Halloween is fast approaching, and my favourite thing to do as an adult is to get big duvets, pillows and a whole crate of munchies to sit and enjoy a few scary movies. Although I love a good scare, I can’t pretend to be an expert on all things horror, so I’ve gathered together some of my closest friends and family of all ages to get 22 of the best picks to enjoy this Hallows eve…
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The story follows characters Ben, Barbra and five others trapped in a rural farmhouse in Western Pennsylvania, which is attacked by a large and growing group of unnamed “living dead” monsters….
The Omen (1976)
The first installment in The Omen series, the film follows a young child adopted at birth by American Ambassador to Britain, Robert Thorn unbeknownst to his wife, after their own son is stillborn. They are surrounded by mysterious and ominous deaths, unaware that the child is the Antichrist.
In the first of the Insidious series, the story centres on a couple whose son inexplicably enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension who want to inhabit his body, in order to live once again.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The story is based on the alleged supernatural experiences of the Lutz family who buy a new home on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, a house where a mass murder had been committed the year before. After the family moved into their new house, they claimed a series of frightening paranormal events occurred.
The Birds (1963)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and loosely based on the 1952 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. It focuses on a series of sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks on the people of Bodega Bay, California over the course of a few days.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. Although it was marketed as a true story to attract a wider audience and as a subtle commentary on the era’s political climate, its plot is entirely fictional; however, the character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein.
The Descent (2005)
The Descent is a 2005 British adventure horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall. The film follows six women who, having entered an unmapped cave system, become trapped and are hunted by troglofaunal flesh-eating humanoids.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American independent found footage supernatural horror film written, co-produced, photographed, edited, and directed by Oren Peli. It is the first (chronologically, the third) entry into the Paranormal Activity film series. The film centres on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. It is presented in the style of “found footage”, from cameras set up by the couple in an attempt to document what is haunting them.
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Paranormal Activity 2 is a 2010 American found footage supernatural horror film directed by Tod Williams and written by Michael R. Perry. The film is a prequel/sequel to the 2007 film Paranormal Activity, beginning two months before and following up with the events depicted in the original film.
The Purge (2013)
The Purge is an American dystopian horror film written and directed by James DeMonaco and the first installment in DeMonaco’s Purge film series. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder as a family held hostage during “The Purge,” an event during which all crime is legalized for 12 hours.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
What Lies Beneath is an American psychological horror film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a well-to-do couple who experience a strange haunting that uncovers secrets about their past.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is an American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaptation is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful.
Halloween is an American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter. The film was the first installment in what has become the Halloween franchise. The plot is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night in 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers inexplicably murders his sister and is committed. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns home to kill again, all the while eluding his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis, who suspects Michael’s intentions, following him back to Haddonfield.
Poltergeist is an American horror film series distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the 1980s.The original film was co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. The Poltergeist films collected a total of approximately $132 million at the United States box office. Set in a California suburb, the plot focuses on a family whose home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct the family’s younger daughter.
Alien is a British-American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The film’s title refers to a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs is an American psychological thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. In the film, Clarice Starling, a young U.S. FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill”.
The Fly (1986)
The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Loosely based on George Langelaan’s 1957 short story of the same name, the film tells of an eccentric scientist who, after one of his experiments goes wrong, slowly turns into a fly-hybrid creature.
The Thing (1982)
The Thing (also known as John Carpenter’s The Thing) is an American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film’s title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs, and paranoia develops within the group.
28 Days Later (2002)
28 Days Later is a British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus and focuses upon the struggle of four survivors to cope with the destruction of the life they once knew.
Carrie is an American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1974 epistolary novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and produced by Paul Monash, with a screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen. It revolves around the eponymous Carrietta N. “Carrie” White, a misfit and bullied high school girl who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who torment her, while in the process causing one of absolute chaos with a classic twist at the end.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th is an American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film tells the story of a group of teenagers who are murdered one by one while attempting to re-open an abandoned campground.