Haunted on Haunted Hill (1999)
“This brilliant remake of the 1858 original is a hell of a lot more creepy and eerie than its predecessor. It has better direction, better acting and easily a better script. A must-see”.
Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
Admittedly I was an adult when I first saw this film but I have refused to stay home alone overnight ever since in case I come up against the grudge. She slithers down the stairs making a weird clicking noise. Just typing these words is making me scared.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
“I happily watched all the Jaws films by the time I was 8 (massive shark nerd as a child…slash adult) but Blair Witch was the first thing that truly scared the crap out of me. I love a good scare, but I really hated the bleakness of Blair Witch, and the sheer unrelenting evil of the Witch. There was no redemption, and that was too much for me. I spent 20 minutes after it ended wandering around the Guildford Odeon car park in a borderline catatonic state, and only really started enjoying horror again when the Asian heyday kicked in around The Grudge and Dark Water.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
“I honestly can’t remember now whether we watched this film or just talked about it; what I CAN remember is being at an 11th birthday sleepover in a tent with some school friends when the birthday girl’s dad deliberately started a chainsaw outside it to see how we’d react. Screams is how we reacted. Many screams.”
Child’s Play (1988)
“My uncle bought my sister the video of Child’s Play to watch when they were about 5, as he assumed from the title it was a kids’ film…Chucky haunts her to this day!”
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
“Even now, Freddie Krueger is the terrifying thing I try not to think about when I need to go for a wee in the middle of the night. This is not least because I’m not even safe from him in my own bed, as demonstrated by Johnny Depp’s gruesome death in the original Nightmare on Elm Street film (in his first film role, trivia fans), where he was dragged in to the mattress and turned into a blood fountain. Still gives me nightmares.”
“I was forced to watch Halloween at a friend’s house when I was 12. I spent the whole time hidden behind a pillow – being watched by her creepy tribal masks on the wall. I haven’t watched a horror film since, and to this day I’m not a fan of a mask..”
Jurassic Park (1993)
“One scary scene that has stuck with me is the bit in Jurassic Park when the kids are hiding in the kitchen. It still terrifies me now – I know I’m a wimp!”
“I’ll never forget the alien’s leg disappearing into the corn field in Signs. Even now, just a picture of a corn field will send a shiver down my spine. But in fairness, expansive, empty fields of crops are quite eerie anyway (hi Theresa), and they’re not exactly commonplace in London, so I’m pretty chill about it.
The Omen (1976)
Small person Damien aka the son of Satan and the effect on those around him is terrifying. Peak moment is when his nanny jumps out of a window with a rope around her neck at his birthday party. That was disturbing.
The Exorcist (1973)
“If I happen to be awake at 4am and accidentally remember either The Exorcist or Paranormal Activity I am screwed for the rest of the night.”
Toy Story, 1995
“Sid’s toys that he made mutant really freaked me out – dolls without eyes and Barbies without torsos? Just thinking about them still gets me shuddering. I burst into tears when I first watched it (two decades ago, just to clarify).”
The Thing (1982)
“The bit in The Thing when the guys head drops off, sprouts eight legs and scuttles off. That scene totally freaked me out!”
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
“James Bond’s enemies come in all shapes and sizes but none so psychically terrifying as Jaws. Why Jaws? His teeth are made of metal and he likes to kill his victims with his deadly bite. I remember watching this behind the sofa through my fingers. Bless.”