The best part about the Halloween season is being able to rent any horror, sci-fi, or freak-a-delic flick you want without having to justify your choice to anyone. Me... I decided this H-ween would be dedicated to watching some bold remakes of classic Hollywood horror. So if the titles and plot lines seem familiar, don't have a Xanax freak-out. They're meant to be that way. Just relax, rent, and drool.

• Psycho (1998, dir. Gus Van Sant)--This shot-by-shot remake (literal translation please) is all about what was lacking in the original, COLOR! It took a lot of guts to remake THE classic Hollywood horror movie, but with super saturated images and a dead-on cast, I have found this to be one of the most satisfying horror remakes ever. Of course, watch Hitchcock's version first, then give Gus a chance--he is an artist you know, and a local. Yay Portland!!

• The Blob (1988, dir. Chuck Russell)--Who would have thought a huge chunk of gelatinous ooze could be so scary? (And I'm not talking about Nathan Lane!) The Blob is a consistently exciting mix of humor and gore that lives up to, and probably surpasses, the original version starring Steve McQueen back in '58. This time around, bad boy Kevin Dillon is the unlikely hero who, with the help of gal-pal Shawnee Smith, must fight the big pink blob (I told you it's not Nathan Lane!!) and the unsavory government agents who have come to "contain" it.

• Invaders From Mars (1986, dir. Tobe Hooper)--Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) serves up a quality flick with tons of visual flare, using lovely fake backdrops and eerie lighting schemes. My favorite "I won an Oscar, now no one will hire me" actress Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), plays a sadistic school teacher hell-bent on making sure little David Gardner never lives to tell of the crazy, mixed-up things he's seen over the hill behind his house. Also starring Karen "Friggin" Black!! M. LON FREE