Did you know that Halloween has its roots in Celtic Ireland?
Neither did I, but at least now we have a Spooktacular historical justification for getting all gloomy and macabre for an entire month every year.
Here’s a hand-picked list of some of the best horror movies (old and new!) for all your boys and ghouls, and I’ve been told by my editor to stop with the puns.
Get Out (2017)
The massive surprise hit of 2017 that somehow gets better with every re-watch, Jordan Peele’s modern classic combines scares and laughs in a way not seen since Cabin In The Woods.
The premise of the film involves a young man named Chris (in an Oscar-nominated turn from Daniel Kaluuya) visiting his girlfriend’s parents in their rural mansion, where all is not what it seems in this seemingly idyllic house…
To say anymore about the premise would spoil the many surprises the film throws at you, but if you’ve somehow escaped this movie until now, set aside 2 hours and get ready to laugh and scream in equal measures.
With a remake due out this October in honour of the 40th anniversary, there is no better time to re-visit John Carpenter’s seminal classic.
While watching the film you’ll probably find yourself inclined to remark that the movie seems cliched and dated, but that’s when you remember that the film invented all the clichés we know and love today.
It brought us such classic horror tropes like the final girl, the unstoppable killer, the car not starting, people making stupid decisions, and all of them can be found here in this late 70’s classic.
Come for the 70s fashion, stay for the iconic, haunting score.
The ultimate love-it-or-hate-it movie of the summer, this movie is either a genius slow burn about the real horrors of domestic family life, or a cliched, boring and exploitative snoozefest.
Like the Get Out example above, ignore the marketing and surrounding materials around this movie, and go in blind.
The marketing made the movie out to be a scare-a-minute jump scare laden movie like The Conjuring or IT, but the truth is it’s much more effective because it doesn’t have any of those moments.
Ultimately, that makes the film more powerful, and crucially, scarier.
The film absolutely soars when the main cast are playing off each other and vocalising their fear about their current situation, and the film is anchored by a sensational lead performance from Toni Collette.
Green Room (2016)
Possibly the least well-known film on this list, you’d be as stupid as the hero going upstairs in a horror movie if you don’t seek this cult classic out!
The movie concerns a punk band playing a show in a bar in rural Washington that’s filled with Neo-Nazi’s.
Events transpire where the band find themselves fighting for their survival against a bar full of skinheads.
This film was arguably the late great Anton Yelchin’s greatest performance, and gives a dynamite portrayal as the band’s bassist, Pat.
However, the real MVP of this movie is Patrick Stewart as Darcy, the leader of the gang of thugs, and makes your blood run cold every time he’s on screen.
You’ll never look at Captain Picard or Professor X the same way again after this movie, it’s that good a performance.
This film is probably the most intense gore-wise on the list, and is admittedly a tough watch, but stick it through and you’ll be rewarded with the most cathartic ending for a movie in years.
Forget the 2002 American remake – this version of The Ring is the real deal.
The Japanese are the absolute masters of horror, as their horror philosophy is to focus more on the human condition and less emphasis on jump scares, and this movie absolutely delivers it in spades.
You think the scene where Samara climbs out of the TV in The Ring ís pants-wetting? Wait until you see the scene in the Japanese original.
The film is weirdly best experienced on a laptop screen as opposed to a bigger screen as it lends the film that much more claustrophobic feel, which works wonders.
Settle in, get spooked.
This film gets a somewhat unfair rap these days for spawning the quip-heavy self-aware horror movie of the 2010’s, but strip all that back and what you have is an absolutely terrific movie, directed by the man who does horror best.
Wes Craven re-invented the horror genre on three separate occasions with Last House On The Left, Nightmare On Elm Street and this 90’s classic, and this film is his arguably his masterpiece.
The premise is genius; teenagers in a small Californian town are being picked off one-by-one by a serial killer who taunts their victims with horror movie trivia.
The script is as sharp as a tack, and has a fantastic blend of self-aware humour and great scares, and comes highly recommended as an introduction to the genre for horror novices or people who are self-admitted wimps!
By Mike Finnerty