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There’s plenty to choose from at the moment whilst we are all stuck at home. From the new adaptation of The Witches, available now on most TV services or the new Kevin Bacon movie You Should have left, now showing on Apple TV – but what about the classics that have all been a Halloween must for many years?
The original Friday The 13th was a classic case of critics getting it wrong and retrospect being a great thing. Coming off the success of the later mentioned, Halloween, Friday The 13th helped create the slasher sub-genre of Horror that saw films such as Scream flourish. The original version of the film has never quite been matched and is one of the most traumatising, terrifying films ever created. The original man behind the mask of Jason was, Ari Lehman, who came to Horror Con 2017 in Liverpool along with CJ Graham who also played the role, dressing up as Jason at the event itself, watch our Jay chat to him below
You’re in for a unique night of cinema at The Dome on 31st of October where ghouls, vampires and more will be lurking in the shadows of the Renshaw Street venue that is infamous for its hauntings. The Victorian style theatre will play host to the cult horror classic, The Blair Witch Project. Yes, as if the film wasn’t scary enough they’ve rounded up some horrifying characters to welcome you and interact with you during the film. The found footage pioneer is known for its ever-growing tension as the filmmakers lose their way through dense woods, paving the way for the likes of Paranormal Activity and even Cloverfield.
There will be scary actors hidden around the building so advise against attending if you’re pregnant, suffer from panic attacks or heart problems.
Although not strictly a horror, we highly recommend just heading down to The Phil to catch any film, especially Bill Nighy’s latest horror inflected thriller. Although just a normal screening (no orchestra), The Phil like to put on certain films before they leave the cinemas to give you a chance to catch them in the sumptuous surroundings of their beautiful building. Although not a hugely horrifying viewing, it certainly is a piece that would feel very at home in this oldy-worly arena, topping off the month of Halloween very nicely.
This adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel has smashed the box office to bits, out doing the highest summer intakes in its opening weekend. Reviews have been fairly mixed, however, this is a must see film of the year. We would describe it as an adventure film with generous dollop of horror. Some say it’s “not scary enough”, and, for horror fans, that might be the case. But who cares when the film is as enjoyable as this?! The film leaves City Centre cinemas at the end of this week, (Friday 13th October) but can still be seen at The Showcase, Light Cinema in New Brighton and Cineworld St Helens deep into next week.
Keeping on with the Stephen King theme, Netflix have recently brought out their feature length adaptation of this short story. The book was never well received, however, Netflix have done a scarily good job of bringing it to the not so silver screen. Starring Bruce Greenwood and Carla Gugino, Gerald’s Game is a traumatising tale of a couples getaway gone wrong that is on everyone’s doorstep right now…everyone uses Netflix right?
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, is not just one of the best horror films of the year, but out right one of the best films of 2017. This quirky, racial thriller does an amazing job of fusing a classic horror format, based on atmosphere and story, with modern, western issues and themes. The film is not based around jump scares or gory scenes and can therefore be viewed by people who “don’t like Horror movies”. Get Out is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now and should be on the top of your must watch list!
This 1980 Horror/Sci-Fi classic makes the list for one reason and one reason only; John Carpenter. The Horror legend that came to Liverpool Music Week last year wrote, directed and, of course, did the soundtrack for The Fog. There’s nothing quite like a John Carpenter piece, or sound, which is why international Netflix phenomenon, Stranger Things, takes such a great inspiration from every corner of this piece of work. The sounds will be recognisable, the aesthetic dated but, somehow, scarier than modern day CGI. The final reason that you should watch this is because it was remade in 2005, and let’s put it this way, we need to remind ourselves of the charm of the original.
It Follows was canned by a lot of critics when it was initially released in 2014, being lumped in with the vast amount of mindless Horror films coming out at the time. However, since then, it has found a cult following and is now recognised as one of the most underrated scary flicks of recent years. The film is based around a curse that is passed on from person to person and does a really good job of creating a creepiness through just missing who, or what, was just behind the character. You’ll find yourself say “Did you just see that?!” a lot as the pillow gradually rises over your face. It Follows is another that has recently been added to Netflix – hurrah!
Come on, you have to watch Halloween around Halloween, surely! This is another on the list that has John Carpenter’s fingerprints all over it as he wrote and directed it, as well as it including one of his most infamous soundtracks ever. This slasher story of Michael Myers and his revenge is easily one of the scariest films we’ve ever seen and is being remade by Carpenter himself for Halloween 2018. He is thankfully disregarding everything after the original for this remake.
Whether you’ve seen the original IT TV mini-series or not, it is one worth visiting considering the fact that it’s remade, feature length cousin has blown the socks of the box office. Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown is an iconic piece of Horror acting and is quite different to the Bill Skarsgard character. Admittedly, the production is very dated, however it gives it a certain, creaky pleasure that is tough to find in modern Horror.
The SAW series is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. It has gore galore and all manner of disturbingly deranged devices with which the characters, and audiences, are teased and traumatised with. As with most series, they never quite hit the heights of the first one, which is one reason why it’s on our list. Another reason is that this year sees the release of JIGSAW, a continuation of the saga with a new twist. The new release seems to be using the same cinematic devices, judging by the trailer, but, like we said, you can’t beat the original.
Nightmare On Elm Street is another classic that makes the list because of Stranger Things. It is no secret that the Netflix series pays homage to classic Horror and Sci-Fi, with the upside down in the series being a clear tribute to the dream world in N.O.E.S. Freddy Kroeger is another iconic Horror figure that we see every October and that we saw in abundance at Horror Con 2017. Maybe watch this one in the daytime, because afterwards, you won’t want to go to sleep.
Don’t Breathe was one of the surprises of 2016, impressing critics and Horror fans alike. Starring Dylan Minnette, who you might recognise from 13 Reason’s Why, this is a home invasion movie that should not be ignored. Sometimes it’s not what you do, but how you do it, and this is definitely the case for Don’t Breathe. We’ve all seen home invasion movies that are blatantly on a boring bandwagon, but this does the theme refreshingly well. With something hiding around every corner, you won’t be able to keep still. This is free on Sky Cinema for subscribers to the provider.
There you have it, whether creepy classics or nerve-racking newcomers, this list has everything you need to create your essential watch list this October, with plenty of time to get through them before the main event.
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