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Top Scary Movies For Halloween 2011

We here at Fantasy-Faction are getting excited about the coming Halloween celebrations and figure that there is no better way to get yourself in the mood for Halloween than with a scary movie. But what to choose?

There are a ton of ‘Top 10 Scary Film’ lists all around the interwebs but they’re too often topped with the usual The Exorcist, The Omen, Poltergeist and so on blah blah blah. There’s no denying that to most people they are great films but what if you’re not into demon possession? What if ghosts don’t make you jump any more than you would if your shower just suddenly started running cold? Well that’s where we want to step in.

Below are our top five scary films in different categories to make life easy for you when deciding. So maybe you’re tired of zombie movies and don’t even feel a wiggle when a vampire comes on the screen, then try yourself a monster film? Personally I bloody love a monster film.

Obviously these are just our top five so please leave your favourites in the comments section after this article, especially if there are any corkers that people should know about!

Oh, and the Twilight films were omitted from this list for many, many reasons but mainly because I firmly believe that vampires should melt under sunlight and not sparkle like Emma Frost on a seaside holiday to Greece.

Creature Features

5. The Descent
4. The Mist
3. Aliens
2. The Thing
1. Gremlins

GremlinsGremlins grabs the top spot purely because for me it has the right mix of everything. Sure it’s set at Xmas but that just makes it creepier.

The idea here is basically, take a hoard of green mischief making monsters, throw them into a sleepy town and watch everything erupt. Who could ask for more? Dante and Spielberg mix things up perfectly, keeping your emotions high with shocks and laughs, jumping from the humour of a cinema filled with gremlins with popcorn hats singing along to Snow White to the horror of Billy being stalked around a dark store by a chainsaw wielding Stripe. I love this film and it is definitely a must watch for Halloween this year. Oh, and did I mention it has Pheobe Cates in it? *swoon*

Vampires

5. Blade 2
4. 30 Days of Night
3. ‘Salem’s Lot
2. Lost Boys
1. Let The Right One In/Let Me In

Let The Right One InThe story of Let The Right One In follows a lonely 11-year-old boy who befriends a girl who looks his age and just happens to be a vampire. The story is shocking and heartbreaking at the same time. The original film is in Swedish (based on the book of the same name) and is definitely the version to watch if you can get hold of it. However, if you’re not a fan of foreign language films then you’re very much welcome to check out Let Me In as it is a brilliantly faithful English-language adaptation of the Swedish screenplay and is also directed by Matt ‘Cloverfield’ Reeves.

Zombies

5. Zombieland
4. Evil Dead 2
3. Shaun of The Dead
2. REC
1. 28 Days Later

28 Days LaterI hold my hands up and profess that when it comes to movies I will take a comedy or action flick over a horror any day however, 28 Days Later is one of my very favourite films. For me it changed zombie movies forever. It follows Jim as he wakes up in an abandoned hospital after an accident and proceeds to stumble through a silent London only to find a rather irate priest coming at him with his mouth open. What follows is a thing of pure beauty and carnage.

The scenes of London devoid of life are freaky enough but throw in a broken down taxi in an under pass (you’ll see what I mean) and a very cool twist on what it means to be human and you have a cracking scary movie. What makes 28 Days Later so good is that it just looks and feels so believable. Alex ‘The Beach’ Garland captured apocalyptic London perfectly with a tale that could plausibly happen to you tomorrow…maybe. Couple this with Danny ‘Sunshine’ Boyle and a killer cast that includes Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Eccleston, and you’ll see why you can’t really go wrong with 28 Days Later this Halloween.

Werewolves

5. Wolf
4. Underworld
3. An American Werewolf In London
2. The Howling
1. Dog Soldiers

Dog SoldiersWhat 28 Days Later did for zombies, Dog Soldiers did for werewolves. The premise is, a group of grizzled British soldiers are dropped in to the Scottish Highlands for routine training ops but as we all know these things never turn out how they are supposed to.

