Terror Talent Share Their Go-to Halloween Film Fixes - Dread Central
Connect with us


Terror Talent Share Their Go-to Halloween Film Fixes



It’s our favorite season of the year once again, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be scavenging high and low in search of something suitably scary to watch this Halloween.

In the hopes of making life a little easier for you this year, I went in search of film recommendations from talented folk who’ve all proven their skills in the art of scaring us silly. Compiling the suggestions they threw my way resulted in an extensive, well-balanced blend of both familiar fare and very under-the-radar gems, and I’m pretty confident all you readers will find something herein that’s more than worth discovering for the first time or revisiting for the umpteenth viewing this Halloween.


Ben Blaine (Nina Forever)

To be honest, at this time of year our thoughts are as much about Bonfire Night as Halloween. Don’t know about you, but for us as kids in the U.K., the ghosts and monsters were never anything as chilling as the public information films warning about the very real threat of blowing your face off on a firework. Also, every school had at least one kid who spent the night in the burns unit; much more hardcore than Halloween.

As a result, if there’s one film I start to crave round now, it’s actually Paul Tickell’s underrated Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry, which is a bomb enthusiast’s primer on political history. With Trump vs Clinton in the US and an unelected PM in Britain, there’s no better film to get you thinking past the candy and about how to deal with the real monsters.

John Fallon (The Shelter)

Every Halloween, I boogie with the ridiculously fun Trick or Treat (1986). The film is about a dead, Satan-worshiping rocker named Sammy Curr whose specter is summoned back to our realm by a bullied teenage “headbanger.” With its “Carrie gone Metal” elements, its zany late Elm Street-ish horror set pieces and a standout rock soundtrack by Fastway, this bad-boy is an ideal Halloween party watch with friends and beers in tow.


Benni Diez (Stung)

Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners is a perfect Halloween movie for me. It’s like an Amblin movie filtered through the brain of a mad man (who had just made Braindead). The twists and turns, the demon designs, the effects. Everything was groundbreaking at the time and still inspires me when I try to come up with horror movie ideas.

John Ainslie (The Sublet)

The Others with its creepy tone and because it’s such a great lesson on storytelling using both the writing and controlled lensing combined with superb performances.

Alberto Marini (Summer Camp)

My suggestion is The House with Laughing Windows by Pupi Avati because it is an almost unknown horror gem, far from the genre stereotypes. A disturbing mix of giallo and Italian realism, of artistic cinema and B-movies. And it has one of the most shocking, daring and borderline endings of all times.

Can Evrenol (Baskin)

One of my favourite film experiences EVER has to be when I caught a screening of The Exorcist in a beautiful church in East London on Halloween eve, so much so that that has to be my go-to Halloween movie.

Joonas Makkonen (Bunny the Killer Thing)

My recommendation would have to be Antonia Bird’s Ravenous. It’s just such a creepy comedy horror with a great concept and easily one of my all-time favorite films.


Nick Jongerius (The Windmill)

For me there are two that come to mind: The original Nightmare on Elm Street is a must, just because the concept of a killer who gets you in your nightmares and can change the reality of your dreams if needed to catch you is just Oscar-worthy material. And then there’s The Devils Backbone. I don’t exactly know why, but I was just so moved by this story. It’s embedded in an interesting time historically. It looks great, the setting is surreal and is so effective (a bomb is later used in Under the Shadows, if I’m not mistaken), it is seriously spooky and the acting is top-notch!

Colin and Cameron Cairnes (100 Bloody Acres, Scare Campaign)

Halloween isn’t huge in Australia, but it’s getting bigger and is a great time to dig up some rare Aussie gold. Next of Kin is a bit hard to find but worth the effort. It’s a stylish and pretty gory flick. It’s hard to categorize, but let’s go with psychological post-slasher Gothic horror. John Jarratt (Wolf Creek, 100 Bloody Acres) is one of the leads, and it was all shot in our beautiful home state of Victoria.

Pavel Khvaleev (III)

Maybe this is a bit too “pop,” but I really love the movie Constantine with Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton. For me, this is pretty much one of the best films that are related to mysticism. It provided an extensive and clear portrayal of the invisible eternal struggle between good and evil, although that struggle is not always invisible…

Alistair Legrand (The Diabolical)

I’d have to go with Frailty. I think the goal of a proper Halloween movie should be to give you chills but also to have a strong fall atmosphere. Frailty feels like a ghost story told over a campfire.

Jason Lei Howden (Deathgasm)

Nightmare on Elm Street 3 is the horror movie I revisit every Halloween. As a kid it was a gateway drug, dragging me deep into the abyss of VHS terror and addicting me to the genre. It contains scares, laughs, underdog teens joining forces, the best art design of the series, awesome practical effects and even a stop-motion skeleton. Most of all, it’s Freddy Krueger at his peak: still disturbing and threatening, but now with a sick sense of humor and a wit sharper than his finger blades (before the slasher from Elm Street became a lunchbox-adorning Looney Tunes character).


