Halloween is here! The spooky time of year when days become shorter, mist seems to be everywhere and the atmosphere is always a little ghostly. This year Halloween is extra special for The Corner Shop team as we are celebrating the opening of the scariest show in the West End, The Exorcist! This gives us a great excuse to compile a list of our favourite horror films.
Watching a horror film is an experience like no other. Fear is a very peculiar emotion. The rational side of your brain knows that you’re watching actors on a screen, but the other half persuades you that what is happening to them exists in some form of reality. For me, the worst bit is after the film is over, when darkness takes on a new form. When any unfamiliar noise is suspicious. When what you have just witnessed could happen to you.
Read if you dare…
Blair Witch Project (E.Sanchez and D.Myrick, 1999)
I watched it at home, completely alone and with every single light switched on. I think what makes it really scary is that they don’t show ‘the evil’… it’s just lurking somewhere out there. Magda Paduch
I am Legend (F.Lawrence, 2007)
If I have to pick (and I’m useless with scary movies) it would have to be I Am Legend. I can do zombies, can’t do horror… Lil Lambley
Pet Sematary (M.Lambert, 1989)
It was the first scary film I ever saw and I had to watch it in 15 minute instalments over a week I was so frightened. Looking back now this was absolutely ridiculous. It’s about dead pets. Maisie Lawrence
Jaws (S. Spielberg, 1975) and Halloween (J.Carpenter, 2012)
Jaws – which definitely is a horror film, despite my mum’s objections – and Halloween: I’m going to see it on, er, Halloween in fact. Catrin Rodgers
The Shining (S.Kubrick, 1980)
My choice would be The Shining. The book scared the bejeezus out of me, but for some unknown reason I had to watch the film as well. Don’t know what scared me more, the twins, the isolated hotel or the “Here comes Johnny!” ad lib. Nikola Bartova
My favourite kinds of horror movies usually combine the supernatural with dubious mental health. The Shining, Blair Witch and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are horrifying mostly because of atmosphere they create and the deep sense of fear and dread they conjure in the viewer rather through sheer gore, zombies or Satan’s hands-on involvement. No Draculas or Frankenstiens feature in my top 3. All three are supremely lacking in comic moments, have dazzlingly different cinematographic qualities and were revolutionary genre movies. Horror is a subjective term – I don’t think Jaws is a horror movie, neither I would say is The Birds. The Shining however is probably my favourite of the three, not because it’s the most frightening (I think Texas Chainsaw wins that category), but because it’s terrifyingly beautiful. Special mention to Get Out for real genre innovation as well. Clair Chamberlain
My favourite movie is The Shining. Not favourite horror. Favourite Movie. I watched it when I was about 13 years old in the house I grew up in, which was about 200 years old and had a very long, creaky corridor at the end of the room where I watched the film. I can still remember the absolute terror I felt walking down that corridor after watching The Shining on my own late at night. It probably took me about 15 minutes to make it down the 3 or 4 metres of corridor – and I was convinced I’d see the twins as soon as I turned the corner. A few years later we moved out of that home and the new owners complained that my mum should have mentioned it was haunted before she sold it to them. They heard footsteps up and down that corridor all night apparently. I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts, but I always think of The Shining and watching that film when I was so young, I definitely remember feeling like I wasn’t watching it entirely on my own…. Hannah Clapham
I Know What You Did Last Summer (J. Gillespie, 1997)
My favourite horror film is I Know What You Did Last Summer. I think it really is the best trash teen horror film ever made and it’s 20 years old this year! That scene with Sarah Michelle Gellar at the beauty pageant… She’s screaming as her boyfriend is being murdered, but everyone thinks she’s giving a stirring dramatic performance … It’s a truly flawless piece of film making. Paul Goodman
Suspiria (D. Argento, 1977) and It Follows (D.R. Mitchell, 2014)
Dario Argento‘s Suspiria, which just had a glorious 4k restoration and a UK premiere at LFF earlier this month, it’s both a terrifying and visually gorgeous Halloween favourite, with beautiful sets and a score to die for.
In more recent years David Robert Mitchell ‘s (Halloween inspired) It Follows really gave me the shivers while also moving me quite a bit. Pedro Vaz Simões.
The Visit (M.N. Shyamalan, 2015)
I think a stand-out for me would have to be The Visit. It’s the perfect balance between laugh-out-loud comedy and absolute terror. Natasha Krstic-Howe
The Omen (R.Donner, 1976)
For me it has to be The Omen. For anyone with a hint of Catholicism in their upbringing this triggers all kinds of psychological thrills and some genuine anxieties. All that choral singing in Latin and Billie Whitelaw as a Sister of Satan. I’m chilled just writing this. Ryan Petersen
Let the Right One In (T.Alfredson, 2008)
I don’t usually consider myself a ‘horror fan’ but I LOVED this film when it came out in 2008. I don’t even really associate it as ‘horror’ as such – it’s just such a beautiful and curious, odd tale of two loners seeking solace in each other and their friendship in a freezing and sparse Swedish city. Clare McCormack
Do you have a favourite horror movie?Back to Journal