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Our top tips & recommendations for fun & sustainable festivities this Halloween

by Sian Atkins October 23, 2022 9 min read

Let me tell you a secret! Myself & Paul are massive horror fans, haha, so Halloween is celebrated here at the home of JRH.  Oh yes, we get in the full swing of things, from decorating the house, to watching as many horror movies we can cram into the month of October, its a tradition we've had for years now and let me tell you its fun, nostalgic and extremely autumnal.

 

So now you know we’re horror nuts; let me give you our 7 favourite horror movies, our favourite horror books and the family horror movies to watch with kids.

 

7 Adult Horror Movies To Watch This Halloween

 

  1. The Shining- Let's throw it straight out there at number 1!  The Shining never gets old, always hits the autumn/winter spot and the acting is on point; especially from Jack Nicholson - we even own an original cinema poster from the theatrical release of The Shining from 1980! How geeky are we!? Just to think though, Stephen King has never liked this version of his classic novel! 

 

  1. Evil Dead 2- Look, Hallowe’en wouldn't be right if we didn't throw in an absolute killer of a horror movie! Now, I have picked Evil Dead 2 out from the whole Sam Raimi trilogy, as it just always stood out to me as a firm favourite.  Dark comedy aspect, creepy as hell and Mum singing ‘Mocking Bird’ in the chained up basement.  Then you have Ash (Bruce Campbell) who's a total badass! Yep, number 2 is the one to watch. It's gore and horror and everything in-between all wrapped up in one, and blimey its so nostalgic to my youth.

    Also, did you know that director Sam Raimi’s car features as a cameo in every Evil Dead movie?  In-fact, it features in almost every movie he’s ever made.  It’s a yellow Oldsmobile Delta 88, keep an eye out for it.

 

  1. The Sixth Sense - What a movie! Based in the category of Supernatural Horror, I think the plot is really well done, and has one of cinemas greatest twist endings for those who haven’t seen it. The calmness and autumn vibes are also super eerie and sets the tone for the movie completely. It has scariness as well as emotion and I can watch this film with ease every halloween, and Bruce Willis excels in one of his finest performances.

 

  1. American Werewolf In London - To good to leave off this list!  This film is a classic without a shadow of a doubt, and I know Paul is still eyeing up a poster for this film to add to our movie geek poster collection, haha! Its a horror and its a comedy, but don't let the laughs fool you; this film is full of blood and gore and extreme violence but we reckon John Landis did a fab job of getting the balance just right, the same as he did with the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller video.  It's all things werewolf, with a great soundtrack and one to kick back and watch with a bucket of popcorn in the dark to really get your spook on.

 

  1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre- 1974 was the year this movie originally hit our screens and I love it firstly for the authentic retro 70’s vibes. I also love the authenticity of the actors and it really gives you that creepiness being shot in that era.  Given the film was of low budget and simply made; compared to many films these days, it's still a horror I can happily watch and get my scare on.  Its bloody, disgusting and based loosely on horrifying true events about the real life serial killer and murderer Ed Gein.

 

  1. Am Legend - Come on, its got to be on here! It features Samatha the dog and this film gets me just for the dog alone! I am Legend is such a great movie.  When I watch, it usually consists of me sitting at the edge of my chair clapping uncontrollably when our main character (Will Smith) needs to get out somewhere quick, or is being chased, with Paul looking at me like I am nuts!  Hahaha; that aside, the acting, the plot line and the whole film is very good, and I definitely recommend you watch it if you haven't already.

 

  1. The Thing (1982 version)– This is a remake from 1951’s ‘The Thing From Another World’ and is absolutely brilliant! The plot is super atmospheric and intense, and features some genuine tension, creepiness, gore and monster special effects. The movie draws you in for its isolating setting, and it features Kurt Russell in his prime.  Directed by John Carpenter; who is without a doubt one of the true horror masters, it’s one of his horror masterpieces.  The tone is also set beautifully with the magnificent score by Ennio Morricone.

 

Bonus Film Choice

 

I’m smiling whilst writing this bit, in-fact I'm giggling.  Let me introduce you to our Bonus Film...

 

Halloween 3:The Season of the Witch -The only one in the franchise that doesn’t have Michael Myers in it; one of the greatest icons of horror it has to be said, and instead has the Silver Shamrock company, the three face-melting horror marks and the super infectious (and super annoying) Happy Halloween song!  This is a Pauly Special.  Oh my god, he watches it every bloody year, usually when we return from Trick or Treating and the kids are going through their hoard.

 

So there you have the 7 (plus bonus) adult horror movies we love to watch at Allhalloween, the list could have been much longer but we had to stop somewhere!

 

 

Horror Books To Read This Halloween

 

Now here are the books I’d recommend getting yourself right into the halloween spirit this year!

 

We have a vast collection of Stephen King books, and to be honest it’s boarderring on ridiculous.  Between Paul and I, we have read an impressive amount; but the one that always freaks me right out, and always hits the scare factor gauge at the highest point is 'Salem’s Lot!' – which is far superior to screen adaptations from 1979 and 2004.

 

Damn right, it won me over with its horror, suspense and jump scares, but as any book worth its weight in gold should do... it makes you think; well this book had me suspended in the chilling township of Jerusalem's Lot and I was thinking how to get the hell out of there!  It kept me awake at night and gave me actual genuine nightmares, now that’s some powerfully crafted writing right there.

