Its Halloween!! That means you can dress up as Harley Quinn like everyone else or be really lazy and just put a bit of fake blood on your face and you can also scare yourself silly by watching scary movies. So when you get in from work tonight, sit yourself down and work your way through this Halloween playlist, and please turn the lights off for full effect.
One of the greatest horror movies of all time. A movie with such gravitas that it made people sick in the cinema on its original release and was subsequently banned for a number of years in the UK. As attitudes and the BBFC relaxed, a cinematic re-release happened in the late nineties. The movie appeared to lose some of its bite as horror cinema evolved with bigger shocks and gorier scenes, but the true visceral nature of the film stayed intact and those who aren’t just looking to jump out of their seats were into the film.
Wiliam Friedkin’s masterpiece of demonic possession rightfully holds a place in horror fans hearts. The head turn, the spider walk, the sick, THAT line from Reagan, all are memorable and important moments in horror cinema. Everything about this movie succeeds in unsettling you from the direction to the famous music. Yes it may now look old – especially with the new TV series – but it’s still one of the best horror movies around.
The Blair Witch Project
The original found footage mega hit. This was the movie that at one point everyone believed was real. Shot for peanuts and marketed so cleverly it had the public questioning its validity from the moment it appeared on our radars. Released in an era when the Internet wasn’t what it was today, marketing for Blair Witch involved a lot of word of mouth and press. I remember a Rolling Stone piece which basically made the film out to be a legit documentary and I remember hearing about the reactions of people who genuinely believed it was a real documentary.
Of all the found footage films that have come since, the original Blair Witch still stands out as one of the best. The iconic scene of Heather’s close up crying, the panic the three filmmakers had throughout the movie and the sharp ending all make for a great experience. Again maybe over time this has lost a bit of the initial impact, but it still stands up as a horror classic.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Have you been to one of those scare experiences recently? Did you take a trip to Farmageddon or Scare Kingdom with the intention of your wits being scared right out? Well if you did you no doubt got chased by a bloke with a chainsaw. This is the ultimate inspiration for any of those characters. The legend of yet another previously banned movie which caused hysteria and more feinting in cinemas on original release is legendary. Focussing on a, shall we say, close knit family and their cannibalistic daily dinners, Texas Chainsaw is very unsettling. Leatherface is a classic horror character too. The look, the noises, the chainsaw. Visceral, bloody, violent and with a psychological edge. Watch, you’ll love it.
The Cabin in the Woods.
For those that know me personally, they will be aware that I am a total mark for anything Joss Whedon does. The man is a genius and was behind one of the best TV shows with a horror theme, EVER. Buffy the Vampire Slayer still stands up today and Joss’ work post Sunnydale is still exemplary. C’mon the man brought us The Avengers! But looking back to Joss’ use of monsters and clear love of horror, it was inevitable he was going to dip back into the Hellmouth for a cinematic ride and he does that here.
Featuring a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth and a couple of Whedon favourites, the cast are perfect along with the story based around that classic horror cliche, the Cabin in the Woods. The great thing about this movie is that Joss takes all the cliche’s and completely flips them on their head with an incredible twist. Writing about this film is hard because any sentence could give away a major plot point, so just watch it, you’ll love it and watch out for Dana Barrett.
The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi’s original gore-fest may have been peak 80’s horror. Made on a shoestring with a cast no-one knew, (but you ALL know about the legend of Bruce Campbell now, hail to the king baby) The Evil Dead not only scared the hell out of everyone, gaining a more than just a cult following along the way, but also launched the career of the future Spider-Man director.
The Necronomicon – the McGuffin that the movie centres around – is something similar to many other horror plots, but the book of the dead is an iconic device and even turned itself into the DVD release special edition, (I had it, the rubber cover stank after a few years!) Well worth watching to spot how others have learned from Raimi’s brilliant original and follow this up with Army of Darkness and then Ash vs Evil Dead. Do it!!
Freddy vs Jason
Yeah I could have picked the original Nightmare, or the original Friday the 13th, but nahhh. Freddy vs Jason is bloody, its disgusting, it has shocks and horrors, but its also bloody funny. Two of the most iconic horror characters having a completely bonkers smackdown is well worth a few hours of your time. A return to Elm St and Camp Crystal lake awaits you, as does Kelly Rowland. Go, watch NOW!
This should still be on Netflix and you need to see it. Promiscuous teen sex is all over so many films and is normally seen as a pretty good point for the characters. Not here though. Bumping uglies means something pretty ugly is coming your way to bump you off your mortal coil.
Revolving around a spirit that literally follows those horny teens around until it gets a chance to kill them is incredible, the way said teens pass on the curse is even more crazy. Its one of those that didn’t make it to the cinema mainstream in the UK, but found a massive audience online and not only is it scary, it’ll make you think about your life choices.
Enjoy now, and don’t have nightmares.