Call us horror junkies, but we’re of the mind-set that it’s not Halloween unless we’re watching a film that makes us want to scream out loud, hide behind the sofa or sleep with the lights on. So to get in the mood for this spooky season, we’re presenting a movie marathon filled with the very best in pure terror and non-stop frights. See how many you can handle…
Quite possibly the scariest film of all time, The Exorcist continues to spook us years on from its release in 1973. This horror classic follows Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter Regan (Linda Blair), who would be your average teenager if not for the fact that she’s possessed by a brutal demon. Two priests are called in to perform an exorcist, but this demon won’t go easily. Its sole purpose is to cause as much physical and emotional damage as it can.
Everything about the Freeling house is totally normal, except for the fact that it’s infested with ghosts that first arrive in the form of static on a TV screen. The ghosts seem fixated on the Freeling’s youngest daughter Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), who is sucked into a ghostly portal conveniently located in the children’s closet. They’ll have to get her back, but that means fighting hundreds of ghosts and their horrifying leader known only as the ‘Beast’.
Santa Carla might seem like your average Californian town, but there are vampires lurking around every corner. Sam Emerson (Corey Haim) learns the hard way when he moves to Santa Carla and his brother Michael (Jason Patric) is turned into a blood-sucking demon. With the help of the Frog brothers, Sam can turn his brother back into a human only by killing the head vampire, David (Kiefer Sutherland). That’s if Michael can resist his intense thirst for blood.
It’s hard to imagine a premise scarier than A Nightmare on Elm Street, where you aren’t even safe in your dreams. The infamously disfigured Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) gets his start here, terrorising teenagers in their sleep – the only catch is, if he kills you in your dreams, he kills you in real life. The comfort of knowing ‘it’s only a dream’ no longer applies.
The first film to introduce us to The Conjuring Universe, The Conjuring follows the story of real-life paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) as they visit the Perron family in their farmhouse in Rhode Island. The beautiful property has quite the history, and is possessed by the evil spirit of a witch who used to live there, now intent on terrorising the young family. The only way to save the children and themselves is by exorcising the house, and history shows us that this isn’t so easy.
The Conjuring Universe takes on a whole new dimension as all of our nightmares are realised in this horror flick. Set in the 1960s, Annabelle follows Mia Form (Annabelle Wallis) and her husband who, after their daughter Leah is born, are tortured by an utterly creepy porcelain doll that a demon has attached itself to. This demon will stop at nothing until it claims Mia’s soul, wreaking havoc and setting hairs on end along the way.
What is it with directors playing on our absolute worst fears? It’s safe to say that Lights Out isn’t for those who are afraid of the dark, as this film follows a family haunted by a woman that feeds on peoples’ fear of what could be lurking in the shadows. The only thing worse than a terrifying spirit that only comes out at night is a terrifying spirit with a vendetta.
Scared yet? After these films, we’re definitely sleeping with the lights on this Halloween.