The best films to watch this Halloween
October 30, 2014, Article by Beau Merchant in Film & TV
There’s no better way to spend the damp, dark Halloween weekend than to sit down, put your feet up and be scared sh*tless. Below are my choices for the best celluloid scares for you and your mates to watch this weekend. Sweet dreams.
The Curse of Frankenstein – 1957 (BBC iPlayer)
The late, great Peter Cushing plays Victor Frankenstein, who whilst in prison awaiting execution tells a priest the story of how creating his monster has led him to the situation he now finds himself in.
Even though it’s over 50 years old now, it is a genuinely creepy and haunting film with Cushing’s traumatised Dr. Frankenstein being one of his career-best performances. An essential classic.
You’re Next – 2011 (Netflix)
Fresh, original and a whole lotta fun, Adam Wingard’s home-invasion horror revitalised the genre.
A family get-together descends into bloody anarchy as their (remote) holiday home comes under attack by a group of animal mask-wearing hoodlums. There’s twist and turns a-plenty and the transformation of Sharni Vinson’s Erin from meek victim to kick-ass heroine is remarkable.
Martyrs -2008 (Amazon Prime Instant)
It’s hard to know where to begin with Martyrs.Some of the images and themes shown shouldn’t belong in film. It’s gruesome and sometimes unwatchable, but it’s also powerful, touching and will live long in the memory. More of an experience than entertainment. You’ll be left speechless.
The Blair Witch Project – 1999 (Netflix)
One of the most profitable films ever released (a budget of $60,000 going on to make over $248 million worldwide), The Blair Witch Project remains one of the most influential horror films of recent years. The clever marketing, website and back-story meant there was genuine belief that the “found footage” you were watching was real.
There seems to be a split of those who just don’t get it and those who were terrified by it. I’m definitely in the latter. I slept with the light on for a week after watching it in the cinema and still get a shiver thinking about the final shot of the film. If you’ve not seen it, watch it. If you haven’t seen it for a few years, watch it again.
Eden Lake – 2008 (Amazon Prime Instant)
On a weekend away at an idyllic location, Steve (Michael Fassbender) plans to propose to girlfriend Jenny (Kelly Riley). Their peace and quiet is shattered by a group of chavs who don’t take kindly to being told to turn their music down.
Violent, breathless and relentless, you’re left feeling as battered and shaken as the victims in the film. Sure it stereotypes slightly and pushes the boundaries of realism, but after watching the last 5 minutes you won’t care. You’ll never go to a Wetherspoons again.
Zombieland – 2009 (Netflix)
After all that tension, it’s probably best to finish the weekend with something a little more light-hearted.
A unique and intelligent horror comedy with fantastic performances by the cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson), this was a surprise on release. Laugh-out-loud funny and with a few creepy set-pieces it’s a film that stays fresh with repeat viewings. It also includes the greatest cameo EVER. Solid stuff.
And if you’re after a terrifying Halloween read, then this FREE ebook should sort you right out. It’s got chapter samplers from the likes of Dean Koontz, Richard Laymon and Nick Cutter and more.
Happy Halloween and all that…