Real Horror Is Found In the Everyday Story

If you really want nightmares this Halloween...

With the commencing of October comes the run up to Halloween; in its modern day form a hyper-Americanised night of celebration that for British kids means being turned away from many a house that tells you to "piss off, we don't celebrate that crap here" or even worse, being handed some dates, raisins or bags of nuts that've been found lying at the back of the person's kitchen cupboard since last Christmas.

Once you hit your mid-teens, the trick-or-treat season of your life is over. Instead it's time to figure out which disconcertingly undressed and ambiguous (but cute) animal you're going to head to the party as this year, along with your Peach Schnapps or bottle of Baileys that you've nicked from the parent's drink cabinet. 

And once you're in your early 20's, finished with University and back at home with mum and dad, trawling through job applications every day in your onesie and constantly snacking on a giant bowl of cereal through out, well your real life is enough of a horror story to stop you feeling the need to leave the house on the night of the 31st. 

With this new found dose of reality that comes with being an unemployed Graduate, I started to think about those horror films I've sat through, clinging to the arm of the person next to me so that my hand ceases into a claw, or remained under the duvet for most of the action, so that I might as well have spent my time having a nap whilst the movie was on. 

Whilst I had been nervous and excited during the watching of these movies, they hadn't really scared me. They hadn't stayed with me long after the end credits rolled, and that in reality; if you want to be watching something that's going to give you nightmares (because there are those weirdos amongst you who genuinely enjoy it...) then you need to be looking at those films that show you real life in all its darkness and sorrow. They will ruin your sleeping pattern long after The Women in Black or Paranormal Activity 3 have become distant memories. 

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for alternative horror films to watch this Halloween, for those of you who really think you're hard enough...

Based on Richard Yates novel of the same name, this 2008 film starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Frank and April Wheeler, a young suburban couple in the 1950's, struggling to maintain a life which appears to be cookie cutter perfect, but under the surface hides plenty of resentment and boredom. A great one to sit down and watch with the significant other. One of those films that'll leave you saying, "Don't touch me" for at least a week afterwards. 

Once you're over the movie, break yourself all over again by reading the book. 

The impeccable Olivia Coleman and massively underrated Peter Mullan take the leads in this heart breaking British drama, which ends not with some moralistic high note, but with the realities of a life which is often unjust and unforgiving. Some incredible performances and a horror that effects millions of women around the world every day. 

Ken Kesey's classic 1962 novel was made into an equally seminal movie starring Jack Nicholson as the perfectly cast and performed R.P Murphy back in 1975. Movies and novels that deal with mental illness are always terrifying, in that they highlight the issues society has with dealing with sufferers appropriately, turning a mirror on those who are supposedly 'sane'. 

Enjoy them nightmares kids.