On Screen Scares

The last of my Halloween posts for the year. If you’re heading out to a party this weekend – whether it be a screaming all-out bash or a scream-worthy movie fest with friends – may I suggest bringing along a classic (or new classic) horror film for the occasion? Truthfully you can pick up a lot of old and new, good and bad horror films in the bargain bins of most places that sell DVDs. So if cheap and dirty and potentially laugh-out-loud bad is your thing, peruse that sad-looking tower of DVDs by the exit and snag a couple to give away and guffaw at.

But if you’re looking for some legitimately spooky picks, read on – as per my other Halloween suggestions, these are great party favours, thank-yous, or just ‘spirit of the season’ gifts.

Insidious – $22-$27
This movie was truly one of the top three sleeper hits of the year, racking up $90 million worldwide. Not bad for a movie that only cost $1.5M to make. The good news? That budget was well spent on creating a thrilling, heart-racing horror flick that’ll easy stand up years from now. The plot: a family appears to be living in a haunted house. They move, only to find the haunting has followed them. The culprit? Their son, who is in danger of being trapped in a realm called The Further.

The Walking Dead – $23-$30
If you aren’t hooked / scared within the first ten minutes of this dynamic AMC series’ debut episode, then you’re a braver soul than I am. Rick Grimes is a small-town Sheriff who wakes up in a hospital that appears to be abandoned. He starts roaming and quickly realizes the cause of the quiet: a zombie plague has wiped out the population. Rick then goes on a quest – to reunite with his family that he simply hopes is still alive, and to see what’s left of civilization – all while battling the undead that have an unexpectedly creepy way of popping up with no desire greater than your braaaaains. The first season is just 6 short, brilliant episodes long, so consider having a marathon with your friends this weekend in time to catch up with the first few episodes of Season 2.

Complete Scream Collection – $50
Just when you thought the slasher film was dead, Kevin Williamson came out with Scream in the mid-90’s, a true ‘new’ classic in the genre of horror films that has seen many copycats, but few as clever or chilling as this crazy series. 2011 marked the release of Scream 4, a decade after the series began, with a new cast of kiddies to kill off, including many up & coming starlets. To relive the memories and experience the next generation of screams, pickup this Blu-Ray gift set packed with all four films.

Paranormal Activity 1 & 2 – $11.99 – $18.99
With the third – and reportedly best, with new directors at the helm – installment of the Paranormal Activity movie currently scaring up big numbers in theatres now, why not prep for the threequel with a refresh of the first two films? If you recall, the first Paranormal Activity stormed theatres in 2007 on a shoestring budget that delivered major scares, following the mysterious haunting of a woman named Katie that only occurs at night, when the lights are turned out and a camera is conveniently around to capture things. Interestingly the second and third films don’t tell you what happens after the final scenes of the original movie – instead, we go backwards in time. The second film focuses in on Katie’s sister Kristi, a few months before her own hauntings take place, while the third is set in the late 80’s, when Kristi and Katie were children. Whether you’re scared of things that go bump in the night or if the mere thought of scary children gives you the wiggins (oh Buffy…), this is definitely a series to check out.

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