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Best Horror movies to watch this Halloween

What’s Halloween without a good horror movie to scare yourself senseless? Well, given that trick or treating is off the cards for this year’s celebrations, horror films are more important than ever, and we’ve selected our top picks.

With the sheer number of horror films out there, there’s no way that we can include all of our favourite on this list but rest assured – each one of the six films featured here is an absolute banger that should be watched and then re-watched several times over.

So order in some salty popcorn, switch off the lights and take a gander at Recombu’s top picks for the best horror films to watch this Halloween.

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The Exorcist

The best of the best. There’s a reason why The Exorcist’s legacy continues to this day, and it’s not the film’s terrifying practical effects (although they’re still as potent as they’ve ever been). The Exorcist absolutely nails the human element that any good horror film should strive for, getting the audience to invest more time with the film’s characters, rather than its scares. The payoff is that once the film reaches its final act, the stakes are higher because we understand what failure means to everyone involved.

Of course, if you want to bypass all that, I could just write a long list of how the film’s possession antics are likely to make you soil your favourite pair of underwear. The constant subliminal imagery puts your brain into a state of overload and it’s hard to talk yourself down from it all. Needless to say, if you have a small child around the same age as Regan MacNeil, it might be best to send them off on a small holiday before you sit down for a viewing.

  • Available to stream on Now TV

Get Out

A more apropos title for Get Out would have been ‘The Constant Unease’, because it’s not until right at the very end that the film finally reveals its horrific underbelly, confirming your worst suspicions and then some. Taking the racial tensions that exist in modern American and running with it, Jordan Peele creates a fantastic societal mirror with his directorial debut, with a film that can make you laugh out loud one minute and have you completely on the edge of your seat the next.

Once you’ve watched the film, I highly recommend hitting up YouTube for the alternative ending that almost made its way into the final cut. It’ll make your jaw hit the floor as it brought the themes of the film full circle, but it’s also horribly macabre and probably for the best that it stayed on the cutting room floor.

  • Available to rent on Prime Video

IT

Forget being just a great horror movie, IT is a perfect example of how to adapt a book into a film. Stephen King’s IT is a mammoth text that can also be used as a doorstop in some instances, but Director Andy Muschietti knew exactly what to cut from the source material and what to keep in. The final result is a film that manages to bring the story forward into the 1980s, wearing its Stranger Things inspiration on its sleeve with modern humour, nostalgic references and a villain that’s terrifying.

From the opening scene (RIP Georgie) to his final showdown with The Losers Club, it feels as though Bill Skarsgård was born to play Pennywise – I mean, have you seen those eyes?

  • Available to rent on Prime Video

The Cabin in the Woods

Think Scream but cranked up to 11. After cutting his teeth on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon delivers the type of post-modern horror flick that only he could put together. Simultaneously deconstructing the genre whilst adhering to its most iconic tropes, The Cabin in the Woods is unlike any horror movie you’ve ever seen, and there’s been nothing like it since.

Of course, to really appreciate all that the film has to offer, it’s best to go in blind which is why I won’t be making any major references to the plot here. All I’ll say is that if you’ve ever felt that the one thing horror films lacked was a sense of self-awareness, then Cabin in the Woods has been made with you in mind.

  • Available to stream on Netflix

Scream

While it doesn’t pack the same punch it once did (particularly after The Cabin in the Woods), Scream is definitely still worth a watch as it managed to single-handedly revive the slasher genre through wit, a genuinely surprising twist and scathing dialogue that’s critical of typical horror tropes. Most people remember the superbly written opening act featuring a young Drew Barrymore, but the film’s true success lies in the confident heroism of its lead character, Sidney Prescott.

Despite the impending doom that edges ever closer throughout the film, Sidney is determined to do whatever it takes to stay alive, and it’s in her rejection of the outdated stereotypes surrounding ‘the last girl’ that Scream elevates itself to a higher status beyond a typical slasher flick.

  • Available to rent on Prime Video

It Follows

As we all know, the golden rule in horror films is to never have sex. As soon as you do, you’re at the mercy of any monster and murderer within a 10-mile radius. In It Follows, Director David Robert Mitchell takes that idea and makes it the centrepiece of the whole story, as a slow moving but deadly creature relentlessly stalks our main character, and the only way to get rid of it is to have sex with someone, thereby passing the curse on to them.

Sure, the film might sound like a nightmarish take on the danger of STDs, but it’s the constant unease that the creature is slowly getting closer at all times that makes It Follows such a potent watch. As our main character soon discovers, no matter how much distance you put between yourself and the creature, it will always find you.

  • Available to rent on Prime Video

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