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13 Films to watch this Halloween

By Ben Helme

It’s spooky season! Below are 13 suggestions for Halloween viewing, each of which offers something different. Happy viewing!

13. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Horror: 6

Film: 7

A fun, meta, horror comedy, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ manages to poke fun at the horror genre, while offering some scares of its own. It’s a great light-hearted option, if you don’t want anything deep.

12. Coraline (2009)

Horror: 4

Film: 9

Yes, it’s a PG, but it’s spooky and iconic. Go back to your childhood and remind yourself of the film you wish you hadn’t watched when you were eight. Or if you’ve never watched it, treat yourself to this beautifully made yet surprisingly scary masterpiece.

11. Atlantics (2019)

Horror: 4

Film: 9

Although it’s listed as a drama/romance, I’m ready to fight for its place on this list. It doesn’t spill a drop of blood but it will haunt you. There are some typical horror elements (which I can’t mention without spoiling), but the film remains grounded and real. It’s also achingly beautiful: every shot would be at home on a gallery wall. 

If you love cinema but aren’t into typical Halloween films, look no further.

10. As Above So Below (2014)

Horror: 8

Film: 6

This won’t go down in history as a great film. It’s a bit cliched and corny. But it’s scary. It’s confined, shocking and uncomfortable. If you want a film that’s not particularly deep, but that’ll leave you sweating, this is for you. 

9. Alien (1979)

Horror: 5

Film: 9

It’s a classic for a reason. It takes its time to build the tension, but it absolutely gets there. Its reputation has been hurt by endless sequels; this does a disservice to the excellent original – it’s an unpredictable gem. So, if you can deal with the claustrophobia, come aboard the Nostromo. 

8. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Horror: 6

Film: 9 

A tragic reflection on loss, set against the unnerving stillness of Venice in winter. Without using gore or jump-scares, Roeg builds the tension to boiling point. It’s a fantastic, underappreciated work of cinema, and it’ll get under your skin.

7. Hereditary (2018)

Horror: 8

Film: 8

From the music, to the dialogue, to the gore, everything’s been precisely calculated to evoke dread. It evokes a typical ‘haunted house’ horror, but is elevated by its clever subversions of expectations, and the astonishing performances of Toni Collette and Alex Wolff. 

Also, with all the hidden clues along the way, it’s even better on a re-watch.

6. Audition (1999)

Horror: 9

Film: 7

A rom com gone wrong. Get past the slow opening, and you’re in for a truly insane film. If you want something stomach-churning, this is your best bet. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

5. Hush (2016)

Horror: 8

Film: 8

In Hush, there’s no supernatural force, just a very clever woman and an evil man. 

It presents you with a terrifyingly plausible situation, and asks the question: would you survive? Made by the creator of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, it’s the very best that the ‘homes under siege’ genre has to offer. It’s simple, but effective. 

4. Saint Maud (2019)

Horror: 7

Film: 9

Clever, original and only 84 minutes long. Saint Maud flies by like a fever dream. There’s not a single second wasted, from the bleak beginning to the spectacular ending. Don’t watch the trailer, just go into it blind. 

3. Midsommar (2019)

Horror: 9

Film: 8

Why are so many horror films so badly lit/grey?  Midsommar shows that terror doesn’t always hide in the dark. Be warned; there’s a few shots that might stay with you long after the credits roll. Also, don’t do drugs kids.

2. The Wailing (2016)

Horror: 8

Film: 9

Who is responsible for the deaths? 

The Wailing spirals, rain-soaked, away from this premise. Every question it answers seems to raise two more. But was that question ever really answered?

A stunning performance from Kwak Do-won grounds this confusing, upsetting epic. The film also boasts a horrifically tense centrepiece, involving a spiritual ceremony, that’s among my favourite scenes of all time.

1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Horror: 8

Film: 10

Clever, tense and excellently made. One of only 3 films ever to win each of the ‘Big Five’ Oscars, and it deserves every plaudit it received. It’s arguably more of a thriller than a horror, but the scenes in Bill’s house are among the tensest I’ve ever seen. With its mounting pressure and horrifying presentation of Hannibal Lecter, its undeniably a horror film. It’s just a horror film with an excellent plot.

If you have any recommendations for me, or any films you think should’ve been in the unlucky 13, please get in touch.

Hi, I’m Ben. I’m from Sandwich in Kent, and I’m in my second year, studying PPE. Aside from writing, I love hiking, reading and finding hidden places in London. I also love TV and film – if you have any suggestions for something I should watch, especially anything prettily shot or spooky, I’d love to hear.

If you ever feel like discussing something I’ve writte, please message me – my emails b.m.helme@lse.ac.uk, or my Instagrams’s @benh3lme!

Ben Helme
13 Halloween Recommendations

Summary

It’s spooky season! Below are 13 suggestions for Halloween viewing, each of which offers something different. 

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