Halloween Horror Recommendations – Jack Holmes

The greatest holiday of the year dawns on us once again, giving us another excuse to hide under copious blankets and enjoy some of the spookier movies the world of film has to offer. Need some recommendations? Here’s my all-time top three:

the_descent_feminist_horror.jpgThe Descent 
Horror’s a pretty open genre, you can combine it with comedy, action, hell even kung fu if you want to. The Descent focuses on what horror’s best known for, scaring the life out of, both during its runtime and for days after.

Set in North Carolina but entirely filmed in the UK on a shockingly small budget, and directed by Neil Marshall of Dog Soldiers, Doomsday and Game of Thrones fame. How can you say no to a horror directed by the man behind The Battle of Blackwater Bay, right?

The film follows six women who, having entered an unmapped cave system become trapped and, well naturally, they’re not alone. Oh and don’t worry, there are no damsels in distress here, just a lot of ice pick related murderings. Not sure why they take an ice pick caving but it sure makes for some cool moments.

Its psychological aspect gives it a rewatchable appeal as you notice a little more each time, and that’s not to mention the questions the film raises about just how real it’s events actually are.

If you’re looking for a classic to terrify you this year and you’ve not been treated to The Descent yet, give it a watch.

return-of-the-living-dead-1200x675Return of the Living Dead
Some movies manage to merge just the right elements. Return of the Living Dead is a true cult classic from the mind of Dan O’Connor, the writer of Alien and co-writer of Total Recall, don’t worry, the original one with Arnie…

When three warehouse workers, a mortician friend, and a group of beautifully over the top teenage punks accidentally release a horde of brain-hungry zombies onto an unsuspecting town, they’re forced to band to together to try and survive. It’s over the top, incredibly dumb and will steal your heart if you give it a chance.

With its soundtrack featuring The Damned, T.S.O.L. and The Cramps and other anthems of teenage rebellion, the film speeds from scene to scene, joke to joke and gruesome murder to murder, never slowing down long enough for those “wtf is happening” thoughts to strike.

With iconic scenes throughout, Return of the Living Dead never takes itself remotely seriously and is all the better for it.

Love American cars? Good soundtracks? Have a soft spot for the John Hughes era of teen movies? Then you’ll probably love Christine.

When a high school geek buys himself a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury that’s prone to fits of jealous rage, murder and communicates entirely through classic rock ‘n roll oldies, it’s up to his best friend and girlfriend to scrap the thing for good.

Based on the Steven King novel of the same name and directed by the horror king John Carpenter, it’s the kind of movie that doesn’t set out to terrify you, instead aiming to give you the biggest cheesiest grin possible, and does a damn good job of it too.

Much like Return of the Living Dead, it’s far from a perfect piece of cinema, but damn it has a lot of heart and soul.

Notable Mentions-

Pandorum – One of the most overlooked gems of psychological horror, just don’t expect a laid back watch or you’re going to get confused.

Videodrome – Definitely a love it or hate it movie. Check it out for something a little trippy, and somewhat unpleasant directed by David Cronenberg (who else).

Attack the Block – The best British horror comedy since, well the next one on this list. Plus the practical effects are stunning.

Shaun of the Dead – If you’ve not seen Shaun of the Dead yet then I’m sorry but there’s something deeply wrong.

Alien and Aliens – Watch the first for a stunning horror fuelled by style and impressive camerawork, watch the second for a ton of badass space marines and a mech vs Alien fight on a spaceship.

Slither – James Gunn is doing pretty well-making everyone fall in love with sci-fi all over again with Guardians of the Galaxy, but his debut body horror is certainly worth a watch too.

It Follows – Stunningly beautiful, terrifyingly tense. One to watch if you fancy something a little different from the usual jump scares and gloomy settings of other horrors.



Jack Holmes

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