Friday 28 October 2016

Top Horror Films To Watch This Halloween

Anyone who knows me well will know I've always been a fan of horror. There's no better evening for me than one involving an early night for the little children and a couple of horror movies.

Warner Brothers have asked me to write about my top horror films to watch this Halloween, and in return they're going to send me 5 of my favourite classic horror DVD's, so how could I resist?

1. The Exorcist (1973)
Anything parodied that much has to be worthy of watching. The Exorcist really is a great example of the psychological and disturbing. Possibly the 'horror' and swearing aren't as effective and shocking now as they were back in 1973, but the bed scenes will stay with you. The acting is excellent and very chilling. You can thank The Exorcist for all of the 'possessed child' movies since...

2. Friday The 13th (1980)
Many classic horror movies have sequels and Friday The 13th seems to have more than any other - Jason Vorhees is apparently unstoppable. The original 'kids at camp get murdered one after another by someone seeking revenge for wrongdoings and years of bitterness' movie. Remember the rules kids...

3. The Shining (1980)
One of my favourite books and equally good as a movie, this Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick classic has depths that you miss the first 5 or 6 times you see it. You watch the main character's fall into insanity, as you will his wife and child to make their escape - virtually impossible due to their remote location and Winter snow. Psychological and disturbing, one of the few horror films which does not rely on anyone else as the aggressor. This is what could happen to any of us if we spent months confined...

4. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
One of the first horror movies to receive large scale home rental, A Nightmare On Elm Street changed the game. Horror wasn't just for the select few any more, it was mainstream, and we all watched as the group of US students fell asleep and were dragged to their doom by the local legend Freddy Krueger. Completely unlikely and illogical, it worked because every child has heard tales of their own local characters who will more than likely kill them in their sleep, and every adult remembers them...

5.Poltergeist (1982)
You know the score. It's 1982, 24 hour telly hasn't been invented, and if you accidentally leave your TV on overnight then your small, cute, blonde children may possibly get sucked in. Fortunately you can send in someone else to get them back, although you may lose a parapsychologist or two during the process, and your house won't be the same again. Never have the words 'They're here' been so ominous....

6. The Lost Boys (1987)
This was a film I adored as a teenager for the soundtrack and 80's heartthrobs as much as the story. I never particularly found it scary, but the idea of moving home and finding yourself among a population of bloodthirsty vampires isn't brilliant, and Keifer Sutherland is genuinely really disturbing and nasty. A cult classic that proves vampire movies don't have to be period dramas full of personal tragedy...although there is a tiny weeny bit of that...

6. Salem's Lot (1979)
A second vampire movie with no lengthy Elizabethan backstory, and the second Stephen King in this list. One of the scariest films I watched as a teenager, this one did give me the creeps. The Master Vampire is horrific, and his appearance in the family home really caught me out. Never would I sleep with the bedroom curtains open ever again...

Horror movies to watch with the kids...

8. The Witches (1990)
A young boy on holiday with his Grandmother, and a hotel full of Witches who are there for a convention. What could go wrong? Based on the Roald Dahl classic, partly a cautionary tale for children and partly a demonstration of what happens when you need 60 bald actors and you don't have 60 women willing to wear a 'bald wig'...

9. Gremlins (1984)
Everyone knows you shouldn't feed them after midnight or let them get wet, yet somehow they all forget and at 12.05am you'll find most of those cute little cuddly Gremlins in the pool snacking on popcorn before running rampage. 'Safe' horror for children, because if we found a gremlin we'd totally keep to the rules, right?

10. The Goonies (1985)
A pirate treasure map, unaccompanied children and a gang of hilarious bumbling bad guys. The Goonies also has a great storyline and plenty of action, including some of the best humour you'll find in a 'kids film'. If you haven't yet watched it with your children, you should. Get the popcorn and a blanket, and take 2 hours off....

11. Scooby Doo
Yesterday we were among the first people to preview the brand new LEGO Scooby Doo movie 'Haunted Hollywood'. Classic animated Scooby Doo, this time with loads of tongue-in-cheek humour which laughs at itself, as well as the infamous 'reveal', and a few clever surprises. My boys loved it, all of my children have enjoyed Scooby Doo and I've always enjoyed watching it with them as an adult. Only a little creepy, Scooby Doo and the gang have made several DVD's for you to choose from. Most don't feature LEGO, but I promise you that they all feature meddling kids...

(If your kids don't want to watch horror at all, then Sally has a great list of 80's Movies To Watch With Tweens and Teens. They've got a bit of action and maybe some mild peril, but the jump scares are less common..,)


  1. You are braver than me, Gremlins is about as scary as I can watch!

    1. Awww, we tend to spend half the film critiquing the acting and directing! :D

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