You sigh as you realise that you don’t have the cash, time or for some, guts to go and attend Halloween Horror Nights at Sentosa or the costume and scare parties that’s going to bombard every significant club in town. It can be quite a downer for some to think that you might end up spending your entire Halloween week just scrolling through the endless amount of creepy aesthetic Instagram pictures on your ‘Explore’ feed or timeline, stopping every once in awhile to leave witty comments coupled with Halloween appropriate emojis.
But why not spend your Halloween week spectacularly by scaring the daylights out of yourself under your own terms? Do that by going on the ultimate Halloween Movie marathon and avoid the sweaty mess of celebrating Halloween outside. Indulge in an introvert’s idyllic version of a Halloween celebration - here are thirteen horror movies in random order that will guarantee to give you the creeps, and have you double-checking anything and everything once you try to go to sleep.
Shutter (2004) Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom
No, we are not talking about that remake that was produced by Hollywood. The real scare and gripping story lies in the original ‘Shutter’ film that made it’s debut in year 2004. This is definitely one of my personal favorite horror films to fall back on whenever I’m up for a rare horror fix. Aside from being a cult favorite due to some of its disturbing yet iconic scenes (see it to believe it), it is also a picture that calls viewers to reflect on the potential effects of karma, and the importance of living with a clear conscience. Though it might give you second thoughts when it comes to buying those fancy Polaroid cameras in the future; just be careful of where and when you choose to take those instant pictures.
The Exorcist (1973) Directed by William Friedkin
There’s a reason why this movie never, ever fails to make the list when it comes to horror film recommendations. Despite having debuted a few solid decades ago, the film still remains a horror buff’s favorite due to the disturbing nature of it. 'The Exorcist' essentially explores what’s real and what’s not, and the possibilities of the supernatural being present in our world. Zombies and crazed serial killers are one thing, but possessions and exorcisms still reportedly, happens around the world. The real scare factor comes in when you find yourself questioning: can this really happen to anyone you know one day? Plus, this puts a whole lot of horror movies to shame by proving that you do not need abrupt soundtrack changes and/or jump scares to instill hair-raising fear in viewers.
Don’t Breathe (2016) Directed by Fede Álvarez
Ever had that feeling when you are so engrossed in rooting for the protagonist, to the point where you are holding your breath whilst the poor guy scrambles around madly liked a boxed-in mouse to escape from the antagonist? ‘Don’t Breathe’ did just exactly that as the main character finds herself involved in a home invasion that goes terribly, terribly wrong. When I saw this film firsthand in the cinema, I felt like a solid decade or so just got shelved from my total lifespan. The director definitely did a great job in building suspense throughout, and leaves an open ending that inevitably gets viewers to ponder on what’s really going on with the antagonist’s psyche. So if you want to have that same exact experience as well, go for this.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) Directed by Kim Jee Woo
Because Korea has more to offer than just magical and bubbly KPOP tracks and idols with hair color changing properties that rivals to a living chameleon. Inspired by an original Korean folktale called ‘The Story of Rose Flower and Red Lotus’, the movie opens with a girl who finally gets to reunite with her sister and family after spending some time in a mental institution. Fans of the movie ‘Sixth Sense’ would probably have a great time trying to decipher just what on earth is going on as the story unfolds slowly in the midst of strange and disturbing events that occur throughout the movie. A note to take is that this movie should be appreciated with the passing of time. First impressions might have you feeling confused at first, but a second or third viewing with friends can get you to pick up some details that you might have missed from watching it the first time before.
The Babadook (2014) Directed by Jennifer Kent
Who knew animated pop-up drawings can turn out to be so sinister looking? Behind the recent hilarious and adorable memes circulating on the net that affirms ‘The Babadook’ to be a legitimate gay icon, the creature however, tells a whole different story in the terrifying yet heartbreaking movie. Set with the premise of a widow’s attempt to get her life back together with her young son after the violent death of her husband, it makes a statement on how people should learn to face and deal with their personal demons lest they let it consume themselves completely. Fans of symbolism can find themselves flocking to the endless amount of discussions online after the film. And let’s not forget the superb acting done by the actors here. Trust me when I say it must’ve taken alot for them to pull off some of the scenes in this film.
Ju On: The Curse (2002) Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. A murdered wife comes back as a vengeful spirit that kills anyone and everyone who associates themselves with her cursed house. Throw those unfair impressions that you may or may not have accumulated from those recent (and not to mention, bad) remakes of ‘Ju On’ out of the window. This is one of the OGs of Japanese horror films that you should make a point to watch once in your lifetime. But it’s much recommended for you to watch it with a friend instead of going about it on your own. You might think: no worries, I’ve got my legs and toes tucked securely within my blanket, and I have pillows to attack these spirits with. Well good news, this movie makes you rethink just how much of an ‘anti-ghost’ talismen your go-to blanket actually is if ghosts in general can appear as and when they want to scare the living daylights out of you.
