I love Hallowe'en. Everything about it. In my long-ago (sigh) party gal days, my costume would be at the centre of my thoughts for weeks in advance. These days, I'm afraid, the video selections are.
So, in short, my favourite all-time scary movies (not Showgirls):
The Exorcist An obvious one, but that's because it's, hands-down, the scariest effing movie ever made. The book is even worse (as horror books usually are, which is why I largely avoid them - to avoid a rehash of that time I read a book about Charlie anson and lunged for my erstwhile flatmate with the fire poker when she got in from a night out; bulltrue). Maybe it's my Catholic-girl schooling, but any quasi-religious stuff (see also: The Omen, Stigmata, even Arnie in End of Days) terrifies the crap out of me. This one is the mistress.
The Innocents Based, as quite a few things are, on The Turn of the Screw. My mum and I watched this late at night once - years ago, by mistake - and, basically, we still haven't got over it. Genuinely chilling, in the way that only buttoned-up, black-and-white Victoriana can be.
The Tenant All 70s horror films are superior, in my book (prime examples include Don't Look Now, The Wicker Man, Amityville - I think I've got the decade of all of these classics right, but I'm not promising). There's something really spooky about them, which is why the Amityville remake with Ryan Reynolds worked - because they painstakingly preserved and recaptured that weird vibe. Obviously it's another Polanski masterpiece that's the well-known one (and rightly so, kinda) - but this one is even weirder, brilliant, and well worth a look.
Drag Me to Hell Among all these cinematic classics, I want something modern and silly. This is the best I've seen this decade. Silly, jumpy, topical, fab. In fact, I went to see it at the cinema on my birthday. And then had lunch at Nando's. Hell yeah, I know how to live.
Elvira - Mistress of the Dark 'But you can call me...tonight.' Because after all that, you'll need some comedy/horror/smut/fun. I love Elvira. This is why I based my look on her for most of the early-00s and still give her a nod sometimes. I can recite this film word-perfect, with good reason.
Some other Hallowe'en facts:
- These films will go best with home-made hotdogs and enough Diet Cokes to swim in. That's what I'll be doing come Saturday night, anyway.
- The best Hallowe'en costume I ever wore was also the simplest to think up. A towel, a shower cap, some fake blood. Et voila. Janet Leigh in Psycho, which should probably also be on this list.
- Other rocking Hallowe'en costumes I have, um, rocked: dead AP girl; Nancy from The Craft (aka one of the greatest films ever made), with three of my gothed-up girlfriends to make up the rest of the coven; Reagan from The Exorcist (which was so authentically terrifying that my sister screamed uncontrollably when she first laid eyes upon me - she was dressed up as a pumpkin at the time, amusingly).
- My stepdad once made me and Rachael cry by constructing a Freddie-hand with which to torment us straight after we had just watched Johnny Depp get eaten and regurgitated by his bed.