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10 must-watch horror flicks for your Halloween night in

The horror genre has always been a favourite within the film industry, coaxing tears, screams and fear out of the most hardened viewers.

From the era of the silent film up to today’s CGI-saturated blockbusters, one thing has always been certain about horrors: they’re never for the faint of heart. Since Halloween is just around the corner and not all of us will be out and about, why not have a night in with a few great horror flicks. Get your costumes on, put up your decorations, grab some snacks and lower the lights.

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s Halloween is an absolutely stellar example of a slasher film and still stands as a horror classic today. An updated version of this film has just been released, so it would certainly be a shame to skip the origin story.

Michael Myers (Tony Moran) escapes from a mental hospital 15 years after killing his sister on, you guessed it, Halloween. He returns to his hometown to murder again, this time in pursuit of a group of unsuspecting teens and babysitter Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis).

The plot is far from convoluted, the casting is great and the soundtrack is iconic, an obvious choice for any Halloween night in.

Fright Night (1985)

There was a time when vampires were horrifying and exploded in the sun instead of sparkling. This was the 1980’s. Tom Holland’s Fright Night is a great thriller with a twist on a classic horror trope.

Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a teenager with an obsession for horror who discovers that his new neighbour, Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon), is a vampire. Charley tries to convince everyone about Dandrige’s secret to no avail.

It is a little on the cheesy side, but it did manage to scare me silly the first time I watched it and continues to be a great example of how to make vampires scary to this day.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This is yet another 1980’s flick, but the sheer range of fantastically memorable horrors from this decade is astounding and Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is certainly one of them. It’s another nail-biting slasher that will definitely keep you up at night.

An otherworldy spirit named Freddie Krueger (Robert Englund) terrorises the dreams of a group of teens, whose parents are responsible for his death.

This film is spectacular on its own, but if that’s not enough of a draw, you get to see Johnny Depp in a crop top (the 80s were a questionable time for fashion).

IT (1990)

If you have a fear of clowns or don’t wish to develop one, this film may not be right for you. The newest version has just hit the screens, but nothing compares to the creepiness of its predecessor.

Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, seven teenage outcasts are faced with an evil entity known as Pennywise (Tim Curry), who takes the form of their worst fears, but most commonly appears as a murderous clown. The film moves back and forth between the group’s childhood and 30 years on, where they return to their hometown to once again face their worst nightmare.

Although this is, in fact, a T.V. miniseries because of its three-hour runtime, it’s really just a movie that got a bit carried away, so it goes on the list.

Scream (1996)

Another brilliant horror from director Wes Craven, Scream has spawned many sequels and pop culture references over the years. It presents an alternative take on the slasher genre with some extra cheese and a bit of comedy thrown in the midst of some good old gore.

A year after the murder of protagonist Sydney’s (Neve Campbell) mother, she and her friends find themselves hunted by a crazed stalker disguised in a scream mask.

This film is nearer the tame end of the spectrum as it is supposed to be a bit more comedic, so if you’re a bit squeamish it should be the perfect amount of scary.

The Birds (1963)

If you haven’t heard the name Alfred Hitchcock before, it would certainly be surprising to any movie buff. Having produced some of the most revered thriller and horror films of the last century, it would have been an insult not to include at least one of his classics.

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is a socialite from San Fransico in the pursuit of potential lover Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor). Both end up in a small California town where the birds start to act a little strangely.

I did consider Psycho for this list, but The Birds is a strange and wonderful horror like no other. If you don’t mind a bit of the vintage black and white, this is really worth the watch.

The Mist (2007)

I tried my best to avoid too many of the same creators, but Stephen King has so many great stories and film adaptations that I had to add at least one more, that being The Mist. Originally this was only a short story within one of King’s novels, but director Frank Darabont has a good crack at an adaption.

In a small American town, a mysterious mist descends and traps a group of locals within a supermarket. Deadly monsters reside within the mist and the group must try their best to wait it out.

This is a different take on the survivalist horror sub-genre and confines itself to a small area, making it tense at all times. You really get involved with the characters, and despite it not being an A-list movie, you can forgive the somewhat lacklustre CGI because the plot is driven so well.

Get Out (2017)

The newest on the list but definitely still worth a watch this Halloween. Comedian turned director Jordan Peele surprises audiences with what at first seems like just another psychological horror, but whose speaking point comes from a place of injustice in the attitudes towards and presentation of the black community, specifically in horror films.

Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is invited by new girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to stay with her family and meet her parents. What at first seems like awkward attempts for the family to come to terms with the interracial relationship soon turns out to be much more sinister.

I would highly recommend this film due to its relevance in today’s prejudiced society, especially in matters concerning race. It allows audiences to view the horror genre from a perspective we don’t often get to see.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

A lot of viewers have a love-hate opinion of this film, but it is still a movie that puts a comedic spin on a lot of common tropes within the genre.

Five high school friends go to spend a weekend in a deserted cabin where they discover a basement filled with spooky objects. Their choices determine how their stay at the cabin in the woods will proceed and as things take a horrible turn for the worse, the truth about their situation starts to be revealed.

Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods has a great cast and an interesting self-aware plot that mocks a lot of the genre’s popular cliches.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s The Blair Witch Project pioneered the found-footage sub-genre of horror films. Unlike any other scary film, viewers had their doubts about whether the ‘footage’ was real or not because of the camcorder style it was filmed in.

Three film students are creating a documentary based on the myth of the Blair Witch, who apparently resides inside a Maryland forest. The students go on the hunt for evidence, become lost in the woods and are tormented by an invisible entity. The footage they took is all that remains.

This is an intense and creepy film that makes the paranormal seem real and makes forests terrifying for the rest of your life.

Feature image: Denis Simonov / Shutterstock.com

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