In an inconvenient turn of events, Halloween falls on a Thursday this year. As a result, it’s pretty unlikely we’ll be venturing out in full costume on the 31st of October and partying ’til the break of dawn. Not if we wanted to remain employed through November.
While your celebrations may have to wait a day or two, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take this opportunity to get in the spirit of things: with over 700 horror films available for your perusal, blinkbox has everything you need to kick-start your Halloween night in!
To help you select your perfectly insidious horror film, we’ve picked a few of our favourites for your consideration. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or looking for something truly gruesome to shock your senses, there will be something here for each of your tastes.
Jack Nicholson takes his family to an abandoned hotel over the winter. The guests have all checked out but some of them will never leave. Working from the Stephen King novel, Stanley Kubrick’s virtuosity as a director is on full display as he summons fear out of mid-air within the confines of the hotel’s vast halls, snaking corridors and frozen hedge mazes.
Your parents always told you that too much TV is bad for you. You should’ve listened to your parents. This collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper has been relatively forgotten in recent years and we can’t fathom why. Even today, the original Poltergeist is totes scareballz.
Acclaimed by many film critics (including superfan Mark Kermode) as ‘the greatest (horror) film every made’, The Exorcist slower-burning film than anyone remembers. In fact, the crazy stuff doesn’t even appear until the last movement of the film as director William Friedkin gradually ratchets up the tension. You won’t be hiding behind your sofa cushions but by the time the credits roll, you’ll begin to believe in the devil again.
Freaky Ghost Stories
An urban legends tells of an enchanted videotape: anyone who watches it will die in 7 days. Naomi Watts has seen it and her time is beginning to run out. A remake of a seminal Japanese film, director Gore Verbinski keeps the tension up throughout and ensures the scares aren’t lost in translation.
Paranormal Activity 2
After finding their house inexplicably trashed one day, a suburban family installs security cameras all over their home. What they’re about to discover is much more chilling than a group of vandals. Shot almost entirely with consumer-grade cameras, Paranormal Activity 2 proves that you don’t need a load of special effects to craft a deeply scary film.
The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe is a single father, a widower and a solicitor (three things he is way too young to play) called to a remote island to tend to the affairs of a recently deceased woman. As it would turn out, she really has a thing against lawyers, even in death.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Before she was Dexter’s sister, Jennifer Carpenter was the lead in this story of a young girl possessed by demons and the priest who attempts to save her soul. Allegedly based on reported events, its the finest film of its type since The Exorcist. Truly chilling.
Both a prequel and remake of John Carpenter’s legendary original, this paranoid horror finds a group of scientists trapped in an Antarctic base with a deadly creature capable of hiding in their midst! It’s rare that a remake can hold a candle to a classic but this 2011 film managed it while also bringing a few new tricks to the game.
Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi shook the horror world with his Evil Dead films in the 80s. After a string of big budget Spider-Man films, he returned to the genre with this shocking tale of a young woman beset by a gypsy (sorry– Romany) curse. Full of the Raimi’s old stylistic trademarks, this is one of the best made horror films of this century.
Blood, Guts and Gore
For better or worse, director Eli Roth changed the direction of post-millennial horror films with this super-gory 18 certificate take on the ‘cabin in the woods’ trope. Imagine a straight-faced version of The Evil Dead but with more open wounds and dismemberment and you begin to approach the horror of Cabin Fever.
Perhaps the apotheosis of Eli Roth‘s mission statement, the premise of Hostel is pretty simple: tourists are lured into a cheap luxurious hotel in Eastern Europe, kidnapped, and then subjected to unfathomable body torture by mild-mannered businessmen. Depraved to the max, this is not to everyone’s tastes.
Even if you haven’t seen Human Centipede, there’s little chance you haven’t heard of it. Three random people are kidnapped by an insane doctor, who stitches them together to create what should really be called a human dodecapede. This film doesn’t just test the limits of good taste- it completely ignores them.
The Lost Boys
If Twilight was the embodiment of vampires in the 2000s (emo hipsters, essentially) then The Lost Boys gave us the definitive 80s version of nosferatu with their open shirts and love of hairspray. They’re Bon Jovi without the guitars, if you will. If you haven’t seen this, then there’s a serious gap in your movie CV.
Let the Right One In
This bittersweet fairy tale from Sweden is much darker than anyone gives it credit for. Young Oskar lives in a Stockholm suburb with a negligent mother. His only friend is the girl who just moved in next door, but as he soon finds out, she’s a little older and a little more vampire-y than she seems at first. Heartbreaking and terrifying in equal measure, it transcend the very limits of the vampire genre.
From Dusk till Dawn
Winning the award for playing the least likely siblings, George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino play the bank-robbing Gecko brothers, Seth and Richie. On the run after a job gone wrong, they kidnap the family of a preacher and end up at a truck stop south of the border: a little saloon that happens to be crawling with vampires…
Cabin in the Woods
Coming in around the same time as the Evil Dead remake, this subversive horror from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard takes all of the genre’s cliches and filters them through the prism of a semi-insidious government body that lures teenagers to their death. It stars a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth.
Directed by horror-meister Wes Craven, Scream was basically a post-modern deconstruction of the slasher genre. When a mysterious hooded figure starts picking off the students of a suburban high school, the kids think they can avoid being killed on account of having seen all horror movies ever made. They are very wrong.
Robert Rodriguez tackles the zombie genre with his homage to the B-movies of his youth. Rose McGowan plays Cherry, a stripper caught in the middle of a zombie contagion that see her and a group of survivors battle both the undead and a military unit (led by Bruce Willis). This is off-the-walls bonkers in the best way possible.
For more nightmare-inducing movie suggestions, head over to our Dark Nights Collection