By Clare Thorp
We’ve got the bone-chilling Ouija: Origin of Evil and Blair Witch: Into the Woods showing on the big screen here at Vue this Halloween – so if that whets your appetite for some gore and horror, here’s an array of spine-tingling classics for you to scare yourself silly with.
The 1978 slasher-classic in which Mike Myers — who murdered his sister when he was six — escapes to kill again. It spawned seven sequels, inspired Scream and was Jamie Lee Curtis’ first film role.
Grab a cushion for… When Laurie (Curtis) thinks she’s killed Myers, but as the kids remind her (and a menacing shadow approaches), “you can’t kill the boogeyman.”
Fright fact: Three different actors play Mike Myers — one of the benefits of hiding behind a creepy mask.
Nightmare inducing? You’ll never trust anyone in a mask again.
The Blair Witch Project
Shot in eight days and on a budget of $25,000, this scared the jeepers out of early audiences, who weren’t sure if the “found footage” of three students making a documentary about a local witch was real or not. It didn’t help that the actors’ IMDB pages said “missing, presumed dead.”
Grab a cushion for…The moment Heather finds Josh’s teeth and scalp wrapped in a bloodied cloth (later interviews revealed that these were real human teeth donated by a local dentist).
Fright fact: A mother of one of the film’s actors received sympathy cards from people who thought her daughter was actually dead.
Nightmare inducing? Even when you know it’s an act, there’s something about that shaky black and white footage…
Still grieving the death of his wife and son in a car accident, a well-known composer moves into an old Victorian house — where he discovers the angry ghost of another dead child. This often overlooked horror flick is a genuinely terrifying take on the classic haunted house tale.
Grab a cushion for…The red ball that keeps on bouncing down the stairs. Who knew a children’s toy could be so menacing?
Fright fact: It’s based on the real experiences of its writer, Russell Hunter, who lived in a supposedly haunted house in Denver, Colorado, in the late 60s. He experienced phenomena like vibrating walls, doors flying open and glass doors exploding.
Nightmare inducing? Martin Scorsese called it one of the scariest films of all time.
This spine-chilling classic about a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil — and her mother’s attempts to cure her — was banned on video in the UK for 25 years.
Grab a cushion for… The head-spinning scene is legendary, but the spider walk that Regan does down the stairs (only in the director’s cut) really creeps us out.
Fright fact: Regan’s projectile vomit was made from pea soup and oatmeal
Nightmare inducing? When it first screened, ambulance crews were on hand in case people fainted.
You might have seen the US remake, The Ring, starring Naomi Watts – but the atmospheric Japanese original, directed by Hideo Nakata, is an even creepier affair. After a string of sudden teenage deaths, a reporter investigates an urban legend about a cursed video tape. There’s no real gore…just slowly building tension to a horrifying climax.
Grab a cushion for…The infamous finale, where a humble TV set suddenly becomes the most petrifying thing you’ve ever encountered.
Fright fact: Gore Verbinski, who directed the American remake, first watched Ringu on an old, crackly VHS tape.
Nightmare inducing? You’ll be thankful videotapes have since been consigned to the technology trash can.
SPOILER ALERT: this is the final scene.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
A group of teenagers on a trip to visit their grandfather’s grave stumble upon a seemingly abandoned house, where very bad things happen with meat-hooks, machetes and power tools.
Grab a cushion for…When Sally runs through the forest with crazed killer Leatherface at her heels.
Fright fact: Leatherface was inspired by real life serial killer Ed Gein, who also wore his victim’s skin.
Nightmare inducing? Best not to watch alone.
Warning: clip contains violence.
A Hitchcock classic and the film that made us terrified of motel bathrooms. It also features one of the greatest twists in movie history.
Grab a cushion for…The shower scene might be infamous but the finale, where Norman Bates gives the most sinister smile ever, will haunt you for weeks.
Fright fact: Hitchcock filmed in black and white because he was worried that red blood wouldn’t make it past the censors.
Nightmare inducing? Make sure you lock the bathroom door tonight.
A haunted hotel, a psychic child, an on-edge Jack Nicholson…what could possibly go wrong? Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this psychological horror is based on Stephen King’s novel.
Grab a cushion for…The moment Danny sees the ghosts of the dead Grady sisters in the hallway.
Fright fact: Child star Danny Lloyd never appeared on the big screen again after The Shining.
Nightmare inducing? You’ll never look at twins in the same way again.
A family are visited by ghosts in their suburban home, who soon turn nasty and abduct youngest daughter, Carol Anne. Turns out, building houses on old cemeteries isn’t the smartest move.
Grab a cushion for… The clown scene — otherwise known as the moment a million people developed a sudden phobia of these “entertainers.”
Fright fact: Some believe the Poltergeist films are cursed because four cast members died in the six years between the releases of the first and third films.
Nightmare inducing? Ghosts you can’t see are definitely the spookiest.
Watch out for these two at Vue this Halloween: