With so many choices out there for how to spend your spooky evening on the sofa it’s hard to decide whether you want to be grossed out or laugh with fear. Horror has been a treasure trove of variety over the years from the classic Universal monsters through the slasher dominance and even torture movies trying to outdo each other in the extreme stakes. So here’s some of our favourite franchises for you to pick from.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
1,2, Freddy’s coming for you. To this day Nightmare’s core idea – that a man can invade your dreams and get you when you’re asleep – is absolutely terrifying. It’s something we can all relate to and Robert Englund is so fantastic as Freddy that you end up watching the movies just to see how much he clearly enjoys playing the character. Yes the franchise gets a bit ridiculous in certain parts but the highlights include the original and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, a fascinating twist on the genre.
While we were told it was the end of the franchise a number of years ago, none of us really believed that was the case, and here we are at Halloween 2017 with Jigsaw. I think everyone saw that coming. It’s easy to forget how smart the original Saw was, especially the ending, and people have fallen in love with the twists and turns and traps ever since. Of course the vague attempts at linking all the storylines are pretty ridiculous but on the whole Saw movies always managed to be entertaining.
This one will cause debate, mostly because of the questionable quality of some of the sequels, but you can’t argue against just how good Alien is. Of course its sequel Aliens is far more of an action movie than anything but when Alien gets it right it’s one of the scariest and unnerving things ever on the big screen. Even when you know it’s coming, the chest bursting scene is phenomenal.
That guy has pins IN HIS HEAD. What more do you need to know? Sure the franchise went on for way too long but what horror franchise doesn’t? Hellraiser is absolutely brutal and presents something completely different from all the slasher movies that dominated the genre. Doug Bradley makes for such an intriguing villain and one that rightfully became a horror icon worldwide.
It’ll surprise many to know there are actually a good number of Psycho films out there, and they’re not completely awful. The original will always have that iconic place in movie history and there’s no touching that, but the follow-ups have their own watchable qualities – mostly because Anthony Perkins is just such a watchable actor. Even TV adaptation Bates Motel is well worth dipping into.
Obviously. You can’t be at the end of October without giving Michael Myers his due. That theme, the tension and a simplicity that many horror movies fail to recognise these days. With Jamie Lee Curtis due to come back in her final Halloween movie there’s no better time to revisit them – just avoid Rob Zombie’s poor attempts at reinventing them.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Funnily enough I was surprised at how the first movie was quite tame when I originally saw it. Texas Chain Saw Massacre doesn’t take the approach of being all out blood and gore but plays with its audience’s mind and gets them to imagine the worst. Obviously none of us ever want to have dinner with that family and I imagine I’ll never take a lift from a stranger, but Leatherface and company continue to torture worldwide to this day.
The horror genre has had its ups and downs over the years, especially when it fell into a hugely predictable cycle, but certain people recognised that and we ended up with Scream. This franchise recognised where it was coming from, allowing horror film fans to enjoy a more self-aware and unpredictable story. Who knows where we’d be today without it.
Friday the 13th
I’ve always wanted a Jason hockey mask. There’s just something strangely cool about him. Hey I even loved Jason X where Jason goes to space. SPACE. Who wouldn’t love that? Jason and the love he has for his dear mother has been a true horror success story and no doubt he’ll return one day to reclaim his throne. I’d avoid any lakes if I were you just in case.
Chucky just won’t give up will he? That pesky little doll was around way before Anabelle was ever disturbing people. The franchise has been consistently delivering scares and laughs at the hands of Brad Dourif, who also really creeped me out in The X Files back in the day. There’s no sign of Chucky’s rage slowing down any time soon either with Cult of Chucky being released recently. Will Andy ever catch a break?