Once again, students have been given the opportunity to go out in fancy dress; it’s Halloween! However, just because you can dress up doesn’t mean you need to be tricked into going out for a treat. Watching horror classics and hiding behind the sofa with a few friends and lots of sweets can be just as fun. Halloween is the season where everyone, not just horror fans, can enjoy a good scare, so here are a few personal favourites.
Although dated, old-fashioned horrors such as The Exorcist and The Shining are packed with enough chills to make a penguin shiver. Hitchcock’s legendary Psycho stillhas punch, even after 52 years. This film provided the template for equally brilliant thrillers The Silence of the Lambs and Misery,which will certainly make your skin crawl.Some new releases do contend with these masterpieces, like The Woman in Black and Insidious, both of which left me hiding under the covers until daybreak.
However, if a night of gruesome thrills is what you’re looking for, there’s The Night Of The Living Dead, The Thing and Peter Jackson’s Braindead, all three are stomach-churning but fun viewing. Some of the best horrors balance enough laughs to relax you with enough thrills to keep you on edge. For example, The Cabin In The Woods is guaranteed to entertain; it‘s worth sitting through the film for the absolutely crazy, blood-spattered ending.
If you’re in the mood for festive frights, Trick ‘r’ Treat is a little horror anthology gem, with each segment providing laughs and terror. And what fright night would be complete without John Carpenter’s Halloween? It would be like having Christmas without mince pies.
Comedy-horrors are like fancy dress; they’re either hilarious or ridiculous. Shaun Of The Dead raised the bar but there have been some competitors for the crown of comedy-horror. An American competitor is the hillbilly thriller Tucker and Dale vs. Evil; a fun, heart-felt, and overall brilliant film that’s entertaining for horror veterans and newcomers alike. Also, An American Werewolf in London has gore, tension and giggles right the way through, so is an essential for a fright-fest.
Although others may disagree, I think these films are essential for a night in with monsters and maniacs (well, that’s what I call my friends anyway). Going out is great fun but a few films and some popcorn can provide just as many good memories. But be careful, sometimes things do go bump in the night… but that’s usually students stumbling back home.