There’s nowt better than feeling like you don’t want to go upstairs for a wee because you’re scared you’re going to get killed by the Candyman, or wondering what the cat is staring at in that dark empty space in the corner of your front room.
In cinemas from Thursday 18th October
This is the one. 2018’s big horror movie that everyone seems to have been waiting ages for and can’t just has to see. Many people were disappointed with Hereditary (not me) but word on the street is that this direct sequel/remake to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic slasher flick is fucking brilliant as Jamie Lee Curtis once again comes face-to-face with William Shatner masked Michael Myers. The film has been given a personal thumb’s up by John Carpenter himself, and comes out at the cinema on Thursday 18th October.
Night of the Living Dead
Thursday 25th October at ODEON (Great Northern & Trafford Centre)
The film that started it all – George A. Romero’s 1968 classic established many of the zombie tropes that we’re so familiar with today. Taking the idea of the undead from the likes of Mary Shelly and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, the movie revolves around a group of people holed up in a house as flesh eating zombies try to eat their brains. It makes more political statements than Teresa May on News Night but it’s also really, really scary – especially with it being in black and white.
Friday 26th October at Victoria Baths
Some would argue that Lost Boys isn’t scary in the slightest and to be fair I tend to agree with them. Another run-of-the-mill vampire flick though is elevated into the higher echelons of movie magic by a brilliant soundtrack, a wickedly funny script and star turns by the two Corey’s and Kiefer Sutherland. The grandad is an absolute legend, the mum a MILF and if you don’t double take the next time you eat noodles just to check they’re not worms, you’re not human.
Saturday 27th October at HOME
When Nic Cage actually decides to turn up to a movie with his head screwed on, he’s an absolute pleasure to watch. Case in point – Mandy – the new psychedelic horror revenge story by Panos Cosmatos. To say this film is fucking mental is a rather understated declaration, and the moment Cage goes full Rage, makes himself his own AxeSword™ and goes on a rampage – you’ll be smiling from ear to ear. It’s still pretty scary though – especially the rather trippy first half.
Saturday 27th October at Victoria Baths
I’ve said this before and I’m saying it now – for a kids film The Witches is absolutely fucking frightening. Especially the beginning bit with the little girl trapped in the painting, oh and the bit where the witch offers little Luke some chocolate, oh and the bit in the hotel when Angelica Houston takes off her mask to reveal the vile crone underneath. As soon as Jim Henson steps in with the mice though – I’m out.
Saturday 27th October at Victoria Baths
The film that kicked off the Summer Blockbuster tradition, Jaws is still a masterclass in tension, with a score by John Williams that makes you want to shit yourself every single time it comes on. The fact that the animatronic shark simply wouldn’t work in sea water forced Spielberg to be reluctant with his reveal of the shark, which makes this film so much scarier it’s unbelievable. The feeling of dread throughout makes this a perfect classic Halloween flick.
Nightmare on Elm Street
Sunday 28th October at Tattu
Even though it managed to spawn about 50 terrible sequels (apart from the brilliant No. 3: Dream Warriors) – the story of a vile kiddy fiddler who was burnt alive by a bunch of parents and then kills children in their dreams has always been brilliant Halloween fodder. This original (and best) features a very young Johnny Depp, who manages to die quite spectacularly in his own bed, covered in around 10 gallons of blood. It’s actually much scarier than you remember, so check it out as part of Tattu’s Halloween Scream-ings alongside a 3 course meal and some cocktails.
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Tuesday 30th October at HOME
It’s a very impressive skill to make something as mundane as the weather truly terrifying, but John Carpenter is a master of horror and suspense, so making a thick coastal fog scary was a piece of piss for him back in 1980. This movie has it all and manages to ratchet up the tension as the fog slowly approaches the small town of Antonio Bay. As soon as the undead zombie leper pirates turn up you’ll be hiding behind your pillow or, seeing as you’re in the cinema, your North Face bubble jacket.
Tuesday 30th October at ODEON (Great Northern)
The concept of It Follows is genius. You bang someone and they pass on a curse to you. The curse is that a ‘thing’ will slowly walk towards you and when it gets you – it kills you. It will then pass the curse back to the next person in the line and go to kill them too etc. What I enjoy most about this film is the sense of dread and unease you feel throughout – mainly caused by the fact that you just don’t know when or where it is set. The world the characters inhabit is just ‘off’ – making the horror that little bit more effective.
Night Train To Terror
Wednesday 31st October at Gullivers NQ
You’ve probably not heard of this one and that’s because it’s a bat-shit crazy horror flick from the deepest, darkest winter of 1985. It’s basically three movies that were too shit to stand on their own, edited together into 3 smaller stories and then plonked in a film. Each segment is introduced and narrated by God and Satan, who are riding the titular Night Train and having a little natter about the people on board. As said – it’s an odd one but my advice would be to get pissed up before and you’ll have the best time ever.
Netflix and Chill
You don’t always have to go out on Halloween, you can just stay in and watch some of the brilliant horror movies on Netflix. I’ve been going a bit mental recently so here’s my favourites:
Don’t Breathe – A frankly quite brilliant turn by Evil Dead remake director Fede Álvarez, the story revolves around 3 thieves who break into a blind ex-veteran’s house in a deserted Detroit neighbourhood. Of course – shit fucks up.
Apostle – I watched this the other day and it’s a sort of combination of The VVitch and Wicker Man and it’s really very good. There is one particular death which is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen – you’ll know the one.
Annihilation – I once read the book that this film is based on and it was really fucking weird and really unsettling. Alex Garland makes it even more so with this masterful adaptation, as Natalie Portman ventures into ‘The Shimmer’ and sees a lot of mental shit.
Cabin in the Woods – I’m going to say that this is probably the best horror of the last 10 years – easily. Self-referential, funny, clever and genuinely frightening, it’s criminal that more people haven’t seen Cabin in the Woods, and if you’re one of them – go now!
Christine – This fucking odd turn by horror legend John Carpenter is basically the horror version of Herbie, as a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury decides to start killing people, just because they were nasty her owner. It’s brilliant.