Prokit's pick of our favourite horror for Hallowe’en
27th October 2015
It’s October. It’s autumn…it’s almost Hallowe’en.
Hallowe’en, or Allhalloween, or even All Hallows’ Eve celebrates the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead. Traditionally the celebration is themed around using “humour and ridicule to confront the power of death.”
In Spain, priests toll their church bells in order to honour their deceased, where as in Mexico children create alters to invite spirits of the dead back for a visit.
But we at Prokit have opted to just hand-pick some our most favourite horror themed movies and compile a list which you can use this Hallowe’en or ignore…it’s up to you.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
This “recovered-footage” horror film directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez tells the doomed tale of three student filmmakers who disappear while hiking in Maryland.
The film went on to make over $248 million world-wide, made even more impressive for the fact that its budget was a mere $22,500. The Blair Witch Project has been hailed as one of the most successful independent movies of all time.
David picked The Blair Witch Project, over a similar favourite of his in REC (2007), because the movie lets you attempt to work it out for yourself until the final scene of the movie - which is notable for its suspense.
The Blood On Satan’s Claw (1970)
Directed by Piers Haggard.
The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari (1920)
A quintessential piece of German Expressionist cinema, The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene is dark and twisted but visually striking.
The story of an insane hypnotist who uses a zombie-like man plagued with somnambulism, or sleepwalking symptoms, to murder his victims makes for a distorted horror far ahead of it’s time.
Tom chose this silent-era German film because of its unsettling look and feel. The twisted city thanks to its nightmarish set gives The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari a distorted feel which works wonderfully alongside the disturbed story and characters.
Village of the Damned (1960)
Directed by Wolf Rilla.
The Wicker Man (1973)
Described as “the Citizen Kane of horror movies” by some, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man is a great mystery horror accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack and depicts themes of extreme faith and the occult.
Starring the late-great Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle, The Wicker Man tells of the strange goings-on of an even stranger remote island and its inhabitants. Missing girls, odd rituals and secrets and lies, this great British horror is bizarre, and has a great, but difficult to watch climax.
Directed by Jordan Rubin
The Shining (1980)
Based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining finds Jack Nicholson's character, Jack Torrance driven into madness while staying at an isolated hotel in the middle of winter.
Picked by Seb, he makes favourable reference to the shot which follows Danny on the Big Wheel tricycle going through the hotel corridors. This scene is famous for being one of the first Steadicam shots. In fact, to accomplish the low POV, Steadicam inventor, Garret Brown used a wheelchair.
Despite its popular today The Shining is notable for being the only Kubrick film (of his last nine) to get no nominations at the Oscars or Golden Globes, but was nominated for a pair of Razzie Awards.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
“A strange man known only as the ‘metal fetishist,’ who seems to have an insane compulsion to insert scrap metal into his body.” Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s cyberpunk movie is extremely graphic and has a fantastic soundtrack, which is ultimately one of the reasons Nick chose it for this list.
Shot on 16mm, and inspired by Katsuhiro Otomo’s terrific cult-anime, Akira, Tetsuo: The Iron Man opens with “the man”, cutting a gash in his leg before inserting a large steel rod into the wound. A terrifying dream sequence and several stylised chase scenes follow suit, accompanied by a surreal and industrial style soundtrack.
Considered the archetypal summer blockbuster movie, Steven Spielberg's Jaws became the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of Star Wars.
This classic film stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and a great white shark. The story depicts the happenings of a small island and its treatment at the hands of the monstrous said fish.
Mark chose Jaws notably for the hair-raising moment in which Richard Dreyfuss' character swims under a small wooden fishing boat only to be greeted by a head of a dead seaman.
Carry On Screaming (1966)
Directed by Gerald Thomas.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Directed by Jim Sharman.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
Iranian/American Ana Lily Amirpour directs one of the newest films on our list, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Coined “the first Iranian vampire Western”, it tells the story of a ghost-town where it’s townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.
Shot entirely in black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is strange and highly original. It was selected at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, and narratively it keeps you guessing until the very end.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Directed by Sam Raimi
The Phantom Carriage (1921)
A seminal piece of Swedish cinema, The Phantom Carriage, directed by and starring Victor Sjöström is notable for it’s special effects and advanced narrative structure.
Post-production was famously long and intense due to the use of techniques like double exposure, which at the time was extremely novel. This technique meant that the ghost characters could walk around in three dimensions. One difficulty was that the cameras used had to be hank-cranked, they had to be cranked at exactly the same speed to appear natural.
Upon choosing The Phantom Carriage, Damien made note of the 2008 Tartan Films version which has a new and contemporary score by ambient musical duo KTL.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
A Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Produced for less than $300,000 and with a cast of relatively unknown actors, A Texas Chainsaw Massacre was very loosely based on the crimes of murderer, Ed Gein. Upon its initial release back in 1974, the film was banned outright in several countries.
Often regarded as one-of-the-greatest (and controversial) horror movies in cinema history, A Texas Chainsaw Massacre even went on to be included in the BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine’s 250 greatest films list.
A Texas Chainsaw Massacre was followed by two sequels, plus there has been a remake and a prequel, but all were less successful than the original. Oddly enough the film has been hailed as “the ultimate pro-vegetarian film.”
The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)
Directed by Tom Putman.