We’re nearing the end of October, and you know what that means – Halloween is fast approaching! So, for this month’s edition of Zafigo Loves, we’re rounding up the horror flicks that we love most. From classics like It and Child’s Play to more modern films, you’ll find a diverse bill on this list.
If you’re planning a quiet one in this Halloween, add these to your watch list for a screamie Halloweenie:
Marina Mahathir, Founder, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
I don’t have a favourite horror movie because I detest them. I can’t understand why anyone would pay money to have the daylights scared out of them. On television, I avoid any sort of horror, especially those with the sort of soundtrack that even when nothing is happening onscreen makes the hair on my arms stand up.
The last horror movie I saw was Exorcist II: The Heretic more than 40 years ago, when I was a student. Succumbing to peer pressure, I accompanied my friends to the cinema to see it, only to spend most of the time with my face buried in my girlfriend’s lap, with my hands over my ears to block off any screams, moans, and that creepy soundtrack. Yes, I felt embarrassed afterwards, but at least I could sleep soundly at night with no visions of twisted heads to bother me.
Sue Ee, Intern, Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
I have so many favourite horror movies, I can’t pick one! Personally, if I’m looking for a good scare, Asian horror movies are the way to go. One movie that really spooked me was Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. This is a real place, which makes the film all the scarier, and CNN Traveler has even rated the abandoned asylum as one of the freakiest places in the world.
Based on an urban legend, the story revolves around a horror web series crew that travelled to the abandoned Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Gyeonggi, South Korea for a live broadcast in order to garner views and publicity. Normally, I’m not a fan of found-footage horror films, but somehow this show has been stuck in my mind for a while. What I love about the movie is how gripping the plot is and the actors’ chemistry. I was so absorbed and invested in this film that I got scared while watching it on a car ride home from Ipoh with choppy internet!
Xin Lee, Head of Design, Us (2019)
Exorcism horror movies are common, but being chased down by doppelgängers is another level of scary. Us is set in the modern times, and is a tale of the Wilson family of four travelling to Santa Cruz for a vacation. Their biggest hurdle on the way? Bumping into evil doppelgängers trying to attack them at every corner. Yikes.
The evil characters have different creepy characteristics like a constant wicked smile, raspy voice, or the ability to run at lightning speed, with another behaving like a wild dog. The entire movie is brimming with suspense and boasts a jaw-dropping plot twist. It leaves you gritting your teeth and hands gripping on to your seat with your nails sinking into the cushion covers, which is why it stands as one of my favourites. The fright factor is there too, as you’ll occasionally jump out of your seat.
Tengku Zai, Content Manager & Sub-editor, Hocus Pocus (1993)
Horror movies and I are a terrible mix. Years ago, when the original Dark Water came out, I was coerced by my cousin and a friend to watch it in the cinema. That didn’t bode well. For nearly a week I could only have a bath if someone else was home. To put it succinctly, I’m a scaredy-cat.
So, since we have to pick a horror flick we actually love, mine’s hands down Hocus Pocus. It’s got horror (witches turning teens to cats and sacrificing children to maintain their youth), humour (the witty banter and lame jokes are everything!), and even suspense (did the witches melt? Did they not?). It’s something I watch every year as tradition when Halloween rolls around, and since my toddler can stomach it, so can I. Oh, and SJP looks absolutely fab in it too!
Rathika Sheila, Content & Marketing Manager, It (2017)
If there’s one thing that scares me in addition to ghosts and supernatural beings in general, it’s clowns. Who lied and marketed them as the source of joy for children? But for some peculiar reason, It is my favourite horror movie. I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, after watching the movie, I was absolutely terrified of Pennywise showing up if I closed my eyes, so I hardly slept for a month.
But perhaps melting into my seat and watching the movie through my fingers was a rush to the system that I didn’t anticipate enjoying. What I liked most about it was the score; it was so cheerful and eerie (think creepy funfair tunes), that even with your eyes shut, you could still picture the horror in your mind. That was pretty cool. Also, Bill Skarsgård did a great job of showing how sinister the character is.
Theresa T, Marketing & Development Lead, A Quiet Place (2018)
It’s my most recent favourite horror flick because it makes one think and imagine what it would be like if we lived in a world where we can’t among the most basic of human functions – speaking. A world where every sound you make has consequences. What would we do if this was real life?
Every time I think of this movie, I think of the time when my grandmother (a huge extrovert) said that she would rather be deaf than not be able to speak. I found that to be so interesting as speech plays such an important role. Even an introvert like myself would find it hard to navigate through life without being able to communicate verbally. Watching the movie was truly a ride and I highly recommend it.
Tercia Goh, Head of Content Marketing, Child’s Play (1988)
I’m a horror movie junkie! I’ve seen almost every bloodcurdling film there is, but the one character who’s long had a grip on me is none other than Chucky! I’ve watched all seven Child’s Play films and it might have psychologically damaged me (I’ve not been able to look a doll in the eye), so it’s definitely no child’s play. The entire film franchise makes for a great girls’ night in Halloween movie marathon though! The ones who survive will be, “Your friend till the end.” Just be prepared for flying popcorn from the jumpy frights!
Eliza Thomas, Editor, #Alive (2020)
I love, love, LOVE horror movies. I can’t explain it, but the adrenaline rush you get from jump scares is exhilarating. Exorcist still, by far, has the best possession and exorcism scenes. The effects are absolutely crap by 2020 standards, but the build-up – albeit long – pays off tremendously when the possession scenes kick-off.
My new favourite thing, however, is Korean zombie flicks. Zombies are by no means a new concept to horror, but Korean zombies? These things RUN. At top speed. Usain Bolt is shaking in his Pumas. And based on the movie Alive (currently on Netflix), they’re able to abseil too. Nothing better to get my heart going than to see zombies chasing after someone, or even scaling an apartment complex to get to someone living on the fourth floor.
Maggie de Souza, Head of Events, Midsommar (2019)
When I think about horror movies, I imagine lots of dark rooms, shadowy figures, and shocking twists. So when it came time to watch Midsommar, after reading through the brief synopsis, I didn’t expect this one to be a ‘scary movie’. It ended up being one of the best scary films I’ve seen in a while though. Just don’t let the seemingly unending daylight and pretty floral arrangements fool you (as it did me).
Without giving too much away, Midsommar tells the story of a group of friends who go on vacation to Sweden and participate in a summer solstice festival. What’s terrifying here aren’t ghosts and ghouls, but humans, and bygone customs and traditions that should have no place in today’s world. The constant uneasiness the director so cleverly creates with music and plot also deserves praise. While this may not be a conventional horror movie for most, what unfolds onscreen is truly horrifying. Oh, and it’s also a great break-up movie.