 

If you’re looking for something to read this Halloween, you can’t go wrong with Salem’s Lot, or most Stephen King books to be honest.  One not quite so heard of though, and one you may not have read, is a novel called Joyland.  Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

 

8 Horror Movies to Watch With The Kids This Halloween

 

Here is a little list of ones we have watched and continue to watch with our two children over the years.  It’s a time every year we join in the festivity of Halloween alongside pumpkin picking and carving, Trick or Treating and dressing up.

 

1. Ghostbusters - The 1984 classic that never gets old, still fun to hear the soundtrack and laugh at the comical scenes throughout, and one our daughter requests yearly.

2. Hocus Pocus - Loved watching this as a child myself and we still watch it every year as a family too; number 2 just hit our screens and we have it on our to watch list for this Hallowe’en night itself; let's hope its as corny and great as the first.

 

3. Monster Squad - If you haven't watched it, Why not!?  Only kidding, it really depends on your genre choice, but this film is a must for Halloween in our opinion.  Released in 1987 when I was the young age of 2, I was able to watch this film when I was old enough to appreciate its greatness, and although not a theatrical hit when it was originally released, this fun horror that made me want to join the ‘Monster Squad’ is now a cult classic (and I still want to join the Squad haha.)

 

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Our daughters favourite, and our sons when he was younger too.  Jack Skellington is found hanging somewhere in our house every year at Halloween and again in bauble style adorning our Christmas tree.  So, I’d say this Tim Burton film is a must, at least in our household; and although this film has a bit of an identity crisis hanging between Halloween or Christmas, we just put it in both.

 

5. Goosebumps – On our list this year to watch again.  Its super fun, scary and just the right amount of horror for children.  When I was a kid I remember the first ever Goosebumps books hitting the shelves and from the age of 10 I was hooked.  Saving up my pocket money and racing down to the local bookstore to get the next one released in the series to devour was common.  I read and still owned around the first 50 original Goosebumps books and had saved them for my own children to read one day, until a few years ago that is.  I went to dig them out and found that they had been ruined by a leak!  I wasn't able to salvage any; super disappointed as they were original books from my own childhood. 

 

6. The Witches - Adapted from a Roald Dahl book, this 1990 film is a perfect Halloween treat for children, its creepy and funny and the book is also great.  I watched this so much as a child; I knew it would go down well with our own children.

 

7. Casper - I clearly remember seeing this film at the cinema; blimey how time flies.  It's nice to have a horror for children that aims to see ghosts in a different light, friendly rather than scary.  It’s easy watch this Halloween; one to edge the kids gently into horror, haha.

and last but definitely not least...

 

8. The Lost Boys - This is our naughty pick, and I couldn't resist it!  It’s a classic when we were young from the 80’s, and still a classic now as an adult.  Both our children, Niece and Nephews have all watched it and love it.  I’d say they are rather like us, loving the horror genre.  The cool vampires, great small-town setting, the comical Frog Brothers and the great one liners from Grandpa; who actually makes me chuckle every time I watch this film.

"Let me put it this way, if all the corpses buried around here were to stand up all at once, you'd have one hell of a population problem".

 

Ok, so the movies are running, the house is decorated, the scary music is playing but we cant leave it there; JRH has another 5 recommendations of the sustainable type, so here you have it:

 

5 Ways To Be Sustainable This Halloween

 

  1. Pumpkins are organic waste and can be composted. They can also be left out in the garden for wildlife, especially as food sources become harder to find this time of year(just remember to smash it up into manageable chunks so animals don't get stuck) or donate (only in original form) to animal sanctuaries.  You could even use your pumpkin to make lots of lovely treats such as pumpkin cupcakes or a warm hearty pumpkin soup.

 

  1. Get Creative - When possible up-cycle old costumes or clothes to make your Halloween outfit or buy second hand; this makes your costume fun, unique and saves you money. It also stops another costume being bought and thrown away after one use into the already heaving landfills.

 

  1. Be Respectful - We all love to Trick or Treat, it’s part of the festivity of Halloween. But, always remember to leave a place as you found it. Take your wrappers or any other trash home with you, be fair on the wildlife and environment around you.

 

  1. Purchase or make a reusable Trick Or Treat bags. A big no-no to the plastic buckets or plastic style party bags, these are certainty not sustainable. Instead, why not up-cycle a tote bag and decorate it to take with you to collect your treats in; you could really stand out from the crowd.  Even better, gather some friends and have a Halloween tote decorating party to really get in the spirit of things.  These bags can then be used yearly and are more planet friendly, especially if you purchase an eco version tote.

 

  1. Instead of buying an abundance of sweets, chocolates and cakes this year, why not avoid the wrappers and packaging altogether; which quite frankly isn't very sustainable, and bake your own scary treats instead?  Be sure to use gloves when the ghosts, witches and little monsters come knocking; or maybe individually wrap them in brown paper for recyclable packaging. But remember to also avoid using nuts, or clearly state the ingredients for parents to scan over. The treats could even be of the vegan variety, so everyone can enjoy.

 

Well, that’s me done, and I hope this has helped you just a little with your festivities this Halloween; it has certainly been very enjoyable to write!

 

Just remember, if they don't have a pumpkin lit outside their house, or have no decorations, move on to the next home that does.  Many elderly people can be frightened by late knocks on the door and should be left alone and not be made to worry.

 

Happy All Hallows’ Eve to you all, we hope you have a scary one!

 

Sian (with some geeky input from Paul!)


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