Essential movies to revisit this Halloween

24 Oct 2018

At this time of year scary movie marathons are a must! Everyone has their own selection of go-to films for a fantastic fright fest, but how about taking a little inspiration from this list and revisiting a few classics that you might have forgotten about? Whether you’re after a sleepless night or some lighter entertainment, we’ve got you covered.

The Shining

A Stephen King story brought to life by Stanley Kubrick, with Jack Nicholson depicting the slow descent of a man losing his mind. Iconic feels like an understatement and The Shining is a standout film for many reasons.

It’s spinetingling scenes make for a great choice at Halloween. Seeing the horrors of the Overlook Hotel through young Danny Torrance’s eyes will have you choosing stairs over lifts for the foreseeable future, and you can’t help but feel sorry for Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance, having to face that terrifying bathroom scene as Jack hacks through the wooden door.

The Exorcist

From the Tubular Bells soundtrack through to the moody lighting and documentary feel, 40 years later The Exorcist is still one of the darkest and most scary horror films ever made.

The film follows the plight of a young girl who has been possessed by the devil, so priests are sent to try and release her from his grip. A truly harrowing production, with a supposed cursed set, it’s even more terrifying when you find out that the film is loosely based on real events!

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Clown

If you’ve never had a fear of clowns before, it’s likely you will after seeing IT. Also from the mind of Stephen King, the plot focuses on Pennywise who lives in the sewers of a sleepy American town in Maine. This film is part 1 of King’s novel and is set in the late ‘80s.

Pennywise is a terrifying clown who resurfaces every 27 years to hunt children, who go missing at an alarmingly high rate. Switched onto the fact that their town isn’t normal and that something sinister is at large, it’s down to a bunch of kids who go by the name of The Losers Club to put a stop to this nightmare.

the conjuring

The film that gave birth to the Conjuring Universe and cemented James Wan as a master of horror. Also based on true events, The Conjuring introduces us to Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real-life married couple that were paranormal investigators.

When a new family home turns into a nightmare the Warrens are called to take on a malevolent spirit that’s putting lives at risk. Set in the early 1970s in a farmhouse on Rhode Island, this is a jump-packed film with the perfect balance of storyline and shock.


A Halloween movie with a twist! From director Tim Burton, Beetlejuice is a comedic horror that takes a look at what happens after we die but get stuck in limbo.

Michael Keaton is unrecogniseable as the mischievous spirit who takes a fancy to Lydia (Winona Ryder), the teenage girl who has unknowingly moved into a haunted house with her parents. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are the recently deceased couple who try to protect her from marrying the horrid Beetlejuice, stopping him from wreaking havoc on the mortal world.  With more laughs than screams, this is a brilliantly bonkers classic that’s reached iconic status over the years.

Practical Magic

Ever wondered about being born into a magical family? Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are sisters who, following the deaths of their parents, were raised by their aunts (who also happen to be witches).

All seems well until a family curse causes an untimely death and serious heartbreak, forcing the sisters to embrace a darker magic than ever before. It’s brilliantly ‘90s with a spooky but heartwarming storyline, that’ll have you carving pumpkins and reaching for a broomstick before you know it.

The witches

No matter how old we get, this film is still as terrifying as the first time we watched it. Easy to forget it’s from the wonderful mind of Roald Dalh, who we usually associate with less sinister tales.

Starring the fabulous Anjelica Houston as the Grand High Witch it tells the story of The Witches, a group of women disguised as normal humans with the help of wigs and prosthetics. These ‘women’ hate children and have devised a plan to rid the world of them, but thankfully one boy and his grandmother aren’t going to let that happen.

There you have it, whether you fancy a truly terrifying adults-only film or something more family-friendly, there are a host of classically creepy titles to choose from. If you need some tips on watching scary films, take a look at our survival guide for some practical tips!

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