This year for Halloween we have put together our top 10 favourite horror movies that will leave you quivering under your duvet with all the lights on!
#1 The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick directs this chilling adaptation of the Stephen King shocker. Seeking solitude in order to write a novel, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Eager to get started, Jack disregards warnings that the isolation drove a former caretaker mad, and moves into the massive resort with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd). But Danny has a supernatural gift which makes him aware of an evil lurking in the hotel, and sure enough, as winter storms cut the hotel off from civilisation, Jack gradually becomes murderously insane.
#2 The Exorcist (1973)
Actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) has every reason to be content, having just completed a film with director Burke Dennings (Jack MacGowran). However, she becomes disturbed by the changes taking place in her 12-year-old daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). At first sullen and withdrawn, Regan becomes aggressive and blasphemous, and ugly welts appear on her face and body. No medical cure is forthcoming, and after Burke is killed by being thrown from Regan’s window, Chris turns to local Jesuit priest Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) for help. Karras then calls in exorcist Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), who confirms that Regan is possessed by the devil. William Peter Blatty’s screenplay, based on his own novel inspired by actual events, won an Oscar, and the film was deemed so powerful that it was refused a BBFC certificate for fifteen years.
#3 The Wicker Man (1973)
An alternative cut of the cult horror classic, featuring previously undiscovered footage, in which devout Christian policeman Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) finds himself summoned to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a child. On arrival, Howie finds himself increasingly isolated and humiliated by the actions of the island’s community, who belong to a bizarre pagan cult led by the charming Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). As preparations for a sinister ritual celebration reach fever pitch, Howie, whilst trying to fend off the advances of the local landlord’s daughter Willow (Britt Ekland), begins to suspect what role the islanders intend him to play.
#4 Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock directs this Oscar-nominated thriller starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Marion Crane (Leigh) goes on the run after stealing $40,000 from one of her employer’s clients. Taking a wrong turn in a storm, she arrives at the isolated Bates Motel, run by the twitchy Norman (Perkins), who is constantly at the beck and call of his unseen mother. When Marion takes a shower in her room, a sudden knife attack brings her life to an end. Upon discovering her body Norman covers up the murder, but it is not long before Marion’s sister and boyfriend are attempting to track her down. Leigh’s performance won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
#5 Alien (1979)
When Kane (John Hurt) and the crew of the spaceship ‘Nostromo’ investigate a transmission from a deserted planet, he is attacked by an unknown organism which attaches itself to his face. The crew cut the creature off, but not before it has made Kane the host of a monstrous alien killer, one which will hatch out through his stomach (one of cinema’s most memorably gory scenes) and proceed to hunt down the crew one by one.
#6 The Omen (1976)
Remake of Richard Donner’s 1976 horror classic. Katherine (Julia Stiles) and Robert (Liev Schreiber) Thorn are as loving parents as any young boy could ask for, but as fate would have it, their new son Damien is far from the typical child. Now, as the mysterious boy’s growth begins to share frightening parallels with the Biblical passages detailing the rise of the Antichrist, and the lives of all who seek to reveal his true nature are cut gruesomely short, Robert and Katherine are forced to face the horrifying prospect that their child has been sent from Satan to hasten the fall of modern civilisation.
#7 The Conjuring (2013)
James Wan directs this horror starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. When the Perron family experience strange goings-on at their farmhouse, they enlist the help of paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine. As they investigate, however, the couple begin to realise that, despite their expertise, they may not be equipped to deal with such a violent and foreboding evil…
#8 Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Francis Ford Coppola’s big budget version of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel. Victorian London provides the stalking ground for the lovelorn Transylvanian Prince Vlad (Gary Oldman), feeding off human blood as he seeks out the beautiful Mina (Winona Ryder), a reincarnation of his lost love Elisabeta. Mina is also courted by gentleman estate agent Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves), whose chum Doctor Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) wants to put an end to this vampire business once and for all.
#9 Poltergeist (1982)
After the Bowen family move into their new suburban home they quickly realise something is not quite right when their youngest daughter Madison (Kennedi Clements) starts communicating with people or things that are not really there. When Madison disappears without a trace her mother and father (Rosemarie DeWitt and Sam Rockwell) consult an exorcist who informs them that the house was built on an old cemetery and the buried spirits are prepared to go to extreme lengths to drive out their new neighbours.
#10 The Woman in Black (2012)
Supernatural drama, based on the novel by Susan Hill, in which a young lawyer finds himself battling to contain the ghost of a dead woman bent on destruction. When Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) leaves his son (Misha Handley) behind in London to head off on an assignment to a remote village, he has little idea of what lies in store for him. Once there, Arthur discovers that the locals live in such fear of a mysterious figure known as the ‘Woman in Black’ that they keep their children locked away indoors, afraid that contact with the woman would harm them. Arthur’s investigations lead him to believe that the woman is a ghost, haunted by her inability to save her son from drowning. When she turns her attention towards Arthur’s own son, the lawyer is forced to confront the spectre head on.