Watches on the Screen: Halloween Picks

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The witching hour is almost upon us, ghosts and ghouls and witches and wrist watches too. Here’s a few Halloween thrillers that have some great watches to be spotted as well as spooks to give.

Let’s start with a classic Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window (1954). James Stewart stars as a professional photographer who breaks his leg and becomes confined to his New York apartment. To pass time he finds himself looking out the rear window watching and observing his neighbors. As he watches he begins to foster suspicions that his neighbor across the courtyard has killed his wife. Being bound to a wheelchair he enlists his girlfriend and nurse to investigate. Stewart’s character checks his Tissot watch as the time passes for him looking out the rear window.


From one classic to another: The Exorcist (1973) was a ground breaking film in the horror genre. Its portrayal of a demoniacally possessed girl, Regan, stunned viewers with its graphic representation of her ordeal. Two priests battle the demon inside the girl in an attempt to free her from her possession. Before turning to the church, Regan’s mother had her examined by a medical team, including Dr. Barringer who takes a moment to show us his Heuer Autiva Ref. 2446 MH Cal. 72 chronograph.


Continuing the Living Dead series, Return of the Living Dead III (1992) and finds government scientists continuing to attempt to re-animate the dead for military use. In this boy-loves-girl-girl-dies story the boy attempts to use his fathers military experiments to bring back his girlfriend who was killed in an accident. One scientist in the film sports his Rolex Daytona over the top of his protective gear while he works on the re-animation formula.


Taking the typical horror movie rules and outlining them in a horror movie is part of what made Scream (1996) stand out. A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off high school teenagers who, as they continue to drop off, list out the “rules” of horror movies as they live out the experience. One of the teens, Stuart Macher (played by Matthew Lillard) wears a Casio AMW320D which can be spotted throughout the film.


The second of the Cube movies, Cube 2: Hybercube (2002) expands upon the cube labyrinth from the first film. Eight strangers wake in a cube room with no memory of how they became to be there. They discover they are in a fourth dimension where everything they think they know about the laws of physics can be ignored. As their time in the cube world continues Simon Grady (Geraint Wyn Davies) continues to collect this Seiko watch again and again, from the same person.


In Memory (2006) Dr. Taylor Biggs (Billy Zane) is exposed to hallucinatory drug that gives him the power to see visions of vicious crimes. These disturbing visions are made all the more troublesome when he realizes the visions may be those of his father, whom he never knew (played by Dennis Hopper). With the help of his girlfriend and two family friends he takes it upon himself to stop the killer before he claims another victim. In one scene Dr. Biggs checks the time on his (most likely fake) Rolex which, for some reason, has the crown unscrewed and pulled out. Not a wise way to wear your watch.


Rather than seeing visions of people killed, Abe Dale can instead see when people are about to die in White Noise 2: The Light (2007). As a result of an attempted suicide Abe’s (Nathan Fillion) near death experience makes him able to see a while light in some people and hear manifestations of ghosts through electronic devices. Soon he discovers that the white light means that the person is going to die, and Abe saves three lives including his nurse. However, saving lives has consequences Abe could not anticipate which puts others at risk. Abe’s watch in the film is a tonneau cased Longines L2.671.4.78.4 from the Evidenza collection.


In Orphan (2009) a couple, John and Kate Coleman, is rebuilding their trouble marriage which was damaged due to Kate’s drinking problem. After Kate is sober for a year the couple decide to adopt a child and fall in love with a nine year old Russian orphan, Esther. Their son Daniel is not a fan of his new sister while their deaf daughter Max adores her – at first. As Esther settles into the household the couple finds Esther to be manipulative and psychologically disturbed. As they dig into her past they find Esther is not quite what she pretends to be. John (Peter Sarsgaard) can be seen wearing a very nice IWC Portugese Chronograph with a white dial.


Wrapping up the list is Buried (2010), a film not for the claustrophobic. Paul Conroy (played by Ryan Reynolds), an American truck driver working in Iraq, wakes in pitch darkness to find he is trapped inside a wooden coffin. He quickly realizes that he does not have much air and therefore limited time to try to get out of the box alive. Using his cell phone he is able to communicate with the outside world in an attempt to free himself from the Iraqi desert. Paul’s watch, which ends up very dirty during his ordeal, is a great Hamilton Officer Auto, model H70615733.


There you have a few spooks and some thrills to get you through this Halloween as well as some nice time pieces to spot as you watch. Got a favorite Halloween film (with a good watch or not), leave it in the comments!

by James Enloe

Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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