The following films are my five all time favourite Horror films. They will always get watched at Halloween, and these films always manage to scare and impress me each time I watch. I’d love to know your own favourite scary films to watch at this time of year.
1- The Innocents (1961)
The creepy story and spooky atmosphere seen here just can’t be bettered in my opinion. A superb adaptation of the classic story The Turn Of The Screw. There is an ambiguity throughout the film as to whether we are witnessing real possession and real ghosts, or whether the horror that occurs is all due to the breakdown of the main character (Deborah Kerr).
Each of those scenarios is scary, and each works perfectly for the film, with evidence for each to be found within the film. Superb performances from all in the cast, especially Deborah Kerr as the tormented governess. Perfect viewing for a dark night, or for a stormy afternoon. This is my go to ghost film every single time. You can read my review of the film here.
2- The Fog (1980)
One of the creepiest horror films of all time for me. This is a much unfairly underappreciated gem from John Carpenter. It features one of the best, and one of the spookiest openings to any film; with the great John Houseman chilling you to the bone with his words alone. The fog effects are eerie, the cast are all great, there is some stunning location work, and the film has one of Carpenter’s best scores. An American coastal town is terrorised by a group of dead sailors out for revenge. The dead sailors come ashore shrouded in a mysterious fog. Can they be stopped?
3- The Others (2001)
A ghost film that’s up there with The Innocents for me in terms of spooky atmosphere and scares. This film is both scary and moving. The ending to this acts as a punch to the stomach; the aftermath of the reveal at the end always makes me tear up a bit each time I watch. Nicole Kidman delivers one of her best ever performances as a terrified and grieving mother. A family slowly begin to realise that they are being haunted. When three mysterious strangers show up at the house, the terror and mystery in the house increase.
4- Quatermass And The Pit (1967)
A Hammer production which perfectly blends Science Fiction and Horror into one terrifying film. This is the best remembered of the Quatermass films/stories, and is certainly the scariest. This was my first introduction to the character of Quatermass and he and this film have been favourites ever since. Up to a certain point in the film there is the possibility that all the strange events are due to the forces of evil.
When the real cause of the frightening events are revealed, it is still equally scary, and it also shows that what is not understood is often feared and put down to the supernatural. Barbara Shelley delivers one of her best performances as a young woman who becomes very affected by a centuries old, mysterious object found buried down in a London Underground station.
5- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
I love the 1956 original very much, and I consider that a creepy film and a highpoint in 1950’s horror. I consider this remake to be that rare thing in that it surpasses the original. This tale of alien invasion is utterly terrifying. What could be more scary than being taken over by someone else? Seeing those you love killed? Imagine not knowing who to trust, not being able to control your own emotions to save yourself. This film tackles all those fears and is truly scary and disturbing. The pod people’s scream is also one of the most chilling and strange things I’ve ever heard, it chills me to the bone each time I hear it.
Aliens are taking over the people of earth. Humans are being killed and their bodies are replicated, but all the pod people lack emotion and they are intent on finding any real humans left alive. Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum are all superb, as the small group of friends who are forced to run for their lives from the alien invasion.
What are your thoughts on these five horror films? Please share your own favourites below.