With Halloween just around the corner, it feels like the perfect time to crack out some classic Horror Films. Whilst modern horror is fun, often it relies on cheap CGI effects and simple scares. I find that older horror films have more ‘craft’ to them, the cinematography and music scores can be immense. They were filmed in a time where it couldn’t all be created on a computer. This leads to a more realistic ‘feel’ to the films.
Sure, the blood and gore can sometimes look a bit ropey, but the rest of the film can make up for it. I’ve assembled a few of my favourites below – there’s a selection handly together on Amazon too.
This was unavailable for many years in this country, I remember the first time I saw it was on a ropey Video CD (whooooo!) when I was 18. I was drawn to it immediately, it’s a ‘vast’ film, with a high budget and production values. It’s beautifully film, with fantastic special effects. It really does stay with with you. It’s not a gore fest, it’s more of a ‘grown-up’ movie. I cannot recommend it enough.
The Directors Cut makes it even better, with more footage and a slightly different cut.
Nightmare on Elm Street
One of the first ’18’ rated films I ever saw was ‘Nightmare on Elm Street 4’. It wasn’t the greatest film, it was super camp, with terrible special effects. I eventually went back to the start to see the origin of the franchise, and I’m so glad I did. Nightmare on Elm Street is a DARK film, Freddy started off as a terrifying killer, rather than the excitable ‘silly’ character he became in later films. Whilst it’s looking a little dated these days, Nightmare on Elm Street will is a great choice for Halloween.
I’m a massive fan of Kubrick, this 1980’s horror is one of his most revered movies. Like The Exorcist, it’s a big budget movie, and it will leave a chill down your spine. You can feel the madness within Jack Nicholson’s character growing and building, leading to the famous finale. It’s looking a bit old now, but it’s more ‘retro’ than ‘dated’. The cinematography is wonderful, and the Steadicam shots are iconic. If you’ve never seen it before, it really is a ‘must see’.
RED RUM RED RUM!!
Perhaps the only ‘family friendly’ (ish) horror film on the list. Poltergeist is a 1982 classic, directed by Tobe Hooper (from Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Whilst it’s looking a bit ropey in places, it’s wonderfully made, and is packed with lots of jumps and scares. It spawned 2 sequels and a 2015 reboot, but the original is the best, without a shadow of a doubt. If you’ve got older children, this is a good film to watch on Halloween. I’m thankful you don’t get the static on an untuned TV these days, it always scared me after watching this.
What’s your favourite Halloween film?