Mark Kermode’s Top 5 Halloween Films

Whether you’re a horror film junkie or more of a hide-behind-a-pillow viewer, the UK’s best-known film critic Mark Kermode has got your television thrills sorted for this Hallows’ Eve.

Mark, who is currently the Observer’s chief film critic, has personally collated his Top 5 Halloween films for Latitude. Are you brave enough to try them?

Article originally published on 31st October 2017. 


Synopsis: This influential silent German Horror is an unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Appeals to: Horror fans who don’t need the usual jump-scares or effects for a film to give them the creeps​.

Key scene: ​Count Orlok’s sinister shadow making it’s way upstairs to Ellen may not be the most plot revealing scene but it’s definitely the creepiest and one that will be forever stamped into your memory.​

Frankenstein (1931)

Synopsis: A film that requires little introduction, this iconic horror follows an obsessed scientist successfully creating life by assembling body parts of the deceased.

Appeals to: Those who enjoy the classics and the original gothic horrors.

Key Scene: Dr. Henry Frankenstein shouting that famed phrase of success “It’s alive! It’s alive!”.

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

Synopsis: An obsessive doctor attempts a radical plastic surgery to make his daughter’s disfigured face beautiful again… at a horrifying price.

Appeals to: Not for the faint hearted. Full of terror, gore, and inexplicable beauty.

Key Scene: If Dr. Génessier’s heterograft surgery on Edna’s face isn’t the goriest thing you’ve ever seen then good on you, we envy your strong stomach.​

Near Dark (1987)

Synopsis: Caleb and Mae meet at a bar, with an immediate attraction. Mae turns out to be a vampire and bites Caleb on the neck, forcing him to crave human blood and make the ultimate decision of love between his family, or his new love for Mae.

Appeals to: Romantic cult horror lovers who enjoy a dash of western action.

Key Scene: When Caleb first spots Mae who’s enjoying an ice cream and asks her, ‘Can I have a bite? Just dying for a cone’. She only replies with ‘Bite’ and ‘Dying?’. You know things are about to take a turn for the worse…​

Raw (2017)

Synopsis: A young vegetarian starting vet school, Justine is forced to eat meat in an initiation ritual. She starts to develop a taste for it, a taste that goes beyond animals…

Appeals to: Not for the squeamish. For those who love their horrors to be bloody and visceral.

Key Scene: Justine accidentally dismembers her sister’s finger, then begins to devour it…

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