It is that time of year to scare the living daylights out of yourself and hide behind the back of the sofa. From wickedly black comedies to gruesome gore-fests, here is our round up of the macabre movies on TV that will give you goosebumps this Halloween week. So turn off the lights and make sure you are not home alone!
Dolores Claiborne (1995) TCM: 11pm
Plot: Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) was acquitted of murdering her husband, but 15 years later she is accused of killing her wealthy, elderly employer. Her estranged daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh) returns to her hometown to find out the disturbing truth about her mother.
Why you should watch it? This ain’t no slasher flick, but as the movie is based on a Stephen King novel you know it is going to be dark and creepy. Kathy Bates is the one reason you should watch Dolores Claiborne. Her mesmerising performance dominates this eerie movie and is arguably stronger than her Oscar winning role in Misery.
The Shining (1980) ITV4: 11:05pm
Plot: Aspiring writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) moves with his wife and young son, Danny, to a remote hotel to take on a job as caretaker during the closed winter season. But it isn’t long until psychic Danny discovers the hotel is haunted and the evil spirits begin to drive Jack to the point of insanity.
Why you should watch it? Here’s Johnny! It is Halloween, so of course there had to be more than one Stephen King film adaptations on this list. Jack Nicholson’s evil laugh alone is enough to give people nightmares and the gruesome scene with the two twins is one of cinema’s scariest moments ever. And remember guys, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
Poltergeist (1982) TCM: 11:05pm
Plot: The Freeling family begin to experience supernatural events when ghosts begin to haunt their home. At first the spirits seem harmless, but the friendly behaviour doesn’t last for very long.
Why you should watch it? They’re here! Don’t get too close to the television when watching this movie – you will find out why. Poltergeist is a supernatural classic from Steven Spielberg and Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper. The spine-chilling moments have not diminished over time and can guarantee that a lot of clown doll makers went out of business because of one of Poltergeist’s most terrifying scenes.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Sky Movies Classic: 3:15am
Plot: Dr Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) believes that the people in his small town are one by one becoming replaced with identical, emotionless alien imposters. Is he paranoid or are aliens really taking over?
Why you should watch it? Invasion of the Bodysnatchers is clearly a movie of its time, but its 50s B-Movie style does not make the premise any less chilling today. The fact it has been remade to death is proof that the original was one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made. The sense of paranoia prevalent throughout the whole of the film is truly what makes Bodysnatchers a creepy classic.
Final Destination (2000) Sky Movies Sci-fi & Horror: 9pm
Plot: A group of students leave an aeroplane after one of them has a terrifying vision that the plane will crash killing them all. When the plane does crash the teens believe they have cheated death, but one by one fate begins to catch up on them.
Why you should watch it? Don’t watch this movie if you are going to board a plane the next day. I made this mistake when I was stupid teen and had top be on a long haul flight the following morning. It wasn’t a pleasant journey! Before the franchise was milked to death, Final Destination was seen as smart and original compared to other teen slashers at the time of its release. There is no deranged teen in a mask. The killer is fate, which is out to prove you can’t cheat death. A clever idea that isn’t perfectly executed, but lets be honest we all want to watch Seann William Scott being decapitated.
Heathers (1989) 5*: 9:50pm
Plot: Veronica (Winona Ryder) has tried to become part of the in-crowd at her school, but she really can’t stand her new friends. When she falls for alluring bad boy J.D, (Christian Slater) he convinces her to kill the popular kids at school she hates and make it look like suicide.
Why you should watch it? Heathers is a wickedly hilarious teen horror movie that shows just how cutthroat high school can be. Christian Slater is the movie’s stand out star as the rebellious, Jack Nicholson-esque J.D. Heathers’ smart and witty dialogue undoubtedly influenced future teen movies, such as Mean Girls and Scream. An 80s cult classic that is unlikely to be replicated in this day and age.
The Devil’s Backbone (2001) BBC4: 9:55pm
Plot: A young boy is forced to live in an orphanage after being abandoned by his parents during the Spanish Civil War. He soon realises that his new home is haunted when he starts to have supernatural visions of a dead child.
Why you should watch it? Gothic horror at its very best; The Devil’s Backbone, unlike many horror films of this century, concentrates on substance rather than blood, guts and CGI. A beautifully haunting and complex ghost story that is as heart-warming as it is chilling, this movie showed that director Guillermo Del Toro was a talent to watch out for in the horror genre. A must watch!
Will you be watching any of these films? Let us know what scary movies you will be watching through your fingers this Halloween?