Halloween: Peruvian Horror Directors Share Their Favorite Chilling Movies

We are on the eve of and there is no activity more in keeping with the celebration than watching horror movies and who is more qualified to recommend some to us than those who have made their own film within this genre.

That is why El Comercio consulted with two experienced Peruvian filmmakers who have ventured into horror films to ask them for their five favorite films. Here we tell you.

The Top 5 of Paco Bardales

Paco Bardales, film director and screenwriter (USI).

Journalist, screenwriter and director, Paco Bardales is a fan of horror movies, directing not only the movie “Maligno” in 2016, but also as the writer of “Secreto Matusita” in 2014.

1. “The Exorcist” (1973)

For his ability to build oppressive atmospheres inside the house, his formidable mastery of religious imagery and the eternal struggle between Good and Evil, his scenes of possession and exorcisms that have always been a classic of the genre.

You can watch the movie on HBO Max.

2. “Let me in” / “Låt den rätte komma in” (2008)

His subtlety in adapting a love story and a vampire fable in the most cruel and tender way, at the same time, contributes to making this dark modern Nordic film so contemporary and timeless.

3. “Carrie” (1976)

You mix a powerful Stephen King story with Brian de Palma’s talent for suspense and the result is a formidable film about adolescence, bullying, guilt and a party as bloody as it is incendiary.

Available on Prime Video

4. “The Shining” (1980)

Stanley Kubrick could do whatever he wanted, much to Stephen King’s own original story notwithstanding. From that stubbornness were born the most ominous images of a descent into the hell of the human mind. “Redrum” to infinity.

You can watch the movie on HBO Max.

5. “Halloween” (1978)

John Carpenter reframed slasher movies about serial killers. In this masterpiece, he gave us a strong victim (Laurie Strode) who would no longer tolerate that role and an unbeatable victimizer, almost supernatural (Michael Myers), who were going to face each other at a witch party that ended up becoming eternal.

Bonus track

  • Evil Dead (1981) by Sam Raimi
  • Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979)
  • “Psycho” (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock
  • “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) by Wes Craven
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Coppola

Sandro Ventura’s Top 5

Sandro Ventura managed to become one of the most active producers with 17 films.
Sandro Ventura managed to become one of the most active producers with 17 films.

The Peruvian filmmaker, screenwriter and producer is known for comedies such as “A macabre comedy” (2017), “Papá x Tres” (2019) and “Mundo Gordo” (2022), but he is also a big fan of horror movies, genre which he has ventured with his film “Poseídas” (2015).

1. Tie “The Exorcist” (1973) and “The Shining” (1980)

I think they are decisive films and that they continue to cause as much fear as when they were released, they have not aged. Under the direction of William Friedkin, “The Exorcist” manages to turn religious artifacts and religion itself into something dark. It even seems to me a movie that is difficult to watch at night.

You can watch the movie on HBO Max.

Meanwhile “The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick is totally contrary to “The Exorcist”, with open and illuminated environments, everything very parameterized and squared, that director’s obsession with the center of the frame… but that atmosphere and dark atmosphere that it has the movie. If you ask me which is the best movie, for me both fight for number one. Maybe “The Shining” I like a little more, but it’s almost nothing, and I must admit that “The Exorcist” is probably scarier.

You can watch the movie on HBO Max.

2. “Psycho” (1960)

This Alfred Hitchcock film is not only one of my favorites, but it is also a landmark film in horror cinema. Hitchcock is for me a head filmmaker whose works I have tried to see all. “Psycho” seems to me within the horror genre a brilliant and manipulative film as only this director knew, with a wonderful black and white, as well as splendid performances and absolutely captivating framing, despite the fact that the story is very gloomy. Perhaps, over time, “Psycho” does not cause the fear that it caused before, but I think the surprise remains intact.

You can watch the movie on Star+ and HBO Max.

3. “Halloween” (1978)

John Carpenter’s “Halloween” strikes me as brilliant in its economy of means to strike fear and keep you on edge with what you might call its minimalism, even though it was really low budget. But all this seems remarkable to me, being a film where there is no blood but terror is latent with this monster named Michael Myers.

4. “The enigma of another world” / “The Thing” (1982)

Another John Carpenter movie. “The Enigma of Another World” or “The Thing” I think is a science fiction movie full of terror and tension by having this monster that takes over people’s identity. When I saw her for the first time many years ago, it was something surprising. It’s also proof that practical special effects can be as bold and truthful as only Carpenter showed in this film. Tape that also had the music of Ennio Morricone, a rare thing too, which is a very disturbing music throughout its duration. On the acting side, Kurt Russell is in one of his best roles to date. I love this film, it’s quite a movie.

5. Tie: “Freaks” (1932) and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956)

And at number 5 I’m going to do another tie and put “Freaks” next to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. The first is a film directed by Tod Browning, a totally uncomfortable film that one sees with some suspicion and in which, finally, the so-called ‘freaks’ end up being more human than the ‘normal’ ones. It has an ending that the first time I saw it I almost fell, it was a terrifying thing.

“Freaks” is available on HBO Max.

I tie that one with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, which has several versions, but I choose the original from 1956. This film directed by Don Siegel marks a milestone by presenting a movie like a witch hunt that has a vibe politics where there are these beings that take the body of others. This film is a film to which I paid a small tribute in my own film “Comedia macabra” (2017), where the character of Natalia Salas watches a television movie starring Junior Silva and Alicia Mercado, which is a very imitation of mine. “The Invasion” which is one of the things that I am most proud of in my filmography in general. I would love to do something like this in black and white, and honoring this type of film in the 50s.

Additional features

  • “Eyes without a face” / “Eyes without a face” (1960) by Georges Franju
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Coppola
  • “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and “Dawn of the Living Dead” (1978) by George A. Romero
  • “The Devil’s Legacy” / “Hereditary” (2018)
  • “Suspiria” (2018) by Luca Guadagnino and the original from 1977 by Dario Argento
  • “The Sacrifice of the Sacred Deer” (2017)

Halloween: Peruvian Horror Directors Share Their Favorite Chilling Movies