Updated: Oct 8, 2019
It’s Autumn, the leaves are turning fiery brown and red, there’s a chill in the air and it's definitely time to pack away your summer gear. Halloween is just around the corner and this is by far my FAVOURITE time of year.
Knowing this, Claire asked me for my favourite horror films so she could put together a blog and I really didn't know where to start... Classic King, Craven, or more recent horrors, like The Conjuring?
It got me thinking about where my love of horrors started, so I thought I’d share five horror films that really got me into this genre. Get cosy and get someone to cuddle because things are about to get spooky…
1 DOLLY DEAREST
This one takes me back to being 13 years old (ahem, around 1993-ish) and thinking it was a perfectly acceptable movie to stick on at my birthday sleepover! Was I wrong, or what!
So, before scary Annabelle, there was Dolly Dearest - the original possessed dolly with one mission and one mission only – to kill!
This story follows a family terrorized by a possessed doll, of course. It all starts when the Dad obtains a doll’s factory. Not far from this factory is the underground tomb of Sanzia (Satan on Earth). The sarcophagus is broken (oopsie!) and boom, the spirit of Sanzia is released. Guess where it lands? Yep - right in our beloved little Dolly Dearest. You can figure out quite easily where this storyline goes. It’s a very low budget horror movie and quite amusing to watch now but it was still quite scary at the time. I imagine they’ll remake sometime soon but so worth a watch for the comedy horror!
IT’S SHOWTIME! Who hasn’t seen this belter of a Halloween family classic? It had to make the list for me. I first saw this movie in my teens and I grew up wanting to be Lydia (who didn't?!), played by the fabulous Winona Ryder. She was a cool teenage American kid whose family had just moved into a new house, haunted by the ghosts of Barbara and Adam. In a bid to get rid of their presence, they attract the spirit of Beetlejuice, played by the brilliant Michael Keaton (one of his most memorable roles for me!). What happens next is a showreel of what I think is some of Tim Burton’s best work - death, humour and total surrealism. And every time I hear Harry Belfonte’s Banana Boat song I’m taken right back to this movie. It's also still so watchable 31 years on. Happy. Horror. Times.
Here's a little Tim Burton fact for you from our Disney-freak, Claire:
“Tim burton worked for Disney back in the 80s and got fired as his work was deemed too terrifying for children. Later down the line, he’s back working for Disney for the very same darkness!”
3 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you! Poor little Freddy. Terrorising your dreams with his melty face and killer fingers. This classic American slasher film was terrifying at the time and hands down one of the most terrifying horror series I’ve ever watched. Definitely pre-Pro Plus days (!); if you fell asleep Freddy was coming for you and if he killed you in your dreams, you were dead for real. Of course, there’s a dark back story to Freddy that unfolds throughout the movie that main character, Nancy, follows. Another little well-known fact – this was Jonny Depp’s cameo role as main character Nancy’s boyfriend. Very fresh. Unfortunately (spoiler alert!), he dies. As does a lot of Krueger’s victims. This series of films are all-out slasher horror classics and if you haven’t seen them, put them on your list. Wes Craven was a horror god.
4 PET SEMATARY
I’m yet to watch the 2019 remake of this ‘89 classic but the original was the stuff of twisted nightmares for me as a teen! Based on the brilliant novel by legendary Stephen King (read the book – it’s one of King’s best), Pet Sematary follows the story of a young family that tragically loses one of their own. Dad discovers a hidden - and somewhat cursed - burial ground behind the town's Pet Sematary and after successfully bringing back their cat from the dead, he unearths all kinds of evil when he brings their young son, Gage, back to life. Twisted? Yes. Horror? Absolutely! The remake is on my watch list, despite what the critics say.
The last on my horror movie classics list has got to be the super thriller-chiller, Saw! This movie sent chills down my spine back in 2004. So much so, I collected a lot of the memorabilia! So, what’s your worst nightmare, do you know? Waking up, chained up in a bathroom and in order to survive you have to kill your friend, that’s what! This film was a change-up in my horror tastes at the time. Not your usual possessed spirit but a twisted killer with an (obviously questionable!) lesson he wants to teach. Serial killer, Jigsaw, threw out some disturbing conundrums for his victims throughout the Saw movies. Did you want to survive? And what would extremes would you go to survive?! Lots of gory disturbing scenes throughout the first few movies that kept me truly gripped to my seat made Saw well and truly hit the horror spot.
So that’s my most memorable five. What are yours?