Halloween Movies – My Top Picks

Chill, Mike, I got this

As a horror freak I have always loved Halloween. It’s not as huge here as it is in the US or North America, of course but it’s still always been my very favourite holiday. Ever since my Step Son came into my life and we’ve been taking him trick or treating it’s meant even more.

I particularly respect the adults who throw themselves wholeheartedly into their chosen part on the night. This year I’ve decided to go all out and have not one but two costumes planned. The B’s are going to a Halloween house party at the Haunted House on the Hill (AKA my friend Mix’s house). She’s been planning it for months.

I will most definitely reveal more of that when I can, but I’m keeping things under wraps for now. When Mrs B goes to town, she really goes to town. Instead, let’s talk about my favourite horror films to watch in the lead up to All Hallow’s Eve, shall we?

In no particular order:

Candyman, Candyman
So good, Christina Aguilera named a song after him*

Candyman (1992)

Man, I loved this movie as a teen. It still shits me up and everything about it, from the music to the story of the how Candyman became Candyman, was spot on for me.

Virginia Madsen is crazy good as Helen, the curious grad student intent on uncovering the local legend. Question is, are you brave enough?** Candyman, Candyman, Candyman… Nope, not me.

Calm down, dear
Calm down, dear

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

One of the original ‘Video Nasties’ of the seventies, this film is older than I am (and that’s pretty ancient, let’s face it). It’s up there with one of my favourites because I find Leatherface and his family utterly fascinating.

Even more fascinating is the fact that this is loosely based on the real life of Ed Gein who was a messed up individual. Horrible, bleak and hopeless, this is the complete opposite of a feel good movie but you’ll be rooting for the hippies all the way through it, even though they’re quite annoying. Maybe.

Quitting clownin' around
Quitting clownin’ around

House of 100 Corpses/The Devils Rejects (2003/2005)

Heavily influenced by the aforementioned Chain Saw Massacre, Rob Zombie‘s seminal masterpiece(s) hold their heads high in my top ten because they’re damn good. Horrifying, creative and at times hilarious, both movies follow the lives and times of the Firefly Family, a collection of truly heinous individuals.

They might be sadistic, twisted killers but I dare you not to kind of like them.

Just chillin'
Just chillin’

Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance) (2003)

This is a French horror thriller about two college friends, Marie and Alexa, who run into trouble when they spend the night at Alexa’s parents house.

This is one of those flicks that makes you feel sick and will have you peeking out from behind a cushion until its bloody climax. Jumpy as hell and very gory (which I love), it’s a strong horror contender which manages to keep you gripped until the very end. Definitely recommended.

You've got red on you
“You’ve got red on you”

The Descent (2005)

Another movie that likes to play on multiple fears at the same time, it follows a group of women on a caving expedition after one of the gang suffers a horrible tragedy. It’s no surprise that claustrophobia plays a huge part in the overall feel of the movie but that’s the least of their worries when it all kicks off.

Rumour has it that the American release of this movie changed the ending, which enrages me, as I feel the climax is one of the best things about it. Since it’s rare to get to the end of your average horror these days without being disappointed, that’s very annoying. This might just be a rumour but since you might not have seen this move yet, I’m not saying any more. Love this film as it is.

"I just wanna Axe you a question"
“I just wanna Axe you a question”

The Shining (1980)

Until very early this year I had no idea how good (and scary) this story really is. Like many people, I adore Kubrick‘s version of The Shining and, although I never thought too hard about it, was a little bemused by Stephen King‘s hatred for it.

Now I understand that it’s merely a re-imagining and most of the very terrifying events from the book aren’t really captured in the film. I haven’t watched this since I read the book and it’s been a while, so I’m not sure my fresh understanding will alter the way I feel about it, but I hope not.

I’m happy for there to be two versions. I must admit, at first, it was hard to imagine my own Jack Torrance without Nicholson‘s insane rendition getting in the way. But I coped.

"I got the key, I got the secret"
“I got the key, I got the secret”

The Orphanage (2007)

More of a ghost story than an all-out horror flick, The Orphanage is truly spooky. One particular scene has stuck with me and has to be squeezed out of my consciousness whenever I turn out the bedroom light.

Very, very good.

Not Another French Horror Movie
Not Another French Horror Movie

Martyrs (2008)

Even sourcing a still for this post has turned my stomach a little but I do think that Martyrs deserves its place on this list. The film seems to play out in three separate acts, and tells the tale of a young woman hellbent on revenge on the people who kidnapped and tortured her as a child.

