If you’re a regular visitor to Popcorn Horror, October will probably be one of your favourite months. Everyday locations transform into spooky haunts and your favourite candy bar gets a creepy (and heavily punned) packaging. To the rest of the world, a horror nerd in October can be a little hard to bear for all 31 days. We all have that friend who hides terrified behind a jacket at the cinema; they’ve never even been on a fairground ghost train! Luckily we have everyone covered at this year’s Glasgow Horror Fest – from comedy shorts, burlesque, theatre, our new ‘House With Neon Windows’ escape room and a whole floor dedicated to the best alternative crafters and vendors in Scotland.
After such a jam packed weekend, come Halloween night you and your friends may want to stay in and watch a movie. Horror is a given, but the inevitable row will begin on ‘how scary’ it can be. After all, Halloween isn’t just for horror fans.
Although I’d like to think I’m not that scared by the traditional choices for Halloween movies, I, for one, am more into glittery pumpkin decorations, Halloween tinsel and a little cauldron full of candies for our guests as opposed to going to a haunted house or scaring myself shitless trailing through a grave yard in the middle of the night. Fear not the dreaded fight on all Hallow’s Eve. I’ve got you covered for something to get you in the Halloween mood and but won’t leave you (or your easily startled friends) terrified to walk down the street alone.
1. IT (2017)
Not that we don’t love Tim Curry, but trying to convince a gaggle of non-horror fans to sit through over three hours is a challenge to say the least. I was forced against my will to watch this by my flat mate who is obsessed. Honestly, I can’t even be mad, as far as horror goes, I enjoyed it. The cinematography and casting is perfect. The young folk and the characters they portrayed are excellent, often characters in horror with little depth. But because the movie isn’t scaring you the whole time, it allows for character development. The jump scares are the worst of it and the fact that they all play on what the characters are terrified of most made it so much better than just some weirdo popping up behind the curtain. Definitely worth watching.
2. The Woman In Black (2012)
I first saw the stage production in London and let me tell you, some woman stoating down the aisles in a black hood is the scariest thing ever when you’re 14 years old. But I’ve since seen the film and if spooky and a little bit frightening is on your checklist then this is perfect. Daniel Radcliffe is cast in the leading role. A widower who goes to sort out a dead woman’s affairs finds that the estranged owner lost her child and now seeks penance for her loss, by taking the local children. The setting is creepy and gothic but not too bloody or terrifying, makes it a perfect horror for people who don’t love horror.
3. Psycho (1960)
A classic, an absolute classic. In black and white, it sets up for a seamless atmosphere. If you’re looking for a movie that’s going to set the perfect mood for a spooky Halloween film night,
but you’ve invited some of your pals that are like ‘hm yeah not a fan of scary movies’ this will be a hit. Creepy string music sets the tone. I mean I’ve heard Alfred Hitchcock is kinda a kook but he’s a great director. It was made in 1960, hitting all the right spots; the damsel in distress, the haunted house, the serial killer, abandoned motel. PERFECT.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (199 3)
Is it for adults who love creepy musicals? Is it for kids who are way too old for their age? Is it for Christmas, or Halloween? I guess we’ll never know. Taking all this into account, nothing beats curling up with popcorn and pals and sitting down for a sing-a-long. Imagine making it into a drinking game? I mean Jack is going through an identity crisis, you could too.
5. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Okay, okay so hear me out on this one because I was also sceptical about this but as mentioned I was forced to watch this one as well, but let me tell you, it was good. I loved it, you get some Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his daughter (Selena Gomez) alongside a motley crew of classic spooky fellows. A travelling human turns up out of the blue, finds their hidden hotel for monsters and obviously falls in love with Dracula’s daughter and their forbidden love evolves from there. Just a pre-warning though there’s a very cringy musical number at the end you’ll probably want to skip through. A very solid choice for anyone chaperoning a kids party or on babysitting duties this Halloween. Got to start ’em young!
If you want to celebrate this year by supporting indie horror content and checking out exclusive international shorts and features, you can book your ticket for Glasgow Horror Fest 2018 here.