'This Halloween, let yourself be terrified by faith in "The Night of the Hunter" '

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In this column, I explain why I love the 1955 classic, "The Night of the Hunter":

One night this month, I came home from a screening of “Happy Death Day,” the soulless PG-13 ghost of Groundhog Day past, and before going to bed, I had to pop in a blu ray from my collection to cleanse the palate.

I didn’t reach for the towering comedic achievement of Howard Ramis and Bill Murray that “Happy Death Day” blatantly apes. Nor did I put in the Tom Cruise version from a few years ago.

The film I turned to is one I love equally as much as “Groundhog Day,” but which is a much more fitting choice for the season: “The Night of the Hunter,” the 1955 masterpiece directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters.

Both “The Night of the Hunter” and “Groundhog Day” -- along with “Tootsie,” “Toy Story 2” and “Silence” -- are in the running for my Favorite Film Of All Time, and as this week is Halloween, I thought the best use of this particular column is to shine a light on one of the best scary movies ever made.

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