Sky Cinema subscribers have an abundance of horror at their fingertips thanks to the special Halloween-inspired collection of scary movies. Top 10 Films helps you decide which ones to line-up for your horror movie night in.
With Halloween upon us once again, the ghosts and ghouls will be out in force tapping at the windows and knocking at the doors (or is that just the trick or treat-ers!). With all the major VOD providers lining up to provide audiences with a bevy of scary movies, Top 10 Films takes a look at Sky Cinema’s selection to help you decide what to watch when darkness falls.
From classics like The Exorcist, Don’t Look Now and John Carpenter’s Halloween to modern favourites such as Get Out and It, sequels Evil Dead 2, Ghostbusters 2 and entire Friday the 13th franchise (as well as a few duds – I’m looking at you, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer), Sky Cinema’s diverse and well-stocked collection offers an ideal complement of old and new, of supernatural and slasher, of tension-filled and gore-tastic.
Here are my recommendations…
Get Out (2017)
Sort of The Stepford Wives meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Get Out sees horror at its best: relevant, satirical, smart, and scary. Knowing as little as possible about this film before seeing it will deliver the most fun as the twists are terrific. Get Out is memorable, in part, through its injection of refreshing contemporary social commentary into familiar genre tropes. One of those films for those audiences that don’t like horror films to keep them up at night.
The Exorcist (1973)
The scariest horror film ever made (and the one named the film “most likely to give you nightmares“) William Friedkin’s The Exorcist remains the granddaddy of cinema terror, an experience that is as scary today as it was when it was first released in 1973. If you’ve never seen The Exorcist, and you like supernatural horror like Insidious and The Conjuring, then give it a go as these films took inspiration from it. If you’ve seen it countless times before, there’s no better time than Halloween night to shut the curtains, turn down the lights, and get very, very scared again.
The obvious one for Halloween night but John Carpenter’s seminal scary movie made such an impact on horror cinema that it remains essential viewing. Slasher films of the 1980s, the Screams of the 1990s, the Scary Movie parodies and the rebooted throwbacks of the 2000s and 2010s all owe a debt to Carpenter’s Halloween and his hollowed out personification of brutal, impenetrable evil better known as Michael Myers. Avoid the rubbish remake, watch this instead.
Stephen King’s Thinner (1996)
Have you enjoyed some of the other Stephen King film adaptations – It, The Mist, The Shining, The Green Mile? Well, Thinner is an underrated gem. A terrific book and a decent film adaptation from Fright Night director Tom Holland with a good level of humour. It was universally panned by critics on its release and still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. But it’s a fun thriller that sits in the body horror sub-genre that David Cronenberg loves so much and which possesses a great premise (a self-serving and overewight suburban lawyer runs over an old Gypsy woman with his car after being distracted by his wife giving him oral sex. Two of Billy’s friends, high up in the criminal law food chain, help him avoid prosecution. The woman’s Gypsy family put a curse on the man, making to progressively lose weight).
Don’t Look Now (1973)
A slow-burning, thought-provoking horror film centred around a family tragedy. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a couple who try to put the death of their child behind them while working in Venice, Italy. But it appears their dead daughter could be trying to contact them from beyond the grave. Don’t Look Now is another must-see classic with an enigmatic, puzzling ending that you’ll never forget.
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
The Insidious series of American horror films continues to surprise and impress with its latest chapter – The Last Key – focusing attention on the franchise’s most appealing character: psychic medium Elise Rainier (played brilliantly by Lin Shaye). After the critical and commercial success of the first two Insidious films (each a sort of update on Poltergeist with a contemporary injection of bathos to add humour to the horror), the series’ co-creator Leigh Whannell took the director’s seat (previously warmed by James Wan) for the first time in a prequel that proved to be the best of the lot.
Tobe Hooper’s haunted house horror is, when we look back, clearly influential to the likes of The Conjuring, Insidious and Paranormal Activity franchises. If you’re a fan of any of these films or love a good ghost story, Poltergeist is the perfect choice.
The Omen (1976)
The director who gave the world The Goonies and Superman is responsible for one of the scariest movies ever made. The Omen, a film about a family who end up raising the Antichrist and the father’s plight to discover the true identity of the child, is a terrifying experience, boasting some startling visuals, a powerhouse, heart-breaking performance from Gregory Peck, a relentless pace that builds suspense to its shocking climax, and Jerry Goldmsith’s Oscar-winning score.
The Wicker Man (1973)
A film that’s part of the newly coined term, British folk horror (think more recently of The Witch, Kill List and A Field In England), and the best British horror film of all time, The Wicker Man is strange, offbeat, enigmatic and unsettling. It also features some great performances, notably the Edward Woodward’s police sergeant (whose calm pragmatism is chipped away to reveal sheer horror) and the inimitable Christoper Lee as the stone-faced patriarch of the island of Summerisle.
So if you’re in the mood for some good horror movies this Halloween, whether it’s one film or a movie marathon, point your TV in the direction of these chilling tales and hold tight!