Six weeks in and it’s time for the first themed edition. With 7 days to go to Halloween, here’s 7 films to set the mood. If Halloween isn’t for you, check out the previous five editions here #1 #2 #3 #4 #5.
What We Do In The Shadows (2014 – 86 mins – Amazon Prime)
‘I go for a look which I call “dead but delicious”…’ One of last week’s picks was Taika Waititi‘s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, an adventure romp involving a rebellious kid and his foster father going on the run in the New Zealand bush. This was Waiti’s preceding film, co-directed with Jemaine Clement. An endlessly entertaining mockumentary about an illusive household of vampire roommates. Time for first watch if you’ve not seen it already or, if you have, then it’s time for another rewatch. Then, you’ve got two series of the tv spin-off to follow-up with (20 episodes all on BBC iPlayer). Always remember, ‘werewolves not swearwolves’.
Cabin In The Woods (2011 – 95 mins – Amazon Prime)
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods. Think you’ve seen all those tropes done before? Not like this you haven’t… The script, by writers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, is wonderfully knowing and satirical. The end result is an immensely entertaining (and occasionally frightening) ride.
Ghost Stories (2017 – 98 mins – BBC iPlayer)
Based on the stage show, also by writer-director duo Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, Ghost Stories is a creepy slow-burn about skeptical professor Phillip Goodman (Nyman) as he embarks on a trip to the terrifying after being given a file with details of three unexplained cases of apparitions. Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse and Alex Lawther are the three men who test Phillip’s beliefs and push him to the very edge.
Addams Family Values (1993 – 94 mins – Netflix)
Although this is the sequel (with 1991 The Addams Family also on Netflix), this one has slightly more bite and has an even bigger place in my heart as we follow the eponymous Family try to rescue their beloved Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie (a scene-stealing Joan Cusack). Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and Gomez (Raul Julia) continue to be couple goals for the ages. A fantasy comedy suitable for all ages.
Corpse Bride (2005 – 77 mins – Netflix/ Amazon Prime)
This week’s underrated romcom slot goes to a wonderful animated necrophiliac musical directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. When a shy groom (Johnny Depp) practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman (Helena Bonham Carter), she rises from the grave assuming he has married her. The animation is exquisite, the songs captivating and the macabre story is told with just the right amount of sweet and spook.
Hereditary (2018 – 127 mins – Netflix)
I first saw this with my friend Sarah at Sundance London, months before release and knowing nothing about it. My most distinct memory of watching it was turning to Sarah, at what was probably mid-way through, and whispering ‘When will this all be over..?!?’ Not because it’s a bad film, but because I was really feckin’ scared! Fantastically performed, well told and packed full of hauntingly tense sequences.
A Quiet Place (2018 – 90 mins – Netflix)
Another one of those films that makes me nostalgic for sold-out cinema screens packed full of people truly immersed in the film experience. This one truly relied on an audience adhering to an unspoken (lol) code of making no noise during the film. If you were lucky enough to have that happen, this would have been such a magnificent experience. It holds up on the small screen too, just as entertainingly scary as it was on release. The sequel was due to come out in the UK March 20th 2020 but has been pushed back to April 23rd 2021, making it one of the many unmissable films that await us next year.