Top horror movies on NOW TV and Sky Cinema (2016)
Ivan Radford | On 30, Oct 2016
When it comes to the horror classics this Halloween, there’s one place to go: Sky Cinema. You won’t find a silent 1920s flick here, nor many foreign gems, but from The Shining to Rosemary’s Baby, there are scares aplenty.
Don’t have Sky? A NOW TV Sky Cinema Pass costs £9.99 a month and gives you access to all of the Sky Cinema catalogue, both live and on-demand – and, as such, you can expect the usual suspects, from critically-acclaimed genre stalwarts to, well, that’s basically it.
Here are the top 18 horror movies on NOW TV:
Struggling writer Jack and his family move into the deserted Overlook Hotel, only for bad things to happen. But Stanley Kubrick lets the bad things surface slowly, relying on the creepy soundtrack, Jack Nicholson’s unhinged presence and incredibly freaky special effects to set the mood. The masterpiece is so intricately assembled that there’s even a documentary looking at all the conspiracy theories surrounding the movie – including the suggestion that it’s a secret confession to Kubrick helping to fake the moon landin.
Roman Polanski’s classic, about a woman who thinks that she might be carrying the spawn of Satan, is a nailbiting slow-burner that finds its terror in the quiet, unspoken sense of the mundane gradually slipping into nightmare. Mia Farrow excels.
Two men wake up in a room in James Wan’s horror. They soon discover they must follow the rules of the game to win – and maybe get out alive. Low on budget, high on gore, this sparked a franchise of sequels that never quite recaptured the simple scares of the original.
28 Days Later
Danny Boyle’s zombie film that’s not about zombies ditches slow shuffling for fast-paced running. The result is a high octane survival thriller, starring a brilliant Cillian Murphy, that still finds time to open with a shockingly deserted London, complete with turned-over buses and John Murphy’s unsettling music. The slow dissolution of society, from those calm streets to moral disorder, is as nasty as it gets.
Friday the 13th
Created to cash in on the success of Halloween, Friday the 13th spawned its own serial killer: Jason Voorhes, who appears to be taking revenge for his death at a summer camp years ago. Slashy, blood-spurting fun.
Little Shop of Horrors
Who can’t identify with the tale of a loser who accidentally purchases a man-eating plant from outer space, which forces him to feed people to it? Hot on the heels of The Muppets Take Manhattan, Frank Oz’s darkly hilarious musical combines superb puppet work and a killer cast – watch out for Steve Martin as a violent dentist and Bill Murray as his patient – with irresistibly snappy songs from Disney legend Alan Menken. It’s hard to believe it’s only a PG, but even harder to believe it got made in the first place. Show-stopping stuff for all the family.
Back before they tried to give Riddick his own Chronicles, David Twohy’s stripped down sci-fi thriller was a fantastic B-movie beast. Vin Diesel’s gravelly voice, some smart CGI and top-notch creature design combine to make a surprising, fun 110 minutes that prove you don’t need money if you have ideas. Well, that and massive goggles to let you see in the dark.
The Silence of the Lambs
How do you catch a serial killer? Ask a cannibal. Thomas Harris’ premise for his Hannibal Lecter series sounds corny on the page, but Jonathan Demme brings it to life with a classy, chilling air – not least because of Anthony Hopkins’ unnerving performance as the psychopath, and Jodie Foster as trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling. A rare example of a genre feature winning an Oscar, let alone the Oscar for Best Film, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay.
From Janet Leigh’s memorable shower scream to Anthony Perkins’ twitchy motel owner, Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller about a woman on the run, who finds herself on the wrong side of a mummy’s boy, is a masterpiece of suspense.
Alfred Hitchcock followed Psycho with this classic nature-bites-back chiller, which sees Tippi Hedren surrounded by sinister beaked threats.
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s classic sees a remote Antarctic research station infiltrated by a shape-shifting alien. Who can be trusted? And who will make it out alive?
Wesley Snipes stars as Blade, the half-human, half-vampire hero of Marvel’s cult comic books. Stephen Dorff brings the bad guy fun as a vampire overlord with not-very-nice plans for the human race.
What is Clover? In short, it’s a giant monster. Where is it from? No idea. What’s its motivation? Not a clue. All we know for sure is it’s big, mean, and it can decapitate the Statue of Liberty from 50 paces. Matt Reeves’ thoroughly modern monster movie captures the immediate terror of destruction from ground level. Come for the thrills and fascinating creature design. Stay for the subtle, smart framing, which prevents us seeing too much of what’s going on.
Mia Wasikowska. Jessica Chastain. Tom Hiddleston. Even without Guillermo del Toro at the helm, this Gothic psychosexual drama would be one to watch. With the Pan’s Labyrinth director behind the camera, it’s a sumptuous piece of cinema.
The Thompsons, a loving family living in a peaceful suburb are the very definition of wholesome normalcy. But on the eve of their thirteenth wedding anniversary their usual babysitter has to cancel, leaving Dan and Joyce to call upon a new girl who seems like a dream come true to their three children. As the night creeps on, the kids slowly realize something is very wrong and this woman is not who she claims to be.
Stephen King’s classic tale of teenage retribution is turned into an iconic piece of horror cinema by Brian De Palma, with Sissy Spacek playing the eponymous high-school misfit with previously hidden powers of telekinesis.
Arnie ditches his Terminator garb in favour of a small, indie horror about an anguished father in a post-apocalyptic word who is trying to save his daughter (Abigail Breslin) who is infected with a zombie virus.
This trashy sci-fi about a ship that goes beyond the boundary of space and human sanity combines Sam Neill’s unnerving stare and some strange visuals to truly freaky effect.
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