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A Halloween Film Evening

Five Films For A Frightening Festival

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
5
Hammer Horror

A Halloween Film Evening has been proposed by my good friend Les. As usual I am going to stray from the norm.

The selected films need to frighten you and maybe disturb you , but do they have to shock you or disgust you , I think not . Hitchcock said “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” and sometimes that is the sign of a great film, if it can scare you without resorting to special effects.

In the 1957 film “Night of the Demon” produced by Hal E. Chester and Frank Bevis and adapted from the M. R. James story "Casting the Runes" , the production was turbulent due to artistic differences that arose between producer Chester on one side and director Tourneur and writer Charles Bennett on the other. The original plan was not to show the demon on screen, but Chester inserted a special effects creature over the objections of the writer, the director and lead actor Dana Andrews, which in my opinion ruined a brilliant film , watch it but be warned the “monster” is rubbish.

The film's storyline concerns an American psychologist who travels to England to investigate a satanic cult suspected in more than one death, a result of passed runes on slips of paper.

I do prefer films that use your own imagination to frighten you.

First Up:

The Haunting (1963) - Robert Wise

This film has no special effects bar a large door breathing in on some of the researchers as they spend the night there . You spend the film wondering if something will happen but most of the time relying on those spending the night there and I still find it very eerie and would have me making sure my doors were locked if I were watching it alone.

My parents' house dated back to Cromwell’s time and I believe he may have stayed there. Two monks were drowned in a well there , which we were unaware of until we built an extension. One night I was alone and heard our alsatian Sheena padding about upstairs , opening bedroom doors as she did. A bit later there was a bark at the front door , it was Sheena , she had been out all night…… Sometimes real life can be disconcerting.

The Evil Dead (1981) - Sam Raimi

A deserted cabin , evil spirits , demonic possession, black humour and Bruce Campbell make this a go to for me. Because you actually see the creatures it may not be as frightening as The Haunting , but there are some great make you jump moments.

Eden Lake (2008) - James Watkins

This is described as a slasher movie and lives up to that , but is very scary because it takes the normal and makes it very frightening in an almost Ballardian fashion. A couple go camping into a remote forest / lake area , and for the flimsiest of reasons are stalked by a group of teenage thugs and their families and it doesn’t end well for the family.

To this day it makes me extremely wary of newish housing estates, which means it was very successful in scaring me.

There are lots of films I could include but I shall not finish with the first …..

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Wes Craven

A slasher / supernatural film that doesn’t let up , with Robert Englund’s Freddie Kruger an iconic horror figures . Again once you have seen this you do know what’s coming , but not really a film to watch alone on a dark night.

Finally

“Hellraiser” (1987) - Clive Barker

Clive Barker is my favourite author , but to make this they had a small budget to work with and the film hits you from the off with the introductions of the puzzle box that when solved lets in the Cenobites from some hellish dimension. While all the Cenobites are horrific , “Pinhead” is the one that everyone knows.

So that is my five films that will see you past the Witching Hour on Halloween.

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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