Halloween movies: These five scary films have a Florida connection

Dave Osborn
Florida Today

There's still time to get your spook on before Halloween wraps up the month.

Florida has served as the perfect backdrop for many terrifying films. The Sunshine State also has produced some in the film industry who have gone on to scare us with their work on the big screen.

Here's some movies to watch at night with the lights off, all with some tie to Florida. 

Instant classic:The Blair Witch returns to scare Cape Coral with director Dan Myrick

More on Florida movies:What are the best Florida movies? Here are 25 of our favorites primarily set and shot here

'The Blair Witch Project' (1999) 

This classic supernatural horror movie wasn't filmed in Florida, but a state native had a key role in creating it. 

Florida native Daniel Myrick directed and wrote it along with Eduardo Sánchez. The fictional story (which many when they first watched it thought the film seemed all too real) follows the story of three student filmmakers hiking in Maryland.

They shot “The Blair Witch Project” for $60,000 and the movie went on to earn $248 million at the box office.

Born in Sarasota, Myrick grew up in Fort Myers and studied film and graduated from the University of Central Florida.

Myrick has said the movie has "got sort of a timeless quality to it."

"It’s not a big polished Hollywood movie," he told the News-Press in Fort Myers earlier this year. "It sort of represents that, look, if you’ve got a good concept and good execution and not a lot of money, you can make something happen.”

'Cape Fear' (1991) 

The 1991 psychological thriller "Cape Fear" had many scenes filmed in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, nearby Dania and the Everglades.

Robert De Niro stars, and the brilliant Martin Scorsese directs the psychological thriller "Cape Fear."

But Florida stars too, with scenes filmed in Fort Lauderdale, nearby Dania, the Everglades and other parts of the state.

The film is about a convicted rapist who seeks vengeance against a former public defender he blames for his imprisonment.

De Niro received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, as did actress Juliette Lake Lewis (who played the lawyer's daughter) for Best Supporting Actress.

Neither won an Oscar, but the film received solid reviews and is downright scary at times, heralding the brilliance of Scorsese's movie-making skills.

'Day of the Dead' (1985) 

Long before there was the popular television series "The Walking Dead," there was "Day of the Dead."

This American post-apocalyptic zombie horror film was filmed primarily in Southwest Florida, including scenes filmed on Sanibel Island and in the streets of downtown Fort Myers. 

In the film, survivors of a zombie apocalypse shelter in an underground bunker in Florida, where they try work to ensure survival of the human race as zombies try to track them down.

It was the third and in director George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" trilogy.

'The Devil's Advocate' (1997) 

(GANNETT PHOTO NETWORK) Keanu Reeves, front, and Al Pacino starring in "The Devil's Advocate." (GNS Photo) ORG XMIT: GPN6

A hotshot Gainesville lawyer heads to the Big Apple in a career move.

It sounds like a harmless plot, but what if his new boss is Satan himself? Keanu Reeves stars as the lawyer in "The Devil's Advocate," while Al Pacino plays the devil and Charlize Theron portrays Reeves' character's wife.

Florida figures prominently, with scenes filmed in Gainesville and Jacksonville, including a downtown courthouse.

'Creature from the Black Lagoon' (1954)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host a month-long series of screenings of classic horror films with “Universal’s Legacy of Horror” in October.  The series is part of the studio’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration engaging Universal’s fans and all movie lovers in the art of moviemaking.

Pictured: Julie Adams and the Gill Man in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 1954.

If you're up for a more nostalgic scary flick, watch the black-and-white "Creature from the Black Lagoon" that hit movies houses 67 years ago.

The plot follows scientists who encounter an amphibian-like "Gil-man" in the Amazon. Certainly a bit cheesy compared with today's technologically advanced films, "Creature" has endured along with other monster classics.

Scenes were filmed throughout Florida, including Silver Springs, Palatka, Wakulla Springs near Tallahassee, Marineland and along the St. Johns River near Jacksonville.

Dave Osborn is the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and News-Press. Follow him on Instagram @detroitdave88 and on Twitter @NDN_dosborn.