‘Tis the season to be scared shitless. (Fa la la la la, la la la laaaa.) Whether you’re a fan or a “Yeah, I don’t really like Horror” (read: SILENTLY SCREAMING ON A LOOP AT THE IDEA OF WATCHING HORROR) type, we can all appreciate the genre itself and what it brings to the cinematic table.
Watching scurry movies is all about escapism and (pls, bear with me while I science for a second) getting you jacked up; you’re essentially getting high on your own elevated heart rate, which you are either into or not.
So, if you do need something to speed up your ticker this Halloween, take a walk with us… For the purpose of this list sequels/‘franchises’ have been omitted. Zombie films are also not included on account of them dolphinately being a genre unto themselves. This is not a list of ‘classics’ (so get off my dik) and most films on the list are from 2000-now; mostly for the jaded amongst us who would agree that older films do tend to be a little hammy. Watch this entire selection and you’re guaranteed to either become further desensitised or a terrified shut-in. Choose Your Own Adventure!
The epitome of “Kill it. Kill it with fire.” A husband and wife (Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga) lose their child and so decide to replace said child with an orphan who dresses like an extra from The Others (red flag). Stupid decisions by the characters – solid performances by the actors.
If there’s something evil in this world that Spanish firemen are unable to kill I do not want to hear about it. [REC] is all about dat hand-held shot, jumpy moments and spooky things shuffling on down hallways.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
The storyline sounds vaguely like a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror subplot but the movie itself is a great addition to the ‘cursed things and/or people’ horror sub-genre. Old m8 puts a spell on the young blonde gal because she won’t give her an extension for her mortgage repayment. It escalates rapidly from there.
The Strangers (2008)
We can all agree that home invasion is not an ideal situation and that is exactly what this film taps into (#marketing). It’s that fear that there are Strangers out there who randomly fuck with people just to get their jollies off. Also, hessian masks.
Wolf Creek (2005)
John Jarratt, you terrifying bastard.
The film that turned a generation of backpackers off the idea of coming to our fair shores. Tourism Australia gave it no stars ever. Everyone else gave it five.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
It’s the film equivalent of that ghost story your friend told you, the one that actually happened to them/a friend of a friend.
People have confessed to an unwillingness to sleep with their foot outside of the sheets since watching this movie. The film budget to audience scared ratio on this one is exceedingly impressive – $15k:infinite pants shat.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Arguably one of the best exorcism films of recent times; it’s done really well with a focus on the beliefs of the family/church going up against the advice of the medical community. Plus, it’s based on a true story, you guise. A true story! Namely that of the German Catholic woman Anneliese Michel who was caught in a deadly tug of war between the devil and schizophrenia.
This is how you do an original horror movie. Yes, they have now officially Starbucks‘d the shit out of it with the many many sequels but the original is brilliant and twisted and ‘how much blood would you shed to stay alive?’.
Child’s Play Chucky (1988)
Not sure if this is especially terrifying for RealDoll fetishists but most people do seem to have a bit of a doll fear. At the end of the day though, this is a movie about a freckly ginger doll possessed by Charles Lee Ray/Brad Dourif.
Apparently there’s a new one out this year called Curse of Chucky. Lol.
Memorable Quotes include:
Pennywise: Let go. Be afraid. You all taste so much better when you’re afraid.
Pennywise: Excuse me, ma’am. Is your refrigerator running? *gasp* It IS? Well, you better go catch it before it runs away! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!
Pennywise: Kiss me, fat boy!
Gentlemen, gird your diks. This one is going to make you squirm.
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Joss Whedon being Joss Whedon <3. Puts that horror movie thing down, flips it and reverses it. Save this one till last.
If only for:
You ok babe?
The Human Centipede (2010)
Why is this scary? Partly because the acting is so bad but predominantly because nobody likes the idea of being surgically attached to someone else against explicit contrary wishes. Like, can you not? Also, fecal matter in mouth is never a great time.
It’s dang because, torture. Also, it feeds into a first world middle class fear of being captured while casually backpacking around OS and being forced to stay somewhere that refuses to live up to your personal hygiene standards.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Of all the things that are not cute, mutations within an inbred hill community caused by radioactive fallout is one of the least cute. If you already did not like bung redneck psychopaths you are really going to hate them after seeing this.
It’s fucked. It’s original. Remind me never to die.
Tokyo Gore Police (2008)
File this one under films that make you go “que?”
‘What’s in a name?’ you ask. In this case, Tokyo Gore Police is a pretty fair indication of what to expect. Tokyo + Gore + Police.
BONUS tip for when you’re feeling scared: Remember that there is a crew of people in really sensible shoes just doing their jobs approx. 5 metres away from whatever is happening on screen.