Spooktober / 5 Scary Movies for Halloween

Sunday, 4 October 2015

I'm one of those people who's kind of in two minds about horror movies.  On the one hand, I love a good scare.  I like creepy stuff and like many other fellow weirdos, I enjoy being a bit frightened every now and again (when I know I have no reason to genuinely be scared, that is).  At the same time though, they scare the shit out of me and send my anxiety through the roof, plus not every horror movie is really for me.  Anything that's just 'real' or that boils down to torture porn or depictions of sadistic abuse I'm not even remotely on board with and don't see the point or appeal, but ghosts and ghouls and monsters and aliens you can sign me right up for.

Of course, my anxiety won't even let me rest after watching those either, because you can bet that even after a dumb ghost movie or something, every shadow or creak in the night will fill me with an immediate sense of impending doom and leave me awake for the rest of the night contemplating my obvious supernatural demise.  But why would I let that stop me from watching cool movies?

In the spirit of the Halloween season, here are five movies of varying types and degrees of scary that I'd recommend for the next month!

1. Dog Soldiers is a British sort-of-comedy horror movie about, you guessed it, werewolves.  A bunch of soldiers are on a routine training mission up in the wilds of Scotland, and when they get to a rendezvous point to meet another unit, they find a massacre and one survivor.  They soon discover that werewolves are the culprit (obviously), and spend the rest of the night fighting for survival and trying to wait out the full moon until morning.  It has plenty of action and genuine horror, and the werewolves are actually pretty creepy for the most part, and there's plenty of wit and amusing scenes thrown in, such as innovative use of household super glue.  I first saw it years ago and it's still one of my all time favourite horror movies, and easily the best one about werewolves I've ever seen.  They're a much neglected movie monster, apparently!

2. Halloween would not be complete without Shaun of the Dead.  Last year I spent it in the pub with friends, and the pub literally just screened it on repeat the whole night - it's a seasonal staple.  For those who don't know (where have you been?!), it's a British romance zombie comedy aka romzomcom that heavily parodies classics like Romero's - Of the Dead series.  Lead character Shaun is a bit of a loser living with his equally loserish best friend in London, and when his girlfriend and love of his life finally has enough of his childishness and leaves him, he wakes up to an unfolding zombie apocalypse.  It's funny, scary, gore-y and very clever - it takes way more than one watch to get all of the little bits and references to other movies or scenes later on in the film.

3. 28 Days Later is another one of my zombie favourites (although whether or not to class the infected in this as zombies is a bone of contention among some), but this one genuinely scares the crap out of me.  Yes, I do have a plan for a zombie apocalypse, and no it doesn't involve zombies that can freaking sprint.  28 Days Later is a brilliantly done Danny Boyle film that follows a man named Jim when he wakes up alone (and delightfully naked) in an empty hospital in an equally as empty London after an accident, only to find that what is still left in the city wants to rip his face off.  He soon meets some other survivors and heads out in search of a safe haven.  Much like other films in the zombie-esque genre, 28 Days Later also highlights the horror other people can present in an apocalypse scenario as well as the horror of the actual monsters, which in my opinion at least is scarier than the zombies.

4. The OH and I watched The Conjuring last year or the year before, and he found it absolutely terrifying.  I think I definitely handle ghost movies better than he does, and vice versa with alien movies.  Scary as it was, I did enjoy it - it's been a while since I last saw it now but from what I remember, it's creepy and atmospheric as hell.  Basically, a family move into an old farm house in the 70s and soon start to experience some supernatural manifestations that are small at first, but quickly begin to escalate.  A couple of paranormal investigators/demonologists get involved and once they start to figure out all of the horrible things that happened at the house in the past, things get all the more frightening and intense.  Definitely not one you'd want to watch on your own with the lights out!

5. If ever there was a horror film that fucked me up, it's this one.  The Fourth Kind came out at around the same time as Paranormal Activity, and I remember most of the buzz was focused on the latter.  Friends and family said PA was super scary, and the OH and I weren't totally sure what to expect from its alien cousin, and expletives can't express how much that movie still screws with me.  Set in a small town in Alaska, it tells the so-called true story of a psychologist who uncovers some scary stuff from her patients that seem to share the exact same symptoms and it all boils down to...


No kidding, the people on Ancient Aliens would have a field day if The Fourth Kind was actually true - watch it and you'll see what I mean.  Anywho, this is one of those movies that some people will probably think is really dumb, but as a person who has a horrific irrational fear of aliens (in spite of really wanting to find life elsewhere in the universe, because that makes sense) it literally made me cry with terror.

Bonus film!  Signs, because that movie also still fucks me up.  The birthday party scene though.

Have you seen any of these?  What movies do you like to watch around Halloween?

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