You’ve been having costume parties all weekend, gone trick or treating and eaten your own body weight in candy. Now you’ve also noticed that it happens to be Halloween. Is there a better way to celebrate the day itself than by watching a few good horror films?
A few days ago, we asked our social networks of Facebook and Twitter to name some of their favourite horror films for the season to be spooky. Here’s what they came up with (and a few we added in as well):
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Given that the second sequel is out this week, Christina Lungo has chosen the original Paranormal Activity. There have been a wave of “found footage” films since, including this year’s Apollo 18, and here’s the trailer that started it all. Well, except The Blair Witch Project, which started it all back in 1999.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Speak of the devil, or at least one of it’s minions, Sean Riley has suggested that we include this on our list of horror films this year. In October 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found. At least that’s what the clever viral marketing campaign from Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez would have us believe. It may seem so played now, but at the time there was some genuine and justified buzz around this film. Try and picture yourself back in 1999 while watching this:
Wolf Creek (2005)
Let us just say that while we aren’t the greatest fans of this Aussie horror flick, it certainly made an impact on local and international audiences. It also made us see John Jarrat, who we previously knew as a beloved television personality, as the psycho killer he was born to be. Jane Whelan voted for this one to be included on our list.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This got included on our favourite horror movie posters, and it remains a classic for many, including James Morrison. That’s our reader James Morrison, and not the late lead singer of The Doors. Unless, of course, the latter is reaching out from beyond the grave to let us know his favourite horror films. Never sleep again!
A group of teenagers, including a very young Johnny Depp, are stalker in their dreams by a killer paedophile. The film spawned five direct sequels, original director Wes Craven’s meta-entry Wes’s Craven’s New Nightmare, monster mash-up Freddy Vs. Jason and a terrible 2010 remake.
Ringu (1998)/The Ring (2002)
Here’s where we get a little cheaty and include two trailers. Japanese horror sensation The Ring (Ringu) was in many ways responsible for the short-lived global fascination with all things J-Horror. The trailers are worlds apart, with the first showing visceral and often abstract imagery and the second explaining the plot. Our ideal film is a combination of the two.
The Orphange (2007)
This one had completely slipped from our minds. The reader suggestion came to us via Jason Reed, who actually suggested about five titles, many of which ended up on this list as bona fide classics. Juan Antonio Bayona’s film was, like 90% of all films, produced by Guillermo del Toro. As explained by IMDB: “A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend”.
Halloween II (1981)
Reader George Matheos said that “Halloween Part II scared the hell out of me as a kid…”, and that hot tub scene is fondly remembered for its large amounts of nudity and terrifying dying. Immediately following the events of the first film, it isn’t one of the greatest films in the series. Directed by Rick Rosenthal, who would go on to direct the Halloween: Resurrection sequel, this is pure 1980s!
We had to include this. The Alfred Hitchcock film needs little introduction, and is the consummate horror film. In an age where the Internet spoils us with copious amounts of footage, this is how one markets a film with a six minute trailer that actually shows you virtually nothing of the film, and certainly none of the plot details. Naturally, it features Hitch taking us on a tour of terror.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)
A personal indulgence. This film contains about 80% footage from the first entry. The trailer ups the ante by including about 95% of the footage from the first film. That’s some marketing.
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
We had to include this. On Twitter nathangielis says: “Sex and the City 2 – those harpies are fucking terrifying.” We couldn’t agree more.