Well my dear friends, it's that time of the year; everyone's favourite holiday is just around the corner, but what are we to do? We can't trick or treat, we can't have parties, we can't do much of anything at all – is what a sad loser would say. Cheer up you idiot, it's Halloween, and you've got the internet – you can have your pick out of a selection of like 12 million movies.
Hush now, don't you stress, just relax and watch a Halloween movie you beautiful fool. But what shall I watch?, you query, well, it depends on your mood, responds the voice coming from the shadow being cast from the next room. But weren't you home alone? Best not to dwell.
Feel like camping? THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
The great outdoors! Who doesn't enjoy a good old camp in the forest? Nature, it's beautiful; it's vast, no one can hear you. Could anyone ever hear you? You're really all alone. Anyway, Have you seen The Blair Witch Project yet? Well scary that, well at least that's how I remember it, I saw it when I was 10 with a bunch of friends, all of us so convinced of its authenticity that we went off searching for the witch in suburban parks in our neighbourhood. Suffice to say there was no Blair Witch to be found in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
For the unacquainted, The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999 and catapulted a whole new genre of horror into the mainstream, and has since spawned a fair few solid "found-footage" flicks, as well as an even fairer few not so great ones. Go on then, give it a crack.
Feeling corny? I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Remember last summer? When the world was calm and virus-free. Wonderful times, truly, but again, best not to cast your mind that far, lest you enjoy wallowing in past glories.
Instead, why not immerse yourself in an absolute late '90s cheesy horror classic? No self-respecting human can go about their existence on this rock without having at least once seen I Know What You Did Last Summer. So what are you waiting for? You're embarrassing yourself. And for those who've seen it, well, I don't need to tell you twice about its merits – so order an extra cheesy pizza and chuck it on.
Feel like a good old-fashioned slasher? SCREAM
I've heard people say that Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer are basically the same movie – they're both cheesy late '90s slashers that see attractive young American students get caught up in an unfortunate homicidal scenario. But see, a lot of people say a lot of stupid shit. In fact most of what anyone ever says, including myself, is downright moronic, so we can forgive the poor imbeciles who compare the two films, for they know not what they do. They, for some reason, skim over the fact that Scream is the perfect, and perhaps best example of meta-horror.
It reeks of self-awareness in the most charming of ways, it acknowledges the standard and horror tropes, and plays with them, subverts them, it winks at you as it teases your expectations, and yet it's still so freakin '90s corny. It's perfect, there's a reason why it spawned three sequels, soon to be a fourth.
Feel like travelling? MIDSOMMAR
Bonus category: if you feel like watching the best movie on this list, watch Midsommar. I really don't want to give too much of this away, please if you haven't seen it, just go into it as fresh-eyed as possible, don't even watch the trailer if you can avoid doing so, just trust me. Watch this. You will not be disappointed.
And if for some reason you don't like it, please email me and let me know, so I can gently place you on the official MTV blocklist, you poor malformed McNugget.
Feel like being disturbed deeply on a soul level? HEREDITARY
Fuck this movie man. Fuck. This. Movie. I hate it, but I love it. Look, if you want to feel off, just watch this. You sick freak.
Zombies? TRAIN TO BUSAN
Oh no Seoul is gripped by an outbreak of – you guessed it – the undead, and so, to escape the violent contagion, a motley crew find themselves on a not-so-smooth train ride from Seoul to Busan. It's fun, it's unpretentious, it's kind of sad, and it's as gory as any zombie flick, but with the added bonus of actually being interesting, using the train setting to play with class rebellion and moral ambiguities. Think Snowpiercer, but with zombies. Writer-director Yeon Sang-ho has an interesting background producing indie anime features – King of Pigs, Fake, and Seoul Station, his last three – and this influence is fun to spot in some subtle anime-esque scenes.
Feeling like an adventure? THE DESCENT
I haven't seen this one but my editor suggested it, and since she's my boss, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say her taste is bloody great, and you should all listen to her so I can keep writing these amazing articles for you to consume. Going by the trailer it seems as though the story follows a bunch of young ladies out on a caving adventure in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. As these movies tend to go, all seems well enough until they descend into the caves and are met with some sinister happenings: oh shit they're not alone, omg what was that, I swear I saw something, oh my god where's Sarah??! etc etc, you know the drill. The whole situation is intensified by a narrow passage collapsing behind the group, ensuring the only way out of the caves is to first go even deeper. Dun dun dun.
Some classic old-timey vibes? THE WITCH
Ah well looky here, we have ourselves yet another film from A24, they're just that good folks. Honestly if I was you, and you wanted to have a solid night in with your Tinder pal, do the holy trinity of Hereditary, Midsommar, and The Witch. Fuck me. I wish I could hit my head against a wall and forget these films just so I could watch them fresh again. Anyway, the point here is, The Witch is set in the olden times! Way before the iPhone 4, so if you feel like exploring the times of yore, or just simply want a good horror movie to watch, chuck on The Witch son. It's fucking decent.
Feeling Australiana? THE BABADOOK
If you've got a hankering for a meat pie, a VB, and an oh-so unquenchable desire to be like your cool older cousin the US, then throw on The Babadook my good pal. This home-brewed scary flick is a fairly great watch – if you can refrain yourself from throwing your remote at the TV every time the most annoying kid in cinema history pops up on screen. Fuck I hate that little douchebag.
Got a headache? THE QUIET PLACE
I'm gonna put my hand up here for biggest idiot award for this one, see, I avoided this movie for so long because I thought the premise was dumb. Oh, you gotta be qwiet or else the big scawy monster will get you? Pfft whatever. Well, I finally watched it recently and well – and this will come as no shock to my regular four readers – I'm a fucking idiot.
This movie is solid, and it's kind of relaxing in the most odd of ways. A Quiet Place does such a great job at drawing you into its world, the eerie quiet of it all is contagious; so invested was I in being quiet that I found myself whispering to my girlfriend to pass the popcorn – in my own living room.
But if you really want to watch something scary, something that will rattle you to your very bones, something that is perhaps the scariest, most cursed watch of this entire list: