HALLOWEEN is the best excuse to watch some horror movies, so say the brave. While masterpieces like The Thing and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are well known, many wonders are easily missed. From cult classics to the terrible but entertaining, this list will showcase a variety of films that you should see this Halloween. In alphabetical order:
A classic of Japanese horror by Takeshi Miike, the plot involves a character arranging auditions to find his widower friend a new wife. Although that detail doesn’t sound horrifying, the movie’s slow burn and deliberate transitions from realism to mystery to THAT ending is ultimately worth it. Without giving too much away, all that can be said is Audition isn’t for the faint hearted.
Death Spa (1989)
Alternatively titled Witch Bitch, the story of Death Spa revolves around a health spa owner whose wife committed suicide and now possesses the spa’s computer system…and can also possess fish. Random. Full of stereotypical figures who work out at the spa despite the death around them, this incomprehensible cheesy gore-fest – with a soundtrack that screams 80’s – is a lot of fun when laughing at the absurdity.
The Host (2006)
No, not the Stephanie Meyer one. This South Korean film is predominately a monster movie, but it also features great elements of pathos and humour that don’t detract from the terror. The Host’s central characters, the Park family, are compelling to watch as they attempt to save their kidnapped daughter while in conflict with the government.
Let the Right One In (2008)
12 year old Oskar wants to take revenge on his bullies and falls in innocent love with Eli, a girl who happens to be a vampire. Many will have seen the 2010 American remake Let Me In, but whereas the remake is more concerned with traditional horrors, Tomas Alfredson’s movie uses more subtle scares and a cold but inviting atmosphere to examine the nature of good and evil from a child’s perspective. Horror and drama perfectly combined.
Night of the Lepus (1972)
Here is the premise of Night of the Lepus: A small Arizona town must band together when they find themselves overrun by thousands of giant killer rabbits. If you’re already smiling to yourself, then prepare to laugh and “aww” at scenes featuring ketchup on rabbits’ noses, doll houses passing off as real houses and Psycho’s Janet Leigh slumming it in this unintentionally camp sci-fi horror.
Before James Gunn would rise to stardom with this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, he made a wonderful celebration of creature features from The Fly to Basketcase, which sees a small town taken over by slug-like monsters. With inside nods for horror fans and enough jokes and gore for others, Slither has great performances from cult actors like Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion, and is pure simple fun.
At its release Possession was consigned to video as a “Video Nasty” and crossed the censors of the time despite nominations from the Cannes Film festival. In its simplest form Possession involves a woman who leaves her family, a husband determined to find the truth and the discovery of something more gruesome than first thought. But this doesn’t convey the movie’s hysteria and madness, which are enjoyed alongside an all-time great horror performance by Isabelle Adjani and creature effects by the same team behind those in E.T. Possession is definitely a different movie to that however.
You’re Next (2011)
With their new film The Guest currently in cinemas, it’s a great time to recommend Wingard and Barrett’s previous full-length film. As a story of the Davison family being attacked by axe-wielding murderers, You’re Next is a great thriller in the fashion of classic John Carpenter films. Featuring great twists and turns, viewers will be treated to a strong central performance from Sharni Vinson.