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A Guide to the Best Halloween Movies

A Guide to the Best Halloween Movies – Shane Adlum provides us with this useful guide to great movies to watch this Halloween 

Halloween, the time of year where people like a good scare and a great horror movie is a fantastic way to get it. With so many films to choose from it can be a nightmare just trying to pick a movie. In recent years we’ve been treated to some gruesomely frightful, fear inducing, darkly funny, heart rate rising, unnerving films. Here’s a few suggestions that will keep you on the edge of your seat, or hiding behind it.

Halloween (2018)

The announcement of yet another Halloween film was met with cries of “not another one” and “it better not be as bad as the last few.” And the conformation of Jamie Lee Curtis’s return as Laurie Strode was met with a wave of confusion as she had been previously killed off in the franchise (on more than one occasion). The film is a direct sequel to the original 1978 film, so once you can get your head around the fact that you need to disregard all the previous sequels you can sit back and enjoy what is a worthy follow up to a real horror classic. Director David Gordon Green manages to capture the fear created in the original while introducing the theme of PTSD as we see how the events of that Halloween night forty years ago has affected every aspect of Laurie Strode’s life. The film was a big box office success and two sequels have already been confirmed, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.


Ready or Not (2019)

We all know the classic story, boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married and his family try and murder her in a satanic ritual. On her wedding night Grace (Samara Weaving) is invited by her new in-laws to take part in a family tradition, game night. Expecting a nice family friendly game of hide and seek, Grace laughs and jokes as she finds her hiding spot but soon realises the stakes are a lot higher than she thought as she battles to survive the night. It may not be the scariest film but what it lacks in scares it more than makes up for with gory deaths and dark humour making this gruesome thriller a must watch for all horror fans.


Happy Death Day (2017)

Think Groundhog Day (1993) meets Scream (1996). It can be hard to get the horror/comedy genre right but this film definitely hits the nail on the head. Jessica Rothe takes the lead as the college student who must relive the day of her murder over and over again until she can find her killer. Upon some self-reflection she soon realises the list of people who may want her dead is a lot longer than she originally suspected. Both funny and creepy this is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself, using some of the death scenes to great comic effect. The sequel, Happy Death Day 2U (2019), didn’t live up to the original but is still worth a watch.


Paranormal Activity (2009)

A film that gave life back to the “found footage” or “faux doc” style of film making. Suspecting a sinister presence in their home a couple set up cameras to try and find out what’s really happening. What they discover is even more terrifying than they imagined. Not since The Blair Witch Project (1999) has a low budget horror movie had such a big impact on the genre. It was made on a shoestring budget of around $15,000 and has grossed over $190,000,000 worldwide. What followed Paranormal Activity was a host of sequels, knock offs and rehashes but none could capture the genuine terror of the original.


Lights Out (2016)

Are you afraid of the dark? Well you might be after watching this. Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) must protect her brother from a supernatural spirit that has attached itself to their mother. The spirit can only materialize in the dark, making every flickering light, low battery and broken bulb potentially terrifying. With plenty of jump out of your seat moments you may not want to watch this alone…….. and maybe leave the light on.


The Cured (2017)

Set in Dublin and written and directed by Irishman David Freyne this is a different take on the zombie movie. A cure has been found for those affected by a disease that turned them into flesh eating zombies, but their reintroduction to society has not been easy. Those former zombies are struggling to adapt and feel unwelcome in their former communities. Government and military interventions don’t help matters as tensions rise between the cured and everyone else. The film has some wonderful acting performances from Ellen Page, Love/Hate star Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and rising Irish star Sam Keeley.


Don’t Breathe (2016)

Three young thieves looking to make a fortune think they’ve found the perfect job. Breaking into a blind man’s house while he sleeps should be easy for these experienced burglars but he proves to be a far more formidable foe than they ever would have expected. This intense thriller will have you holding your breath till you’re blue in the face. Uruguayan Director Fede Alvarez has cemented his place as one of the best up and coming directors in the horror/thriller genres with this film and his 2013 remake of the cult horror classic, Evil Dead.


IT (2017)

No list of horror movies would be complete without something from Stephen King. IT became an instant cultural phenomenon upon its release with sales of yellow raincoats and red balloons going through the roof. Set in 1989, the town of Derry (Maine, USA not Northern Ireland, that would have been a different kind of movie altogether) is terrorised by the monstrous Pennywise, brilliantly portrayed by Bill Skarsgard. It’s up to a group of bullied kids to stop the terrifying clown before he takes more children and makes them ‘float’ too.


A Quiet Place (2018)

A film that proves less really is more. John Krasinski, best known as Jim from the US office, proves his worth as a writer and director with this, of one of best movies of 2018, which he also stars in alongside his wife Emily Blunt. The world has been attacked by creatures that hunt using their ultra-sensitive hearing. The Abbott family try and live a very quiet life but it’s not easy. There isn’t much dialogue but every little sound will have you on the edge of your seat.  And remember whatever you do, don’t scream!


Get Out (2017)

A huge success both critically and commercially, Get Out was the surprise package of 2017. This was the directorial debut for comedian, actor and writer Jordan Peele and it couldn’t have gone much better as the film won the Oscar for best original screenplay and also received 3 other Oscar nominations including a best actor nomination for breakout star Daniel Kaluuya. The film will make you appreciate your in-laws, as Chris (Kaluuya) visits his girlfriend’s parents for the first time and things don’t go exactly to plan.  Funny yet chilling and creepy, Get Out is a must-see film, not just for horror fans.


The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

A film that not only uses every cliché in the book, it also exposes them. Five friends take a trip to a remote cabin but their holiday quickly turns into a nightmare as they set in motion a series of horrific events. Unbeknownst to the group they are being watched by a group of “technicians” who are supervising the carnage as it unfolds. Co-writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard really leave their mark on the genre with this clever and original concept, which may make you think twice before you book a quiet, secluded getaway with your friends.

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