As the end of October draws near, many of us yearn for the morbid, terrifying spirit of Halloween. We feel an otherworldly pull. Halloween represents a time to escape reality and revel in the darkness.
The world of horror fiction and film is open to all. Whether your taste is more Poe, Lovecraft, King, Hitchcock, or Shyamalan, there is bound to be something to suit your tastes.
As usual, we’ve got beer on the brain. Our love of film has gotten us thinking, what if we paired five of our beers together with five fantastically grim and scary films?
We’re not the first to ever suggest the idea of pairing beer and film. Of course, pairing beer with food is the most obvious (and enjoyable) way to enhance the flavour of a tasty malt beverage.#
But today it’s all about the horror film genre! Join us as we step into the world of the dark and the dank.
We’ve put our heads together to match up five of our favourite Halloween films with our current favourites at the brewery. To be honest, not all horror films are Halloween films, and not all Halloween films are horror films.
In other words, we may have taken some liberties with this list to squeeze in some staff favourites.
Remember, this isn’t an official list by any means. If you have pairing suggestions, make sure to @us on social media!
There is no other film that perfectly weds both science fiction and horror as Ridley Scott’s Alien. The original movie poster states, “In space no one can hear you scream” but that isn’t the case when watching this movie–your mates, neighbours and anyone in proximity will hear all of your screams.
Scott chose not to give us many glimpses of the extraterrestrial throughout the film. Instead, it is mostly up to us to imagine the horror of the beast. When we do see the alien, we are filled with absolute terror. Swiss artist H. R. Giger’s concept of the alien is haunting and disturbingly sexual.
The end result is a darkly lit, claustrophobic horror film in space that would be right at home in the Lovecraft universe. Sigourney Weaver’s performance as a tough-as-nails female crew member taking the lead was quite progressive in 1979 as well.
The character Ripley just oozes competence and independence–an original “Lumber Jill”.
We’re not kidding about Alien. It is one of the most terrifying films we have ever seen. Good thing Lumber Jill is our full-strength (5.1%) IPA. That means it can help take the edge off when you are holding your breath and waiting for the alien to leap onto the screen.
Trust us, you’ll find yourself taking a big ‘sip’ after getting through that chest-bursting scene (poor Kane)!
After Alien, we think it’s nice to have a breather. When released, Shaun of the Dead was a breath of fresh air at that! Another classic, 28 Days Later, had seemingly said the final word on the zombie film genre. And Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was the icing on the cake.
That’s it, zombie films are sorted. Time to move on, right? Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg didn’t think so! Reuniting with Spaced cast member Nick Frost as well, the writing duo penned a true original.
Shaun of the Dead is full of laughs but it still manages plenty of scares. It’s packed with classic scenes and one-liners making it extremely rewatchable. Wright and Pegg cite many inspirations while writing the script including Raising Arizona, Back to the Future and The Birds.
Like Shaun of the Dead, our Small Kingdom IPA is a “thank you to those who came before [and] passed all they had to us.” Wright and Pegg are true cinephiles who give a nod to those who paved the way for their brilliantly fresh take on a zombie film..
Life is getting increasingly difficult and complex on our tiny island. Sometimes, it’s nice to retreat with a “nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.” As a 0.5% IPA packed with hoppy goodness, Small Kingdom is a “slice of fried gold” for waiting out the end of the world in the Winchester.
Few directors that can compete with the likes of auteur Stanley Kubrick. The source material for The Shining comes from Stephen King’s novel of the same name. However, as expected Kubrick takes many creative decisions that abandon the original story (much to the chagrin of the author).
In fact, King is on record stating that The Shining is the only film adaptation of his work that he could “remember hating”. Regardless, the viewer is hooked from the opening tracking shot behind Danny as he pedals his tricycle through The Overlook Hotel.
While you watch Jack meet his frosty demise, think about how you are helping people improve their mental health by swimming in the frozen waters of Scotland.
For our next film, we are taking a massive detour. What We Do in the Shadows is labelled as a “horror comedy film.” Take that with a grain of salt, because the film is probably about 95-99% improv, running gags, and absolute hilarity.
Directors Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi have captured lightning in a bottle. This New Zealand production had a humble budget of fewer than 1.4 million pounds. The filmmakers, cast, and crew didn’t let that stop them from making an absolute banger.
The spoof is filmed as a documentary about four vampire flatmates. You will find the joys and rigmarole of being undead to pack a boatload of laughs. And confrontations with rival werewolves and an Unholy Masquerade with “The Beast”, we think What We Do in the Shadows invites in the Halloween spirit unlike most any other film.
Like Shadows, Easy Rinder is a refreshing take on something classic. And unlike most films in this list, the vampire mockumentary aims to take you on a smooth and easy ride for 85 minutes.
Full of fruity citrus and orange zest, we think our 0.5% hefeweizen is a perfect match for the little ray of October sunshine that is What We Do in the Shadows.
Our list wouldn’t be proper without the cult classic that is John Carpenter’s Halloween. Spawning a franchise with over a dozen films, it’s the original that still stands up as the best of the bunch.
We think there is nothing as unsettling as watching Mike Meyers (not that one!) silently stalk and kill his prey. Only this time, he picks on the wrong teenager to follow.
Halloween introduced the world to Jamie Lee Curtis as high schooler Laurie Strode. Meyers begins to stalk young Laurie, supposing her to be helpless. As it turns out, it’s everyone else that becomes fodder for the Bill Shatner-masked assassin.
Our Shetland Pony Pale Ale is full of grapefruit, lemon and gooseberry. And just like our protagonist from Halloween, our pale ale punches well above its weight. Our 2.8% pale won a gold medal in the 2022 European Beer Challenge for 4.0-6.0% ABV.
Don’t be like Mike Meyers and mistake Shetland Pony because of her size. Instead, feel free to drink copious amounts as you watch the teenager outwit the demented inhuman monster.
That’s all folks! Whatever you get up to for this ghoulish season, make sure to squeeze in a few films from this list (and drink responsibly). Until next time, cheers!