The Crazies (2010) Directed by Breck Eisner
If you’ve always wanted to prove your point on how contamination of basic food sources should be treated seriously, use this film as one of the more dramatic examples to back yourself up in the argument when people keep justifying that instant ‘mala’ product should still be considered safe for consumption. Jokes aside, this film definitely brings out the good side of survival horror as the main characters find themselves in one hot soup after another. They are thrown into constant bouts of dilemma on what’s the right thing to do, with only seconds ahead to make ‘life or death’ decisions. Find yourself clutching hard to your bedsheet covers as the characters literally scream for dear life, in a scene where they are strapped down to hospital beds and forced to watch others being stabbed to death with a pitch fork wielding crazed man.
The Orphanage (2007) Directed by J. A. Bayona
What starts off as every parent’s worst nightmare eventually concludes into a Disney-like ending that seems to suffice for some. ‘The Orphanage’ is also hailed as one of the films that did not make use of antics that defined the likes of ‘cheap horror’. I give credit to the great direction that created unnerving shots that’s paired with time enough to keep the viewers on their toes. However don’t let the promise of an emotional ending fool you. As it slows down to it’s fairytale stop, the journey beforehand is filled with heart gripping soundtracks and the amazing use of sound design to pull you in deep and care for characters you thought you’d never take much notice of in the first place. This is a great and masterful blend of drama, tragedy and horror.
28 Days Later (2002) Directed by Danny Boyle
To all ‘Walking Dead’ fans out there, this one’s for you - turns out Rick isn’t the only one that starts his post-apocalyptic life chapter by waking up from a coma. This zombie infection film is actually one of the first few films that depicts the dead in a ‘fast’ manner. So instead of the usual ‘Walking Dead’ zombie that shuffles along slowly or still navigates at an unimpressive human speed, we have the ‘Usain Bolt’ version in this movie instead where the zombies running full sprint at the opportunity (or sound) for some human meat. It sets the viewers and characters for situations that are either ‘do or die’. A moments’ hesitation will make all the difference and the story does shine a light on what humans really are capable of when chaos lets itself loose in their orderly world.
Alone (2007) Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom
Another warped tale of sibling bond gone wrong. The film ‘Alone’ is actually known as ‘Twin’ from the literal translation of the Thai word ‘Fad’. One part of the conjoined twins starts to have haunting experiences after surviving an operation that killed her other half. Brought to you by the directors of ‘Shutter’, this movie can’t go wrong if the same masterminds of the iconic camera capture ghost film are the ones behind it. Not only does it teach you the hard way that sibling fights should always be resolved amicably, it makes you cautious about who you decide to hug immediately after getting a supernatural scare. Expect a similar storyline that promises a satisfying end but look out for jump scares though as there’s a few that will be peppered along within the film!
The Wailing (2016) Directed by Na Hong Jin
Stranger danger, or is it? A question that will be posed to viewers alike as they watch ‘The Wailing’ on screen for the first time. It’s not advised for you to make a desperate link and sense of anything and everything that’s happening in the movie as it does have a supernatural element to it. The true question lies in who’s the culprit behind the mysterious events plaguing the village in the story, and is there really room for a fair trial in your mind for the alleged culprit in question when an overwhelming hill of ‘evidence’ lies right in front of you? That aside, if you also loved the amazing father-daughter relationship that’s portrayed in the melancholic apocalypse/disaster movie ‘Train to Busan’, you will definitely find yourself warmed by the amazing chemistry between the parent and child duo in ‘The Wailing’. Hailed as an amazing thriller, brace yourself too if you have a weak stomach, and watch out for your headset volume as it can get a bit loud (and not to mention, disturbing) in some scenes.
It Follows (2014) Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Think about your biggest fear now. Now imagine you’ve offended it and it’s chasing you constantly without stopping, but the cherry on top of all that? It’s invisible to everyone else but you. So imagine the ‘amazing’ predicament the main character found herself in when she realises she’s cursed to be killed by an unknown supernatural being after having a casual sexual encounter with another man. While you are caught up with how the character learns how to deal with this demon, you’d also be surprised at how distraught you will be when you can’t seem to pinpoint who or where the demon is coming from for the character. This movie basically takes that ‘Mean Girls’ quote to another level.
The Descent (2005) Directed by Neil Marshall
Wanderlust is amazing until you find yourself trapped in the middle of nowhere with no exit to even work towards to. Sparked by an all-girls caving adventure, the ladies find themselves trapped within an unknown cave when their only entrance collapses unexpectedly. In the process of finding a way out, the women realise that there's more to it than claustrophobic spaces and the dark. A warning for all daring explorers out there, 'The Descent' gives a grim lesson on why it's important to not get ahead of yourselves as independant travellers and explore unfamiliar terrain.
That concludes our list of horror movies that you can binge watch and enjoy having the creeps over this week of October. We know Halloween officially starts on the 31st, but who’s to say that we can’t start celebrations for the Pumpkin King earlier?