1. The Thing (1982).
Researchers in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting creature which assumes the appearance of the person it kills. If you are an admirer of the Kurt Russell-John Carpenter partnership, this will not let you down. Carpenter’s typically disturbed animatronics are enough to keep you awake at night, and are definitive proof that a twisted, hideous, gooey killing machine is way more effective than any CGI.
2. Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbours and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life. Without giving too much away, and putting aside Polanski’s fugitive tendencies, this film unequivocally places him amongst the elite of Hollywood.
3. Hellraiser (1987).
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover, who’s being chased by demons after having escaped from their sadomasochistic hell. It is beyond belief that Clive Barker wasn’t committed to a hospital after this was released. If you aren’t left with a chill after seeing Hellraiser, maybe you should be in that same hospital.
4. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
Survivors of undead serial-killer Freddy Krueger – who stalks his victims in their dreams – learn to take control of their own dreams in order to fight back. This is my personal favourite of the franchise. When you’re a kid watching this, it’s knowing that you can’t fall asleep to alleviate the worry – that is when Freddy gets you.
5. The Orphanage (2007).
A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with a new and invisible friend. Give me Guillermo Del Toro, a missing kid, an unsettling mask, and an old, harrowing orphanage any day. These are the ingredients for a neck-breaker of a horror film. Suspense as it should be.
6. Re-Animator (1985).
A dedicated medical student at college and his girlfriend become involved in strange experiments centred around the re-animation of dead human tissue after an odd, eccentric student arrives on campus. Re-Animator was a film I had wanted to see for a long time; I had been missing out. Does it live up to its cult status? Is Herbert West really the anti-hero we have heard so much about? Yes to both.