Every October I indulge myself by trying to complete The 31 days of Horror movie challenge. I found this on Instagram many years ago and I’m still not sure where it originated from. The basic idea is that you watch a horror movie every day in October. Part of the challenge is that your movie choices are inspired by a list of 31 prompts. So, I thought I would create my own suggestion list for this challenge. Below are all the prompts and my favourite film suggestion for each day. Let me know how you are getting on by tweeting me or contacting me on Instagram using @istorialit
If you choose to join in enjoy and good luck!
A remake of a horror classic: The Amityville Horror (2005)
I have chosen this as it is one of the few horror remakes that actually scared me. It’s the story of a family that move in to a creepy old haunted house. The plot is fairly decent and so is the cast. It’s a great place to start the month of horror. Also, this film has shirtless Ryan Reynolds moments which, you know, I really didn’t mind.
A supernatural horror: Final Destination (2000)
What would you do if moments before you were about to kick the bucket something showed you that it was going to happen? In Final Destination a group of students board a plane to Paris. Moments before the plane is about to take off one of the students, Alex, sees the plane go down. Freaking out over what he saw leads him and some other passenger to be removed from the flight. As they watch from the airport windows the plane burst into flames upon take off killing everyone on board. They may have survived the explosion but is death finished with them yet? This is one of my favourite horror movies of all time. It will make you scared to leave the house as you realise death could be lurking anywhere. It is definitely one every horror fan needs to see.
A thriller horror: Get Out (2017)
This horror starts as African-American photographer, Chris, and his white American girlfriend, Rose, arrange a weekend away so that he can meet her parents. The incredible Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in this movie created by the genius, Jordan Peele, that rapidly escalates from unnerving to terrifying as not everything with Rose’s family is at all what it first seems.
A slasher horror: Urban Legend (1998)
Now this horror plays on all the fears that have been worked in to you throughout your childhood. The creepy stories that you told in the dark at sleep overs or the tales that made you scared to drive alone late at night. A University campus becomes the host of a spate of Urban Legend inspired murders that leave students terrified. Who is next and how will they die? This move gives you good old fashioned scares in a 90’s horror setting. An underrated classic.
A black and white horror: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
A true horror classic. Dr. Bennell notices a change in some of his patients and can’t put his finger on what exactly is wrong. These people don’t seem to be whom they used to be and the condition is starting to spread. As he tries to solve the mystery he needs help but he soon finds out that there are not many people around him left to trust. How can he evade being caught and save the ones he loves?
A horror comedy: Young Frankenstein (1974)
Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder created this horror comedy gem. It is the story of the grandson of disgraced mad scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein and what happens when fate comes calling. Young Frankenstein is a masterclass in film making and has been said to include examples of every type of humour ever used in comedy. It is also celebrated as one of the greatest movies ever made. It is a must see for any cinema nerd.
A horror movie from the 1960’s: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Having a baby can be a scary time for any couple but Rosemary’s pregnancy becomes utterly hellish. There are so many creepy things about this film I don’t know where to start. Mia Farrow’s performance has a haunting quality that has stuck with me for years and I think it is the stand out film of the decade.
A horror movie from the 1970’s: Halloween (1978)
This movie’s reputation speaks for itself and you can see the legacy it has given the horror genre when you watch the films on this list. A crazed killer is on the loose and Jamie Lee Curtis takes on the role of his baby sitter prey. This film is horror 101 and is an essential foundation for your horror movie education.
A horror movie from the 1980’s: The Shining (1980)
This is another building block of your horror movie education. Jack becomes the winter caretaker of the Overlook hotel. His wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, are there to keep him company. He plans to finish writing his book but it doesn’t seem like the hotels supernatural residents are going to let him. This is Kubrick’s masterpiece and there are so many little horror Easter eggs in this film you will watch it again and again.
