With evenings getting longer and a growing chill in the air, it is the time of year to huddle up at home, thinking of ghosts, ghouls, vampires and zombies. Yes, it is Halloween when spectres run free and we look forward to a few frights and scares to help us escape the real horrors of the world, or perhaps to get us to think about the horror of the everyday. With Halloween comes some exciting new horror films to entertain us in the cinema. I am particularly excited to return to the zombie apocalypse in Zombieland 2: Double Tap (Reuben Fleischer, USA, 2019) and Little Monsters (Abe Forsythe, UK/Australia, 2019), not to mention a greatly anticipating a return trip to the Overlook Hotel in Doctor Sleep (Mike Flanagan, USA, 2019). Or if you are keen to stay in, you can get lost in Stephen King and Joe Hill’s In the Tall Grass (Vincenzo Natali, Canada, 2019) on Netflix.
Halloween is also a great time to undercover hidden gems or catch up on classics of Gothic and horror cinema. So I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite classic horror films that will set the mood for this Halloween season. This list includes the requisite haunted houses, spectres, mad scientists, vampires and zombies, as well as evoking the creepy atmosphere of the fairy tale and uncanniness of the Gothic. These films continue to haunt, unsettle and push boundaries. There should be something for everyone here. Watch one, watch all and enjoy this most horrific of seasons.
- Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, GER, 1922)
- The Curse of Cat People (Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise, USA, 1944)
- Les yeux sans visage [Eyes Without a Face] (Georges Franju, FR, 1959)
- Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, USA, 1968)
- The Changeling (Peter Medak, CAN, 1980)
- Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, USA, 1987)
- Cube (Vincenzo Natali, CAN, 1997)
- Dark Water (Hideo Nakata, JP, 2002)
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, USA, 2014)
- Prevenge (Alice Lowe, GB, 2017)
Happy Halloween everyone!