There couldn’t be anything else. This is our scariest moment in horror, when supposedly out for the count Michael Myers (Nick Castle) – the ultimate Boogeyman – wakes up behind unsuspecting Final Girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). It’s the ultimate jump, a masterpiece by John Carpenter of scary things happening just out of your main gaze, a classic of evil never being dead/the persistent threat never-ending, and a seminal slasher.
We’re big fans of Rob Zombie’s horror and exploitation films, and House of 1000 Corpses is OTT and ultra disturbing – bringing us the cult characters of Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) and Otis (Bill Moseley).
Four young people stumble across Captain Spaulding’s bizarre ‘Museum of Monsters & Mayhem’ when researching a book about strange roadside attractions. They learn about the legend of Dr Satan, a master surgeon with questionable ethics, and then get captured by the Firefly family from hell who start to torture and kill the group. Potential final girl Denise (Erin Daniels) is left alone in an underground lair…and guess who it belongs to…
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…Wes Craven’s horror tour de force introduced the world to icon Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and also caused a generation of kids to have insomnia. Watching it back now, it’s still blinkin’ scary and one of the spookiest bits is when our lead Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) falls asleep at school and is tempted out of the classroom by her dead friend Tina (Amanda Wyss), who is talking to her from inside a bloody body bag. Horrid.
Time for some hot chocolate…not tired…at all. Must…stay…awake…
Franck Khalfoun’s remake of the infamous 80s slasher is brutal from the very start, even before we’ve had the main film title. Elijah Wood’s serial killer Frank Zito stalks a woman, and then murders and scalps her. It’s all set to a haunting 80s synth score by Rob, leading into a really difficult and uncomfortable film to get through. The opening lets you know exactly what you’re in for.
Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson brought the ‘popular horror film’ genre back to life in 1996 with slasher classic Scream. They also killed off their main star, Drew Barrymore, in the opening scene – a move that was pretty unusual back then and an act which confirmed to the audience that no-one was safe. They did that to Drew! What’s coming next?!
For the audience in the 90s, they hadn’t seen anything quite like it. And it was terrifying.
New to buy from Arrow Video, Evil Ed is a fun Swedish horror comedy which plays loving homage to Evil Dead and other cult horror classics and definitely has its tongue firmly in its cheek.
Ed (Johan Rudebeck) is a film editor who is transferred to a ‘Splatter and Gore’ department to work on the gory Loose Limbs horror film series, editing hours upon hours of grisly footage. The on-screen violence soon gets to him, and Ed becomes a killer – despatching of his victims in increasingly gruesome ways.
Evil Ed is about the strong film censorship in Sweden, which ran until the mid 90s, but it’s also a true horror film fan’s movie – fast camera shots moving through houses from the perspective of Ed, a staple of Sam Raimi/Evil Dead and one of the characters even says ‘Groovy!’ like Bruce Campbell. There’s hints of Troma and the comedy horror of Lloyd Kaufman. Keeping the movie going is Rudebeck’s portrayl of Ed – he is wonderful to watch and has a great, cult film face.
If you’re not familiar with it, check it out if you love horror. We think you’ll enjoy it.
GORE RATING: 3/5
Watch it for: A loving homage to horror
Watch out for: The beaver did WHAT?!
Tucker & Dale…is a refreshing comedy horror which reverses the ‘rednecks chase down and murder hopeless teens in the woods’ scenario. Turns out Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are actually quite sweet and the teens they meet end up accidentally killing themselves as the run away from them in fear, thinking our heroes are the enemy. Yep, running into wood chippers, impaling themselves on trees and accidental gunfire. These kids are stooopid.
It’s an enormous amount of fun and Labine’s Dale is especially endearing. There’s a guilty pleasure from watching the hapless teens scare themselves to death (literally) and a cute parallel love interest plot between Dale and ‘final girl’ Allison (Katrina Bowden).
With talks of a sequel in the pipeline, we’d love to see more of these two. It’s an enormous laugh and there’s plenty more escapades that Tucker and Dale could get into. And with so many grisly potential scenarios, there’s legs on this one (just like in the wood chipper – gross!)
GORE RATING: 3/5
Watch it for: A fresh take on the usual horror theme of ‘rednecks vs teens’
Watch out for: We told you – the wood chipper!
John Carpenter’s Halloween is, of course, the number one Halloween horror movie. Carpenter introduces us to Michael Myers as a six year old, who kills his sister in Haddonfield, Illinois. Committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, he escapes aged 21 to steal an iconic mask and kill again in his home town. He doesn’t bank on tough cookie Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Carpenter is the king of the wide angle shot, with Laurie and her high school friends walking the streets of Haddonfield not knowing that Myers is peeping around the corner at them. We’ve also got the tremendous shot of Myers after Laurie in the ‘perfect American dream house’ – see also Nancy’s home in Elm Street and all the houses copied in It Follows and Scream – where we think his threat may have gone, but then he pops up again in the background. With Myers we know he’s always there, and even when he’s down he’s not out.
With Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut film, she’s also the original Final Girl and she kicks ass. Add in Donald Pleasence as Myers’ unsettling psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis and Carpenter’s haunting score, and you’ll never be able to look a Halloween pumpkin in the eye again.
BEST THING ABOUT HALLOWEEN: 31 days of horror movie watching!
GORE RATING: 4/5
TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10
Watch it for: THE iconic Halloween movie
Watch out for: Laurie finds her friends ‘upstairs’
We really hope you’ve enjoyed being with us for 31 days in October – see you again next year!
Yep, Psycho did have some sequels starring Anthony Perkins and this one is a complete sleazefest and a whollleeee lot of fun. It’s nasty, dirty and thoroughly entertaining.
A blitz of neon, casual sex and Perkins as an OTT Norman Bates, another bunch of unfortunate guests come to harm at the Bates Motel. There’s an absolutely divine soundtrack – perfect for Halloween, if you can get your paws on it – a track of which Aim sample in ‘Cold Water Music’.
For a completely schlocky Halloween watch, this is perfect viewing.
ANY SHOWER SCENES?: Of course!
GORE RATING: 3/5
TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10
Watch it for: It’s surprisingly entertaining
Watch out for: Don’t check the ice chest. Oh