10 films sure to curdle your blood

Julia Burkstaller

Julia Burkstaller

Halloween is upon us once again. October is the month of caramel apples, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and of course, horror movies.

The classics still leave the biggest impressions on their audience, so when Oct, 31 rolls around, and you are looking for a good, scary movie, consider the following:

1. Psycho (1960)- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh and based on Robert Bloch’s novel. A young woman (Leigh) is on the run when she encounters the Bates Motel, owned by Norman Bates (Perkins). Fun Fact: The “blood” from the famous shower scene is Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

2. The Shining (1980)- Directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall and based on Stephen King’s novel. Weird things occur when a family spends the winter in an isolated hotel in the mountains of Colorado. Fun Fact: The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colo., was the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel.

3. Halloween (1978)- Directed by John Carpenter and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence. Michael Myers, a psychotic man institutionalized since childhood, escapes and goes on a killing spree. His doctor (Pleasence) frantically tries to find him before he murders any more innocent people. Laurie (Curtis) is just a young girl who gets in Myers’ way. Fun Fact: During the scene when Laurie is walking home and sees Myers, cigarette smoke from the director’s cigarette can be seen floating into view.

4. The Exorcist (1973)- Directed by William Friedkin, starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb and based on William Peter Blatty’s novel. When a teenage girl is possessed, her mother (Burstyn) seeks the help of two priests (Sydow and Jason Miller). Fun Fact: Rubber mats are visible on the steps for the famous fall-down-the-staircase scene.

5. Alien (1979)- Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt and Sigourney Weaver. A mining ship lands on an unknown planet. The crew members investigate and encounter an alien that unleashes terror upon their ship. Fun Fact: When trying to abort the countdown, the cancellation instructions Ripley (Weaver) follows with her finger are actually just a French translation of the detonation instructions she followed earlier.

6. The Thing (1982)- Directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell. A group of American scientists encounters a shape-shifting alien that takes the forms of the people it kills. Fun Fact: When the Norwegian is in the U.S. base on the medical table, the “dead” man can be seen to blink once.

7. Dawn of the Dead (1978)- Directed by George A. Romero and starring David Emge and Ken Foree. This film is the sequel to Night of the Living Dead. Four people try to escape the zombies that have risen from the dead by taking refuge in a deserted mall. Fun Fact: When Roger runs out of a truck and back toward the mall, one particular zombie in a red-and-black striped shirt gets out of character and decides to tuck in his shirt.

8. 28 Days Later (2002)- Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy. An incurable virus infects the United Kingdom. Weeks later, the few survivors try to seek refuge. Fun Fact: During the first shot of Centre Point at Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, on the left side of the screen, a man can clearly be seen changing the bags of a dustbin.

9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)- Directed by Jonathon Demme, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster and based on Thomas Harris’ novel. A young FBI agent (Foster) needs the help of an imprisoned, cannibalistic killer (Hopkins) in order to catch a serial killer. Fun Fact: Both Foster and Hopkins won Academy Awards for their roles in this film.

10. The Descent (2005)- Directed by Neil Marshall. A group of women go on a caving expedition and get trapped. They are then feasted upon by strange blood-thirsty creatures. Fun Fact: A sequel that starts off where the first movie ended will be released in 2010.

If you are not a fan of being scared but want a good movie to watch on Halloween, you can stick with the satirical horror movies such as Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (1974) or Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead (2004).