Rather than go for all out shock and awe tactics, Neil ‘The Descent’ Marshall builds a world of paranoia using great lighting, quick cameras and the closed settings of the forests and the tiny house for the last stand. The make-up is also fantastic. Hollywood take note, we do not want to see werewolves that are basically just wolves but bigger – I’m looking at you again Twilight – instead we want ‘em to be half human half wolf super creatures.

Van Helsing is also excellent for a good Werewolf but just not werewolfy enough on the whole to make it into the list.

Ghosts and Demons

5. Sleepy Hollow
4. Beetlejuice
3. Outpost
2. The Ring/The Grudge (I know it’s cheating choosing two but I just couldn’t decide.)
1. Paranormal Activity

Paranormal ActivityMany people might disagree with this choice but I’m sticking by it because when I first watched this film it was 2am in a creaky old house and by the end my girlfriend at the time asked me to fetch a saucepan because she was busting for a wee but was too scared to leave the room. For me Paranormal Activity gets what it means to make a ghost/demon movie, with a long and slow build up until BAM things go bat-shit crazy. The other way PA gets this ghost story right, in my opinion anyway, is choosing not to reveal the baddie. How many films have you seen where you’re been creeped out by the suspense and then you see the budget monster and burst out laughing. The best way to watch Paranormal Activity is very late at night with the lights off, the sound up and no other distractions. Oh, also, there are two endings for this film and for the record I much preferred the alternate ending – far, far creepier.

Scares For Kids

5. The Witches
4. Wallace and Gromit: Curse Of The Were Rabbit
3. Labyrinth
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
1. Hocus Pocus

Hocus PocusThis was a tough category for me as Roald Dahl’s The Witches scared the pants off of me as a kid and Labyrinth pretty much defines my childhood while The Nightmare Before Christmas is simply phenomenal, but Hocus Pocus wins on many counts.

First of all the story is aimed purely at kids as the witches are stealing life from children to keep themselves alive which touches on the same fears that made The Witches so good. It’s set on Halloween which is a bonus and it also has a great sense of humour and a full creepy cast including witches, talking cats and the stitched-mouth zombie/stalker Billy Butcherson. Want to know the scariest thing about this movie? Sarah Jessica Parker actually looks hot in it.

So there we are the Fantasy-Faction top scary movies for your 2011 Halloween. Have a happy Halloween!

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5 Comments

  1. I’d add to the various categories:

    Creature Features: Cloverfield. The characters in this film are awful. Every last one of them. Whiny, spoiled, self centred, annoying gits. Turn the film on, grab some popcorn and root for the monster.

    Vampires: George Romero’s Martin is one of my favourite vampire films. Truly, genuinely disturbing. Throw From Dusk ’til Dawn in there, as well for some more light hearted vamp slaying action.

    Zombies: Where’s George Romero? The classic Night of the Living Dead deserves a viewing, surely?

    Werewolves: This always splits horror buffs right down the middle, but I really enjoyed Ginger Snaps.

    Ghosts and Demons: Pass. Literary ghosts and demons turn me into a lump of quivering, fear addled, jelly; on film they just don’t work for me. The Haunting, from 1963 is the only one to genuinely make an impact of any sort.

    Scares for Kids: The now almost entirely forgotten The Monster Squad. Somewhere between The Goonies, Fright Night, Stand by Me and Scooby Doo. Really good fun.

    • Autumn2May Autumn2May says:

      In regards to George Romero, funny you should ask. 🙂 We have an article that might interest you going up tomorrow. 😉

  2. Avatar Lou Morgan says:

    I watched Hocus Pocus yesterday afternoon, as it happens: the first time I’d seen it in about 15 years, and the first time my little boy had watched it. It’s still as much fun as I remembered, and oddly, the jokes still worked. Plus, talking cat. What’s not to love?

  3. Avatar nilling says:

    Great blog, thanks!

  4. I loved The Descent! But the remake was so poor. Also, Salem’s Lot- the book- was so much scarier than the movie. I know… you will ask: how a book can be scarier than the movie? Yeah… Read and you will know!

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