On TV on the night
The Witch – Film 4 – 9:00 pm
Slow creeping terror set in New England, 1630. A family move to the wilderness and try to lead a Christain life. However, this does not go to plan following the disappearance of their newborn and crops failing which leads to the family crumbling. Are they losing their minds or is there an external evil praying on their sins? Excellent slow burn horror featuring “Black Philip”!
The Others – Sony Movie Channel – 9:00 pm
2001’s thriller featuring Nicole Kidman rather flew under the radar following the Sixth Sense. However, this is an intelligent storytelling of a woman looking after her two photosensitive children in an old family house following the end of the second world war. Also featuring Christopher Eccleston, Eric Sykes and Keith Allen. Directed by Alejandro Amenabar (Vanilla Sky).
Insidious- The Horror Channel – 9:00 pm
Some very creepy images and jump scares from James Wan, starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne. A family try and help their son, who has fallen into a coma after an incident in the attic, by enlisting a group of paranormal investigators. A film that starts well, in my opinion, but loses its way towards the end. Led to a number of lesser sequels.
If you have it or can stream it!
The greatest horror (or as some believe – film) of all time. William Friedkin’s classic tale of a mothers battle to save her daughter from a demonic entity. Based on William Peter Blatty’s book (he also wrote the screenplay) this is a film that grabs you from the start with its oppressive mood and never lets up! I have spoken to lots of people who don’t find this frightening but I thought it was by far the scariest film I have seen. Maybe, it was because I went to Catholic school and so was taught about the Devil from a young age. The Exorcist also works as a story of a mother’s desperate fight when the medical profession fails to resolve Regan’s “condition”. She then turns to Father Karras (Jason Miller) who vows to help but is questioning his own faith. This scared a lot of people when it came out in 1973 (paramedics were called to theatres) and I personally can see why! You have been warned!
Another all-time classic horror movie. Stanley Kubrick’s take on Steven Kings novel (which King disapproved of), is a study of a man losing his mind in the isolation of the Overlook hotel. Or is it evil forces at work at a building with a violent past? Jack Nicholson on great form and some classic haunting imagery (twins, corridors!). The sequel “Doctor Sleep” is coming soon and is on a hiding to nothing, I suspect.
The best remake of recent years and the highest grossing horror film of all time. The retelling of the 1980’s TV movie featuring Tim Curry, is the tale of local kids in the town of Derry who are disappearing one by one. The original version featured an iconic take on Pennywise the clown by Tim Curry but the production has dated (especially the effects) but no one could have predicted how successful and more importantly how good this new version would be. I would go as far as to say that Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise has surpassed Tim Curry’s. It keeps the 80’s feel of the piece without losing the menace of the story. Can’t wait for part 2!
A very different take on the horror of being chased by a monster/ghost/demon/killer. In this story, a curse is passed on by consensual sex resulting in an entity which takes its time in catching you but never stops until you can pass on the curse. It can change form and so you must be on the lookout at all times! Great mood and soundtrack make this a must watch. It is relentless in its tension and also has some decent jump scares without relying on them as is the way of most modern horrors. Remember its a few steps behind you and will not stop. Ever!
The Woman In Black (2012)
I was surprised how much a liked this take on Susan Hills novel. Jane Goldman did a great job on the screenplay and Daniel Radcliffe showed that he was more than just Harry Potter (his first step outside the franchise). Well directed by James Watkins (Writer – Eden Lake, McMafia) with a fantastic gothic look and some jump out of your seat scares!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
On a lighter note. Classic stop-motion animation from producer Tim Burton. It’s a Halloween and a Christmas film. Great images and songs. One of my all-time favourite films! Not scary just fun. One for the kids (well some kids).
So what are you going to watch this Halloween? The films above? Or some Sci-Fi horror like Alien, Event Horizon? Slasher movies like Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th? Ghost movies like The Haunting, Poltergeist? Gore movies like Saw, Hostel?