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Halloween 2021: Best horror films you should watch for every mood and occasion

·5-min read
Nothing beats a classic horror like Carrie for your perfect Halloween watching  (Handout)
Nothing beats a classic horror like Carrie for your perfect Halloween watching (Handout)

It’s spooky season and you’re looking for the perfect film to celebrate, but your streaming services are overwhelming you with their countless suggestions. No fear — we have pulled together a list to suit every mood and viewer, no matter how much scare they can tolerate.

The laugh

You’re not feeling demons or possessed children — no, you fancy something lighter this Halloween. For those searching for a chuckle with their chaos, look no further than the first in the Cornetto Trilogy, Shaun of the Dead. Shaun’s having a hard time — his girlfriend dumped him, work sucks and now Crouch End is overrun with zombies. The 2004 horror comedy is a classic and with good reason so head to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over.

You can’t move for zombies tonight so embrace the theme and pop on Zombieland. The 2009 hit sees Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin on a nightmare roadtrip as they take on the undead. Learn the rules and prepare for a brilliant Bill Murray cameo.

The scare with a story

You enjoy gore as much as the next person but you’re looking for a little more depth when it comes to bloody death. A Quiet Place will have you holding your breath and trying to swallow your screams as John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt attempt to keep their family safe from terrifying blind creatures with insane hearing abilities. Negotiating young children and murderous monsters in a post-apocalyptic world where making a sound will kill you is no easy feat.

Being a teen is hard enough but being a teenager accused of witchcraft takes the biscuit. In her debut film role, Anya Taylor-Joy suffers with the supernatural as her suspicious family begin to turn on her. Dark and macabre, The Witch tells the story of an intense and fearful time in the 17th century that will leave you with goosebumps.

The teen scream

Sometimes there’s nothing better than seeing teenagers attempt to juggle school and serial killers. While it may have an extremely long title, There’s Someone Inside Your House is a prompt 96 minutes. The tidy Gen-Z slasher has teens confronting their pasts and unveiling their secrets as they’re taken out one by one. It won’t change the world but you’re in for a few scares as you try to guess whodunnit.

We’ve all been there: homework is piling up, that person you’re crushing on doesn’t know you exist and there’s nothing worth eating in the house so you turn into a succubus and start eating your classmates. Just us? Oh. While it was slated upon its 2009 release, Jennifer’s Body has become a cult favourite and it’s not hard to see why. Covering female friendship, the male gaze and, of course, bloody revenge, Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfriend dance with the devil when a hot new boyband comes to town. Featuring plenty of gore and the best use of a pair of bunny slippers we’ve seen, it’s time to head back to high school.

The original

You can’t build on perfection so why bother? Scrap the remakes, we’re talking original edition horrors that stand the test of time. First up, you’re invited to prom with the bloodiest queen there is: Carrie. Sissy Spacek is the perfect mix of vulnerable and terrifying in the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. The story is well-known by now: a bullied teen discovers telekinetic powers much to her religious mother’s distress. Her new abilities come to a messy head at the crowning of prom king and queen in a now iconic scene. Grab the fake blood and prepare yourself for a hormonal horror.

Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 adaptation of Let the Right One In by horror author John Ajvide Lindqvist is far superior to its American remake, Let Me In, which emerged a few years later. In a snowy Swedish suburb, we see young Oskar develop a friendship with new (and unusual) neighbour Eli. Young love is in the air in this intense and unsettling horror. If you’re expecting a jump-a-minute ride then you’re in the wrong place but there are plenty of tender and traumatising scenes to keep you gripped.

The series

You’re in it for the long haul. Whether you’re rationing one a week or spending the day bingeing trick or treater sweets on your sofa, there are plenty of scary shows with dozens of episodes to keep the fear going longer. It would be remiss to forget about American Horror Story, a show that has covered everything from haunted houses and hotels to vampires, witches and cults. With such wide-ranging subjects, there truly is a fright for everyone with this collection. There are no rules when it comes to watching as each series is a standalone masterpiece so pick a season and give it a spin.

The year is 2008. The original iPhone is shiny and new, an outfit is not complete without an extra-wide waist belt and we’re still (mostly) obsessed with Big Brother. Enter Dead Set, the zombie-slash-reality-show you never knew you needed. Charlie Brooker’s mini-series depicts an outbreak of the undead that leaves the housemates and crew of Big Brother stranded in the house as the last people left alive. It’s gruesome and funny and even features a cameo from Davina McCall — what’s not to love?

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