We love scary stories, especially in the chill nights of autumn. From Frankenstein to Freddy Krueger, monsters are enduringly fascinating. It seems we can’t get enough of scaring ourselves silly. Here are five great ghouls
The vampire as seductive killer has become one of horror’s (and, latterly, romance’s) staples. These days Dracula is often reduced to a campy stereotype, but bloodsucking parasites are constantly reinvented for their age – as in Justin Cronin’s saga The Passage, where virus- carrying vampires ravage a post- apocalyptic wasteland.
Another figure more often seen in pastiche, the monster is a tragic figure, man’s hubris made real and deadly. In an age when science is once again taking over what was once seen as ‘God’s work’ (with cloning, genetic modification, etc) it’s no surprise this idea sees multiple revivals on TV, film and stage.
Razor-clawed, pizza-faced Freddy has been sanitised into a clownish Halloween costume over the years (people often forget he started out as a child killer), but his unforgettable look, plus his ability to enter our very dreams and prey on our subconscious fears, make him one of cinema’s great monsters.
Most famously played by Anthony Hopkins, and recently reinvented by Mads Mikkelsen in the blood-soaked TV series Hannibal, this suave, cunning and ruthless cannibal set the template for the sophisticated serial killer, able to charm his victims – and captors – despite being guilty of the most horrible crimes.
Easygoing and friendly, the urbane, intellectual family in Get Out welcome their daughter’s black boyfriend into their home – but when their sinister reasons become apparent, the terror begins. They could be your neighbours, your friends, and you wouldn’t ever know...