Halloween wasn’t a big thing in my childhood. It wasn’t until my teens that I started to wear black lipstick, flicky eyeliner and huddle on the sofa with chocolate and popcorn to watch some of my favourite scary movies. Especially when I got to an age where watching horror films wasn’t forbidden, although I did blag my way to watching some 15 cert movies before I was 15 (who doesn’t?). Some of the films around in my teens are still firm favourites, even if they are cheesy and some not particularly great.
So here’s a list of 13 films that might be worth watching tonight:
1. The Craft.
One of those films I used to watch over and over as a teenager. Didn’t do me any harm…
2. Hocus Pocus.
Cheesy Halloween tale with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimi as the witches and a young Thora Birch as the main character’s little sister. Plus a talking (bewitched) cat called Thackery Binx. One of my favourites.
4. The Shining.
A classic, which manages to send chills up my spine every time.
5. Interview with the Vampire.
Love the book, love the film. The first graphic vampire film I watched, and still holds up against sparkly vampires (nothing wrong with them, but this is still my fav).
6. Let the Right One In (original Swedish version).
A wonderful tale of friendship and weirdness. Yes, its about a vampire but what you come away with is a sense of beating the bullies and the power of friendship to transcend. Love the original, haven’t watched the remake so far.
Another of those teen favourites. Not that scary, but scary enough. The kind of film that reminds you of the 1990s.
8. The Exorcist.
Still makes me feel ill – I’ve only watched it twice and will only watch it again if someone watches it with me!
9. The Witches.
Really creeped me out when I was young. I loved the book, and seeing it come to life was amazing.
True Story: my Dad was babysitting me once and I might have been about 8 or 9 when he put me in front of the TV, right up close in a comfy chair, to watch Alien. I had nightmares for weeks.
11. Pans Labyrinth.
Maybe not strictly horror, more in the fantasy category, but it still counts. Creepy, depressing and intelligent exploration of the Spanish Civil War.
12. The Silence of the Lambs.
Chianti? Still find this a gripping film to watch, despite having seen it many times.
13. The Lost Boys.
Fun to watch, an introduction to the idea of Vampires as rock and roll loving party people. Kiefer Sutherland before 24.
What are your favourites?
‘1791 was the year it happened. I was 24, younger than you are now. But times were different then, I was a man at that age: the master of a large plantation just south of New Orleans. I had lost my wife in childbirth, and she and the infant had been buried less than half a year. I would have been happy to join them. I couldn’t bear the pain of their loss. I longed to be released from it. I wanted to lose it all… my wealth, my estate, my sanity. Most of all, I longed for death. I know that now. I invited it. A release from the pain of living.’ – Interview with the Vampire.