Top 10 films to get you in the mood for Halloween, whatever your fear factor

Top 10 films to get you in the mood for Halloween, whatever your fear factor

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: Witches? Check. Dark magic? Check. Halloween night? Check. A trio of witch siblings come back from the dead, and a young boy needs to stop them before they start eating children again.

Scare rating: 3/10

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: This is a gothic masterpiece from Tim Burton. Edward's wild hair, black leather attire, ghostly white face and lethal hands make him a textbook bad guy - but he's not.

Gentle Edward was created by a scientist, but the scientist died before he had time to finish him, leaving Edward with sharp blades for hands. He is taken in by a friendly family, and although Edward is caring and loyal (not to mention great at trimming hedges) he is still an outcast, and the film is pretty dark.

Scare rating: 4/10

Coraline (2009)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: Although it's an animated film, this dark fantasy is enough to give anyone the chills. Coraline has just moved into a new home, and while exploring she finds a secret door. On the other side, she finds a mirrored life; it's basically the same as her real life, only better.

It's all well and good until the "Other Mother" - who has buttons for eyes that are downright creepy - tries to force Coraline to stay with them forever, and things take a dark twist.

Scare rating: 6/10

Sleepy Hollow (2013)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: People coming back from the dead and headless horsemen are always going to be spooky. Ichabod Crane comes back to life after 250 years and finds that a headless horseman, who terrorised his village, has also come back to life (if anyone without a head can be considered alive in the first place).

Ichabod realises he needs to act quickly, because there are three more headless horsemen on the way. They make up the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and we all know what happens if all four of them are reunited …

Scare rating: 6/10

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: This is a "found-footage" style film - in other words, made to look as if it's real and filmed by an amateur. A couple tries to prove that their house is haunted. If the glimpses of ghosts don't have you jumping out of your seat, the shaky camera angles will.

Scare rating: 9/10

The Woman in Black (2012)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: This is one of those nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat films. It's set in a remote village (already creepy), and it's haunted by the ghost of a woman who always wears black, as you might have guessed. She isn't following in Casper's footsteps, either: she is 100 per cent evil and won't stop at anything until she finds what she has lost - even if it means killing everyone in the village.

Scare rating: 10/10

The Orphanage (2007)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: Not only is it set in an old, empty orphanage that is harbouring a dark secret, there are little ghost children popping up everywhere with sacks on their heads and other creepy things. It's hard to tell if they are trying to help the main character, Laura, or cause her harm, but the strong storyline sets this apart from the typical Halloween films that are just jumpy scenes with no real plot.

Scare rating: 9/10

Corpse Bride (2005)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: If the thought of marriage isn't scary enough, Victor, a groom-to-be, is dragged off to the underworld by corpse bride Emily, who was murdered after eloping with her love. Another great Tim Burton hit that makes a creepy idea seem sweet.

Scare rating: 2/10

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: The spookiest thing about this film is that it isn't set in an old, abandoned house or some other typical creepy location; rather it takes place in a sleek, modern house made of glass and sliding doors. Unfortunately, it turns out the sliding doors can be controlled by nasty spirits, that trap the family inside and see to it that really bad stuff happens to them.

Scare rating: 7/10

ParaNorman (2012)

Why it's perfect for Halloween: Sometimes, you want to get into the spirit of Halloween, but without all the drama of being too scared to sleep afterwards. This film is the perfect solution. There are plenty of zombies, ghosts and other undead ghouls, but the scares are mild and infrequent.

Scare rating: 1/10

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Reel frightening!

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