Horror, Movies/Television

My Top 5 Horror Movies for Halloween.

Free image courtesy Eleni Petrounakou on Unsplash.

A few months ago, I revisited the movie Sleepy Hollow, which is good viewing for this time of year. As Halloween is only a few short days away, I thought I’d share with you a couple more movies that have stuck with me over the years (one way or the other), that is sure to get you into the spirit of the season.

Aliens (1986)

With a strong, kick-ass heroine in Ripley, great supporting cast, good lines, and wonderfully creepy Aliens, what’s not to love? Together with the theme of motherhood, this is my all-time favourite horror movie.

Halloween (1979)

It’s just not Halloween without a visit from Michael Myers, and I’m talking the original here. The quiet streets of suburbia hides a silent killer lurking in the shadows of darkness. He could be anywhere, and the creepy music helps heighten the suspense. Totally!

The Exorcist (1973)

The ultimate story of good versus evil, this movie is terrifying as a malevolent entity possesses a young child, the very symbol of innocence. You can literally feel the chill in every bedroom scene. What’s even more frightening is the movie is based on a true story. (If you want to find out more, you can listen to the podcast Inside the Exorcist).

Wolf Creek (2005)

The Australian outback can be a lonely, desolate place, and is the perfect location for a serial killer. You can feel the vulnerability and fear of the backpackers, and after all my years of watching horror movies, there is one scene that even had me horrified. John Jarrett’s performance is both terrific and creepy, but he’s a nice guy really.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I’ve put this one on the list because Halloween is supposed to be fun, and there are plenty of laughs in this one. I’ve always appreciated British humour and I love the characters Shaun and Ed, probably because they’re gamers, like both my kids and my husband. The best zombie movie I’ve seen.

What will you be watching this Halloween?


Revisiting ‘Sleepy Hollow’

Halloween is rapidly approaching, so I’ve decided to get in a bit early on watching movies for the season. Recently, I re-watched Sleepy Hollow (1999), and with scary pumpkin heads (amongst other things), makes this a good Halloween movie.

Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, a young police constable sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some gruesome murders.

Classified as a Gothic supernatural horror film, there is a suitable amount of gore without overwhelming the audience. Beheadings, digging up graves, and dissecting corpses is balanced with the arrival of impending doom of the headless horseman.

Despite the horror, the film has some lighter moments, mainly through Johnny Depp’s character, who at first comes across as awkward, weak and a bit eccentric. It is his unconventional approach to the investigation that helps him to solve the case, as well as become a stronger person.

There is a good cast alongside Johnny Depp, including Michael Gambon and Richard Griffiths (both of Harry Potter fame), Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter, Blackadder), and of-course the legendary Christopher Lee (always a winner in my book 😉 ).

Boo! I love the gloomy atmosphere of this film.

My favourite moments throughout the film would have to be the headless horseman and the outdoor scenes.

The combination of set design and visual effects helps make this film one of the best in terms of gloomy atmosphere. The village is a perpetual dark and eerie place, and the nearby forest is surrounded in a thick fog. The appropriately named ‘Tree of the Dead’ is old and gnarled, with a bloodied past.

The headless horseman, played by Christopher Walken, has a facial appearance every bit as horrific as the rest of him, with wild hair and eyes, and sharp, pointed teeth.

With such a menacing presence, the film comes to a satisfying, but frightening conclusion.

What films do you have planned to watch this Halloween?

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This Writer's Life, Up Close & Personal

Author Interview – Halloween Edition.

Free image courtesy QuinceCreative on Pixabay

Hi everyone! I’ve had another author interview, this time with a Halloween theme.

This week I speak to fellow RWA member, and author/blogger Davina Stone. It’s a short, fun interview, with myself and two other authors of paranormal romance. I talk about my inspiration, my upcoming release, and a Halloween party guest of honour. Many thanks to Davina for letting me be a guest on her blog!

You can read the full interview at Davina’s website Spellbound! Fall in love with Spooky Romance this Halloween. Oh, and I also dress up for the occasion! 😉

And for those who celebrate it, Happy Halloween!

This cracks me up every time!
Horror, Movies/Television

Revisiting Halloween.

Recently I viewed the original Halloween movie, which is timed perfectly for this year’s Halloween (even though we don’t celebrate it here in Australia). It’s one of those films that I enjoy watching every now and again and I just love the theme music. Totally!

After having done some film studies at University, I’ve become a bit more aware of the tropes within horror movies. It seems to be the stock in trade, which is why it was so good to see successful spoof films such as Scream and Cabin in the Woods. Totally!

I found it quite remarkable that for such a suburban setting, the streets seem deserted and people just ignore Jamie Lee’s cries for help (isolation – check). You also have to have the sexually active young girls getting the chop, because in the end it always comes down to the ‘final girl’. And like all good ‘boogie-men’, Michael Myers can’t be stopped no matter how many times you may injure him and bring him down (even to be shot at and fall out a window), the guy just keeps on coming. I mean, how else are we supposed to have sequels?

And yes, who could ever forget the theme music, because like Jaws, it just sticks in your mind? To me it sounds like the approach of impending doom while you race against the clock, because after all, the boogie man strikes at Halloween. And as a writer, I like to listen to it every now and again to help build up some atmosphere in my own writing. 😉

Maybe I’ll sit and watch it with my kids over the coming weekend. They’ve sat through Aliens, so surely, they can handle Michael! But then, ‘boogie-men’ never really die, do they?

To those of you who celebrate it – Happy Halloween!

Have you been watching some old movie favourites lately? What horror movies do you watch at this time of year? Have you watched any of the Halloween sequels?

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Back to the 80s, Research

Horror Movies of the 1980s.

With Halloween just around the corner for my friends in the U.S, thoughts turn towards all things spooky. This month, in order to help celebrate, I’m planning to post accordingly – even with an Australian flavour. I hope you enjoy it!

As I child I grew up watching a lot of movies, rather than curl up with a book (maybe not the best advice for a writer, I know). It was always those that inspired fear that caught my attention the most. The 1980s would have to be one of the best eras when it comes to horror movies. Sure there were some stinkers, yet some have gone on to become classics within the genre. Here is a list of just some of the movies of the 1980s:-

  • Friday the 13th (1980)
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  • The Entity (1981)
  • The Howling (1981)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • Gremlins (1984)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • Aliens (1986) – My personal all-time favourite! 🙂
  • The Fly (1986)
  • The Lost Boys (1987)
  • Predator (1987)
  • Child’s Play (1988)

Of-course, a list of horror movies wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Stephen King. I was introduced to his work during the early 1980s and became hooked. In particular, I was especially drawn towards his short stories. Almost all of his books have been made into movies, demonstrating his talent of coming up with new ideas. Here are some of his books that made it to the big screen back in the 1980s:-

  • The Shining (1980)
  • Christine (1983)
  • Cujo (1983)
  • The Dead Zone (1983)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Firestarter (1984)
  • Pet Sematary (1989)

What is your favourite horror movie? Do you have a favourite horror movie of the 1980s? What are you doing to prepare yourself for Halloween?

Image of Gremlin by Debbie Johansson.