I wrote this whilst sitting in an A&E waiting room on a Sunday night. A kind receptionist gave me pen and paper when we realised it was going to be at least a six hour wait. Some ongoing health issues saw me popping up to the local hospital at 10.30pm at night. Naively, I assumed it would be a quiet, sleepy Sunday night. Oh, how very wrong. It was like walking into the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, with people and limbs strewn everywhere. Blood splattered clothes, heads in hands and the sounds of moans and groans filled the room. It was somewhere between a really dark sitcom and a low budget horror movie. As the hours ticked slowly by, the packed waiting rooms began to empty as a lot of people began to either sober-up or drunkenly wonder off. One guy got his shoulder popped back in and walked away like a new man. Another lady went through the double doors barely conscious, facemask over high eyes instead of mouth and then a few hours later, she too skipped out like a spring lamb after receiving IV fluids. A young couple ordered dominos after the girlfriend had fallen off her skateboard and broken her arm. Three teenagers who had clearly been in a fight were still waiting to be seen by the time I left at 4.30am. They had been waiting so long that they began to eat the peas from the once frozen bag soothing a bruised eye. With nothing to kill but time, I started thinking about the best horror movies of all time. Now, here’s the truth of the matter, I love horror movies. I’m an utter wimp with an overactive imagination, I can’t handle a rollercoaster so a horror movie is how I get my cheap thrills. Others are more discerning, my partner included. So, the best method of attack to get anyone to have a movie night with you this halloween, is to find one that fits with their interests.
For The Obstacle Course Lovers:
If the multi obstacle assault course and mud trail are a favourite feature at Dorset Adventure Park for you or your friends, then these are the best horror movies for you!
Ready or Not
Ready or Not is a darkly comic horror, not an easy mix to get right but this film is both playful and nerve wracking. The film focuses on a bride whose wedding night takes a sinister turn, when the groom’s erie family insist on playing a traditional wedding night game. Stylish, silly and sinister; a great film if you are a fan of dodging and weaving your way through the obstacle course or racing through the mud trail. Run like your life depends upon it!
A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is an exciting, original and tense horror movie. Set in a post apocalyptic America that has been besieged by sightless aliens with sharp hearing. In order to survive, you mustn’t make a sound. It is such a clever concert that extends the natural instinct to be as still and quiet as you can when frightened. If you love challenging yourself on the obstacle course at Dorset Adventure Park or fighting your way through the mud trail, this is the film for you. Could you beat these obstacles and survive?
28 Days Later
28 Days Later is even more horrifying to watch in a post pandemic world. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cilyan Murphy as a young man who wakes up from a quarantine coma, only to discover that a mysterious, incurable virus has decimated the country and turned those infected into raging zombie-like creatures. An ultimate tale of survival, this modern cult classic is the ideal horror for those who can’t resist tackling and testing their survival skills against the obstacle course and epic mud trail.
For The Lake Lovers:
Jaws is simply a classic horror film that still stands the test of time. Based on the 1974 novel, this Steven Spielberg cult classic owes much of its tense atmospheric horror to the iconic soundtrack created by John Williams. The film is set in a small New England resort town that relies heavily on the summer tourist trade for its income. Just as the start of the Summer tourist season is set to kick off, a killer great white shark begins picking off unsuspecting sea swimmers. So, ensues a battle of wit and wills upon the high seas. Apparently, the filmmakers originally wanted to train a great white shark for the film. Realising that was impossible, three robot sharks were used instead. For anyone who loves lakes and the water, be it for swimming, diving, jumping or bouncing across the wibit inflatables and chucking yourself down the blow-up slide; Jaws is still a must watch horror. Is there anything scarier than the thought of the thing you love, the water, turning against you? Luckily, I can quite confidently say that there are no great white sharks lurking in the blue lakes of Dorset Adventure Park…
Eden Lake, is a 2008 horror film with a quietly stellar cast. The plot follows a couple who visit a lake, deep in the woods of the English Countryside. Their peaceful getaway is threatened by the building development and a group of teenagers who show up at the lake too. Feeding into the social anxiety of ‘broken Britain’ and ‘youths in hoodies’. Things take a turn for the worst and the peaceful lake becomes the scene of terror, torment and survival.
Even though the teenagers who visit the lakes at Dorset Adventure Park won’t turn on you, it is certainly a terrifying concept…not unlike the comedy sitcom ‘outnumbered’.
The Shallows focuses on the story of surfer Nancy, who although is only 180 metres from shore, is trapped after being attacked by a great white shark. Nancy’s ‘with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.’ If you have ever battled your way across the wibit inflatables utop the lakes at Dorset Adventure Park, you’ll know even the shortest of journeys can become an epic battle to beat!
For The Adventure Lovers:
The Ritual is a hidden gem of the horror genre. This British film follows four friends who, in honour of their late friend, undertake a multi day hiking trip through the wilds of Sweden. Steeped in the stunning scandi landscape, folklore and legends, the film becomes more and more creepy as the group of friends delve deeper into the woods and begin to unravel. This film focuses on the fear of the men more than then showing the viewer the terrifying thing haunting them. Combined with the evocative setting, this human focus intensifies the horror of the film. A perfect Halloween choice for those who love adventure, hiking, camping and a walk in the woods! Just remember, never trust a short cut…
Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project has become another modern cult classic horror film. One of the first films to use the ‘found footage’ and POV genre, it does it oh so well. The story follows three student filmmakers who: ‘hike into the forest in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappear, but their equipment and footage are discovered a year later. The purportedly “recovered footage” is the film the viewer sees.’ One of the most profitable horror films of all time, this film keeps the focus on the characters and the eeriness of the unconquerable forest. If you love the call to adventure and the lure of the beautiful Purbeck woodland surrounding Dorset Adventure Park, this has to be the Halloween film for you.
The Descent made me jump in fear so much when I first watched it, that I actually split an entire glass of lemonade over myself. Another British horror, this creepy creature feature follows six women who enter a cave system, only to be pursued by killer humanoid cave creatures. Set in the stunning Appalachian Mountains, these thrill seeking, experienced, adventure driven friends must battle, crawl and climb to survive. Claustrophobic and creepy, a great horror flick for those who love Adventure and can’t quite resist the call to the unknown.
Whichever film you choose, if you trick or treat for your halloween movie night, there is something for every Dorset Adventure Park lover. Let us know in the comments which you would recommend? Happy Halloween!
Words by Olivia Lowry