The week leading up to
Halloween is the perfect time to get a group of friends together to carve some pumpkins, eat all of the sweets you bought for trick or treaters, and have a horror movie marathon. Although Halloween movies are perhaps most typically associated with the U.S. (think Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family as well as less-kid-friendly options like A Nightmare On Elm Street, It, and, more recently, Halloween Ends), the truth is that over here in the UK, we have plenty of options to choose from too – and we’ve listed some of the best below.
In this edit, you’ll find out-and-out smash hits (did you know
Lady In Black made $129m at the box office, for example?) as well as some more niche examples that you can really show off to your friends about. The most recent release on this list – Men, which premiered in 2022 – not only offers a classic horror storyline but also a searing analysis on toxic masculinity. Elsewhere, you have In Fabric, which somehow makes a dress bone-chillingly terrifying. A feat of cinematic genius, if you ask me.
Read on to find out which movies will be keeping you entertained in the lead up to October 31.
1 Saint Maud (2021)
In her directorial debut, Rose Glass’s psychological horror
Saint Maud stars Ring of Power’s Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle. Clark plays Katie, a hospice nurse who fails to save a patient. This event turns her back to Catholicism, in which she changes her name to Maud. As she begins her new job as a private palliative care nurse, she becomes obsessed with saving the soul of one of her patients – whatever the cost. Watch on Amazon now 2 Under The Shadow (2017)
An international co-production between Jordan, Qatar, and the UK,
Under the Shadow is a Persian-language horror film that follows a mother and daughter as they’re haunted during the War of the Cities in 1980s Tehran. Under the Shadow is one of those rare horror films that is indescribable – and the trailer does not do it justice as to how mind-bendingly terrifying it is. Watch on Netflix now 3 His House (2020)
Fleeing a war-torn South Sudan, Bol and Rial head to Britain with their daughter Nyagak for a better life. Tragically, the couple end up losing their child as they cross the channel and, when they’re finally granted probational asylum, they’re given a dilapidated house they can’t leave due to the risk of deportation.
Being forced into this home and unable to leave, strange and mysterious things start happening, and Bol and Rial are stuck.
Believing the house is possessed by a sea witch, the couple start to fight back, and things take a turn for the scarier. Watch on Netflix now 4 Woman In Black (2012)
Do not be fooled, while the
Woman In Black stars Daniel Radcliffe, his harmless days of Harry Potter are long behind him. This film is no joke, it will have you jumping out of your skin. It has all the makings of a great horror film; spooky empty house, dead owners, a creepy lake. Radcliffe stars as Arthur Kipps, a solicitor who travels to a village to discover that there is a ghost of a woman terrorising the locals. Instead of running for the hills he sticks around to see why she is so vengeful with terrifying consequences. Watch on Netflix now 5 Malevolent (2018)
Don’t Worry Darling’s Florence Pugh, is haunting. A group of scam artists make their money by faking paranormal activity. However, Malevolent after working in a desolate country house unexplainable things start to happen. It soon becomes too much for them to ignore and one by one they fall prey to what they’ve been mimicking. Malevolent isn’t for the easily scared and fainthearted. Watch on Netflix now 6 Ghost Stories (2018)
Darkly funny and witty, don’t be sucked into
and start thinking it’s a comedy style mockumentary. Professor Phillip Goodman Ghost Stories doesn’t believe in the supernatural. In fact he’s so sceptical that he’s creating a film to debunk spooky stories and occurrences. Filmed from the perspective of the production crew that are helping him interview mediums and psychics. It’ll leave you totally unnerved. Watch on Amazon now 7 The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)
As the title suggests, this post-apocalyptic horror focuses on a young girl named Melanie who is exceptionally gifted. She’s also one of a dozen or so children who are somewhat immune to a mutated fungal infection that wiped out most of humanity. That is until they get close to human scent – then the infection overrides their free will and they try to feast on human flesh.
The Girl with All The Gifts is your run of the mill zombie movie, but with a lot more heart (and tears). Starring Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, House Of The Dragon’s Paddy Considine, and Glenn Close, this film will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. Watch on Amazon now. 8 The Hallow (2015)
Last but not least if you’re serious about being truly freaked out this Halloween then
The Hallow is the film for you. It is straight up terrifying. Following Adam (played by Joseph Mawle) and Claire (played by Bojana Novakovic) as they move into their new secluded house in Ireland it becomes abundantly clear they may have made a mistake. The entire family ends up fighting for their lives against demonic beings that live in the woods. This film is truly chilling and perfect for Halloween. But you were warned here, you will have nightmares. Watch on Amazon now 9 In Fabric (2018)
This horror comedy stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Sheila, a divorcee on the hunt for the perfect dress. She happens upon a London boutique that has what she’s looking for, but the red gown just so happens to be cursed. Also starring
Gwendoline Christie, Hayley Squires, and Julian Barratt, In Fabric follows the dress as it haunts those who dare touch it. Watch on Amazon now 10 Men (2022)
Written and directed by Alex Garland,
Men is a folk horror that follows Jessie Buckley as Harper, a widowed woman who decides she needs a break in the fictional English village of Cotson. The folk horror sees Rory Kinnear masterfully play all the “men” in the village that torment and harm Harper during her stay. Watch on Amazon now 11 Last Night In Soho (2021)
Directed by Edgar Wright,
Thomasin McKenzie plays Eloise, a student who dreams of being a fashion designer and is captivated with the style of the ‘60s. Her fixation with the era causes her to start dreaming of being there, where she takes on the persona of a singer called Sandie, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. These dreams turn to visions and sinister hallucinations, and start to haunt Eloise in her waking life. Watch on Apple TV now 12 Censor (2021)
Set in 1985, this psychological horror sees
Niamh Algar play Enid Baines, a woman who works for the British Board of Film Classification. This was a busy time for the BBFC, as it was the era of Video Nasties – a controversy catalysed by uncensored horror films being available to buy on videotape for the first time. Work eerily starts to blend into Enid’s life, particularly when she notices one of these films bears a haunting resemblance to the disappearance of her sister when they were young. Watch on Amazon now 13 The Descent (2005)
Claustrophobic and disorientating,
The Descent follows six women as they explore an uncharted cave system in North Carolina. Everything you think could go wrong goes wrong, with the addition of underground cannibalistic creatures stalking the girls as they struggle to find their way out. Watch on Amazon now 14 28 Days Later (2002) 28 Days Later has always been a terrifying film, but it’s even more eerie to watch when the deserted London in the film is a bit too similar to the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. The only difference being that this time, the desertion is the result of a rage-inducing virus that causes humans to turn into a zombie-like state.
Directed by Danny Boyle, the apocalyptic horror follows
Cillian Murphy as Jim, a bicycle courier who wakes from a coma 28 days after the epidemic began. Also stars Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, and Brendan Gleeson. Watch on Disney+ now 15 Host (2020)
28 Days Later, supernatural horror Host also hits close to home. More so due to it being filmed during the pandemic, and set online during lockdown in the UK. Host sees a group of friends decide to hold an online séance during one of their weekly Zoom meetings. What could go wrong? Watch on Amazon now
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 29, 2018