Nightmares For Halloween # 3 – Three Movie Choices

…or three horror films I really love, but which rarely get a nod in all the lists of Scary Movies circulating at this time of year.

NIght of the Demon
My favourite horror film, and in my list of favourite films of any genre. No other movie captures such an atmosphere of dread, from the very first scenes and then growing in intensity across the entire story. Based on M R James’ short story, Casting the Runes, Night of the Demon looks luminous, with director Jacques Tourneur contrasting the deepest blacks with unsettling bursts of light.

Black comedy that also manages to be truly horrific. Based on H P Lovecraft’s story, Herbert West – Reanimator, the core of the film is a hypnotic, barking mad performance by actor Jeffrey Coombs.

Quatermass and the Pit
One of the few Hammer films that still stands up well, this film about the British scientist hero’s encounter with primal fears really unsettled me as a kid. A remake of a TV serial, the success of the movie lies more with original creator Nigel Kneale’s ideas – the true source of supernatural horror – than any acting or directing here.

0 thoughts on “Nightmares For Halloween # 3 – Three Movie Choices”

  1. LOVE Night of the Demon/Curse of the Demon: right up to the shot of the monster!

    Must admit as much as I like Quatermass and the Pit (in colour) and Andre Morell as Quatermass, I’m actually thinking I prefer The Quatermass Xperiment these days. Have you seen the BBC television version of Quatermass and the Pit (on DVD now)? Makes an Interesting comparison.

    Thanks for the reminders though, Mark.

  2. I can live with the shot of the demon, bearing in mind the time the movie was made. And it’s still pretty disturbing even with those limitations!

    I enjoy all three Quatermass stories but “…and the Pit” was the most Halloween-y. I’ve got the DVD of the TV version and Kneale’s writing shines through, but the lo-fi production values can make it a difficult watch at times…

  3. Now you`re taking : Night of the Demon was a classic . It was a film that really pulled you into the T.V screen by your imagination . I still recall well the sound as the demon appeared ; a cross between a rusty , squeaky bike wheel being turned , and a weird bat like sound that chilled my young heart . I loved the white , rolling mist ; the voice of the arch- villain and his rather oddly innocent mother . The scene that had my fledgling heart thumping loudly was as the hero tried to pass back the runes on the thin white paper back to Dr., bad – devil – man of the theatrical voice . Oh yes , the look on his face as he realised the runes had been passed back to him ……classic story .
    Thanks for resurrecting some scary , yet , great memories .

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