From classic spine-tinglers to grizzly gore fests and psychological thrillers, nothing gets you trembling under the covers on Halloween as quickly as a truly terrifying horror film. Grab some pillows, gather your friends and get ready to Scream your way through a fun and frightening movie night!
Choose a theme
If you’re hosting for a mix of friends and ‘plus ones,’ a costume brief can be a fun way to break the ice. Keep it low-key, but suggest witty ideas or puns based on horror films, so that each costume requires a bit of explaining when guests arrive. For example, don a Tony Blair mask and pointy hat for The Blair Witch Project, or dig out those extra-large hobbit feet you’ve got under your bed for a cryptic twist on The Ring. For more inspiration, check out the Halloween fancy dress available at Woolworths.
Hold a pumpkin-carving competition
This is a great group activity for before you watch the films and also lets you use your friends’ inventiveness to decorate your house. Split the party into teams and challenge each to produce the most impressive pumpkin. Give out points based on carving skills, imagination and the all-important fear factor, with the winning team earning the right to choose the first film.
Create creepy cocktails
Halloween cocktails don’t have to be anything fancy: think blood-coloured grenadine or tomato juice, served with eyeball garnishes, creepy cocktail sticks, and plastic floating skulls. Mix water with red or green food dye in a Halloween ice-cube tray, for a quick and easy way to transform your favourite tipple into a spooky drink.
Select the right films
If you’re stuck for inspiration, the web is full of compilations of the best horror films, but make sure you cater to guests’ tastes. For retro horror fans, choose a cheesy classic like The Exorcist, or if your guests are of a nervous disposition, play it safe and opt for horror/comedy like Shaun of the Dead. If you’re into smart Oscar-winners, try a psychological thriller like Black Swan, while real scare-seekers could take on It‘s evil clown. Avoid the genuine horror of dying broadband, and make sure you buy or rent your film before your guests arrive. If possible, use speakers for the full surround-sound experience, and always keep the lights low.
Think about sleepover arrangements
If you’re planning on seeing out the entire Halloween night, you’ll probably find yourself with a few overnight guests. It’s easier to crash out where you watch the films, if only to save anyone the dread of having to head upstairs by themselves. You might all be putting on a brave front now, but the first rule of scary films is never split up. There’s safety and fun in numbers, so stick with a group sleepover.
Have back-up options
Not everyone can stomach spooky films, so make sure you have a light-hearted DVD standing by in case of emergencies. You might only manage nervous laughter, but it will lighten the atmosphere and maybe push those monsters from your mind.
Whether you’re a horror expert or total wuss, a Halloween movie night is a fun way to celebrate this freaky festival…even if you do end up sleeping with the light on until next year!Last modified: December 31, 2020