Friday, 25 October 2013

The Cardboard Dog Halloween Movie List Part 4: Supernatural Movies

Ghouls and ghosts - they can't be beat when it comes to a good scare. The terror that lurks in the dark - maybe even up in your attic... This list runs down the best supernatural films you can get your mitts on this Halloween. We have haunted homes, haunted people and haunted woods - what more do you want?!

Top 5 Supernatural Movies

5. The Amityville Horror (1979)
There's been a lot written and said about whether or not this film was based on fact; the arguments and “evidence” swung back and forth – but even that there is a debate about the origins of this movie is enough to give it currency. It all might well have happened, you can believe that for 90 minutes or so, right? Amityville is the template for all other “family stalked by demons in their own house” movies – even the recent The Conjuring feels very much like this. Here we have The Lutz family, and as we've come to expect, the malevolent forces in the house manifest themselves slowly upon the family until all that's left to do its to scarper in the middle of the night. You might argue that this isn't anything new – but at the time it was, it made the wave the others rode.

4. Poltergeist (1982)
Tobe Hooper's (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) version of The Amytiville Horror is a warmer and fuzzier take on the haunted family story. Set in sunny California and evoking feelings that it could have been only a few doors down from Elliot's house in ET, Poltergeist benefits from a great cast, great score and (for the time) great effects. When their daughter Carol-Anne is taken into the supernatural realm, the Freelings are left with no option but to get “professional” help. It could easily have been the Ghostbusters but in this case ends up being the amazing Zelda Rubinstein. Although there is a nasty force at work the movie still has that Spielberg vigour (he produced it) and characters you give a damn about. A feelgood Halloween movie.

3. Insidious (2010)
As Poltergeist was a lighter version of Amityville, Insidious is a darker version of Poltergeist. As with Poltergeist, it revolves around the disappearance of a young child into the spirit realm, the subsequent spookiness and the recruitment of a charismatic parapsychologist to solve the drama. Insidious differs as we actually get a good look at the child-snatching demon, and the menace that the spirits bring as they haunt the family. Director James Wan (The Conjuring) has a nice flair for horror, both in visual terms and for setting up a good jump-scare.

2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
One of a raft of epic films of that year (The Matrix, Fight Club, Star Wars: Episode One...ummm), Blair Witch set the internet alight, rooting itself in people's consciousness as an urban legend – the piece was so convincing that at first, many folks believed it to be found-footage. Of course this made the film all the more effective. It's got the Halloween factor – three students set off into rural America to investigate the stories about a witch, who reportedly haunts the forest of Burkittsville. As the students get their dumb asses lost, they are increasingly tormented by...something in the woods. As the torment happens at night, you begin to feel genuine relief when daylight comes around, and as the cycle plays out you know it's going to come to a head but you're never sure how.

1. Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of the most unsettling and genuinely creepy horror movies theres been in a long time. Just when you thought “found footage” films were done for, along comes Micah and Katie and their bothersome demon and we have ourselves a new standard in terror. It's the usual tale, boy meets girl. Boy moves into house with girl. Demon terrorises the pair of them. But Paranormal Activity works on a few levels; the cast – unknowns with real chemistry and appeal, the director – shot the entire movie for about £9000, the set pieces – the tension builds and builds and there's often little in the way of visual effects. You'll sleep with the lights on for a few nights afterwards...

No comments:

Post a Comment