Five of my favourite Horror films – Turn the lights off!

Five of my favourite Horror films – Turn the lights off!

October 4, 2018 2 By Shan Ellis Williams

There is nothing better in the world after a hard day with the kids, or a frantic one at work than making yourself a cuppa and sitting down to a horror film. Horror is one of the genres I’ve enjoyed from very early on. I’ve always been drawn to the dark side – my Jedi partner would be proud! I remember pretending to sleep long after mum and dad had gone to bed and tuning in (yes you had to turn knobs on TV’s in the dark old days!) to Hammer Horrors on my black and white portable.

My favourite films were always the adaptions of the Edgar Allan Poe stories. Embarrassingly watching these films, was my first ever experience of the literature of Poe, and inspired me to seek out the written stories, such as The Tell tale Heart, The Crow and The Masque of the Red Death. There in the dark in a cold bedroom with the branches of old oaks rat tatting at my window started a love affair with spooky stories.

Recently, I feel modern horror has become too dependent on CGI. I’ve seen it all before, got the t-shirt. They don’t scare me any more. Although I still watch, in the dark, with my coffee. Ususally behind my cushion! So these are my favourites. Things I’ll be watching this October in my precious hours when all the children are tucked up and asleep, although – I think I may have infected my fourteen year old with the joy of a good horror film…

5. Drag Me To Hell

Drag me to hell horror film

It’s a bit silly, but original

I really enjoyed this film, and it’s one of the most modern on my list purely because it’s more original than the other tat you’ll find out there. Drag me to hell was released in 2003, so it’s not all that modern. I love how pathetic the character arc is and that you have a strong woman who comes across something she just doesn’t understand. Plenty of jumps and spooks. It’s the ending that lets it down, but even still I’d recommend watching it because it’ll draw you in!

Get your copy here.


4. The Woman in Black

Woman in black, gothic horror


This one is a good old fashioned spookefest. Believe me you will be on the edge of your seat for most of the film! Based on the book of the same name by Susan Hill, which is also well worth reading it’s more of a psychological romp through grief. Greif which could be said to personify in the main character. Ok, it took me a while to disassociate Daniel Radcliffe the actor from Harry Potter the character but well worth the mind trip! Spooky and not too gory is always good. I like a good story rather than a man heavy breathing running after Paris Hilton through a dark forest where she’ll eventually run out of puff, despite years of Pilates training and get mutilated. Yay.


Buy your copy here.


3. The Shining

This is the first of two Stephen King books (yes I read the books before watching the films!) to make my top three. I read the Shining at fourteen. Mostly under the duvet, mostly praying that someone would send help to that abandoned hotel in the middle of nowhere. I love every moment of this film, from the music and scene at the very beginning which draws you in. Then the complete disintegration of the mental health of the father, Jack Torrance,  perfectly depicted by Jack Nicholson. This is one of the only films that scares me out of my whits, just because you ask yourself the question is it actually a haunting? Or a man going totally insane with cabin fever. Guess the answer is down to the reader/audience.

Buy your copy here.


2. The Exorcist

I’m humming Tubular bells by Mike Oldfield as I type. This film almost made it to number one. Almost. Had I not read the book and spoilt it for myself. The book is far scarier than the film and the film is scary enough. I think what makes it all the more scary is that the main character is a child. Warning though there are some disturbing bits, which led the film to be banned in the UK until Halloween 1998, due to its disturbing nature. I watched it at a midnight screening in 1998 – and I think it had the desired effect. I cannot and will not watch this film on my own!

Buy your copy here.

And the winner is! IT

Oh my days its a clown, or is it? I read this book when I was 11 – my introductory romp into the world of horror master Stephen King and if you read me often you know how I love the guy. I’d love to take a walk in his head and see how he ticks, because what he writes isn’t just horror, it’s psychologically deranged. I’m not even mad either. It’s interesting!

Having re-read the book recently and reminding myself of my now adult ability to read between lines. I saw how brilliant the tight weave of story line in the novel is. And the newer film, although I’m a lover of Tim Curry as Pennywise, is just amazing. I mean come on…who doesn’t like clowns…

Buy your copy here.


I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this post – I’ve added affiliate links if you fancy watching these behind a cushion <3

Please feel free to read more of my Blogtober offerrings below!

My BlogTober offerings

On Being A Witch

Momento Mori : The Book Of The Dead

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