31 Days of Halloween – Day 29 – Prince of Darkness (1987)

This John Carpenter chiller is one of our favourite Halloween movies – if not only for the Alice Cooper cameo.

An abandoned church in LA hosts a mysterious cylinder with swirling, green liquid. The liquid is active and strange things are happening in the city, from swarms of flies through to loads of people just staring at the skyline.

The priest (Donald Pleasence) invites a group of academics and students to investigate the liquid by camping out in the church with all of their scientific machinery – soon they start to have the same shared dream, a transmission from the future, where a shadowy figure is in the doorway to the church. THE LIQUID IS SATAN, INNIT.

Prince of Darkness takes its time to set up, but as we get into the film it is totally creepy. Typical Carpenter, he has some fantastic shots where we focus on one character but there’s plenty of action going on in the background. There’s some real shocks here too, plus you’ll want to avoid mirrors for a while.

DIALOGUE FROM PRINCE OF DARKNESS IS SAMPLED BY: DJ Shadow throughout ‘Endtroducing’ 

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 4/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s completely creepy and dark

Watch out for: Poor Kelly’s transformation

31 Days of Halloween – Day 28 – Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1981)

Much loved, this cult classic is a crazy ride from start to finish. Bruce Campbell is back to the cabin in the woods as our hero Ash, but unfortunately his girlfriend gets possessed pretty much straight in and he has to chop her head off with a shovel. From then on, whether it’s the iconic lines of ‘Workshed’, ‘Hello Lover’ or ‘Groovy!’, Evil Dead II is full of hilariously dark moments and just the plain hilarious – see Ash taking his own hand on when it’s possessed and tries to kill him.

From eyeballs popping out and flying into mouths through to gigantic strange tree monsters and demonic mothers locked in cellars, Evil Dead II truly delivers from the big brained vision of Sam Raimi. And no other male lead is put through it as much as Bruce.

BEST LAUGHING THING IN THE CABIN: The lamp

GORE RATING: 4/5

SCARES: 3/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: Bruce Campbell. Nuff said

Watch out for: The constant whirrrring, haunting sounds in the woods and cabin

31 Days of Halloween – Day 27 – Carrie (1976)

Based on Stephen King’s novel, Carrie is a masterpiece of horror and effectively builds up to its chilling – and brutal – climax where you’ll be cheering on our unfortunate heroine as she takes her revenge on the students and teachers who have wronged her.

Sissy Spacek is brilliant as the bullied Carrie, constantly the subject of humiliation at school by the popular girls and jocks. Just as good is Piper Laurie as her fanatically religious mother Margaret, who locks Carrie in closets and berates her.

Carrie is blessed/cursed with telekinetic powers, which means she can move objects or make people fall off their bikes with just a look. She begins to realise what she can do with telekinesis and after she is humiliated at her school prom, all hell breaks loose.

Brian De Palma’s classic almost lulls us into a false sense of security, and then the split screen nightmare happens. And it’s so ******* cool. We feel so sorry for Carrie but there’s something deeply satisfying too that she gets her revenge.

HOW MANY TAKES TO DO THE BUCKET OF BLOOD SCENE? De Palma says just one

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 5/5

DISTURBIA: 5/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: Sissy Spacek. Chilling 

Watch out for: The final ‘shock’ scene. Much copied 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 26 – The Exorcist (1973)

If Martyrs is one of the most extreme horror movies ever, The Exorcist is one of the scariest. Linda Blair was 14 years old when she played Regan, the girl possessed by a demon, and her performance is extraordinary and ultra disturbing.

It’s got many legendary scenes, including the crucifix, spider walk and projectile vomiting and is absolutely terrifying. It’s also really well made and special kudos goes to Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras – he is fantastic.

YOUR MOTHER SUCKS…: It’s too rude to say

GORE RATING: 1/5

SCARES: 5/5

DISTURBIA: 5/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s one of THE seminal horror movies

Watch out for: There’s so many scary bits. The final day of the exorcism is realllly heavy

31 Days of Halloween – Day 25 – Psycho III (1986)

Yep, Psycho did have some sequels starring Anthony Perkins and this one is a complete sleazefest and a whollleeee lot of fun. It’s nasty, dirty and thoroughly entertaining.

A blitz of neon, casual sex and Perkins as an OTT Norman Bates, another bunch of unfortunate guests come to harm at the Bates Motel. There’s an absolutely divine soundtrack – perfect for Halloween, if you can get your paws on it – a track of which Aim sample in ‘Cold Water Music’.

For a completely schlocky Halloween watch, this is perfect viewing.

ANY SHOWER SCENES?: Of course! 

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 3/5

DISTURBIA: 3/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s surprisingly entertaining

Watch out for: Don’t check the ice chest. Oh 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 24 – Planet Terror (2007)

Robert Rodriguez’s movie – essentially an exploitation zombie flick – forms part of the double feature of Grindhouse, with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. It’s all jolly good, gory fun with a starry cast and lots of melting bodies. Rose McGowan’s kick-ass protagonist Cherry Darling is a strong lead, as some nasty chemicals are released into a hicksville town. The locals start to transform into bloodthirsty ‘sickos’ and the survivors…well, try to survive.

A typical Rodriguez film, it’s over the top and features some really graphic – but graphic novel-like – violence. It doesn’t take itself too seriously at all and there’s some great fun to be had here. Cherry’s gun leg also needs to be seen.

MOST TERRIFYING THING ABOUT PLANET TERROR: Josh Brolin is really horrid in this

GORE RATING: 5/5

SCARES: 3/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s OTT, and it knows so

Watch out for: Quentin Tarantino melting

31 Days of Halloween – Day 23 – Martyrs (2008)

Martyrs is one of the most extreme and disturbing horror films ever made. Don’t go into this one if you’re sensitive – it’s brutal and full on. Ignore the recent US remake too.

A young girl – Lucie – escapes a disused abattoir after being physically abused and held captive for many years; 15 years later she has her revenge on her captors. Her friend Anna (Morjana Alaoui) becomes embroiled in the sinister, abusive underworld that Lucie had experienced, discovering an underground chamber where girls are tortured and killed. She encounters the terrifying Mademoiselle (Catherine Begin) who explains the concept of ‘martyrs’ and what they are trying to do in their ‘experiments’ – they inflict torture on young girls to try and glimpse the afterlife through their suffering.

Anna becomes the next experiment for Mademoiselle and her team, and this is where Martyrs will really test you. It’s a hard watch.

ARE THERE ANY LAUGHS IN IT? No

GORE RATING: 5/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 5/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s a masterpiece of extreme horror, if you can stomach it 

Watch out for: The infamous ‘flayed alive’ scene