Here at Screen and Film School, we’ve been asking our staff and students for their top Halloween film recommendations to see you through October 31st.
Spooky season is officially upon us, and what better time for a horror movie marathon? From chilling classics to new trailblazers and everything in between, we’re sure you’ll find one of your new favourites amongst this brilliant selection – just make sure you don’t watch them alone! Happy Halloween!
Knives Out (2019)
“What better Halloween movie is there for the Halloween-irreverent mind than Rian Johnson’s Knives Out? Roaring fires, family time, and Chris Evan’s tasteful collection of impeccably well-fitting jumpers – ‘je ne sais quoi’ isn’t quite the right phrase for Knives Out’s atmosphere. Rather, the allure of this movie is the indelible sense of Autumnal coze.
“Modern Halloween may be an American import to the UK, but in Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc we have quite the opposite. And lord have mercy, does his musical accent sweeten the earholes in way a fistful of Celebrations could only ever dream of.
“Fun for the whole family, or just you on your own if you’re a loser, Knives Out provides the perfect coze-filled cinematic experience with a miasmic air of hanging suspense that would make the Golden Gate Bridge blush.” – Ollie Hill
“1978’s Hallowe’en – where it all began and spawned a franchise (also my go-to Hallowe’en outfit). Also by John Carpenter: The Fog and The Thing. Classic must-watches!
“For more contemporary astounding stand out horror: It Follows, Jennifer’s Body and the recent Fear Street Netflix trilogy, based on the books by R L Stine. Another franchise, this time 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer with Sarah Michelle Gellar and the brand-new, pretty good reboot TV series now on Amazon – definitely worth a look. And finally, number one – always: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 7 whole seasons of pure joy!” – Emma Topping
The Borderlands (2013)
“This is so obscure you may not find this found-footage gem. Not my favourite sub-genre of horror but this handles the limitations well and build the mystery skilfully. Has a fantastic Lovecraftian ending that is worth waiting for. Fun Editor fact: one of the stars is Robin Hill, who is the editor of Kill List & Down Terrace. If you find it, you will have a blast!” – Neil Williams
Under The Shadow (2016)
“Easily one of my favourite films of the last decade, Under the Shadow is beautifully directed and seamlessly blends family drama with supernatural themes. Intimate, chilling and thought-provoking- this incredible film goes beyond jump scares and remains with you long after the credits have finished rolling.” – Rebecca Brandler
“I’ve seen countless horror films but the only thing that has ever truly scared me is 1984’s Threads. A TV special docudrama about the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Britain. Its grimly realistic and unflinchingly forensic about the consequences of nuclear weapons. I’m lucky enough not to remember what it was like living at a time when nuclear war seemed like an immediate threat, but this must have been even more terrifying when it was broadcast. It’s hard to find these days, but if you feel up to it, it can be found at the link here.” – Craig Ennis
The Ring (2002)
“There is no other film that I have watched that affected me the way The Ring did. Maybe it was my naivety in watching this in my early teens or that, when I was a teenager, you watched everything on VHS tapes, but this iconic supernatural horror film will shake you to your core. I remember the night I watched this film so vividly. I was with my brothers in the games room and when the film finished, I slept with the covers over my head in fear of Samara coming to get me if I opened my eyes. Warning: don’t watch this on your own at night and turn your phones off – you wouldn’t want a sudden call!” – Holly Blackhurst
Donnie Darko (2001)
“It’s not quite a Halloween film but it ends on Halloween… Donnie Darko was such a fresh, entertaining and meaningful film for me when it came out in the noughties. If ever there was a case for a soundtrack lifting a film to a profoundly moving level, then this has to be it. I’ll never read the words ‘cellar door’ the same again! A spooky, meaningful, fantastical film.” – David Thompson
“The pacing in Zach Cregger’s screen writing and directorial debut is interesting. The first half of the film is full of red herring moments of suspense as we are introduced to the mostly forgettable and unlikeable characters. These include horror favourites Bill Skarsgård and Justin Long, of IT and Jeepers Creepers fame, respectively. As well as Georgina Campbell, playing Tess, the lead.
The plot thickens and quickens half way through, when a clichéd basement reveals a dark door which opens onto a hidden passageway. But from those clichés, things become anything but: unpredictable, grotesque and twisted. By the time the eponymous demon is revealed, it’s time to strap yourself in for a bumpy ride to the end, which becomes almost so bad that it is indeed good. You’ll be left with a catchphrase ringing in your ears, which may as well be the film’s title instead of ‘Barbarian’. You’ll have to tune in to find out what that catchphrase is…” – Christy Hall
Ready or Not (2019)
“On her wedding night, Grace’s new in-laws ask her to participate in a seemingly innocent game of hide-and-seek. What she does not know is that the punishment for being found before dawn would involve her being ritualistically sacrificed due to a longstanding family tradition. This take on the classic cat-and-mouse formula, led by Samara Weaving, is darkly funny, gripping, and incredibly gory. If you’re looking for thrills over scares, then this is one for you.” – Tom Boddy
The Babadook (1997)
“I’m a big horror fan and very little really scares me. But The Babadook does. It’s not your standard blockbuster horror movie, though it’s peppered with well-worn tropes of the genre. For me, The Babadook is about the unspoken underbelly of motherhood, the tension between unconditional love and forced self-sacrifice. ‘If it’s in a word or it’s in a look; You can’t get rid of the Babadook…’
Special shout-out goes to illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, and paper engineer, Simon Arizpe, whose rendering of ‘The Babadook’ pop-up book, which features prominently in the movie, really steals the show.” – Michele Baker
Scream Queens (2015)
“What’s more iconic than Ariana Grande and Emma Roberts in a rom-com style horror series created by Ryan Murphy? It takes heavy inspo from old horror films and chick flicks and it makes a great casual watch.” – Georgia Winstanley
What will you be watching this weekend? Let us know on our socials!