As a huge fan of movies, horror is one of my favourite genres. So as Halloween is quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to write about my top picks! As always, it’s important to check the ratings in order to ensure you’ll be able to watch them, but I hope I’m able to introduce some new favourites for Halloween.
1. Scream (1996) dir. Wes Craven
As one of Wes Craven’s most iconic and well-loved films, Scream is a must-watch for any budding horror fanatics. The movie follows a group of friends who begin questioning the rules and tropes of slasher films as their reality begins to resemble one, with a killer known as ‘Ghostface’ terrorising local high-school students in the small town of Woodsboro, California. With clever, meta-fictive elements that comment on slasher films as a genre, and shocking developments as the audience attempts to figure out who the killer is along with the main characters, Scream is a perfect movie to watch with friends for a thrilling experience on a night in.
2. Saint Maud (2019) dir. Rose Glass
A psychological horror about a reclusive young nurse who has recently turned to Christianity and begins to care for a retired dancer with cancer, Saint Maud is a captivating portrait of faith and guilt, along with being Glass’ first feature-length film. Saint Maud is definitely similar to its other horror contenders in the A24 universe, with a much quieter development of fear and tension. The last shot is certainly something that will stay with me for a long time, and I think anyone that prefers a subtler approach to the genre of horror will appreciate this film.
3. Suspiria (1977) dir. Dario Argento
One of my all-time favourite films, Suspiria follows a young American woman who arrives in Freiberg, Germany to attend a prestigious dance school and soon begins to experience strange things. Renowned for its experimental use of vibrant lighting and score, Suspiria is recognised as an extremely significant film within the horror genre and is definitely a film that everyone should see at least once.
4. House (1977) dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi
Also released in 1977, is Obayashi’s House. The film is about a young girl who takes her six friends on a trip to visit her aunt at her late mother’s ancestral house, hoping to seek a stronger connection. More comedy/fantasy than horror, the film is known for its crazy visual effects and general wildness. It perfectly encapsulates the youthful fun of girlhood and slumber parties and would be such an enjoyable film to watch with friends.
5. Malignant (2021) dir. James Wan
Resembling films from the Italian giallo genre, Malignant is shocking in all the right ways and delivers a truly entertaining and intelligent film. The main character, Madison, is terrified by shocking visions of the murders of strangers, and soon comes to realise they are in fact reality. Wan is brilliant in the way he surprises his audience. The more that I thought about the film, the more that I liked it. The film is still showing in cinemas currently, and I would really recommend it to anyone who loves horror!