It’s that time of year again. One some relish whilst others loathe. But love it or hate it, Halloween is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy some of the best horror films.
Here is a list of some of the top films which made a definite impact in the Horror genre, and are worth cosying up with this Halloween night.
Number 6: The Blair Witch Project (Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick, 1999)
This indy classic tells the story of three film students who look to create a documentary about the local ‘Blair-Witch’ legend. After the project goes horribly wrong, the students’ camera equipment is found a year later with the found footage being all that viewers can see.
On a budget of only $60 000 and a running length of just eighty minutes, Blair Witch is one of the most successful independent films of all time. The film’s found-footage form makes it eerily realistic, making your next casual stroll through the woods that little more unnerving.
Many have tried and failed to copy the film’s found-footage form – an indication of just how influential a low-budget idea can be.
Number 5: The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shyamalan, 1999)
“I see dead people.” I imagine the thoughts of most students, as essay deadlines drastically make their way to your door as quick as Mike Myers on Halloween night, are similar to young Cole Sear.
Sear has a problem: he is frequently visited by dead people. The only person he will confide in is child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). Fans of Shyamalan’s fantastic 2016 psychological-horror, Split, with James McAvoy are sure to enjoy this chilling mystery.
Number 4: The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
For some, the best horror film of all time; or even the best film of all time. The supernatural horror genre takes up a young girl who is possessed, leading her mother to call a priest to perform, as you might have guessed, an exorcism.
The Exorcist was well-known for the ambulances parked outside the cinemas it was screened in, for its fainting audience. Family-friendly wouldn’t be the best way to describe this phenomenal piece of cinema. Think I’m exaggerating about its ‘scare-factor’? Just ask Linda Blair, who reportedly sustained damage to her vocal chords from screaming so much.
Number 3: Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
The most terrifying aspect of Hitchcock’s vision of Robert Bloch’s novel is it does not deal with monsters or the supernatural but instead, as its title suggests, a psycho.
Anthony Perkins gained critical acclaim for his performance as Norman Bates, a deranged motel manager, who takes in Secretary Marion Crane after she has made off with some stolen money.
Causing as much controversy off the screen for its depiction of violence and that shower scene, Hitchcock gave the world a new vision for the horror genre in this chilling thriller about a boy and his mother.
Number 2: A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
Krasinski (yes, Jim from the office branched out) stunned the world into silence last year in what is the most recent film on this list with his story about a family living in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by blind creatures with an acute sense of hearing.
Number 1: The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
My first memories of Kubrick’s masterpieces are still vivid. I recall seeing the DVD cover with Jack Nicholson forcing his head through the door in the infamous “Here’s Johnny” scene. It terrified me. I figured if a film’s DVD cover could do this to me, I could not begin to imagine what the film itself would do.
Based on a Stephen King novel (who did not approve of the film) the story captures Jack’s descent into madness inside a remote hotel as he tries to murder his wife and son.
Speaking of clichés, probably best not to watch this one alone folks. Much like The Exorcist, the horror took place off screen with actress Shelley Duvall reportedly being asked to shoot one scene 127 times, presenting director Stanley Kubrick with clumps of hair that had fallen out due to stress.