Play Hard

11 Halloween horrors to get you in the spooky spirit…

From this weekend’s cinema releases to what to binge on Netflix, here’s your creepy culture fix.

Written by High Life North
Published 30.10.2021

By Christopher Kingston 

Last Night in Soho – 29th October – only in cinemas  

A psychological horror directed by Edgar Wright of Shawn of the Dead fame. The movie stars Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy (who was amazing in the Queen’s Gambit) the cast also includes Matt Smith and Terence Stamp, look out for the final film appearances of Diana Rigg and Margret Nolan. When Eloise a young woman with a passion for fashion and a strange sixth sense finds herself travelling back in time to London in 1966 where she inhabits the body of an iconic nightclub singer named Sandie While in Sandie’s body, Eloise begins a romantic relationship but comes to realize that Sandie’s life in the Swinging Sixties may not be as glamorous and both the past and the present begin to fall apart with deadly consequences. The film looks visually stunning and would be a perfect spooky night out at the movies.

The Halloween franchise – available on Netflix and various streaming services Halloween Kills cinema 

Beginning with Halloween (1978) this is a slasher film I try to watch every year. Personally, I think it’s a good idea to skip the numerous sequels / reboots and go straight to Halloween (2018) which is a direct sequel to the classic. the most recent sequel Halloween Kills is currently on cinema screens and directed by David Gordon Green, this is the twelfth instalment in the long-running franchise and stars the great Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and follows her final confrontation with Michael Myers played by Nick Castle on Halloween night forty years after she survived his killing spree. Halloween Ends will hopefully bring things to a close next year. (Well until we get yet another remake).

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Coming soon to cinema’s

If blood and gore isn’t really your thing then I would strongly recommend the long-awaited sequel to the original Ghostbusters (1984 and Ghostbusters 2 (1989). This one looks like it has a Stranger Things vibe about it. directed by Jason Reitman who takes over from his father Ivan Reitman. Some of the original cast are set to reprise their roles from the earlier instalment’s including Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, etc they join new stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Paul Rudd. Set 30 years after the events of the 2nd film, a single mother and her kids move to a small town where they discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and their grandfather’s legacy. This should be with us in early November, and we recommend checking out the early movies available on Netflix for a lovey piece of nostalgia.

Malignant – Available to rent on Amazon Prime for a limited time / coming soon to DVD/Blu Ray 

If you are looking for something more intense then I recommend Malignant. It is a return to the horror genre for director James Wan who is responsible for both The Conjuring and Insidious franchises and also brought DC comic book hero Aqua-man to the big screen. Like Midnight Mass the less you know before going in the better. Annabelle Wallis plays a young woman who begins to have visions of people being murdered only to find they are happening for real, she must find the strength to confront her childhood fear and face an evil entity named Gabriel. be warned though this one may not be for the faint hearted.

TV

Midnight Mass –  Netflix 

The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manner were big hits for the streaming service and also for filmmaker Mike Flanagan who also directed Doctor Sleep the underrated sequel to the Shining. Midnight Mass is his newest series for Netflix, we follow the ups and downs of an isolated island community that experiences supernatural events after the arrival of a mysterious priest. We highly recommend you go in blind for this one, as the less you know about the plot the better. So, no spoilers here. Mike Flanagan is a filmmaker who tends to focus more on his characters and themes and has far less reliance on jump scares that is refreshing and sometimes rarely depicted in the horror genre.

R. L Stine’s Fear Street Trilogy – Netflix

The Goosebumps book series were one of my favourites when growing up, so when we heard Netflix was adapting his Fear street books we had to check them out This is a teenage horror series written by R. L Stine and created for younger teenage readers they were similar to the Goosebumps books in that they featured paranormal villains such as aliens, monsters, etc. this trilogy of films based on the franchise is well worth checking out. Fear Street Part One; 1994 is a teen slasher film, Part Two is the same set in 1978, and Part 3: 1666 is a supernatural horror. perfect for the run-up to Halloween.

You – series 3 –  Netflix 

If you are not in the mood for anything to scary then how about a psychological thriller about a dangerously charming but obsessive young man who goes to extreme lengths to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by. In the new third season, Joe and Love are now married and raising their new-born son, Henry. As their relationship dynamic takes a new turn, Joe continues to repeat the cycle of obsession with a burgeoning interest in Natalie, the next-door neighbour. This time, Love will flip the script to ensure that her dream of having the perfect family will not be torn away so easily by Joe’s compulsive actions.

I Know What You Did Last Summer – Amazon Prime

In the late 90’s/ early 2000 teen horror movies were all the rage, the most famous being Scream which is also getting a sequel coming out early next year. while we wait for that another classic from the 90’s has been remade for TV. I Know what you did last summer. In a town that’s full of secrets we follow a group of teenagers as they are stalked by a mysterious killer a year after a fatal accident on graduation night. while you can’t beat the original movie this reboots it for a more modern audience.

Books 

The Spirit Engineer by A J West 

Belfast, 1914. Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, high society has become obsessed with spiritualism, attending séances in the hope they might reach their departed loved ones.

William Jackson Crawford is a man of science and a sceptic, but one night with everyone sitting around the circle, voices come to him – seemingly from beyond the veil – placing doubt in his heart and a seed of obsession in his mind. Could the spirits truly be communicating with him or is this one of Kathleen’s parlour tricks gone too far?

Based on the true story of Professor William Jackson Crawford and famed medium Kathleen Goligher, and with a cast of characters including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, The Spirit Engineer conjures a haunted, twisted tale of power, paranoia, and one ultimate, inescapable truth…

The Last House on Needless Street – Catriona Ward 

This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his young daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies. An unspeakable secret binds the family together, and when a new neighbour moves in next door, the truth may destroy them all. Because there’s something buried in the dark forest at the end of Needless Street. But it’s not what you think…

There’s a Ghost in this House – Oliver Jeffers 

A captivating new picture book with interactive transparent pages, from world-renowned artist Oliver Jeffers.

Hello, come in.
Maybe you can help me?

A young girl lives in a haunted house but has never seen a ghost. Are they white with holes for eyes? Are they hard to see? She’d love to know! Step inside and turn the transparent pages to help her on an entertaining ghost hunt, from behind the sofa, right up to the attic. With lots of friendly ghost surprises and incredible mixed media illustrations, this unique and funny book will entertain young readers over and over again!

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