It’s October and that means one thing: Halloween is nearly upon us.
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that Autumn is my favourite part of the year. I love the weather and I love Halloween. It’s also the perfect opportunity to binge watch on horror films. If you want to get in the trick or treating mood, then here’s thirteen flicks I’d suggest you give a watch over the next month. In no particular order, let’s begin.
It seems fitting that we indulge in a Tim Burton film, as his style and aesthetic just scream Halloween. ‘Beetlejuice’ is one of Burton’s greatest films and follows a young couple (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who die and become ghosts in their old home. They join forces with Betelgeuse (some sort of demonic character played by Michael Keaton) to try and scare away the new owners of the home. The film is an imaginative rollercoaster of fun and whilst it won’t scare you, it is an enjoyable classic.
Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ follows a group of high school friends who are disrupted by a masked serial killer. The film is clever and holds many meta references to some of the greatest horror movies that came before it, with the film practically playing out as a love letter to them. Despite being 20 years old, the film actually still holds up and can still provide the shocks and gore that make for the perfect Halloween film.
It Follows (2015)
If you’re looking for a moody and atmospheric treat this Halloween, ‘It Follows’ could be just what you’re looking for. After a sexual encounter, a girl finds out that she has now transmitted the presence of an other-worldly presence. It’s a tense and stylistic film that sometimes feels a bit too real – which helps make the film so believable at times. Also, it has one of the greatest modern-day horror soundtracks ever, thanks to Disasterpeace.
Trick ‘R Treat (2007)
‘Trick R Treat’ is an anthology movie, offering up four stories which all interact with one another in different ways. All the stories are set around Halloween which makes for traditional October viewing. As it’s an anthology of stories, there’s likely to be something for everyone – which is perfect for group viewing. Who can’t help but love Sam, the sack-faced Trick or Treater?
Back to where it all began for Hollywood’s horror, it’s important to spend sometime watching the ultimate in monster classics. The Universal Monsters were an early-cinema treat for audiences and they’re still as popular today. The monster, played by horror legend Boris Karloff, is created by a mysterious Dr. Frankenstein and left to cause havoc in the near-by town. The confusion and fear from the monster himself and everybody else around him plays out to a grand finale.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Without a doubt, my all-time favourite Halloween film. Probably the first ‘scary’ film I was allowed to see as a kid, I instantly fell in love with the campy Sanderson Sisters. Based in the perfectly-fitting Salem, three witches are awoken from their 300 year sleep and its up to a group of teenagers to save Salem’s children. It may have aged a little but it’s still essential viewing each and every Halloween, and Bette Midler’s characterisation of Winifred is just perfection.
You can’t have Halloween without the John Carpenter 1978 classic of the same name. After killing his sister, Michael Myers is sent to a mental institution. Fifteen years later, he escapes and he returns to his hometown – clearly not having learnt his lesson. Jamie Lee Curtis is the ultimate ‘scream queen’ and it’s still suspenseful and creepy nearly forty years later – that theme music never fails to be haunting.
So, there you have it. Seven films which are essential viewing for Halloween. There’s plenty I’ve missed off, but I wanted to keep it short and sweet.
I’d love to hear your recommendations for films I need to watch this month – whether they’re popular classics or rarely heard of movie delights.