André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter)

A film that affected me in my childhood was Poltergeist. It was the scariest film I had (of course) ever seen at the time. I think Poltergeist is a great Halloween movie because it has the same tone as the holiday itself – it’s genuinely scary, but still has a lively, friendly vibe. It’s got a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor – typical of the Amblin movies that were soon to come – and is just fun and scary for most of the family – much like the holiday itself. The sense of realism in the way characters are described; the originality of the plot and events taking place; the great scary set pieces; the moments of awe and beauty; the great ideas about life and death. It’s all a perfect combo for a great Halloween movie night. It’s also a quintessential Spielbergian movie – the scariest one.

Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, Beyond the Gates)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre feels like a brutal film but isn’t. There is hardly any blood used. The first time I tried to watch it, though, I couldn’t finish. Even seeing less than half the movie, I couldn’t sleep for three nights. It would take me another five years to get up the courage when I was in my early 20’s to watch the movie in its entirety. Gunnar Hansen wears the ultimate scary mask of all time: human flesh!… and plays, to me, one of the scariest monsters of all time. He doesn’t really speak and is impossible to reason with. Years later, after meeting him in person and becoming friends, I was further shocked to learn what a dear and kind person he was…


Jackson Stewart (Beyond the Gates)

I am not sure why, but my go-to Halloween movie is always Halloween II.  Much has been written about the original but I find that this one is a little more evocative and the hospital setting is untouchable. It provides a very definitive end to Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis, and the explosive finale is one for the ages. Halloween III took the right direction by trying to skew away from the Myers mythos.  Hell, make it a double feature between II and III.

Jason Krawczyk (He Never Died)

It’s hard to beat Evil Dead 2 or Sleepy Hollow, but this year I’m pitching Spooky Encounters. It’s a 1980 horror Kung-Fu comedy starring Sammo Hung. It’s fun, spooky and probably has the best ending in cinematic history.

Michael Steves (Clinger, West of Hell)

My movie of choice is The Nightmare Before Christmas (if I’m with family) – technically a children’s film, but it’s filled with as much malice and dread as any great horror movie, and the evil, bug-filled singing Boogeyman could totally take on Michael Myers and Jason in a fight. And the movie itself is all about how it’s okay to be weird, different and embrace horror, which I think any horror fan can relate to during Halloween celebrations.

Phillip Escott (Cruel Summer)

It’s a tough question, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. It’s just a crowd-pleaser of a movie and Tom McLoughlin took a brave step when he added humor to the horror. Well, maybe not as brave as Danny Steinmann’s previous entry, A New Beginning, but it was still a bold move given the outcry from the previous installment, which I also dig a lot. It has inventive kills, likeable characters, genuinely funny laughs and, of course, a killer soundtrack featuring Alice Cooper and Felony. Halloween doesn’t get better than that.


Craig Newman (Cruel Summer)

My favourite Halloween film is Evil Dead II. It totally delivers on all the elements that a horror film should have while also utilizing a great pace and sense of humor. For me, Halloween is about having a good time, and this film definitely injects some fun and adrenaline into the spirit of Halloween.

Yoann-Karl Whissell (Turbo Kid)

No Halloween movie marathon is complete without a film from John Carpenter, and this year I’m watching my favorite: The Thing for its perfect use of paranoia, the amazing practical effects, brilliant characters and probably one of the greatest movie endings of all time. This film is REQUIRED viewing for EVERY horror fan.

François Simard (Turbo Kid)

Braindead! Yup, that’s the movie that started the filmmaker fire in me and literally change my life! From the charming love story between endearing characters to the insane pitch perfect, over-the-top gory set pieces that is still unmatched today. That film will always be my go-to movie on Halloween. Or Christmas. Or Easter…

Anouk Whissell (Turbo Kid)

Am I cheating if I recommend a double bill? I’m definitely going for Ti West’s The Innkeepers and The House of the Devil. These two are, without a doubt, two of my favorite horror films of recent years. Ti West was able to perfectly capture the aesthetic, atmosphere and tone of these two stories and made me fall in love with the two main characters. (Maybe the fact I identify a lot with Claire has something to do with my choice – haha.)


Isaac Ezban (The Similars)

I would say Halloween simply because of the temporality – there’s no other film we want to watch – and it is practically one of the films that has inspired independent cinema more. I also have to include The Shining simply because, for me, it’s the greatest horror movie ever!

Gigi Saul Guerrero (El Gigante)

Usually from somebody like me you would think I would say classics like The Exorcist or the Halloween franchise. Honestly, my October film has always been my childhood favorite, Hocus Pocus. I remember ever since the first time I watched this film, I wanted to be a witch. Not only is this film original and extremely well made, but it has many incredible layers to storytelling and, for me, is just absolutely amazing.

Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipede 2 & 3, The Editor)

I like to watch an old black and white horror after midnight. Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr or a Tod Slaughter (Sweeney Todd, or Maria Martin).

Chad Archibald (Bite, The Drownsman)

People rip on it, but I love watching The Cabin in the Woods this time of year. I just remember the first time I watched the doors open and all of the classic horror villains (or at least the no-name versions of classic horror villains) erupt into that room. I was in awe. A fantasy bloodbath that ten-year-old me would have pee’d himself to. It’s just a ridiculously fun Halloween film that has a great re-watch value. Where else can you see a horror unicorn and a merman massacre in one movie???


Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!


Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date



Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December



Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!


Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package



Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web