptor who kills people and displays their wax-covered corpses in a museum in good old-fashioned 2-D.
IT (2016) 9 p.m. on HBO. This adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” helped usher in a scary movie renaissance in 2017, driven in part by Bill Skarsgard’s terrifying portrayal of Pennywise, a clown who stalks a group of youngsters in a small-town America. Skarsgard will have his work cut out for him outpacing the frights of a different sort being offered at the same time on HBO Signature, where Meryl Streep’s role as a fashion magazine editor in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006), also airing at 9 p.m., might be even more scary.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) 9 p.m. on Paramount Network. Wes Craven’s nightmarish horror classic introduced audiences to Freddy Krueger, the scarred (and surprisingly nuanced) psychopath played by Robert Englund who here stalks a group of teenagers in their dreams. The cast also includes Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp and a very young Johnny Depp.