Don't forget to join in on the month long celebration of horror with #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM
Well, folks. It's here again. It's finally halloween. Get out all those costumes you spent hundreds of dollars on, but only wore once because the night of horror is finally upon us. But for those of you like myself who prefer watching horror movies on this terrifying night, I have just the article for you, and it's quite possibly the perfect way to wrap up the failure that was the second annual #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM.
Horror is subjective, as is film in general, but we all enjoy watching it from time to time. You may not like to admit it, but you do. You've all had that one traumatising night where your friends invited you over, sat you down and made you watch something you know you'd regret. Thankfully for you, I've put together my top picks for your halloween viewings, and I've got a little something for every type of horror fan. Whether you're into gore, remakes, campiness or some more family friendly content, there's a horror movie or two for you.
Let's start with the obvious. Films that will completely scare the shit out of you. Scaring you, after all, is pretty much why horror exists in the first place. It's the main purpose of horror, and so for those just after a movie that will leave you with your nails bitten off or your hands pressed up over your eyes, this section is for you. Tobe Hooper's 1974 cult classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is an all time favourite of mine. The film is pure suspense from start to finish, putting you right into this disturbing location and not letting you escape. It's full of paranoia and edge of your seat thrills, and Leatherface is an iconic villain for good reason. It's perfect for a late night halloween viewing. Good luck getting some sleep after seeing this movie.
However, one may argue that beneath the surface of that movie, there's not a lot to it. People get killed, it's a lot of fun to watch and then the movie ends. There's no sophistication to anything. So, if you were after more of a thought provoking horror experience, The Shining may be more up your alley. It's a film with so many interpretations that a documentary was made about it. Not only is the film exciting and haunting, it really gets your mind working, and the final shot still has people talking about it 35 years later. The Shining is a work of art and all of you need to watch it at some point in your life. You really won't regret it.
Maybe suspense and psychological terror isn't your thing. Maybe you're not a fan of horror movies where nobody gets minced up into little pieces. Maybe you want a bit more gore with your Jack Nicholson performances. With so many disturbingly violent classics to choose from, it may come as quite a surprise to you when I recommend Saw 2. I know, I know. The film itself is no masterpiece. It's dumb, none of the characters are interesting and it's made very poorly. But it's so much fun, and it's my personal favourite of the Saw franchise. It's got gore, it's got unique and inventive traps, the runtime flies on by and it can actually get pretty challenging to watch. Sure, the franchise takes a downhill spiral after this movie, but it's fun while it lasts.
Genre blends can be fun as well, as evident from the many sci-fi/horror films we've had over the years. For some reason, the two genres seem to work extremely well together, and there's two films that really stand out in my eyes. Ridley Scott's masterpiece of cinema, Alien, is not just one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. It's not just one of the best horror movies of all time, either. It's one of the best movies of all time. Period. My other pick for this category is The Thing. Not the Joel Edgerton one from 2011, the 1982 classic. It's pure tension for the entire runtime and it goes in directions you won't see coming. Films don't get much more suspenseful than this.
A famous sub-genre of horror is the slasher flick, and as this year's The Final Girls pointed out, it does have a lot of conventions it tends to follow. While that film is hilarious, I do enjoy a good ole slasher flick, no matter how dumb they can get, and as someone who's a big Friday the 13th fan, trust me when I say they can get pretty dumb. But the first slasher film that comes to everyone's mind when thinking about the genre is, of course, Halloween, making that the second John Carpenter film to appear in this article. The film may be slow in pace, but the payoff is worthwhile. Right from the opening scene, you know you're in for something brilliant, and Carpenter most certainly delivers.
Most of the films mentioned so far are all a bit more on the dramatic side. For those wanting to have a bit more fun with their horror, it's films like Child's Play that come as the biggest recommendation. I have a soft spot in my heart for Chucky as the Child's Play franchise was one of the first horror franchises I really got into. Sure, some of them are absolutely atrocious, *cough Seed of Chucky cough* but nothing can take away from the joy I got out of watching the original. It's a black comedy that works. Plus, the director of that film follows me on twitter so I never ever want to insult the franchise. Thankfully I do like it quite a bit.
The thing about horror is that it's not the most child friendly genre. You can't really be hanging out with a bunch of three year olds and go "hey, kids. How about we go watch Cannibal Holocaust?" It won't end well, for you or the kids. So for those looking for a more family oriented horror film, I'd recommend checking out ParaNorman. It's a stop motion movie about a kid who can see ghosts and it's utterly brilliant. Horror fans of all ages will enjoy this movie, and it really is the perfect choice for a family horror night, if any families do that. I have no idea. I'm going to guess they don't, but who really knows? Life is weird.
And for my final category, I've decided to go with a horror remake. There's a lot of them out there and most of them, unfortunately, are complete rubbish. That's why 2013's Evil Dead remake was a big surprise. It takes the premise of the original film and creates something that feels fresh, all while showing respect to the original film. It doesn't do everything over shot by shot, but instead creates something worth watching in its own right. It's a horror remake that's able to work without comparisons to the original, and that's one of the highest praises you can give a remake.
So with all that said and done, here you have my picks for this year's halloween. If trick or treating isn't your thing, there's always horror movies to have your back. I swear that's not depressing. It's not. At all. I swear. Come on, man. Pull yourself together. And on that note, I'm off to celebrate halloween the only way I know how...... by going to the cinema and watching a rom com all by myself. Now THAT is depressing.