by Hayley Doyle
“Do you like scary movies…?”
The image of Drew Barrymore with a cute blond bob holding the phone for dear life is iconic, if not chilling. But maybe slasher movies just don’t give you the creeps. Or maybe they get your pulse rate going so fast that you’d rather dive under the duvet and wait for some sunshine and bunnies to ballet dance into your dreams. Still, all hallows eve is upon us. And if you’re not too keen on a movie night involving pretty high school kids being chased by a knife, how about some alternatives to get you into the spirit? As one skeleton said to the other, “there’s something for every body here…” Mwhahahahaaa…
Dare to say his name three times! Tim Burton’s hilarious movie is a total trick and treat, with a super stellar cast, including Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Keaton in the title role, with the added bonus of Schitt’s Creeks’ very own Catherine O’Hara. Beetlejuice combines macabre humour about death with gags, weirdness and Tim Burton's trademark spooky visuals. The plot involves a couple who die in a car accident and get trapped in their house, trying - and failing - to haunt the new home owners. So they call upon a strange, rotten-toothed exorcist, Beetlejuice, to help… Or does he cause more trouble than its worth? A supernatural delight in all its form, this movie also manages to paint a positive picture of death.
Hands up! What 90s girl didn’t want to be one of the witches from The Craft at Halloween? This movie rocked the trend of long, sexy socks and school mini-skirts, smudgy black eyeliner, dog collars and rosary beads. The sinister story is set in a Catholic prep school with three students who dabble in witchcraft. When they welcome a new girl into their circle, they discover she has actual powers, and the plot not only thickens, but darkens. Think of it as Heathers with spells. A brilliant school outcast tale with a terrifying performance from Fairuza Balk as Nancy.
If you want to literally jump out of your skin, this is the movie for you. This paranormal horror (and, dare I mention, based on a true story) was praised by critics for performances, direction, screenplay and musical score, and made with a budget of $20 million, yet grossed over $319 million worldwide. It’s the simple tale of a nice couple with five little girls who move into a farmhouse, but when the family dog refuses to go beyond the front porch, surely alarm bells should start ringing?! I wouldn’t be seen dead near that house…Let’s just say, the “wardrobe” scene had people screaming out loud in the cinema (myself included). Starring Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston, this movie really puts he ee in eerie.
A firm family favourite, but perhaps one for slightly older kids, this is the original starring Angelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. Yep, the one where she peels her face off for the camera, revealing her true look. This movie features some magnificent female performances of witches who not only terrify, but are also terrified of their leader. Despite the talking mice and slapstick comedy around the hotel with Mr Bean, Roald Dahl’s story is told so intricately, so honestly, that it does raise the question amongst even the most level-headed; are these witches real?
The Blair Witch Project
Perhaps one of the most talked about movies of 1999, this low-budget moc-doc went on to become one the most successful independent films of all-time. It’s always worth another watch, if you can cope with the mind games, because of the fact that the whole movie was shot over eight days and completely improvised. It’s scary because you never ever see anything scary. If the Blair Witch actually showed up and started slashing the characters’ throats, it might be a bit gory, but it would also provide some (perhaps, comic) relief. The genius of this movie is that never gives you any relief. Just anxiety. And your inner thoughts to go into overdrive…