Archive for the ‘Top Halloween films 2014’ Category

1. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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Tim Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is the perfect choice for a typical Halloween night, focusing on the legend of the Headless Horseman. With Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp in the main roles, the movie follows the story of Constable Ichabod Crane, sent to investigate a series of decapitations in the small village which gave the name of the film.

We can all guess who desperately needed a head, so the murderer is not a mystery here. Enveloped in an eerie atmosphere, the horror is loosely based on the 1820 short story ‘The legend of Sleepy Hollow.’

2. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto Del Fauno – 2006)

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Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, this dark fantasy is one of the most creative and intense movies I’ve ever watched. In an early- Francoist Spain of 1944, young Ofelia has to cope with her pregnant mother’s illness and a strict, insensitive stepfather, Captain Vidal. She finds her escape in a mythical world centered upon Pan, a mysterious faun, and his labyrinth.

He convinces Ofelia that she is in fact Princess Moanna and gives her three tasks to prove her real identity. I love how, in the end, you can choose to believe everything was just the devastatingly sad invention of a schizophrenic girl or that maybe she was indeed the only one able to see that magical world and she finally found her happiness as Princess Moanna.

3. Corpse Bride (2005)

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Another Tim Burton creation, directed in collaboration with Mike Johnson, ‘Corpse bride’ is a stop-motion-animated fantasy. The plot focuses on Victor, a clumsy groom, who decides to repeat his wedding vowels in the woods and accidentally marries Emily, the corpse bride. Now Victor gets trapped in the jolly Land of the Dead and has to find a way to return to his beloved fiancée, Victoria.

The film is based on a 19th century Russian folktale and was nominated for the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. It’s a very nice animation to watch on a casual night in with your friends.

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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Of course, it’s Halloween so we can’t sweep aside the lovely vampires. This Coppola movie is based on the classic novel of the same name, written by Bram Stoker. It tells the story of a London young lawyer, Jonathan Harker, who finds himself on his way to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula and help him purchase the Carfax Abbey.

Here he becomes a prisoner of the legendary vampire, while the latter becomes intrigued by Jonathan’s innocent fiancée and starts chasing her. The movie stars a lot of renowned actors, in the main roles being Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Keanu Reeves.

What I really like here though is the contrast between the surrealistic images and symbols and the palpable theatrical decors, emphasized by a very stage-specific performance of the actors. There are so many reasons for which you have to see this movie: firstly, Gary Oldman, secondly, it’s a very different approach from what you’re used to, thirdly, did I mention Gary Oldman?

5. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

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Set in the final year of The Spanish Civil War, Guillermo Del Toro regards this beautiful Gothic masterpiece as his most personal work.

The first class art-direction gives the film a look and feel that does enough by itself to send a shiver down your spine, but it’s more than just a horror film, it’s brilliantly acted and deals with some weighty issues like love and the sacrifices made in wartime. If you like Pan’s Labyrinth, you’ll love this.