Halloween has to be on every definitive list of best holidays – dress up (with the help of our 2018 costume inspiration list), get sloshed and throw on a horror flick marathon in the middle of the week.
To celebrate the opening of the incorporeal realm, we’ve partnered up with REDDS’ Midnights to be your sinister source for a few cult classics and modern mind-fucks to scare the shit out of you this All Hallows Eve.
Which side of the night are you on? Whether you’re more old school or new school, you’ll find something here to make you think twice about turning the light off at night.
Here’s your Halloween, sorted:
Michael Myers is back. This classic horror flick is a staple of the small-town serial killer subgenre and ever since its release forty years ago, babysitting has never been the same. If you’ve never seen it, you might be missing out on an essential part of the horror movie canon. It spawned an 11 movie franchise, with the latest sequel coming out this year.
2. Cannibal Holocaust
This movie is all kinds of messed up. Since its release all the way back in 1980, the film has been a magnet for controversy. Its mockumentary style caused a bunch of countries to ban the movie because its graphic depictions of violence (and cannibalism, duh) were way too real.
3. Train To Busan
A zombie apocalypse breaks out on a train on its way to Busan. That’s pretty much the entire movie, and it’s amazing. The fight scenes are expertly choreographed and the fact that the setting is on a train gives the entire movie a claustrophobic urgency so intense you’ll forget to breathe the entire time.
Teeth is about Dawn, a teenage girl who finds out she has vagina dentata. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s a pretty good subject to lead you down a Google black hole. It’s a bit more campy than scary for a Halloween night movie screening, but it’s worth the watch for Jess Weixler’s performance alone.
5. The Evil Dead
A classic horror movie set up: a group of friends head out to a cabin in the woods and start dropping like flies. The storyline may be done to death at this point, but watching The Evil Dead will remind you why the world loves watching innocent campers die in increasingly gory and creative ways.
6. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
If you’re looking for a little cheese with your scares then this sci-fi/horror/comedy cult classic is perfect for you. It’s about a group of aliens that happen to look just like circus clowns, as they make their way through a small town, consuming the residents for sustenance. The insane killer klown costumes alone are enough to make watching this movie your next favourite Halloween tradition.
7. Jennifer’s Body
This high school-set horror dramedy from writer Diablo Cody is extremely underrated. Cody fatigue was setting in after she faced a fair bit of overexposure following the success of Juno, causing people to overlook this movie and making it fly under the radar. But now is the perfect time to revisit the flick, about a teenage it-girl who feeds on the unsuspecting boys of her school.
8. You’re Next
The best horror movies can make do with the simplest of premises. You’re Next is about a family who get trapped in a house by murderous intruders. There isn’t much in the way of plot, but fans of gore (like, just crazy amounts of blood) and propulsive storytelling will enjoy this one.
What list of horror movie musts would be complete without a Japanese entry? Audition is about a recent widow who auditions women to be his next wife, and we won’t give away any more than that. The movie is a highlight in the much-revered Japanese horror canon and has influenced directors like Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino.
10. Dead Set
Zombies and reality TV collide in this satirical miniseries. Comprised of five 30 minute episodes, the show follows a woman who hides out in the Big Brother house during a zombie apocalypse. Dead Set was created by Charlie Booker, who cut his teeth on exploring the collision between technology and humanity with this show before going on to create Black Mirror.
11. The Exorcist
A horror movie classic. The image of a demonic little girl with a scarred up face rotating her head around 360 degrees and projectile vomiting freaked out a whole generation of moviegoers. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
12. The Craft
The angsty teenager in all of us needs some time to come out and stretch their legs every once in a while. If you ever wished you had magic powers to place a spell on the nastiest bullies of your high school, this movie is the perfect revenge fantasy. Come for the magic, stay for the cute 90s fashion.
13. The Purge
The idea of an annual crime free-for-all proved to be such a compelling thought experiment for audiences around the world that The Purge ended up becoming a mega-hit franchise with three sequels and a TV series. You might want to lock your doors, shut your windows, and ready the reinforced steel because a Halloween night trip to The Purge cinematic universe might make you a bit paranoid.
Cover image via The Exorcist (1973).