I watched it after it was highly recommended to me by my work colleague and I had no idea what was to come. In fact, I thought it would be pretty standard torture porn fare but actually it gave me so much more than that.

I can honestly say I will never watch it again, since it’s a horrible ride but I think it’s worth it for the final reveal and for the concept itself. At least it tries to be different. Oh, and it’s also French and those French do horror bloody well.

Knife to see you, to see you... knife
Knife to see you, to see you… knife

Halloween (1978)

As if any Halloween list could omit the King of all horror movies! One doesn’t simply forget to reference Michael Myers and his sister, Laurie.

This movie has everything: the plucky heroine, the escaped mental patient with a past, the slutty BFF, the score… its pure perfection really and anyone who’s anyone will fit this into their viewing schedule this October. It’s practically the law. Thanks John Carpenter, for your contribution to the tried and tested slasher movie formula.

So there you have it – my favourites.

How about you guys? Now I know some of you are big film fans so I need recommendations stat! What are you Must See/Go To Halloween Horrors and why? Don’t be shy!

skeleton-spin* not really!
** say his name 5 times in the mirror and then… POW!

12 thoughts on “Halloween Movies – My Top Picks

  1. Good picks! I’ve never watched The Descent. I have horrible claustrophobia. Ghosts, demons, and murderers I can handle. Caves…not so much. Whenever I visit caverns I wonder what would happen if we experienced an earthquake.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I’m ever brave enough to deal with a horror film (pahaha unlikely) then I’ll definitely try one of your recommendations! I’m such a wimp it’s unbelievable. It’s not even usually the watching of the film that creeps me out, it’s afterward when I’m laying in bed and it’s silent that they get me. No sleep for me then! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I totally understand that, I have many friends who don’t and can’t watch them either. But it’s my favourite genre hands down! I am getting wimpier in my old age though, that’s for sure. What kind of films are your favourite? I love all types, with the exception of war movies and most westerns 😆 xoxo


      1. If you’d have asked me a couple of months ago I’d have definitely said typical girly romcoms hands down! I feel now that I’m getting more and more cynical in my maturity! Either that or The Boy is rubbing off on me and giving me a healthy love of thrillers and mysteries! I love films that surprise me (and not in a I-think-I-just-lost-ten-years-of-my-life kind of way!).
        Also sci-fi. Give me a spaceship and I’m so there!


  3. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, The Orphanage!!! So creepy! Horror children freak me OUT.
    I also love the Scream series (or at least the first 2) and The Devil’s Backbone/Pan’s Labyrinth, even though they’re more creepy than scary as well.
    Anything with Vincent Price too!


  4. You see I thought I liked horror films and I haven’t seen half of them on this list!

    It’s all ok though because you put Candyman first and I never come across ANYONE who has watched Candyman. A friend from school and I watched it on repeat for a good 6 months or so and I bought it on DVD a while ago, just for if I’m brave enough in the future to do it again.

    And no I have NEVER said his name into the mirror. What do you think I am? Crazy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is my favourite! I can’t believe people haven’t seen it, that’s just madness to me. I found it so terrifying, remember all the scenes set around Cabrini Green (which is a real life project!)? Scary as Hell, and that empty apartment? I can still here the plinky piano theme in my head as well when I concentrate. It’s the very best of all time!! I love you for loving it!

      I think I will most definitely have to watch it soon, it’s been a good few years now. “Helen! Helen!”

      Argh!!!! xoxo


  5. I’m a huge horror fan. I loved every film on your list. Currently, my favorite horror films are anything by Blumhouse: The Conjuring, The Purge: Anarchy, Insidious, Sinister. Though they are all newer films, it seems the filmmakers respect the genre and pay homage to the brilliant horror films of the 70’s and 80’s.


    1. Great, I love meeting fellow horror fans! I must admit I have been loving the films you mention (to varying degrees) and have a soft spot for the Paranormal Activities. I think just because they are tuned so finely into what I personally consider terrifying. I think the genre as it stands has a way to go but it’s on the right track. Your blog makes me hungry by the way! But it’s lovely 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I’m a sucker for most horror films, though slasher horror is rather tiresome, and tortureporn often lacks the thematic elements I enjoy in the other subgenres, but I’ve always approached horror with an open mind and the hopes of being terrified. Great blog by the way, looking forward to reading more!

        Liked by 1 person

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