Halloween is just around the corner and there are plenty of fun and scary events to celebrate the day in Hong Kong. For those of us who love horror movies, Halloween also provides the perfect excuse to indulge in some spooky cinema. Here, the Expat Living team shares some of our favourite scary movies for those who like thrills and chills. If you happen to be faint of heart, feel free to use this as your cheatsheet of what flicks to avoid when someone invites you over for a Halloween movie night!
The Expat Living team’s top Halloween horror movies
I highly recommend the movie Hush for a real popcorn-tossing, hair-raising thriller. It follows a deaf writer who takes a break from city life to live in the woods in solitary life whilst she works on her next novel. Little does she know that she’ll be partaking in her own real-life thriller, as she must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears in her window. – Leanda
In my teens I watched an odd British film called Paperhouse (haven’t seen it again since). It’s not a horror film by any stretch – more a dark drama with fantasy elements. But there is one scene that set the benchmark for me as far as “jump scares” go. You can find the particular scene on YouTube, and while it doesn’t involve an evil creature or a knife, at the time it was enough to have me emptying my popcorn on all and sundry! – Shamus
The Shining was very clever and nobody did anything stupid – like leave everyone else and go into a dark place on their own! I remember being really scared during Friday the 13th, while Picnic at Hanging Rock is also high up on the creepy meter for me. – Rebecca
The Shining always gets me. Red rum!! – Melissa
Bird Box is about an awful, mysterious force that has killed off most of the planet. If you see it, you die. A woman (Sandra Bullock) and her children set out on a blindfolded journey through the woods and down a river on a desperate search to find a rumoured place of sanctuary. – Melinda
Silence of the Lambs is top of my list! – Kate
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Dead Calm are two thrillers that had me on the edge of my seat. – Danielle
I don’t do horror movies at all. I saw The Shining as a 14-year-old, one dark Saturday night in my boarding school common room. Ten minutes into the screening, I knew it was a mistake, but I was too frightened to walk back to my dorm down the long, dark corridor. So, I had to watch the whole movie and it scarred me for life. – Verne
The original version of It terrorised my entire childhood; I can’t believe they did a remake! – Veena
Nightmare on Elm Street … who could forget Freddy Krueger?! – Grace
That mask in Silence of the Lambs still scares me today! – Jacqui
Shutter is a Thai film made in 2004 that I still think is the best scary movie! – Siti
I absolutely love scary movies, always have! I started watching them when I was 10 (my parents didn’t know). My first was Jaws, and that stopped me wanting to swim for about five years. I think Halloween, with Jamie Lee Curtis, is terrifying. Then of course there’s the classic Psycho, directed by Hitchcock. More recently The Conjuring and It are pretty terrifying. – Amy B
Annabelle – some people think it’s funny but I’m yet to finish it as I’m so scared! – Susan
The Scream series, The Blair Witch Project and Labyrinth – Emi
I first saw Jaws at the age of 11 or 12, at the very start of a long summer spent in an Australian beach town. Needless to say I didn’t do a lot of swimming on that holiday. Ironically, the bit that scared me most didn’t involve the shark at all. (I’ll let you try to remember it!) – Shamus
I love scary films! It Follows was a recent one I watched that definitely gave me nightmares! – Leanda
I love the cult classic Scream – it still manages to spook me every time! I still can’t walk into a row of empty bathroom stalls without being a bit scared! Another favourite is Get Out! – Amy G
All-time scariest movies for me are Poltergeist II (when Kane walks up to the house in the rain – I can’t!), those Phantasm movies from the 80s (led by yet another scary old man). More recently, I watched Jordan Peele’s latest movie Us, which was disastrously frightening too. I had to pause it and talk it through with my husband about 30 times, much to his dismay. And I hear Peele is remaking Candyman, another 80s whopper; who remembers him calling out “Helen, Heellleeen” to Virginia Madsen in the original? It’s the stuff of nightmares for decades. – Monica
Hands down, The Orphan is my favourite horror/thriller; that movie’s twist still haunts me and now I’m permanently sceptical of children… – Michaela
Cabin in the Woods – this movie seems like a cookie cutter horror film at first but then it crescendos in an epic, gloriously messy and completely unexpected way. Watching Chris Hemsworth flexing his biceps while being terrified doesn’t hurt either 😉
Hellraiser – Very gory, very sadistic, and it left me feeling queasy at the end. Would I do it again? A thousand times yes!
The Descent – Immersive plot and great all-female cast who’re far from the stereotypical scream queens we usually see in other B-grade flicks. But be warned: you might be afraid of venturing into a cave after watching this!
Dawn of the Dead – I am obsessed with zombie films but yeah, let’s face it, there are some pretty bad films in this genre. However, Dawn of The Dead, which is directed by Jack Snyder, rules them all! It tells of a bunch of people – and zombies! – trapped in a shopping mall, and the chaos that ensues.
Still looking for a Halloween costume? Here are some great costume shops in Hong Kong!