We did it last year and now we’re doing it again. Love Horror brings you our Halloween Grindhouse. 4 of Love Horror’s finest are locked in a chamber for a prolonged period of time and are asked (repeatedly) to confess what their favourite horror movies are.
It’s an entertaining read, but it could also come in quite useful if you’re stuck for horror movies to watch this year. Don’t just go out there and buy the first thing you see! Trust our recommendations!
Jack-O-Lantern’s Halloween Top 5
1) Halloween – John Carpenter.
A masterful piece of cinema and one of my all time favourite movies. Michael Meyers represents men and how mean they are to women, and the lady from Psycho‘s daughter is chaste and that‘s why she kills him with a giant, Freudian cock knife. At least that’s my reading.
Spawned a million copies but nothing gets close to the original. And what a soundtrack! “Evil, pure evil.”
2) The Exorcist – William Friedkin
I rewatched this recently at a special Halloween screening at my local cinema and my God is it a heck of film. Also, is it me or does the Catholic religion lend itself particularly well to horror movies? All that guilt and shame and blood and Hail Mary and blood and shame and body and blood and blood. “Your mother sucks cock in hell.”
3) Evil Dead 2 – Sam Raimi
Part film, part way of life. Evil Dead 2 is the ultimate “watch with your mates” movie. Particularly if your mates are anything like mine and know it word for word before staying up late and discussing how they too could make a movie as brilliant for less money than they are currently paying to study at film school. Quote: “Swallow this.”
4) The Shining – Stanley Kubrick
A particular Halloween fave after sticking it on in my first year at university on October 31st, I had one flatmate who told me the acting was bad and another who said the music sucked. Needless to say we are no longer in contact. Quote: “Danny isn’t here Mrs Torrence.”
5) Donnie Darko – Richard Kelly
Perhaps this one is a slightly peculiar choice as it borders several genres, horror just one of them. Also peculiar because Halloween is a time of fun and joviality (kind of) and this is a firm favourite for that particular breed of 14 -19 year old. You know the kind: warped sense of identity apparently derived from being a joyless, mawkish douche bag with a comprehensive knowledge of Joy Division demos and a pathological inability to talk to the opposite sex.
As such I understand the detractors of this movie, especially after Southland Tales, the filmic equivalent of a tail chasing, slipper humping, shite eating Jack Russel (that‘s to say it‘s pretty durn stooped). However look past the chemically straightened fringes of the fan boys and you find Donnie Darko to be a perfect Halloween movie – excellent soundtrack, some good old fashioned messed up rich kids and you can take a shot every time somebody says “time travel” in a faraway voice.
Furthermore that big rabbit thing is well scary and makes a better costume than the Crow for pubescent boys who hate their dad and love The Cure. Quote: “First of all, Papa Smurf didn’t create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel’s evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village.”
MacReady’s Halloween Top 5
Surely there can be no better way to get things going on a Halloweeny afternoon than watching Cat People (1942).
If sultry Serbian Irena gives in to her emotions, will she really turn into a big, ferocious feline? Because isn’t that just what women do?! Well, no, but this film deserves a go anyway, even if it’s just for the amazing dream sequence.
Next up is a visit to Sleepy Hollow (1999), where an excellent cast ham it up in style, while Christopher Walken runs around with pointy teeth and big hair, shouting like a man possessed. Good clean fun, with a side order of decapitation.
As the All-Hallows-Evenin’ draws in, it’s time for little people in costume to come a-visiting. That’s right, Michael J Fox is havin’ it ‘medium’ in The Frighteners (1996). Oh for the days when Peter Jackson made films you could enjoy.
It’s got to be night time proper, so go get your Ouija Board and join in the fun, with the second best haunted house film of all time, The Amytyville Horror (1979). (Yes, I did say second best. The Haunting wins hands down, but this has a crazy man with a beard – you just can’t argue with that).
By this point in the program I’m normally pretty sleepy, so it’s time to smash the glass and press the ridiculous button. That’s right people, it’s the House of Wax (2005). Thrills, spills, and minor celebrities with poles through their faces. A fitting end to a lovely day.
The Baron’s Halloween Top 5
Welcome to my top five haunting and horrible Halloween films. I thought I would introduce myself
with the picture I recently sent to the London Dungeon appealing for a job where I could jump out at
pedestrians and launch into tirades of vile abuse. No news is good news! Right??
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre offers a relentlessly horrible final third that is truly exhausting to
watch. So. Much. Screaming.
Still, there is some fun to be had, particularly when the most annoying character meets his gruesome demise at the end of a chainsaw. You hope for this scene right from the start.
4. It’s always worth checking if your house was ever built over burial grounds.
Poltergeist is a great Halloween choice. Child eating cupboards! Malevolent trees! Zelda Rubinstein as the terrifically named Tangina Barrons. She means well, but what a horrible woman.
3. Combining gleeful humour with a nice touch of the macabre, An America Werewolf in London is well loved by me for bringing my attention to the wonderful Jenny Agutter. Ms. Agutter aside, and it’s a terrible shame to have to do so, this films delivers some great laughs, mainly from lead
character David’s undead friend, and some standout horror moments including the much lauded transformation and the terrifying stormtrooper wearwolf nightmare scene.
Bloody hell though, Jenny Agutter! Swit-swoo!
2. After watching The Ring I made sure that no TV in my house was near enough to the floor for someone to crawl out of without serious injury. This film has such a brilliant feeling of tension and menace throughout that it’s any wonder you get to the end. And good grief, when you do…
Simply and stupendously terrifying.
1. ‘I recommend AMPUTATION!!’.
And in one ludicrous, terrifically overblown line, Hellraiser II: Hellbound immediately leapfrogs every other horror film I’ve ever seen. This film simply has it all, better still, you didn’t even know you wanted it until you saw it! Skin peeling off! People wearing other people skin! Uncle Frank living and breathing with no skin! Mesmirisingly daft! Brilliant!
Deadite’s Halloween Top 5
5) The Strangers – A movie for when you’re home alone on Halloween, and want reassurances that the noises outside and the trick or treaters are just kids, not masked knife wielding maniacs…….
4) 28 Days Later – Danny Boyle’s ‘not the Z word’ film is a wonderful take on the genre, with enough suspense and scares to keep everyone happy.
3) Scream – Beyond the slasher tag this a scary movie for smart asses, gleefully acknowledging and playing with genre conventions. The film that inspired a million Halloween costumes.
2) The Evil Dead II – There is no introduction needed, it’s one of my favourites and was a real game changer. Stick this in your player and watch a horror/black comedy masterclass. Groovy!
1) Shaun of the Dead – Do you have a group of friends over? Is the beer flowing? This zom-rom-com strikes the perfect balance between zombie flick and comedy, perfect viewing for a group of you. See how many homages you can spot, horror fan.