With Halloween around the corner we thought we’d put forward our very own film guide of 2015 and some older horror films for you to watch this Halloween. As well as our guide, we’ll be releasing our 31 Days of Horror reviews again with film reviews throughout the month (some films feature in this list).
Here’s our list for some must watches throughout the month.
We Are Still Here (2015)
A good starting point for our fright guide would be Ted Geoghegan‘s masterful haunted house horror. With an eerie New England snowy backdrop and some strong performances, We Are Still Here leaves a lasting impression on you that helps serve up a real treat for Halloween. Keep a look out over the next few days for our review of this 2015 modern classic.
It Follows (2014/2015)
Speaking of modern classics, it’s hard to find a more complete horror film than the critically acclaimed It Follows. It seemed like it was going to be hard to find a more impressive film than We Are Still Here and then It Follows came around and blew the competition away. Not only is it a simple concept that goes a long way, It Follows boats an iconic score and beautiful cinematography that all adds up to a fantastic and chilling modern horror that has no problem paying homage to the influences that inspired it.
The Visit (2015)
Who would have thought the potential saviour of M. Night Shyamalan‘s struggling career would come in the form of a Comedy Horror, but that’s the rumblings in the grapevines from the release of his found footage flick, The Visit. When you see the film trailer titled with the director’s name, it’s enough to put you off (guilty), but those who look past that stigma are potentially in for a surprising treat this Halloween.
House of 1000 Corpses / The Devils Rejects (2003 / 2005)
While there’s an array of great and not so great horrors coming out this year, there’s always room to go back and see those potential gems you’ve always heard about but never given a go. Rob Zombie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, in fact it’s fair to say his films are more niche than anything else. Aside from his Halloween remake (more to come later) his best films were the early ’00s exploitation horror and its sequel about a crazed family of killers that combine Rob Zombies wife, Sheri Moon, Dwight from The Office and Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you had to pick one to see, the sequel The Devils Rejects is probably the better watch, which sees the family of killers become the hunted, and while it obviously helps to see House of 1000 Corpses first, The Devils Rejects does enough to include the back-story within the film itself to allow you to understand what’s going on.
The Strangers (2008)
I remember first seeing the trailer to The Strangers. It was late at night, I was alone in the house and I was caught completely off-guard. Later on, still thinking about the creepy trailer I’d just seen, my brother came home, trying to be as quiet a possible as you do when coming home in the early hours of the morning, and I jumped out of my skin. That was all from the trailer. I knew The Strangers was going to be a film I hated to see. For the first 40 minutes, watching it again, alone at night in the dark The Strangers didn’t fail to deliver, being slow, methodical in its process and utterly, utterly creepy. Sadly the ending trailed off ever-so-slightly, but it’s still a film that did enough to be one that should be in everyone’s “To See” and “Underrated Horrors” list. If you haven’t seen The Strangers yet and want a reason to be scared of being home alone at night at 2AM, this is the film for you.
Farewell To A Master – Wes Craven Binge
2015 was the year we sadly lost a master of his craft in Wes Craven. Craven was of course the man behind many classics (and of course some not so) including Scream and the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Therefore it feels appropriate to celebrate the great directors work by engulfing yourself in some of his most iconic titles, and you may discover a new love for some of his more unknown and underrated work too.
Complete Halloween Collection (including Rob Zombies)
We’ve chosen Halloween for a few reasons. Firstly, the title is fitting. Secondly, the original is a bonafide stand-alone classic before it got ‘franchised’. Thirdly, because Michael never goes to space and Michael never fights anyone else and finally, well, we’ve already done it and ranked them all in order, so why not? You get scares, you get laughs and you get nostalgia. As you may remember, Paul Rudd was once in a fight with Michael Myers before he was Ant-Man. And really, aside from 3 truly poor sequels, the Halloween franchise is actually a lot of fun to watch.
Addams Family / Addams Family Values
If this isn’t in your must-watch Halloween list any year then there’s something wrong with you. The ’90s Addams Family should have been a staple in any Halloween-y household. The dynamic and casting is probably as close to perfect as any film with an emsemble of actors could get, with the pinnacle being of course the late Raul Julia. There aren’t many roles you imagine would be impossible to re-cast, but Raul Julia’s turnout as Gomez Addams is one of them. It isn’t even as if Gomez Addams is historically one of the most import characters in cinematic history, but the manner in which Julia plays it, alongside his chemistry with Anglica Hudson, has made it iconic to this day.
And Finally, Hocus Pocus
For anyone growing up, Hocus Pocus was a must watch during the Halloween holidays. It’s a cult gem that’s arguably unrivalled in what it does. The Craft is too serious, Practical Magic plays out more like a romantic comedy and The Addams Family is too much in its own category of another unrivalled classic. There should absolutely be space in your Halloween diary for a little bit of Hocus Pocus.
So that’s our Halloween Guide for 2015 try it out, and if not, if all else fails, just watch John Tucker Must Die, that one scared the hell out of me!