Five British Horror Classics For Halloween

The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting darker earlier, and Autumn has officially arrived. In a few days time it will officially be Halloween. The time to switch the lights off and watch many horror films has arrived. Here are five classic era British horror films that I highly recommend for your Halloween viewing. 

Night Of The Demon (1957)

This chilling British horror takes a look at demons and a Satanic cult which lurk in the English countryside. It is directed by the great Jacques Tourneur, and is based upon the novel Casting The Runes by horror maestro, M.R. James. For the most part this one plays out as a psychological and supernatural horror flick, but you could also class it as a monster movie because of the demon. 

night of the demon

Peggy Cummins and Dana Andrews publicity photo for Night Of The Demon. Image source IMDb.

Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis all deliver superb performances. The atmosphere is so creepy and eerie. This makes for perfect viewing on a dark night or stormy afternoon.

 

                                                            The Innocents (1961)

In my opinion this is the greatest ghost/haunted house film ever made. Based on Henry James’s novel The Turn Of The Screw, the film focuses on a governess who may or may not be seeing ghosts in the new home in which she has been employed.

The innocents 1961

Don’t turn around! Image source IMDb.

This one works equally well as a ghost story, and also as a chilling descent into madness. Deborah Kerr delivers what may well be her best performance as the tormented and terrified governess. You can read my full review here

 

                                              The Blood On Satan’s Claw (1971)

This disturbing and creepy British folk horror looks at the mass outbreak of hysteria and murder which occurs in a quiet 18th century village. Is it the work of the Devil? 

Blood on satan's claw image

The judge is determined to find out what is happening in his village. Image source IMDb.

There is a realism to this film which ensures this one packs quite an punch and really freaks the viewer out. It’s a very disturbing film. I like how it cleverly mixes psychological and spooky horror with more explicit gory horror too.  

 

                                                           Dead Of Night (1945)

Dead Of Night is one of the most influential, creepy and memorable horror films ever made. It is an anthology film focusing on a group of people who are invited to a country house. There they all share frightening incidents that have happened to them. We see these incidents play out as mini horror films. 

Dead Of Night 1945

Michael Redgrave and friend. Image source IMDb.

Featuring Michael Redgrave delivering one of his best film performances as the deranged ventriloquist. You can read my full review here. 

 

                                                           The Devil Rides Out (1968)

Christopher Lee plays the kickass hero in this Hammer classic. The film is set in 1920’s England. A Satanic cult are planning on calling up the Devil and they must be stopped at all costs. Enter the badass, and very dashing, Du De Richleau(Christopher Lee),an expert on all things Satanic and possessing knowledge/power that can hopefully be used against them. 

the devil rides out

He wasn’t going to let the dark forces come into the protective circle. Image source IMDb.

Who can forget the protective circle sequence where all manner of horrible things try and attack the Duc and his friends? Or the eerie scene where the Devil is called up in the woods? Great performances and some real scares ensure this one makes for perfect Halloween viewing. You can read my full review of this one here

Enjoy! And try not to get too afraid!

16 thoughts on “Five British Horror Classics For Halloween

  1. Wolfman's Cult Film Club

    Slapped wrist time coming up! I’ve only seen The Devil Rides Out! What kinda wolf am I? A shamed one….. Though I do have Dead Of Night and keep getting close to seeing it and then….. something else pops on the video feed. Yeah I know The Innocents, really I know….. Strips off naked and does the Cersei walk of shame. “hang about people you’re meant to throw stuff at me! Not run screaming “STRANGER DANGER”. What! blue flashing lights and sirens. “ON THE FLOOR NAKED WOLF THING”…. “Oh man not again”
    Note to self. Get on and watch these films so it doesn’t happen again.

    PS great selected 5 Maddy and sorry for my ramblings.

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      1. Wolfman's Cult Film Club

        Yeah I know right, I got a fantastic time of movie ahead of me. The beauty and buzz of doing these film blogs is the constant array of films that keep gracing our eyes. My to watch list is near on 1500!!! I can just manage 250 a year! and that list just keeps getting bigger and bigger. ………… Yes so true Maddy it was what grabbed me on The Devil Rides Out the fact that Christopher Lee was a hero.

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  2. Paddy Lee

    My stomach tightened and my skin turned clammy as I read each title. The only one I haven’t seen is The Blood on Satan’s Claw, and I don’t know if I’m up to it!

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  3. classicfilmtvcafe

    Four great picks and a good one. I wouldn’t put BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW in the same class as the others. I’d probably substitute a Hammer choice such as BRIDES OF DRACULA. But your other selections are all first-rate!

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  4. mikestakeonthemovies

    This is a great 5 pack of titles! I just got the recent blu ray from Indicator of Night/Curse of the Demon and look forward to revisit it and at the same time show off my recent poster find. Nice to see a Hammer film in there and a good one that has gained in status over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

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