Halloween #blogtober day 9. Continuing the Halloween theme (GOD I love Halloween) – today we’re talking scary films! I’ve had a fair few frightful film fests in my time and I’ve noticed that films of that genre usually get a bad rating, with the review reasoning “BUT I DON’T LIKE BEING SCARED”… So I’ve learned to ignore the reviews and make up my own mind. The following films are best watched in the dark… Alone.
1. The Blair Witch Project
My ultimate favourite scary film! I’m sure you’ve heard of this or one or the two follow up films. If you haven’t – student filmmakers go on a mission into the woods to find the Blair Witch, and only their footage was found. Generally it’s one of those you either love it or you hate films. If you haven’t seen it or hated it, watch it again but make sure you have no distractions. I’m talking phone off, lights off, no snacks. Just watch. It still terrifies me to this day.
The picture here is of the remake starring Elijah Wood (who, by the by, is a perfect creep) but you could watch either this or the original – they are both spectacular. Creepy and gory. You learn the ins and outs of the owner of a mannequin shop, and learn the extreme lengths he will go to to perfect his creations. Probably best not to watch this while eating dinner.
3. House of the Devil
One of those films that is fairly modern (2009) but set and filmed like it’s the 80’s. It’s done very well. nothing cheesy or too dated about it. Typical scary story – a girl takes a babysitting job and all hell ensues! It’s full to the brim with suspense, and has a teeny tiny cast (my favourite films all do). Definitely worth a watch.
A children’s film it is not, as much as it claims to be. Coraline was originally a book by Neil Gaiman, which is pretty high on my to read list. If you like alternate universes, subtle nods at parental abandonment, maiming children, and, well, buttons then this is the film for you! It’s quite long and it’s fun.
5. The Silence of the Lambs
How many times can I say “I love this film, no really, it’s my favourite” during this list? I went to watch a screening of this film in the basement of Cardiff Castle once and the atmos was phenomenal. A classic – most people have seen and loved this film by now. Cannibalism, cross dressing, and psychoanalysis. What more could you want?
6. Evil Dead
The picture here is another one that shows the remake, but again the original is perfect too! A cabin in the woods, a creepy book, the occult… This is one that’s more gogogo than edge of your seat suspense, and has got a great dark humour to it. Excellent film, force people to watch it.
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
An absolute classic. Out of the usual scary film list (Halloween, Scream et al) this is always going to come out on top for me. Rather than playing on the fear of strange happenings in familiar surroundings it focuses on strange things happenings when you’re already disoriented and have lost your bearings. Plus there’s lots of dismemberment with chainsaws.
8. The Craft
What’s a halloween film playlist without witches? When I was in school I was really into the idea of Wicca and spells and crystals and getting one over on the popular kids and the power of nature… I have (kind of) grown out of that idea but this film ticks all of those boxes. Also, recommended for masses of 90’s outfit inspo.
This is the 1973 version…. not, I repeat, NOT the Nicholas Cage version. Set on the Scottish island of Summerisle, this tells the story of a Policeman who visits to investigate the disappearance of a child. It’s small town mentality as you’ve never seen it before…. Don’t keep the wicker man waiting.
10. Hocus Pocus
Okay so I had to throw in a not-so-scary classic. Hocus Pocus is probably in my top 5 films ever. The witches are raised from the dead and start hunting children… That probably made it sound a lot scarier than it actually is. Lots of suspense – it’s brilliantly done for a kids film. I’ll be watching it every day in the build up to Halloween!
I’m always on the lookout for decent scary films, so please feel free to suggest your favourites!