New Directors | New Films
FEST's Top 10 Halloween films to watch this year


It's that time of the year again - vampires are out cruising for blood, black cats hissing at us, roaming spirits booohing and our only shield against fear seems to be that old comfortable blanket that came out of the pile of winter clothes. Here is our top ten films to watch this Halloween: whatever makes your skin crawl, there is an option here for you. Lights out and tread carefully... 


The Innocents (1961, UK, Jack Clayton)
A governess who watches over two children starts to suspect their big house is haunted by ghosts, who want to possess the children’s bodies.
Jack Clayton’s seminal gothic horror film - even if mostly unknown to be common audiences - is one of the most effective and influential ghost stories ever. Films as ‘The Others’ and ‘Ringu’ take inspiration from this B&W chiller, filled with psychological terror and creepy imagery. Cinematographer Freddie Francis used deep focus in many scenes and minimal lighting, two big risks for any film back in the 60s but that set the tone of decades of horror to come. Daphne Oram’s soundtrack uses synths and eletronic sounds to deliver the chills - again something it would become a trend.


Halloween (1978, USA, John Carpenter)
It is Halloween night on Haddonfield, and the town maniac - who murdered his sister when he was a child - escapes from the madhouse to go back home… and kill again.
You just can’t not include John Carpenter’s Halloween on a list like this. A true indie american classic, but also one of the most suspenceful 90 minutes ever put on film. The film that molded the slasher genre is actually more about containment then gore, more about creating a legend that delivering a body count. Jammie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance are excelent as victim and damaged hero in the night the world discovers the legend of Michael Myers.


The Evil Dead (1981, USA, Sam Raimi)
A group of friends go spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods. But when they read a creepy book made of human skin and writen in blood, well, hell breaks loose.
Sam Raimi’s ‘The Evil Dead’ is a tour-de-force for any horror film list, or independent film list. But for Halloween is an easy sell: mad supernatural fun with demons, zombies, gore and a chainsaw.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003, South Korea, Kim Jee-Woon)
Two teenage sisters return home from a long period in a psychiatric hospital. But no normal life awaits for them back home, and something very strange is going on the house and with their stepmother.
Probably the best film of modern asian horror cinema: “Hangul” is masterful in all senses. It delivers in terms of scares and creepyness, but its dramatic story is beautifully portrayed on camera by a fantastic cast.

(REC) (2007, Spain, Jaume Balagueró)
A news crew enter a quarantined building in the heart of Barcelona.
The best found footage horror film ever made, and a proof that spanish horror can be as entertaining and crowd-pleasing as Hollywood horror. Jaume Balagueró’s direction is breathtaking and the film keeps you on the edge of your set up until the end.


Let the Right One In (2008, Sweden, Thomas Alfredson)
A bullied 12-year old boy becomes friends with the mysterious girl next door who happens to be a vampire.
Set in a snowy Stockholm in the 1980s, ‘Let the Right One in’ is a beautiful love story and a haunting vampire film. Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson are the amazing young talents that bring these characters to life, in Thomas Alfredson’s masterpiece. One of the best european fantasy films ever made.

Trick ‘r’ Treat (2007, USA, Michael Dougherty)
Not everyone is a fan of anthology films, but ‘Trick r Treat’ might be your exception. Set on Halloween night, the film presents four horror stories that tie into each other by the presence of Sam, a mysterious monster.
Michael Doughterty clearly loves Halloween, and has dedicated his career to make this film (he spent years making the short that led to this feature and is now still trying to put together a sequel). This film is pure Halloween spirit.


Livide (2011, France, Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo)
On Halloween night, Lucy and her friends break in a big house where only an old woman in a coma lives. But on that night the ancient ballerina awakes from her sleep.
Maury & Bustillo’s follow-up to ‘A L’Interieur’ (Inside, one of the best horror movies of the new millennia) is filled the thrills and chills. And it is a pure Halloween story: filled with myths and gothic iconography. The camera work is excellent and the film’s design (originally it was going to be the french duo’s Hollywood debut but then it got made in France with an unusually big budget) is amazing.

Frankenweenie (2012, USA, Tim Burton)
A boy tries to bring back his recently deceased dog to life.
This B&W 3D stop-motion film brings Tim Burton back to his roots, with a delightful and unpretentious story of friendship and spookiness. It is the perfect Halloween film for kids if you don’t want to scare them too much but still show them a strange supernatural story that they wouldn’t catch on TV.

The Babadook (2014, Australia, Jennifer Kent)
A mother becomes increasingly depressed as her strange son becomes more obsessed with a mysterious figure called The Babadook, that visits them at night.
In just a few years, Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut became a horror cult film. Essie Davis is absolutely amazing as the mother, and the film is tense and scary, but also a heartwarming family story.