This week’s Top 10 is all about cinematic scares.
Pagan legends and consumerism will combine in an orgy of plastic masks and skimpy costumes for yet another day of family-friendly unpleasantness at the end of October. To get in the mood for Halloween, why not pop on one or all of these ten scary movies, turn up the volume and pretend that you are being murdered to put off trick or treaters?
10) The Craft
This trashy teen horror movie explores the cattiness that can arise when a coven of young witches get miffed with each other in LA. It’s rubbish, but in a thoroughly enjoyable and occasionally chilling way.
There are more movies in the Friday the 13th franchise than there are fingers on the hands of an un-mutated baby, but the ninth movie is one of the more scatological and disgustingly enchanting sequels. It opens with Jason being exploded by the authorities, with only his heart surviving. He goes on to posses various people, before being reborn in a particularly gruesome manner. Top notch creature effects and gore make this a great schlocky addition to any Halloween viewing schedule.
Silent movie audiences loved horror as much as subsequent generations and this is one of the most famous. Watching it is not only quite a disturbing experience, but also lets you sound like a pretentious arse at parties when you mention that you’ve seen it.
This short but sweet Anime feature takes place during Halloween, with a bad ass vampire slayer disguising herself as a school girl to investigate strange goings on at a US Air Force base in Japan. Just make sure you steer clear of the abominable live action version. Eugh.
6) Dead Snow
What’s worse than a Nazi? How about virtually immortal Nazi zombies going crazy for the flesh of some young Norwegian skiers who are holed up in a remote mountain cabin? It only came out three years ago, but it’s already a cult classic.
5) Evil Dead II
Less of a sequel, more of a higher budget remake of the original, Evil Dead II is violent, funny and occasionally terrifying. Bruce Campbell is excellent as the handsome lead; so good, in fact, that you wonder how the upcoming remake will compare.
Once you’ve gorged yourself on all the horror you can handle, Cabin in the Woods will be the perfect aperitif. It plays a similar role to that of the original Scream, essentially paying homage to the genre that spawned it while also toying with audience expectations and delivering something truly unique.
It may be cheating to call a horror movie after the scariest of all occasions, but John Carpenter’s classic helped to popularise the slasher genre, for better or worse, and remains a tightly-wound thrill ride to this day.
2) Tim Burton
This is a person, not a film, but you get the point. Pick a Tim Burton movie, and watch it. The man is a walking, talking embodiment of Halloween. He even married a woman who loves spooky stuff as much as him.
George A. Romero’s original zombie masterpiece is surprisingly grizzly even 44 years after its release. It is also more eloquently political than most modern horror movies and proves that slow moving zombies can actually be scarier than their fleet of foot contemporary counterparts.