I don’t really like scary films; I don’t understand things like Saw or Paranormal Activity, where you watch a film that you know will terrify you.
But I do love Halloween and so, I offer you my top five films you should be watching on Halloween, that won’t make you pee your panties.
5. Paranorman (2012)
An animated film about a boy with a love for the supernatural, and the skill of seeing dead people, this is technically a children’s film but there’s enough references in there to keep a film buff happy and a strong enough story to entertain adults. It’s funny, has a good message and has voices from Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and John Goodman. Every film needs a bit of John Goodman. Magical Halloween viewing for the whole family.
4. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
My absolute favourite Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands is about a man created by an inventor who dies before he gets the chance to make his invention some hands. His invented man then lives alone for many years before being discovered by a kind Avon saleswoman who takes him into her home. It’s about society and people and religion and friendship and love and if you haven’t seen it then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It’s got some beautiful beautiful moments that manage to both put humanity to shame and present them as wonderful. Johnny Depp says only 169 words throughout the whole of the film but his performance is incredibly moving.
3. Heathers (1988)
The perfect cross between the high school and the horror movie, Heathers stars our favourite 80’s teen Winona Ryder and the delectable Christian Slater. The pair joins forces to take down the elite snobbery at their high school in a series of murders presented as fake suicides. At times it feels dated but the outfits are fabulous, the story is so ridiculous its fun and the end sequence is a joy. Perfect for disillusioned teens not dressing up as cats on Halloween night!
2. Frankenstein (1931)
James Whale’s version of Frankenstein looks at the creation of the monster and how the monster copes with his own creation. It’s a gothic yet sentimental look at this story, which is quintessentially about what it means to be human. It not only scares you but also raises questions, and is one of the most definitive Halloween films because it is one of the most definitive Halloween stories.
Also Mary Shelley is buried near where I live, which is pretty darn cool.
1. Psycho (1960)
You may remember that earlier in this blog post I mentioned that I don’t like scary films. I do not enjoy being scared. But I do feel I should watch every film important to cinematic history, so I sat down to watch Psycho. Despite the fact that you never see a knife going in or any gory scenes, it remains, to this day, the most terrifying film I have ever seen. But it is a kind of scary where you are torn between screaming in terror and in awe at the brilliance of the film. In case you don’t know, the film is about a secretary (Janet Leigh) who ends up at a motel run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and soon wishes she had never left the city. It is Hitchcock at the top of his game; it is dark and tense and is, as you might have noticed, my top Halloween film. Watch it, but be prepared to scream.