Halloween Spooktacular: film edition

— Luke Morton, Ryan Peters, John Fernandez, Siobhan Gallagher, Gayathri Sundaram, and Samantha Viner contributed to this report.

As Halloween falls on a Sunday this year you may well decide to forego the trick or treating and hit the DVD player. In honour of one of the spookiest nights of the year, The Linc’s culture team offer their favourite frightful films to keep you entertained this weekend.

Halloween

It’s the film that started the idea of the “slasher movie”. John Carpenter’s idea of a monster isn’t that of something supernatural, but something rather unnatural. Michael Myers is arguably one of the best horror characters of all time. Never uttering a single word, but never having to due to Carpenter’s great storytelling.


Halloween is a popular movie franchise. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Set in the quiet area of Haddonfield, Myers wreaks havoc on the residents after escaping from a sanitarium – which he was sent to as a child for murdering his older sister. Filled with cold-blooded killing, tension and violence, it’s a classic 70s horror flick. The franchise of Halloween shouldn’t discourage you from watching the original, the later films and remakes leave much to be desired but Halloween in itself is exactly what a horror film should be. Scary.

Antichrist

This isn’t traditionally classified as a scary film. It does feature all the traditional elements that you would find in a horror film thoug: plenty of gore, a cabin in the woods and hints of the supernatural. However, writer and director, Lars Von Trier, spun the genre on its head with this release.

Starring Willem Defoe, the film tells the story of a couple coping with the loss of their child. What ensues is truly one of the most disturbing films of the last ten years: self-mutilation, graphic sex and a torture scene that makes Saw look like Sesame Street. These traits make Antichrist a film for those looking to push the boundaries beyond their standard horror experience.

The Blob

It’s a simple idea. A gelatinous being that terrifies a bunch of dinner party guests, it sounds simple because the idea was a simple one. But it always turns out that the simplest of ideas are the most effective, think Edgar Alan Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”.

A simple idea that’s so effective in creating fear, it may have helped that when I watched it I was 7, but I can still trace back to that moment the fear that ran threw me and my need to sleep with the light on.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Based on notorious serial killer Ed Gein, Leatherface is one of the scariest film characters in American cinema history. Played by unknown Gunnar Hansen, the antagonist stands out from his peers, for wearing a mask made from the skin off his victims, while engaging in homicide and cannibalism. His unlucky victims are a group of teenagers, on a road trip to Texas, before they are attacked by chainsaw and eaten by his family.

Made for a measly $140,000 by Tobe Hooper, the film went on to gross a massive $30.8million, despite being banned in many countries and being given the dreaded R-Rating in the United States, due to its graphic portrayal of violence. However it is seen as one of the most influential movies in its genre, giving birth to the use of power tools as weapons and depicting of the killer as a faceless soul.

The Grudge


The Grudge is always a favourite at Halloween. Photo: Columbia Pictures

If anyone can do scary it’s the Japanese, and one of the best American remakes of a Japanese horror movie has to be The Grudge. A story of the missing care worker, Yoko, leads actress Sarah Michelle Gellar to solve an untold mystery of a cursed Japanese house, including the story of what happened with the previous family.

As the ghosts Kayako and Toshio frighten the living daylights out of the characters, this film will guarantee that you’ll be scared of your bed for a week — and don’t even mention the part when we see Yoko’s disfigured face.

Hocus Pocus

Fair enough, it’s not a horror, but it is definitely a flick for Halloween and after all the others on the list a bit of comic relief could be a good thing. Hocus Pocus tells the story of Max Dennison, a Halloween hating teenager who accidentally resurrects the three Sanderson witches. In doing so the Sanderson sisters kidnap his sister and with the help of his crush and Binx the cat it’s up to Max to save the day.

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy make a fantastic trio of witches and although it’s not a horror it’s still a Halloween cult classic and worth a watch.

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