Monday 26 October 2015

Home Comforts Halloween Special: The best in horror TV, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray (Monday October 26 - Sunday November 1)

To celebrate Halloween, here’s a list of 25 scary moves – in no particular order – worth a look in the coming week…

1. The Exorcist 
(22:00, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror, Saturday)
Forty-two years old in December, William Friedkin’s demonic possession chiller remains one of horror cinema’s finest moments. Trailer below

2. The Cabin In The Woods 
(22:25, Channel 5, Saturday
Horror goes meta in Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s clever and inventive film. The pair has enormous fun playing with the genre’s tropes and clichés to create something new and genuinely surprising.
3. Horror Express 
(01:50, BBC2, Saturday)
An English anthropologist discovers what he believes to be the frozen body of the Missing Link and transports it back to Europe on the trans-Siberian express. But the creature thaws out and starts murdering his fellow passengers. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas star.
4. The Blair Witch Project 
(21:00, amc, Saturday
Not the first found footage horror movie but probably the best. Three amateur filmmakers head off into the woods to investigate a local legend about a witch – what they find there is genuinely chilling.
5. American Mary 
(23:00, Film4, Friday)
Those whacky Soska Sisters serve up a bloody slice of body horror in this disturbing film set in the world of underground plastic surgery and body modification. Freaky.
6. Witchfinder General 
(00:35, BBC2, Friday)
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without Vincent Price and he’s on top form here as Matthew Hopkins, a cruel and greedy man who travels the country hunting ‘witches’ the identification and elimination of which lines his pockets. Ian Ogilvy is the young soldier determined to end his reign of terror. Trailer below

7. The Skull 
(Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD, from today)
Peter Cushing plays a collector of occult items who purchases the skull of the Marquis de Sade… madness and mayhem ensue. The Blu-ray boasts a 1080p restoration of the film plus a bunch of extras.
8. Howl 
(various streaming services, DVD/Blu-ray, from today)
A train full of commuters is menaced by a bloodthirsty lycanthrope in this new British werewolf flick.
9. Fright Night 
(22:45, Movie Mix, Thursday)
The late, great Roddy McDowall stars as a TV horror host turned vampire hunter. It’s funny, scary, and immeasurably better than the lame remake starring David Tennant.
10. Scream 4 
(23:00, 5*, Tuesday)
Ol’ Ghostface is back – and so is screenwriter Kevin Williamson – in the final part of Wes Craven’s clever horror franchise.   
11. Coraline 
(16:45, Film4, Saturday)
Superb animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated – and deliciously creepy – children’s novel. Trailer below

12. The Addams Family 
(19:00, Film4, Saturday)
A brilliant cast (Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci) and sharp script make this adaptation of Charles Addams’ original cartoons – as well as the 1960s TV show – an absolute treat.
13. The Sixth Sense 
(23:05, More4, Saturday)
M Night Shyamalan serves up the most famous movie twist since Planet Of The Apes. Bruce Willis stars.
14. A Nightmare On Elm Street 
(22:00, Dave, Saturday)
Freddy Krueger makes his debut in the late Wes Craven’s modern monster classic.
15. Warm Bodies 
(23:10, Channel 4, Sunday)
Likeable zombie romance starring the excellent Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road).
16. The Faculty 
(23:00, ITV2, Sunday)
The teachers at a rundown high school have all been replaced by killer aliens in Robert Rodriguez’s riotous update of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Kevin ‘Scream’ Williamson’s script is as smart as you’d expect. Trailer below

17. Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell
(22:55, Horror Channel, Sunday)
1970s Hammer horror in which Peter Cushing plays Baron Frankenstein. The rotter is planning a gruesome new experiment whilst working at an insane asylum. 
18. Tremors 
(23:00, ITV4, Sunday)
Kevin Bacon battles giant burrowing worm monsters in this hugely entertaining homage to 1950s creature features. Apparently, they’re up to Tremors 5 now…
19. The Shining 
(20:00, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror, Saturday)
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars Jack Nicholson in one of his most celebrated roles. King famously didn’t care for it but he’s wrong; it’s great. “Heeere’s Johnny!”
20. Bram Stoker’s Dracula 
(21:00, Film4, Saturday)
That Gary Oldman is a right rotten Count, Winona Ryder the object of his affections, in Francis Ford Coppola’s not-at-all faithful adaptation of the original novel. Just pretend Keanu Reeves isn’t in it and you’ll be fine.
21. Knock Knock 
(various streaming services, DVD and Blu-ray)
Keanu Reeves (again!) comes a cropper when he cheats on his wife with two beautiful but unhinged young house guests. Funny Games meets Hard Candy in a pacy and surprisingly effective horror thriller. Trailer below

22. Fear Itself 
(BBC iPlayer)
A terrified young girl takes us on a fascinating journey through 100 years of horror cinema to explore how filmmakers scare us – and why we let them.
23. Final Destination 
(22:00, Watch, Saturday)
Death feels cheated when a bunch of teenagers escape doom in a plane crash so he starts hunting them down one by one. Quite right too…
24. Freddy vs Jason 
(23:00, Sky One, Saturday)
A Nightmare On Elm Street meets Friday The 13th in a disappointing mash-up.
25. Devil's Playground 
(22:50, Horror Channel, Tuesday)
Danny Dyer sorts out some zombies taking liberties on his manor. The slags. Trailer below

And one to avoid…

It’s Halloween, so everything – even Freddy vs Jason – gets an amnesty!

Please note: Films starting after midnight are always considered part of the previous day's schedule, e.g. Witchfinder General begins at 00:35 - technically Saturday morning - but is still part of Friday's listings. All times in 24-hour clock.

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