SIX SCARY FILMS TO KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT
Before the clock strikes twelve on All Hallows Eve, take in a film to shock the senses. Here is a selection of our favourites that prove that it doesn't need to be a Hollywood blockbuster to chill you to the core.
The original scary movie, this masterpiece of German expressionist horror takes our protagonist Thomas Hutter into the mountains of Transylvania to the mysterious castle of Count Orlock. The iconic image of the creeping shadow on the stairs, the menacing vision of the vampire peering through the window, will at once mesmerise and terrify. The filters lend this black and white a feel of day to night. But the silence tempered only by the score and the time-worn techniques add to the chilling effects. Directed by F. W. Murnau, the film is an ode to Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Its producers failed to clear copyright from the Stoker family, with an order to destroy all versions. Luckily for us, a few copies remained, and now the film is regarded as a cinematic masterpiece that is still as bone-chillingly shocking to this day.
Rosemary's baby 1968
The controversial director Roman Polanski shot this dark psychological horror set in an old profuse apartment block in New York. Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) is the young, naive housewife who ignores the advice of her close friend when he warns of the building's dark history. Befriended by an elderly and seemingly harmless couple, Rosemary enters a nightmare of paranoia and fear, as she battles to prove her sanity amid terrifying suspicions about her neighbor's true intentions. Farrow's performance is exceptional, and the realism of this 60's piece gives you a profoundly unsettling feeling that it could happen to you.
Don't Look now 1973
Take a trip down the labyrinthine pathways of Venice where a grief-stricken couple travel after the tragic death of their young daughter. John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and his wife Laura (Julie Christie) meet a psychic who claims she can 'see' their beloved child. This psychological horror is an exploration of grief and loss as our protagonists chase shadows and apparitions through the dark passageways of this ancient and atmospheric city. Director Nicolas Roeg developed fragmented editing techniques to explore past, present and future timeframes intercut with one another. The jolting scenes add to the frenetic feel, and the tension builds as they delve deeper into the darkness of the streets and their minds in the hope of discovering the truth.
The Wicker Man 1973
Police Seargent Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) heads to the remote isolation of the Scottish Hebridean island of Summerisle. His quest for a missing girl unearths a dark secret as he battles with the brainwashed community in this British mystery horror. We follow his investigation around the harsh rural environment encountering the unwelcoming and curious characters that inhabit it. Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and Christopher Lee lend eerie performances as Celtic pagans with a twisted scheme. Paranoia and horrific revelations make this one of the most peculiar of plots and chilling films we've seen.
The Thing 1982
John Carpenter's tense science-fiction horror takes you into the frozen depths of the Antarctic where nothing is quite what it seems. A team of scientists set out to investigate the deserted station of their Norwegian counterparts to uncover the mystery of their deaths. Meanwhile, a lone wolf slinks into their research station, bringing with it a deadly extraterrestrial assassin. With equally brilliant and horrifying special effects, the film explores an apocalyptic scenario, where the antagonist poses a threat to humankind and the team are faced with the daunting question of protecting themselves or our species. Kurt Russell leads the group who don't trust themselves or each other.
It Follows 2014
This supernatural psychological horror details a teenage girl who is chased by a persistent manifestation. Her only crime, a casual sexual encounter. Writer and Director David Robert Mitchell based the film on his anxiety nightmares as the casualty of pursuit. He leads us into a tense, compelling game of cat and mouse as Jaime "Jay" Height attempts to pass it on to the next unsuspecting victim. The ever-present feeling of menace consumes as the walking spectre stops at nothing to find its prey. Feeding on the fear of sexually transmitted diseases this edge-of-the-seat contemporary masterpiece will make you think twice about a brief encounter.