Team Marie Claire recommends their top favourite Halloween films

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  • Cue the pumpkins and black cats...

    Halloween is officially here, and from the pumpkin spiced lattes on every corner to the spooky make up tutorials all over our Instagram feeds, the festive spirit is everywhere.

    But how to celebrate the spooky holiday? The possibilities are endless, from carving pumpkins to a Paranormal Activity marathon.

    But whether you’re planning on spending the night hiding from socially distanced trick or treat-ers or embracing the holidays wholeheartedly, one activity remains a constant – the selection of the perfect Halloween film.

    Should you go for an old-school classic like Hocus Pocus or venture for a new release? Is it better to play it safe and opt for a Harry Potter or dare to choose something downright terrifying?

    Don’t sweat it. The Marie Claire team are here to help.

    Here are our top recommendations for a Halloween night in…

    The Lost Boys

    Recommended by Holly Rains, Digital Editor

    ‘The seminal 80s film was single handedly responsible for repositioning vampires as Hot Young Things. Highlights include a young Kiefer Sutherland, a topless Saxophone player, and a climactic bloodbath so extra it makes Carrie look like she suffered a paper cut.’

    Hocus Pocus

    Recommended by: Penny Goldstone, Digital Fashion Editor

    ‘It’s not at all scary but it wouldn’t be Halloween without Sarah Jessica Parker (pre SATC fame) and Bette Midler singing I Put A Spell On You and prancing around in corsets!’

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    Recommended by: Jenny Proudfoot, Digital Features Editor

    ‘I am not a horror film person AT ALL – so I tend to go for a classic Harry Potter and even then it’s still touch and go. I’m not going near the first film because of Professor Quirrell and what’s under his turban and I can’t be dealing with the Half Blood Prince because of creepy young Tom Riddle!’


    Recommended by Fiona Embleton, Acting Senior Digital Beauty Editor

    ‘Absolutely has to be the 1978 original Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s a slasher film that doesn’t rely on blood and gore – its genius lies in its simplicity and a ridiculously scary cat and mouse game. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ cinematography means you’ll watch half of it through your fingers!’.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas

    Recommended by Jadie Troy-Pryde, Digital Lifestyle Editor

    ‘Before you @ me, this definitely counts as a Halloween film because the lead character is literally a pumpkin man from a place called Halloweentown. It’s a fun, spooky nostalgic classic and it just so happens that you can watch it in the run-up to Christmas, too. Side note: did anyone else have a crush on Jack Skellington? Just me? Okay.’

    Shutter Island

    Recommended by Lucy Abbersteen, Junior Digital Beauty Editor

    ‘I’m pretty rubbish with all-out horror films, so creepy thrillers like this are much more my thing. Set at a psychiatric facility on the eponymous Shutter Island, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play partners investigating the disappearance of inpatient Rachel Solando. Surprise, surprise, a huge storm hits and they’re stuck on the island for a few days with no choice but to throw themselves into the case. No spoilers, but there are some very clever twists involved before an ending you’ll want to discuss.’

    American Psycho

    Recommended by Niamh McCollum, Features Assistant

    ‘In a hedonistic world of flashy business cards and restaurant reservations (Dorsia!!), Christian Bale plays a New York investment banker who is charming, funny and – oh, also a blood thirsty psychopath. Get ready to frantically switch between cracking up and throwing your hands over your eyes in horror.’

    Carry On Screaming

    Recommended by Maria Coole, Contributing Editor

    A classic British comedy and as it’s a Carry On film – certainly an eye-opening glimpse into a #metoo-free world. But please forgive it for that as it parodies creepy horror movies superbly with its pantomime hammy acting and stars two all-time late great actors Fenella Fielding and Kenneth Williams.


    Happy watching!

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