By Scott Dorward
Once again, October has snuck up on me. At least, this year I feel like I have a couple of excuses. For a start, time has ceased to have any real meaning. While the UK is no longer in lockdown, I’m still cautious enough not to go out unless I really have to. As I work from home, this means that concepts like time of day or the day of the week have become largely notional.
Compounding this is summer’s decision to hang around longer than usual this year. The normal autumnal chill has yet to find any purchase and our confused trees are undecided about shedding leaves. Halloween feels much further than a month away. And, yet, here we are. It’s time to start watching a lot of horror films again!
What is the October Horror Movie Challenge?
Simply, the October Horror Movie Challenge asks us to watch a horror film a day throughout the month. Of course, there are plenty of variations, such as choosing films from a breadth of countries, subgenres and eras, or to consciously include those made by women, LGBT filmmakers, or other voices underrepresented in the industry. Some people try to watch a lot more than 31 films, packing in as many as their eyes will allow. Others go into the month knowing they’ll never manage a film a day but still aiming to watch as many as possible. Every approach is valid.
Personally, while I try to pick films that represent the full diversity of horror, the only hard rule I have is to watch ones I haven’t seen before. Well, that and to post a full review of each one on this site, along with a post mortem at the end of the month.
Because of personal circumstances, I missed out on the October Horror Movie Challenge for most of the years the podcast has been running. I took part in 2013, 2014 and 2020, however, and you can find my reviews from these years on this site. Maybe they’ll help you find some juicy choices for your own challenge.
An Open Challenge
As much fun as watching these films can be, talking about them is even better. If you fancy joining in, I would love to hear from you. The main hub of discussion is our Discord server, where we have a channel dedicated to the October Horror Movie Challenge. Alternatively, you can contact me on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or by speaking my name into a mirror at night.
If you would like to play along at home, my provisional selections are:
- Possessor (2020)
- The Boogey Man (1980)
- Jakob’s Wife (2021)
- The Queen of Black Magic (2019)
- Cold Hell (2017)
- Seance (2021)
- The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
- Dachra (2018)
- Isle of the Dead (1945)
- After Midnight (2019)
- The Baby (1973)
- Hagazussa (2017)
- Frightmare (1974)
- The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
- Dave Made a Maze (2017)
- Raw (2016)
- The Old Ways (2020)
- Terror Train (1980)
- mon mon mon MONSTERS (2017)
- Sator (2019)
- Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)
- The Lighthouse (2019)
- Anything For Jackson (2020)
- Warning: Do Not Play (Amjeon) (2019)
- Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
- The Field Guide to Evil (2019)
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
- The Wizard of Gore (1970)
- Fingers (2019)
- Lake Bodom (2016)
- Island of Lost Souls (1932)
Be warned that I am likely to change some of these as the month goes on. I am fickle.
A Final Note
If you have been enticed here by these posts, please do look around at some of our other film reviews. We also have a podcast, called The Good Friends of Jackson Elias, which occasionally covers horror films. If this appeals, you might want to check out some of the following episodes.
- The Changeling
- The Endless
- Our favourite Cthulhu Mythos media
- The Fly
- A Dark Song
- The Thing
- The Ritual
- The Wicker Man
- The Stone Tape
- Event Horizon
- The Witch
- INLAND EMPIRE
- Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions
- Maléfique and The Ninth Gate
- Re-Animator and From Beyond
- Repulsion and The Babdook
- Man Bites Dog, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and S&man
- A selection of weird films
- David Cronenberg
- The films that scared us most
If you dig through the archives, you will also find episodes about a wide variety of horror stories and games. Happy nightmares!