Just moved in and looking for an antidote to Halloween's more hair-raising aspects? Stay indoors with your hubby and invite the new neighbours round for a spot of supper and a movie. What could go wrong? Well, watch ROSEMARY'S BABY and you're sure to find out. Young wife Rosemary, played with heartwrenching fragility by Mia Farrow, becomes suspicious of strange goings on in her new apartment as new neighbours the Castevets take an increasingly sinister interest in Rosemary and her husband...
2. The Devil Rides Out
Christopher Lee plays brilliantly against type as mysterious hero the Duc de Richleau in Hammer's classic adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's THE DEVIL RIDES OUT. When the Duc deduces that an estranged friend and an innocent young woman have become initiated into a satanic cult (led by Charles Gray's perfectly chilling Mocata), the nobleman and his friend Rex Van Ryn plan a rescue. But the Devil's in the details, and things go anything but smoothly..
3. Kill List
Last in our occult marathon purely for the horrible feeling it leaves you with afterwards (because you don't want to sleep TOO well on Halloween do you?), Ben Wheatley's genre-mashing chiller KILL LIST is one of the most unsettling experiences in recent cinema. The fiery domestic struggles of Jay and Shel at the top of the film grounds proceedings firmly in reality, a reality which slowly unravels when a contract from a sinister organisation tugs Jay into unfamiliar and deeply disturbing territory. We shall say no more...
The Sci Fi Spectacular
1. The Fly
Where better to begin a sci-fi horror marathon than a David Cronenberg-imagined science lab? Jeff Goldblum stars as obsessive genius Seth Brundle, a man painstakingly close to a scientific breakthrough in matter transportation (better known as 'teleportation'). But when another lifeform flies inside the transportation device just as Brundle teleports himself for the first time, the scientist emerges from the other side a "changed" man... watch THE FLY for Cronenberg at his stomach churning, body-horror best!
# Sometimes you wanna go, where no one can hear you scream # ... and that's exactly what we're doing in our next film: Ridley Scott's claustrophobia-inducing monster classic ALIEN. After answering a distress call from a nearby spaceship stranded on an alien planet, a group of astronauts- including Sigourney Weaver's Lt. Ellen Ripley- bring an unknown and uninvited visitor aboard their own craft. Chaos and terror ensue, naturally.
3. Quatermass and the Pit
We're back on Earth for our final film of the evening, but something has come back with us... in Hammer's Roy Ward Baker-helmed update of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT. The discovery of ancient alien skulls in a London Underground station prompts the arrival of the eponymous Professor Quatermass, who discovers that fossils are the least of mankind's worries as a much bigger threat reveals itself.
Films that Bite
1. Near Dark
Kathryn Bigelow's unsung masterpiece is the perfect starting off point for any fanged movie marathon. The horror/western/road movie follows young Oklahoman Caleb Colton as he 'joins' a family of vampires on a trip across the state. As Caleb slowly turns into a creature of the night he faces a choice between returning to his own family, or living forever with his new one.
2. Dracula Prince of Darkness
With so many Hammer vampire classics to choose from this slot was always going to be tough, but choose one we did...
DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS is perhaps the most quintessentially 'Hammer' Dracula film there has been (yet). Taking place long after events from the original film, the story follows a family called the Kents on their Eastern European holiday. After a solemn warning from a local priest taints the mood, the family's trip goes from bad to worse when Count Dracula- believed to have been permanently destroyed ten years prior- is ressurected to cause terror anew...
3. Ginger Snaps
Who said fangs are only for vampires?! GINGER SNAPS is a monster movie with a twist, as the fictional suburb Bailey Downs plays host to two girls' coming-of-age and one girl's coming-of... umm, werewolf. Witty, gory and terrifying in equal measure, the film quickly became a cult classic after its release in 2000, and perfectly rounds off our Monster Marathon!
What would be your perfect Halloween marathon? Comments at the bottom!