A horror movie from the 1990’s: The Faculty (1998)
Another underrated horror. The Faculty uses so many core elements of horror and sci-fi history to create a great take on the alien invasion theme. The main cast is fantastic and you will see plenty of other familiar faces among the rest of the cast too including Usher, Salma Hayek and Jon Stewart. Oh and the soundtrack is so epically 90’s!
A horror movie from the 2000’s: Severance (2006)
A group of office workers head in to the wilderness for a bit of team building what they don’t know is that there is a psychotic killer on their tails. Danny Dyer and Tim Mcinnerny are in this and so is Laura Harris who also happens to be in The Faculty. I feel like this movie is a little bit of a hidden gem. I haven’t watched it for a while but I remember really enjoying it. It is definitely worth a watch.
A horror movie from the 2010’s: The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
This movie really is a love letter to the entire horror genre. A group of 5 friends head away to a cabin in the woods for a little vacation time only to get a whole lot more than they bargained for. There are so many Easter eggs in this movie and it is actually pretty funny too. This movie is written and produced by Joss Whedon who knows how to do his horror lore homework. This is one for the horror nerds. DO NOT MIX THIS UP WITH CABIN FEVER! Cabin Fever is a dreadful film! Avoid it like the plague!
A horror movie inspired by a true story: The Conjuring 2
This is the only sequel on the list and that is because I think it’s the scariest of the series it is in. The story is based on the true events surrounding an investigation in to paranormal activity related to a young girl in a house in Enfield in the UK. Although clearly exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment it does send a chill up my spine to think I don’t live that far from where it supposedly took place. This movie does its best to creep you out and make you really not want to switch the lights off when you go to bed.
A British Horror Movie: Creep (2004)
A late night party goer falls asleep on an underground train platform and fails to get home. She finds herself trapped in the underground maze of the London tube system and she is not alone. What started as an evening of fun soon turns in to a fight for survival but will she stay alive to see the underground open in the morning.
A sci-fi horror: Attack the Block (2011)
It’s time to defend the earth from an alien invasion and it’s down to a gang of teenagers from a council estate in South London to save the day. Starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker this is another one for the nerds. There are some pretty eerie moments and some epic fight scenes. This film is so British it hurts… in a good way.
An Indie Horror: The Green Room (2015)
I watched this movie with my heart racing and sweaty palms. A punk band becomes trapped in the green room of white power club after seeing something they wish they hadn’t. This film completely surprised me and I had no clue how it was going to end. Not for the faint hearted.
A horror based on a book: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A junior FBI agent is asked to interview a jailed psychopathic killer to gather information on a unsolved case. The horror that follows will melt your mind. So much of this film will leave you feeling disturbed and unnerved. It might surprise you to know that there are feminist elements and themes to The Silence of the Lambs. The camera work is particularly interesting to look at. You’ll be quoting Lecter for weeks after you’ve watched this one.
A horror inspired by Stephen King’s work: Gerald’s Game (2017)
This is not the first Stephen King inspired horror movie on the list but it is by far the one I found the scariest. When a sex game goes wrong, a woman finds her handcuffed to a bed alone in a house in the middle of nowhere. With no hope of escape and few supplies in reach she must battle not only to stay alive but also to stay sane. Gerald’s Game is a super creepy movie and you’ll find yourself thinking about it when you are alone in the darkness of you bedroom at night.
A Hitchcock horror movie: Psycho (1960)
Another building block to add to your horror movie foundation. A young woman on the run checks in to the Bates Motel and that turns out to be the worst decision she will ever make. You will find references to this movie is in so much of popular culture because it was such a breakthrough in the horror genre. It rightly deserves its title as a horror classic.
An Oscar Winning horror: Jaws (1975)
Jaws won 3 Oscars; 1 for sound, 1 for editing and 1, of course, for best music. Is there a more recognisable theme? Jaws is about a shark that terrorises a seaside town. It deserves its place in the horror movie hall of fame mainly because it is pretty hard to give good on screen scares in the daylight.
