It wouldn’t be Halloween if I didn’t take some time out to scare myself silly. For someone who loves scary films and scary telly, I’ve watched remarkably little of what the horror/thriller genres have to offer. I’ve seen a few classics in between a few extra-jumpy modern films, and have got as far as Roanoke in American Horror Story, but my back catalogue of horrors is ashamedly sparse. Every year I make a little list of stuff I want to watch and this year is no different: here’s what I have in mind for Halloween 2018!
An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets. [*]
Coraline is one of those films that I’ve been meaning to watch ever since it came out. It has everything I want in an animation (including my favourite director, Tim Burton), plus it comes from a story written by Neil Gaiman, who inspires me a lot as a writer. I have no excuse for having not watched it yet, but I know I need to, as I’ve heard so many creepy acclaims!
The Haunting of Hill House
Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. [*]
There’s something about the Gothic genre that really pulls me in: the labyrinthine house, the bear wintry branches tapping on the windows, the wind stirring the leaves on the ground with a ghostly rustle, a buried tragedy… it makes for the perfect scary setting. The Haunting of House Hill appears to have it all and I’ve seen some really rave reviews, so I can’t wait to get stuck in with a blankets, snacks, a cuppa tea and a cushion to hide behind.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death. [*]
I’ve been absolutely terrified of the idea of A Nightmare on Elm Street ever since I watched The Simpsons’ parody in a Treehouse of Horror Episode. For a child, the idea of something coming to kill you in your dreams, where you have no control over what happens when you should be safe in your bed, is very scary! However, now that I’m a grown-up and (a little bit) braver, I want to give it a go, because I do love a good scare.
When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder. [*]
I haven’t heard much about Elite, except for the odd advert on YouTube before some videos, but I’m intrigued. I love franchises with a high school setting as there’s so much room for double-crossing and rumours and secrets, and who doesn’t love a good murder mystery?
In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends, fascinated by the internet lore of the Slender Man, attempt to prove that he doesn’t actually exist – until one of them mysteriously goes missing. [*]
My friend Ash and I have been looking forward to seeing this film since it was announced, so we were gutted when we found out it wouldn’t be showing in a cinema near enough to us. Honestly, the trailer looks a bit shit and I’m ready to be disappointed, but the idea of Slenderman is kinda bone-chilling, even if it is complete nonsense created for a competition on the internet.
The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor, a Time Lord/Lady who can change appearance and gender by regenerating when near death, and his/her human companions. [*]
I don’t usually watch Doctor Who, but given that my babe Jodie Whittaker is playing the new doctor (and the first female Doctor to boot), I knew I had to give this series a go. Unfortunately, I’m underwhelmed. After watching the second episode of the series the other day, my boyfriend decided to show me what Doctor Who is really all about, and we watched the Blink episode with the weeping angels. I’m not ashamed to say I struggled to sleep a li’l bit, and now I just wanna binge it all from the start of the reboot with Christopher Eccleston.
Insidious: The Last Key
Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet, as she is drawn back to her ghostly childhood home, where the terror began. [*]
It makes me sad that the Insidious films get a bit of a bad rep, because I really like them! Fair enough, they may not make complete sense (Insidious 2 was a bit of mess tbh) and there are a lot of jumpscares, but the premise is pretty interesting, they’re good fun to watch and they are scary! I was a little gutted that The Last Key skipped its cinema release because my mum and I have a tradition to go and see a scary film at Halloween and we’ve seen every Insidious film together. I’ll just have to rope her in for a takeaway pizza and a girly night in instead.
A contemporary prequel to Psycho, giving a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years, and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is. [*]
With Psycho being such a classic, I had reservations about Bates’ Motel and thus never got round to watching it and it dropped off my radar. However I’ve seen lots of people talking about on Twitter and YouTube etc., I think because it’s just finished its fifth and final (?) season, and people have been so hyped about it! I’m so keen to start on the first season and see what I think.
Bad Times at the El Royale
Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption – before everything goes to hell. [*]
I haven’t been this excited about a new film release in a long time, and it’s actually really weird because until I saw the trailer in the cinema the other week, I hadn’t heard anything about it. I was absolutely hooked. I loved the vibe I got from it, as well as the cast (hello, Mr Hemsworth!) and it just looks so sinister and creepy and maudlin and every other spooky word I can think of.
A security operative hunts for an assassin. [*]
I feel like Killing Eve has popped up out of nowhere and everybody is obsessed with it and I really wanna see what the hype is all about. Since when do you see a BBC TV trailer in the cinema? That’s gotta be a good sign!
Halloween (both 1978 and 2018)
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again. [*]
Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. [*]
Halloween is one of those classic horror films that I’ve been meaning to watch for such a long time, and when I saw that a long-awaited sequel is coming out this October, I knew that the time has finally come for me to sit down and watch the original! I’m not usually a huge fan of slasher films, but when my queen Jamie Lee Curtis is starring, I’m sure I can overlook the gratuitous gore!
What will you be watching this spooky season?