The spookiest time of the year is ALMOST here, and to celebrate, I wanted to dedicate a post to one of my favourite Halloween traditions: watching scary movies! It only felt right to invite the person that shares my enthusiasm for spine-tingling tales to get involved, so today I’m handing things over to Gary for a special guest post as he shares fives movies to watch this Halloween…
Halloween is a big deal round our way. Every year, we set aside a day and night to watch as many horror movies as possible with our pals. This ranges from classics to new-school movies via hits and some MAJOR misses that we will never speak of again.
After much deliberation, we pick some films, load up on snacks and binge on both until everyone collapses. And it’s great.
To help speed up that selection process, Lynsay asked me to put together five recommendations for Halloween this year. Now, these aren’t the absolute best horror movies out there – there is no place for Halloween or The Shining on my list because it’s a given that you’ll squeeze them in at some point before the pumpkins go bad – these are some lesser known additions to your horror playlist for 2016.
I’m gonna make it easy by focusing on movies available on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you are anything like me, you have a million horror DVDs and Blu-Rays but they are packed away and the horror of delving into that Monica Geller cupboard is worse than any gore-filled slasher movie.
So, in no particular order, here are my five picks for Halloween 2016…
1. The Skull
I want to kick things off with a classic and The Skull takes us right back to the Hammer Horror-era of genre legends Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
The story centres around the skull of the Marquis De Sade which afflicts everyone who owns it with a mysterious and deadly curse. It’s stolen from Christoper Lee but he’s none too bothered because well… it’s not exactly a great addition to the mantle piece given the whole death thing…
Lee does his best to warn his pal to keep well away. But, does he heed the advice? Of course not.
Hush centres around a pretty straightforward home-invasion plot as author Maddie is tormented in her rural home by a masked stalker.
Seeking quiet seclusion to work on her latest novel, Maddie is first annoyed by the over-bearing good-nature of her neighbour before being pestered through iMessage and later up-close-and-personal by a mystery assailant.
Maddie suffers from an hearing impairment and the movie uses this to build a real sense of fear – the lack of dialogue meaning that there isn’t much to break the tension.
As is always the case, you’ll be really impressed by some of Maddie’s decisions and horrendously frustrated at others. Given how many times you’ve seen it go wrong, would you go back in the house??
3. Starry Eyes
Starry Eyes follows aspiring actress Sarah as she spends her days longing for success while waiting tables in a Hooters-esque burger joint.
Bubbling under the surface of Sarah’s character is a MANIC frustration that manifests in outbursts of wild self-destruction.
With strong character development and a nice occult twist, Starry Eyes is not an original tale but there is enough slow-burn tension for retro-horror aficionados and plenty blood and guts for the new-school too.
From the moment the opening credits hit on Deathgasm, it’s pretty clear my 14 year old brain has been raided of its contents and had them splattered across the screen. Skulls, crows, guitars and graffiti’d school jotters – a particular favourite among high-school goths – all explode amongst satanic symbols and a particularly heavy soundtrack.
The film quickly (mosh)pits the new metal kid in town with the dungeons and dragons geek in a war against the cool kids. Sound familiar? Not for long…
Metal fans will find laughs at the in-jokes of horrendous black metal videos while those whose brains have not been mashed by years of headbanging will find plenty satisfaction in the gore-feast of the particularly explicit fight scenes.
AND, in true metal fashion, it is rumoured that the film syncs perfectly with Iron Maiden’s Live After Death.
5. It Follows
Confused teenagers stalked by a mysterious presence, It Follows – on the face of things – doesn’t carry a particularly inventive premise but this is no simple stalk n’ slash.
The film begins with a chase of sorts… The only problem? We don’t know who is doing the chasing! The pulsating soundtrack tells us that things are going to be tough for the pursued and inevitably, before the opening credits begin, ‘It’ delivers victim number one.
Yeah, It Follows is full of allegory about promiscuous teenage behaviour but don’t get hung-up on the metaphor – at its core, It Follows is just a really ominous and creepy horror film.
And, like any effective horror, ‘It’ lingers for days after the credits roll.
With these five movies, we’ve moved from 1965 right through to 2016 and hopefully given a few new titles to haunt their way onto your screen.
Let us know what else is on your must-watch list this year. And, can think of a movie scarier than the thought of clearing out THAT cupboard?
We hope that this gets your Halloween movie night off to an awesome start! And thanks Gary for giving us the lowdown on these picks. Time to plan the rest of this year’s festivities, am I right?