A Hallowe’en horror? There’s one for everyone in the audience!

October 30th, 2020 7:30 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Clockwise from main: Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis in the 1991 Cape Fear; Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood and Victoria Pedretti and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth in The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is currently showing on Netflix.

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Lifelong chiller ‘n’ thriller fan Siobhán Cronin is opting for some real classics, a few modern scares, and even a boxset, for this year’s Hallowe’en weekend viewing


SINCE you probably won’t be going very far this Hallowe’en, just as well it looks like being a bumper one for movie viewing.

There has never been a better excuse to put a pumpkin on the window sill, open a monster-sized bag of nuts, and get some scary, gory fun on the big – or small – screen.

So, what are the options?

Well, we’re happy to say that whatever your taste when it comes to goosebump-boosters, there really is something for everyone in the audience this year.

On Hallowe’en Night, there is plenty on offer on terrestrial (old fashioned!) channels, but my own favourite picks are 2015’s Poltergeist (RTÉ2, 12.55am – so, officially Sunday morning!); Coppola’s Dracula (1992) starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder on Virgin Media Two at 10.45pm and Silence of the Lambs on Virgin Media Three at 9.20pm.

On the satellite channels, you can watch the Roman Polanski classic Rosemary’s Baby on TCM at 9pm or Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis at 10.45pm on Film4.

Netflix allows you to search under different genres of horror – ‘chilling’, ‘psychological’, ‘demon’ and ‘supernatural’ – you can even seek out a ‘horror comedy’ if you prefer ghouls of the belly-tickling variety.

If, like me, you can’t wait until Saturday night then you can kick off the ghoulish viewing with a few mini-series, like ‘The Haunting Of … series. The first was Hill House and this has been followed up in recent weeks by the equally stylish Bly Manor. It’s slow-moving but a real mindbender, and worth the effort if you have the time to spare.

Some of Netflix’s best film offerings this year include Hereditary (Toni Collette), The Conjuring, and you can also see the modern remakes of classics like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. If you’re feeling pretty brave, can we recommend the wonderfully eerie Malevolent from 2018, or 2010’s Insidious. If you like creepy doll stories, then Annabelle will have you covering up all your Barbies before bedtime.

Apple TV has a lot of originals including Hitchcock’s The Birds, Stephen King’s Carrie, and the original Nightmare on Elm Street. If pure horror isn’t your thing, but you don’t want to be a spoilsport, Apple also has Jaws to rent this week.

And for family viewing you can catch all the wonderful Addams Family movies on Netflix, along with the charming animated Hotel Transylvania movies and Tim Burton’s PG-rated Corpse Bride.

My own personal Top 3 go-to horrors every year? Scorsese’s 1991 classic remake of Cape Fear, (Amazon Prime) or the original 1962 version with the deliciously sinister Robert Mitchum (widely available); any Hitchcock (on various streaming services), the modern alternative horror Get Out (Amazon Prime) and for a binge-worthy boxset, it has to be the series that made the Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard a household name, the brilliantly quirky, regularly dark and often comic, True Blood.

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