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Halloween Special - Horror Movies

There will be blood

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Dracula

Henry Northmore delves into the world of horror movies and checks out what’s on offer this Halloween

It’s Halloween, so it must be time for the latest instalment in the most extreme survival horror series out there: Saw V. More than a simple gorefest, there’s a cruel intelligence at play with its villain, Jigsaw, the latest in a long line of horror icons that stretch back to Dracula’s first screen incarnation in 1922’s Nosferatu.

Talking of which, the Cameo is screening the classic 1958 Dracula – starring perhaps the most enigmatic vampire to ever stalk the silver screen, Christopher Lee – battling his erstwhile nemesis Peter Cushing. It’s showing as a Hammer double bill with The Man Who Could Cheat Death (also directed by Terrance Fisher and again starring Lee).

Despite the enduring appeal of the Famous Monsters of Film Land, the modern horror anti-hero’s roots lie in Anthony Perkins’ Psycho (1960), the ultimate madman with ‘mother issues’, and Hitchcock’s film was pivotal in the world of shock cinema (not forgetting a curious shot for shot remake by Gus Van Sant screening at the Grosvenor).

Some years later, Michael Myers in Halloween (1978) set the blueprint for the slasher film as we know it today. Unsurprisingly, the slasher genre exploded, leading to several misfires (April Fool’s Day and The Sorority House Massacre), as well as gruesome classics like My Bloody Valentine (the 1981 original is to be screened at the Cameo before a 3D remake coming in 2009).

As body counts increased, horror fell out of favour with the mainstream until the self referential Scream in 1996. Now horror is big business again, with Mirrors and Midnight Meat Train, the latest gorefest from the mind of Clive Hellraiser Barker, also on the big screen this Halloween. In fact Saw V, Midnight Meat Train, Sean of the Dead (the greatest comedy horror since Evil Dead II), and classic monster movie Tremors make up a horror marathon that’s hard to beat at the Odeon at the Quay.

Saw V is on general release 24 Oct; Psycho, Grosvenor, Glasgow, Fri 31 Oct; The Odeon at the Quay, Glasgow host their horror quintuple bill on Sat 1 Nov; My Bloody Valentine is showing Fri 31 Oct & Sat 1 Nov and a double bill of Dracula and The Man Who Could Cheat Death, Sun 2 Nov at the Cameo.

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