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Film musings: Hallowe’en edition


Happy Hallowe’en, my dears! You may have noticed that I’m very fond of old horror films. With age I have come to accept that I’m completely obsessed with psychological thrillers from the sixties. I just want the suspense to last forever! So in the spirit of Hallowe’en, here are a few of my favourite creepy films.Repulsion
British psychological horror (1965)

Catherine Deneuve plays a young introverted girl who lives with her sister and works in a beauty parlour. She is left to her own devices in their flat when her sister and her sister’s lover go on holiday together. Her paranoia and fear of men escalate quickly as she isolates herself more and more. Along with Rosemary’s Baby, this is my favourite Roman Polanski film.The Birds
American suspense/horror (1963)

A classic Alfred Hitchcock film that’s very loosely based on the short story with the same name by Daphne du Maurier. Tippi Hedren is marvellous as a spoiled socialite who meets a lawyer in a bird shop. She follows him to his Bodega Bay home to deliver a lovebird as a gift to his young sister. She gets attacked by a gull and soon all the birds are, for no apparent reason, viscously attacking people.The Nanny
British suspense (1965)

Bette Davis stars as the nanny of a ten-year-old boy who has just returned from a home for mentally ill children, which he was sent to after supposedly drowning his younger sister in the bath. The boy is convinced that Nanny was responsible for his sister’s death and he does everything he can to avoid her. This is a wonderful film completely devoid of Hammer Horror’s usual Gothic style.House on Haunted Hill
American horror (1959)

Vincent Price stars as an eccentric millionaire who along with his wife, invites five people to spend the night in their haunted house. They tell them that there has been seven murders in the house. Whoever makes it through the whole night will get $10,000 each. This fabulous fright-fest was directed by William Castle.Village of the Damned
British science fiction (1960)

One day everyone in the small English village of Midwich falls into a coma that lasts for a day or so. When they wake up again, every fertile woman is found to be mysteriously pregnant. All the children that are born, grow at an abnormal speed, are all blonde and have glowing penetrating eyes. They also seem to be able to control people with their minds. Who are these children?Strait-Jacket
American thriller (1964)

Directed by William Castle and written by Robert Bloch. The always wonderful Joan Crawford plays a woman who murders her husband and gets admitted to an asylum. Ten years later she’s released and tries to patch things up with her now adult daughter. When someone starts killing people, the mother is the natural suspect but is it really her doing?Les Yeux sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face)
French-Italian horror (1960)

A famous surgeon causes a car accident in which his daughter’s face gets so horribly disfigured that she has to wear a mask. With the help from his assistant the surgeon kidnaps young women and unsuccessfully transplants their faces onto his daughter’s face. I love how the isolated heroine’s mask dehumanises her. There’s so much you can read into this dark cold film. It explores disfigurement, fatherly devotion and female disempowerment amongst other subjects. The pace is slow but it will have you at the edge of your seat.psychoPsycho
American suspense/horror (1960)

Another classic Alfred Hitchcock film that’s based on the book with the same name by Robert Bloch. A secretary goes on the run after impulsively stealing $40,000 from her employer’s client. She checks into a remote motel that happens to be run by a young man with a mother complex. Anthony Perkins does such an amazing job as Norman Bates, and Janet Leigh is simply mesmerising. I definitely have a weakness for unreliable narratives. The book is one of my favourite reads as well.

How about you? What are your favourite creepy films?

9 thoughts on “Film musings: Hallowe’en edition

  1. Of this list I’ve only seen The Birds and Village of the Damned. House on haunted hill and Repulsion are new items on my watching list now – along with Psycho, which has been on it for ages… ^_^ To me, a classic Halloween film is The fearless vampire killers, I absolutely love it! It’s not quite as scary but always such a great laugh. Happy Halloween Chiaki! xx

    • I’m glad you haven’t seen them all and I hope you enjoy them. Oh, The Fearless Vampire Killers! Or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck as it’s also known. :) You’re so right! That’s another great Roman Polanski film starring his late wife Sharon Tate. I completely forgot about it! xx

  2. I’ve seen all of those. I’m always amazed by what Les Yeux sans Visage gets away with, compared to the ways in which films such as Peeping Tom were treated in the UK! Repulsion is particularly disturbing.

    • Yay! Well done! ;) It’s a rare treat ‘meeting’ people who watch the same films as I do. You’re right. It’s amazing what it gets away with. It’s one of the earliest gore films and I think people missed that fact somehow. Peeping Tom (another favourite of mine) is disturbing but it’s not gory so in my opinion it’s an odd film to target. Yes, I’ve seen Repulsion so many times now and it’s still just as distressing.

  3. I discovered your lovely blog via Pinterest, and appreciate this list! I love these types of films as well. I have added those I’ve not yet seen to my netflix queue, and can’t wait to see them!

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