Top 10 scariest films to watch this Hallowe'en
The Indie's film reviewer Charlie Hughes, a 15-year-old student in his GCSE year at Bishop's Stortford College, counts down his 10 favourite flicks for the ultimate fright night...
10. Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Kicking off the list is an underseen horror masterpiece from British auteur Peter Strickland. Featuring Toby Jones in one of his finest performances, Berberian Sound Studio explores the psyche of an English sound engineer plagued by the horrors of the slasher film he is working on. This modern classic is truly spine-tingling.
9. The Babadook (2014)
Gaining instant cult status upon its release, Jennifer Kent’s portrait of an Australian family’s breakdown is perhaps the scariest film of the decade. Essie Davies’ acting tour de force and a terrifying monster named The Babadook mean you will be sleeping with the lights on.
8. Suspiria (1977)
This story of a ballerina uncovering a coven of witches is widely considered to be Italian giallo master Dario Argento’s chef d’oeuvre, packed with startlingly saturated colours and generous amounts of gore. Although endlessly imitated, the original Suspiria remains a staple of the horror genre more than 40 years on.
7. Audition (1999)
Takashi Miike’s Japanese classic poses as an offbeat rom-com for most of its first act. However, in a horrifying coup de cinéma, a nervous romance becomes a cat-and-mouse game of torture as a seemingly shy woman reveals her darker side. Single-handedly initiating the birth of J-horror, Audition is an uncompromisingly shocking cinematic experience.
6. The Descent (2005)
The last 21st-century film on the list is this underrated horror thriller. A masterclass in tension, it tells the story of a group of female daredevils who look to find their latest thrill in an unexplored cave system, but soon encounter the horrors lurking within. Expertly crafted thrills and carefully devised characters make this claustrophobic thriller scarier than the likes of Alien.
5. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock takes us deep into the tormented mind of a killer in what is perhaps the most famous horror film of all time, not least because of its legendary shower scene. Despite being released almost 60 years ago, Psycho still manages to terrify audiences and remains essential Hallowe'en viewing.
4. Dead of Night (1945)
The earliest horror on this list is a portmanteau of four chilling ghost stories. Highlights from Ealing Studio’s masterpiece include a puppet with a mind of its own and a haunted wedding present. Who knew a mirror could be so scary?
3. The Haunting (1963)
Adapted from Shirley Jackson’s renowned 1959 horror novel The Haunting of Hill House, Robert Wise’s ghost story is perhaps the scariest of all Gothic horror films. Its unrelenting sense of dread and mystery is thrillingly unsettling, delving into the increasingly fragile minds of its ghost-hunting protagonists. This film is proof that the suggested can be utterly terrifying.
2. Ringu (1998)
Although Audition is hot on its heels, the finest example of J-horror is undoubtedly Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, which documents a journalist’s investigation into a haunted videotape. The film’s conclusion conjures the closest feeling to pure horror that can be experienced in a cinema.
1. Don’t Look Now (1973)
A kaleidoscopic and existentialist examination of grief, time and the supernatural, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now is one of the greatest films of all time. Following the tragic death of their daughter, Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie try to rebuild their marriage in Venice, only to be tormented by sightings of what appears to be their daughter’s ghost. Chilling, unnerving and exceptionally creepy – watch it this Hallowe'en, if you dare.