With Halloween upon us, what better way to get in a spooky mood by immersing yourself in the medium of film. Bloggers have concocted a menacingly eerie list ranging in genres and eras. We won’t be held responsible for any sleepless nights or injuries from excessively. Proceed with caution.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
A quick witted, quirky comedy about vampires living in modern day Wellington, New Zealand might seem a tired play on an overly used gimmick. It’s anything but. Taika Waititi directs and stars in the film with support from fellow Flight of the Conchords affiliates Jermaine Clement and Rhys Darby. It’s New Zealand’s answer to Shaun of the Dead. Documenting a group of four vampire housemates each encompassing a different cliché in the vampire realm and their struggles with contemporary life. When Nick is targeted by the four they accidently turn him into one of their own, later being accepted into the group. He initially stuggles with his new predicament but the two parties eventually start learning from one another. It won’t get you jumping out of your seat in terror, instead rolling around in laughter. They have beef with a local werewolf gang, Skype old friends they’d promised to turn into vampires, get into fights and attend parties with fellow supernatural beings. One of the best comedies in recent years.
A resounding critical success What We Do in the Shadows director Waititi is currently directing the new Thor film and released the equally superb Hunt for the Wilder People last year, he is only improving and much more is expected from one of the best young directors in the game. With a Flight of the Conchords film being muted, there wouldn’t be someone more suited to handle the reigns. With fantastic performances from all involved and excellent writing, this film is all it’s cracked up to be.
The Craft (1996)
There is nothing I love more than girl power and spooky stuff. This film combines both, which is why it’s so perfect.
Nancy Downs is everything I wanted to be during high school; sassy, dressed in black and a witch.
Imagine Mean Girls, but with witches. That’s basically The Craft.
Words from Amber Denwood
If classic horror is what you’re after this Halloween, then look no further than the “Master of Horror” himself, John Carpenter. Director of 80’s cult horror films such as ‘The Thing’ and ‘They Live’, his most notable critical and commercial success is arguably the 1978 slasher film ‘Halloween’ which starred Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, and spawned one of the most recognisable horror characters of all time in Michael Myers. In the film, Michael Myers makes his escape from the sanitarium he’d been incarcerated in for 15 years after murdering his sister at the age of 6 on Halloween 1963. Returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Myers picks up where he left off by murdering a mechanic for his uniform, and stealing a plain white mask from a local store. The legend of Michael Myers is born, ready to comb the streets and continue his murderous rampage.
The success of ‘Halloween’ went on to popularise the slasher genre throughout the 1980’s, with ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Friday the 13th’ being among the huge blockbusters influenced by Carpenter’s direction and the adoption of classic slasher themes such as the final girl trope, and the use of a theme song for the killer. An out and out classic, you’d do well to watch a cult horror film as pioneering in it’s field.
Words from Michael Nelson
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)
If you’re looking for something a little more on the side of family-friendly, with the horror dialed back and the strangeness of Halloween upped. Being spooky and being peculiar are one in the same, and nothing’s more peculiarly spooky than this Tim Burton-directed film that takes its story from a novel written based on creepy black-and-white photos found in the many corners of the Earth. Following the ordinary life of American teenager Jacob/Jake Portman, we’re taken on a visually-stunning coming-of-age ride as the worlds his grandfather read of in Bedtime stories blur in and out of his reality as we meet children with quite peculiar powers. Whilst some are super-hero like – fire, levitation, invisibility -, other’s are downright creepy and spooky. For example, Hugh is a walking beehive, commanding an army of bees at any given moment. Or how about Enoch, who can use the heart of a rat to reanimate his dead friends. Let’s not forget Horace, who can project his dreams like movies, however all of his dreams are prophetic, and quite horrifying on occasion. Let’s not mention the antagonists: the hollogawsts and wights – giant tentacle-wielding, tongue-twisting eyeless creatures and human-looking demons with white eyes. This film is peculiar, it’s spooky, and yet its fun for all the family and you’ll lose yourself within Tim Burton and Ransom Riggs (the author of the novel it’s based on) world.
Words from Jack Press