My Top Ten Halloween post got me thinking about horror movies, of which there are very many bad ones. I think before CGI came along, filmmakers put more effort into atmosphere and for the most part, I prefer older horror. Though there’s also a place for humour and exploring tropes from different angles. So if you’re looking for something Halloween-ish to watch this weekend, here’s a list for all levels of scaredy cats (I’ve indicated where available on UK subscription services).

Note, some of the trailers are a bit long and spoilery.

The Mist


Based on a Stephen King story, expect the usual themes and small town setting. Pay attention and spot actors from a host of TV shows. It’s the ending that really makes this film, don’t watch it when you’re emotionally fragile.

Fright Level:
Medium
Watch On: Amazon Prime

Don’t Look Now


I’ve never quite got past the kids in red coats being creepy after watching this film late at night as a teenager. Really atmospheric and emotionally charged, plus lots of running around Venice.

Fright Level: Medium
Rent or Buy

The Thing


Isolation plays a big part in a good horror film and The Thing does it by being set in Antarctica. I rewatched it quite recently and the effects aren’t as scary as I remembered but it’s still a good film, and has probably spawned plenty of knock-offs, including an X-File episode.

Fright Level:
Medium
Watch On: NowTV

Sightseers


The only film I’ve watched twice in the last year. It’s not really horror and we weren’t expecting what we got when we first watched it. It’s a dark comedy about a couple on a British caravan holiday…

Fright Level: Low
Rent or Buy

[Rec]


Don’t be put off by the fact this is a Spanish language film, if you’re not good with reading subtitles it barely even matters. A lot of build up leading to some proper jump out your seat moments.

Fright Level: High
Rent or Buy

Dawn of the Dead


You’re more likely to get the remake on subscription streaming and both are worth a watch. This instalment of George A. Romero’s zombie franchise takes place in a shopping mall.

Fright Level: Medium
Rent or Buy

Poltergeist


Watching for the first time this might not be so scary but I think it’s partly something to do with the fact that a bedroom is supposed to be a safe haven. I was pretty scared of white noise on the telly after first watching this.

Fright Level: Medium
Watch On: Amazon Prime

The Cabin in the Woods


Everyone told me this wasn’t scary, but I was scared, especially at the end. It has a good old poke at all the horror tropes whilst being a decent horror film at the same time and the dialogue is very Whedonesque.

Fright Level: Medium
Rent or Buy

Tucker and Dale vs Evil


One evening I asked Twitter to pick a film for me to watch. I was very sceptical when this film was suggested but I had trust in the recommender and gave it a go. I’m so glad I did. It’s from the point of a couple of rednecks who are lovely but a group of teens on holiday think they are serial killers out to get them.

Fright Level: Low
Rent or Buy

Stranger Things


Oh OK, it’s a series not a film but if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must see. The best TV show I’ve seen in a long time.

Fright Level: Medium
Watch On: Netflix

Bonus shout outs go to Pet Cemetery, 28 Days Later, The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and Shaun of the Dead. Let me know what you’ll be watching this Halloween!