A Platter of Splatter

Pumpkins, ghouls and ghosts are particular elements of our past which return to haunt us each new Halloween.

As these enticing icons have aged, our taste for horror has never ceased, modern films such as Friday the 13th (18) and The Fly (18) pinacles of our horrific delight. With this ever more chilling, thrilling, popcorn-spilling theme in mind, I have composed a general list of the five best horror movies to watch; each movie representing one age certificate. Be advised, although these are my personal knuckle-crackers, it might not be the best solution to delve into a certificate-18 when you underage!

Halloween (1978) (18)

We begin with a movie with a title most suited to the event. Exposed to the outside world, a psychotic murderer seeks escape from the jaws of institutionalisation, soon to be freed. Becoming progressively more ruthless, the viewer follows the antagonist, the personification revealed through the girls he stalks; doctor close behind as there is only a trail for him to follow. This low-budget cult classic focused primarily on the potential of happening, as opposed to events unfolding chronologically. In better terms, the director John Carpenter takes situations of likely death and makes the audience question themselves, question the shadow behind the door, and thus stimulates fear from the unknown. This is an incredible piece of horror viewing, and it is advised to not watch this unless you are 18 years of age.

The Shining (1980) (15)

Perhaps nothing is more chilling than this book-adaptation. Although from sweet beginnings innocent and novel at heart, The Shining soon offers much more than the generic paranormal, immersing the viewer in a twisted tale of a father catapulted into violence through spirits trapped inside the foundations of a hotel. Above being gripping by the swift camera pans and famous taglines; “Here’s…Johnny!” – The Shining is sophisticated completely tearing apart new trilogies such as Paranormal Activity, creating an intense scene at high emotional calibre. I would recommend this to any keen, bloodthirsty horror-fiend. Amiable at a first glance, the family that stepped into an isolated hotel begin to fear only themselves, a truly magnificent horror movie without bounds.

The Mothman Prophecies (2002) (12A)

This isn’t so much a complete horror movie, but there are such sequences where a chill courses down one’s spine, as they are completely immersed in the story of a relationship broken by the death of the protagonist’s wife. Soon after, John finds strange etchings which reveal to him a connection between the drawings and a small town in West Virginia in which he is drawn to. He believes there’s a story behind his wife’s death, on the search for an entity which had been described in the area. For me, what was particular gripping was being able to question this. ‘Is there any entity at all?’, ‘Is this all inside John’s head?’ – There were so many questions as to whether we were lead into his fantasy, and whether the narrator was trustworthy in his interpretation. A remarkable horror, and great to start you off on your hunt for certificate 12A movies.

Monster House (2006) (PG)

Three teenagers, and a revealing title. What seemlessly appears like an old, tampered house is found to be riddled with mystery; traps, locks and coffins which strike the teens as an abandoned shack. However this later proves to be an underestimation, as the house is completely animated, threatening to take the teens into its grasp. I would give the utmost applause for an animation artist of the mid-2000’s to have such clean, crisp frames, completely focusing on the relationship between the house and the teenagers. It’s a PG, and thus the mental stimulation is lesser to the physical backlash of whipping back in your seat in surprise, but this story still brings a shiver to any viewer.

The Ghost Train (1941) (U)

Now these were hard to recall. Being from such a time period, and with such a certificate, horrors are not the comedic satires they used to be. In this comedy horror, travellers stay the night in the waiting room of a train station. They are told the story of a train-wreck, and how there are legends of a powerful ‘Ghost Train’ seen late at night, through the dense fog of the Cornish countryside. Although not too gripping and diverse, The Ghost Train is a definite watch for those wishing to immerse themselves in the chills and the thrills without a glance away or hiding in the bed-sheets.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Words: Josh Carson


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