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Halloween: A Whole Day Of Horror

Poltergeist

For those really committed to Halloween and want as many monsters, ghosts and deranged serial killers as they can, find a carefully curated guide for a whole day of horror. All films and tv shows are available through the UK versions of various streaming services.

09:00 – Start off with something light and gentle the brilliant Gravity Falls. A Disney cartoon about twins Dipper and Mabel Pines who spend the summer with Great Uncle (or Gruncle) Stan in the mysterious and bizarre town of Gravity Falls. Try episodes Headhunters and Little Giftshop of Horrors, the first concerning sinister wax dummies and the second a trio of scary stories.

Streaming Service: Disney+.

10:00 – Still in more comic territory move onto What We Do In The Shadows (the tv series), the story of four vampires and one familiar living in Staten Island. The couple of Laszlo and Nadja are currently the best couple on television and their vampire nature only adds to their greatness. Recommended episodes – The Curse, the technologically challenged vampires believe they are cursed by a chain email, and On The Run, where Laszlo goes on the run to get away from a vampire who wants to kill him and takes on the persona of Jackie Daytona, a “regular human bartender”.

Streaming Service: Disney+.

The Simpsons
Homer’s version of “Here’s Johnny!” // Credit: The Simpsons, 20th Television

11:00 – We all know the best Halloween special episodes are The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. The undisputed champion is Treehouse of Horror V, containing three short stories of a brilliant homage to The Shining, Homer upsetting the timeline with his time machine toaster and the nightmare scenario of cannibalistic teachers.

Streaming Service: Disney+.

12:00 – Moving more into horror we have Cabin In The Woods the fantastic meta-horror film. Funny and genuinely horrific it is a reference heavy fan letter to horror films and finally explains why people make all those terrible decisions in films.

Streaming Service: Netflix.

Scream - Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore being told she won’t be in the Scream sequel // Credit: Scream, Dimension Films

14:00 – To make it a double-bill of reference-laden homage to horror next we have Scream, perhaps the definitive 90s horror. This film spelt out all the rules you need to know to survive a slasher horror and the Drew Barrymore phone conversation opening scene is genuinely brilliant.

Streaming Service: IMDB TV via Amazon.

16:00 – One of the best horrors of recent years is the Iranian film Under The Shadow, set during the Iran-Iraq war of the 90s a mother and daughter find themselves trapped with an evil spirit whilst a literal unexploded bomb has smashed through the roof of their apartment building.

Streaming Service: Netflix.

17:30 – Film legend Bruce Campbell returned to the role that made him famous with Ash Vs Evil Dead where a much older Ash is once again drawn into the world of deadites and general evil.

Streaming Service: Netflix.

18:00 – One of the most shocking films I have ever seen is up next with Hereditary. A film with about three different kinds of horror going on at once with amazing performances from the cast (Toni Collette deserved an Oscar nomination at the very least). It’s a film that for the next few months you’ll flinch every time you remember it.

Ready or Not
After a difficult wedding // Credit Ready or Not, Fox Searchlight Pictures

20:30 – The fantastically fun Ready or Not is a great recent horror film filled with horrible rich people, excessive violence and creepy games. Grace is marrying into a super-rich family who made their money through games and has a number of unsettling traditions regarding people joining their family.

Streaming Service: Disney+.

10:30 – A film that is so scary it continues to cause phobias to this day – Jaws. Proof that you don’t need anything supernatural to be scary or even see the bad guy for most of the film Jaws is a masterpiece of horror and tension. There are not many films that can scare you with a monologue – Jaws can.

Streaming Service: Netflix.

01:00 – Trust the BBC to bring in some classics to end the evening and send you off to bed with nightmares and so we move to Poltergeist, this 1982 film should have been directed by Steven Spielberg (and some suggest it really was) but wasn’t contractually allowed to direct it at the time. A landmark in horror and has entered the common cultural landscape with references to people talking to their tv and the dangers of building houses on cemeteries popping up in many films and tv shows.

Streaming Service: BBC iPlayer

Also Read: A Horror Fans Film Guide To 2021

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Posted by
Richard Norton

Gentleman, podcaster and pop culture nerd, I love talking and writing about pretty much all pop culture.