Seeing as it is Halloween soon I thought that it would be fitting to give another list of, what I consider, to be great horror films. Watch these on your Halloween night and it is sure to be an enjoyable, yet terrifying one. This list compiles horror films from a wide range in the genre, so it is likely that it will contain something that will give your spine a shiver.
Film Type: Creepy Classic
Psycho – 1960
Where would horror be today if Alfred Hitchcock had not decided to take on directorial duties? Thankfully we don’t have ponder that question, as he created many masterpieces in his time; including the film which will have inspired many horror directors after him, Psycho. Anthony Perkins takes on the role of the infamous Norman Bates, a lonely motel owner who is slightly too attached to his eerie mother. When beautiful women check into Bates’ motel, they don’t usually check out. Perkins gives a stellar performance here, as he convinces the audience that underneath that shy persona a psychopathic mentality lurks, just waiting to strike at his next available victim. Psycho is a complete classic all round, will probably be in most horror fans film collections and contains one of the most famous shower scenes in cinema history. Janet Leigh never saw that knife coming.
Film Type: Uncanny Undead
Dawn of the Dead – 1978
The second in the Godfather of Gore, George A. Romero’s, dead trilogy; and predecessor to the film which shaped zombie films today, Night of the Living Dead. Where the first in the trilogy introduced us to these flesh-eating ghouls, Dawn of the Dead was much more character driven and the make-up effects were just spectacular, even though most of the undead did appear blue. Zombies have already risen and two soldiers, with a helicopter pilot and his girlfriend team up to secure a mall to wait out the on coming hoards. From beginning to end this film is enjoyable, not only does it have great a story, characters and make-up but it also brings that creepy 70s vintage film vibe that adds a lot to the atmosphere.
Film Type: Sinister Supernatural
The Evil Dead – 1981
The demonic low-budget horror film which, along with its two sequels, has become one of the biggest films in the cult arena. B-Movie superstar Bruce Campbell stars as Ashley ‘Ash’ Williams, as he, his girlfriend and their three friends travel to a cabin in the woods for a night of debauchery. Unfortunately the festivities are cut short as one of the members of the group reads from the Necronomicon; an ancient evil book that is bound in human flesh and written in human blood. From that moment on a demonic force is released and goes on to take control of the various members of the group, forcing them to try to kill their friends. Buckets of blood, amazing make-up that will turn your stomach and cheesy one-liners make this a film one that you will never forget. Oh, and there’s the tree scene, no explanation needed…just watch it.
Film Type: Eerie Extraterrestrials
The Thing – 1982
Master of horror John Carpenter has given us some amazing flicks over the years; such as Halloween in 1978 and The Fog in 1980. However, there is one film from this director that was leaps and bounds above what anyone expected it to be – The Thing. Based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr., the plot is that a crew working out in Antarctica find an odd frozen creature at a Norwegian outpost, after they take it back with them and it thaws out it takes the form of any person it can come into contact with. The audience, along with the characters, never know who truly is the alien and who isn’t; you find out quite suddenly though when it starts attacking you as its body morph into all kinds of nasty creatures. The Thing is praised for having effects which were way ahead of its time, and also one of the most suspenseful blood testing scenes ever.
Film Type: Macabre Monsters
The Descent – 2005
This British horror from Neil Marshall really gives you that feeling of claustrophobia, as six women decide to take a trip caving and get trapped underground. What they don’t know is that this particular cave just so happens to house flesh-eating humanoids; creatures who have adapted to the dark and will tear at and eat any fresh meat they can find. The Descent plays on the creepy vibe so well, firstly by making you feel trapped in the caves with the characters, but even before the cave-in as it casually shows you the creatures lurking in the distance. The scene that makes this one of my favourites though is after the girls realise the trouble they are in, in the dark one of the group puts on the night-vision camera, and as we look through it a scare happens which I have never forgotten; no matter how many times I’ve watched it.