It’s Halloween today, and the spooky season is coming to a close. You probably enjoyed your main celebrations at the weekend, so you may be looking for a way to nod towards All Hallow’s Eve without having to move from your sofa.
The solution is obvious, of course: a horror movie. And you can even find plenty of them set in London. Why wouldn’t you want to give the scary film an added chill of taking place on the streets you walk down every day?
1. An American Werewolf In London (dir. by John Landis, 1981)
Despite the fact all Londoners have been deliriously sleepy on our commutes more than a few times, I don’t think any of us have ever caught sight of a werewolf at Tottenham Court Road station. To witness that, you’ll need to turn to the screen, in the form of classic picture An American Werewolf In London.
College students Jack and David start the film by taking to the Yorkshire moors; getting more than they bargained for along the way. First in the form of the hilariously brash pub locals who shiftily deny the existence of a werewolf, and second by, well, you can probably guess.
2. 28 Days Later (dir. by Danny Boyle, 2002)
How many times have you had the “where would you go during a zombie apocalypse?” conversation in a pub? Danny Boyle clearly enjoyed them, and made an entire movie about what would happen in London with Cillian Murphy leading the way. His character Jim wakes up from a coma to find the city under the grip of the undead, and answers our cliched question. Deptford, to his parents house, if you were wondering. You’ll catch many a London landmark in the movie, from the likes of Big Ben and St James’ Park.
3. The Omen (dir. by Richard Donner, 1976)
We move from the slightly more slapstick world of werewolves and zombies onto something all the more eerie and paranormal. The film begins at a hospital in Rome, where Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) secretly adopts an orphaned child unbeknownst to his wife Kathy (Lee Remick) back after their own baby passed after birth. Years later, the family are shown living in London, but a series of disturbing events begin to take place as the truth about the death of their son’s birth mother is revealed. While much of the film is shot around Surrey, you can spot Fulham’s All Saints Church where a particularly chilling scene is filmed.
4. Creep (dir. by Christopher Smith, 2004)
Sticking to the creepier motifs of horror, we have a film that’s literally called Creep, and maps out a nightmare scenario: getting trapped overnight inside the London Underground. It follows Kate (Franka Potente), who falls asleep on the platform at Charing Cross station, finding herself locked in when she wakes and not able to reach the party she hoped to attend. From there, it can only get ugly, and the film culminates with Karte encountering the eponymous ‘creep’, who lives in the station and eats his victims. Nah, nope and no thanks – I will never be missing my last train again.
5. Death Line (dir. by Gary Sherman, 1972)
If Creep made you wary about taking the Tube, then you may want to look away from this one too. Death Line follows two university students who find themselves involved in a police investigation when the man they find unconscious on the London Underground vanishes after they inform authorities to help him. What was thought was a mythical tale of survivors of a cave-in during the Victorian era then comes to the fore to reveal a bloody and cannibalistic truth…
6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (dir. by Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)
Many have taken Bram Stoker’s 1898 classic to the big screen, but we’ve gone for Coppola’s 1992 effort here. The cast is star-studded—Gary Oldman! Winona Ryder! Anthony Hopkins! Keanu Reeves!—and the film is a totally bombastic and riveting retelling of the gothic masterpiece. Plus, London is scattered all about the place throughout the film.