I’m fairly new to the horror genre, having previously, before this October, shied away from it. However, with Halloween fast approaching at the start of the month I decided to participate in a Challenge to watch 31 movies over the course of October. You can find the full details of the Challenge here as well as a link back to the original, but it’s given me an opportunity to watch a lot of movies that I wouldn’t normally have seen otherwise and as a result, allowed me to put this list together. Whilst not everything presented here is a definitive list, I've tried to go for a blend of not only classic movies, but also more modern ones as well as those that you may not have seen before, including one notable foreign film. So if you're a horror fan looking for a movie - or seven - to watch over Halloween, keep reading to see what films I've selected.
From Dusk Till Dawn, (1996, Robert Rodriguez)
Let’s start with my favourite horror film, the pulpy B-Movie from Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), which stars George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, in one of the legendary director’s acting roles. Tarantino also writes the script for the movie which sees both Clooney and Tarantino as criminals on the run for the Mexican border, when they end up in a Vampire infested brothel. With a kidnapped family in tow, things naturally can only go from bad to worse. Tarantino’s trademark dialogue is ever-present and From Dusk Till Dawn ends up being an incredibly violent, bloody movie that fans of the genre will love. The massive tonal shift is something that few movies manage to pull off as well as this one, and as a result, From Dusk Till Dawn works perfectly well.
The Devil’s Backbone, (2001, Guillermo del Toro)
Most people will be familiar with Del Toro’s more recent Crimson Peak, his Hellboy movies, Pacific Rim and Pan’s Labyrinth but The Devil’s Backbone is one of his earlier movies that still packs a powerful punch as it tells a compelling ghost story set against the backdrop of the end of the Spanish Civil War. It follows a young boy named Carlos who has arrived at an orphanage where he starts uncovering the secrets that lurk within the grounds of the school, including a ghost that haunts its grounds. With some good acting from everyone involved, The Devil’s Backbone is one of those movies where you’re probably going to be ending up fearing humans more than the unknown.
The Crazies, (2010, Breck Eisner)
The Last Witch Hunter is Breck Eisner’s most recent film, but 2010’s The Crazies, a remake of George Romero’s film, is still a solid if predictable entry that’s a hugely underrated zombie film. Timothy Olyphant and Danielle Panabaker from Justified and The Flash both star in this film as Olyphant is essentially playing Raylan Givens in his role as the Sherriff of a town where its inhabitants start going mad. It’s a nice, atmospheric movie that works pretty well indeed.
Attack the Block (2011, Joe Cornish)
You know that John Boyega is playing a lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, right? Well, this is your chance to see what he can do before watching JJ Abrams’ blockbuster. It follows a group of teens from South London who find themselves hunted by aliens following the aftermath of a robbery, and what follows is an excellent sci-fi horror/comedy/action blend that works incredibly well as a standalone movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Go check it out when you can.
It Follows (2014, David Robert Mitchell)
Of course this movie was going to end up on this list. It’s one of the most talked about horror movies of 2014 and if you haven’t seen it, get on it ASAP because it’s just so damn good and creepy, following 19 year old Jay (Maika Monroe), and her struggles to survive against something that’s following her that only she can see. It’s one of my favourite horror films, and is well worth a shot if you’re looking for the next best thing. Maika Monroe puts in an impressive performance in the lead role as well, and it’s an excellent horror film from David Robert Mitchell.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010, Eli Craig)
Another horror/comedy movie that stars both Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil follows a group of hillbillies who are suspected of being serial killers by a group of paranoid college kids on a camping trip. As horror and confusion reigns, the film weaves a fun, story that entertains with plenty of laughs.
Scream (1996, Wes Craven)
Of course, I’ve got to include a film from the legendary director Wes Craven and Scream is the first horror franchise that I’ve actually completed, having seen Scream 4 less than a week ago, so why not? It’s a delightfully meta horror movie that pokes fun of the “rules” of the genre as it follows a serial killer called Ghostface who begins killing off teenagers one by one, leaving a bloody path through a small town. It holds up remarkably well, and is better than most modern horror movies. The sequels are actually decent as well, as it’s rare that the fourth movie in a horror franchise could be the best after the main film. Also, be sure to check out MTV’s Scream TV series as well, for more action.
If you haven’t seen them already, also look out for these: I tried to include a blend of both the more obvious choices and those not quite so well known but obviously that meant I couldn’t fit everything on this list that’s a big name movie. So if you haven’t seen these already then by all means, feel free to check them out as well – Alien, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs, Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pan’s Labyrinth, Troll Hunter, Jaws.
Are you going to be watching any horror movies this weekend? And if you've watched these films already, What do you think of the movies on this list? Let me know in the comments below.