A horror with a strong female lead: Us (2019)
A family’s holiday turns in to a nightmare as they meet their doubles. Lupita Nyong’o deserves awards for her performance in Us because not only does she play a mother that you empathise with but she also plays a violent killer. Jordan Peele fills this movie with a ton of pop culture references but it never detracts from the horror vibe that the director is aiming for. Us is one of my horror favourites.
A cult horror film: The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)
A weird spooky sound track and pretty unconvincing special effects have cemented this folk horror as a cult classic. This movie fits in to the ‘so bad that it is good’ bracket that is usually reserved for hammer horrors. Full of creepy children and demonic lore it can be seen as an acquired taste but dedicated horror fans will love it.
Found footage horror: Troll Hunter (2010)
A Norwegian film with English subtitles, Troll Hunter is one of my accidental favourites. I saw this at the cinema when I supposed to seeing something else and I absolutely loved it. While investigating reports of illegal poaching, 3 young film makers meet a man who is a troll slayer employed by the Norwegian government. It is a fantasy with a Blair Witch horror feel. A wild card worth placing a bet on.
Vampire horror: Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Interview with the Vampire is sexy, disturbing, funny, revolting and tragic. Brad Pitt plays Louis who personal history we learn through flashbacks during the film. We follow his transformation into one of the undead and the life he creates with Lestat, played by Tom Cruise, the vampire who made him a blood sucking fiend. Based on the book by Anne Rice this film really is delicious. It may have a kind of exquisite twisted romance to it but it certainly embraces the gothic horror style. Vamp fans will love it.
Zombie horror: REC (2007)
A Spanish language zombie horror which scares me so much that I’m having trouble even writing about it. I still have nightmares about it. Imagine being trapped in a block of flats with a zombie virus. Not fun. Absolutely dreadfully scary. I’ve got chills running up and down my spine.
Witchcraft Horror: The Craft (1996)
A girl gifted with witchy powers joins a new school when she moves to live in LA. She soon finds herself part of a small coven along with other girls who also struggle to fit in at the school. However, the situation begins to spiral out of control as the power the girls find begins to corrupt them. This is another favourite for me simply because my odd ball loner heart loves it. Haven’t you ever wanted to get even with a bully?
Serial Killer: Frailty (2001)
Frailty is a slow burn but it another underrated horror on my list. Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey shine in their roles and the whole movie just has moments that will make you feel chills of fear. The movie plays out in flashbacks and we meet a family who don’t have a very happy home life. This film does not skimp on plot or character development like some other horrors do. A gripping watch.
Foreign Language horror: Train to Busan (2016)
A South Korean zombie horror that scared the life out of me. I’m not going to write about it because it scares me. You will just have to watch it.
A horror with children characters: Mom and Dad (2017)
I was going to suggest Poltergeist but I could not deny you the wild card that is Mom and Dad. It is a Nicholas Cage film so you know it is gonna be good. I loved this movie. It another ‘so bad it is good’ kind of film and I think you should at least give it a go. The plot? It starts off as a lovely day in the world and suddenly parents desperately want to kill their own offspring. Will the kids survive? You’ll have to watch it to find out.
An Anthology horror: Ghost Stories (2017)
A professor who spends his life debunking ghost tales investigates three separate incidents in the hopes to expose paranormal frauds but finds these cases are not so easy to explain away. I spent most of this movie with my hands over my eyes the first time I watched it. I was spooked and my hands were clammy the whole time. This is a creeping horror that holds on to your very soul. Good old fashioned scares.
Your favourite scary movie: Scream (1996)
I love it and I don’t care who judges me for it. I have seen the whole series so often that I know some of the dialogue off by heart. It is a horror fanboy/girl classic and it is another film that you will need to watch more than once to catch all the little horror geek Easter eggs.
A killer in a ghost face mask comes to Woodsboro and nobody is safe…
‘Someone has taken their love of scary movies one step too far! Don’t answer the door, don’t leave the house, don’t answer the phone, but most of all don’t scream. Now everybody is a victim and everybody is a suspect’
Click here to be taken to a YouTube playlist of all the trailers. Happy Horror season everyone! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!