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IT: Chapter Two – head back in time 27 years with these horror classics


Get ready to return to Derry, Maine when It: Chapter Two arrives in Cineworld this September.

We pick up 27 years after the Losers' Club first defeated the child-eating entity known as Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), as the shapeshifting clown resurfaces to spread his terror once again. It’s now up to an all-grown-up Losers Club to return to their hometown and face their deepest fears, as they must finish what they started nearly three decades earlier.

James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are among those portraying the older Losers, with director Andy Muschietti back behind the camera. With the latest trailer sparking huge buzz at Comic-Con, we can’t wait to see Pennywise back on our screens.

As mentioned the number 27 holds special significance, particularly in terms of the gap between the two It instalments. The passage of time plays a pivotal role in Chapter Two, as past recriminations, guilts and phobias are revealed to have gathered unpleasant power in the years since Pennywise was first defeated. In fact, the evil entity is now actively seeking revenge against the Losers, and hatches more diabolical schemes to aid him in his goal.

Interestingly, the 2017 It film hit our screens 27 years after Tim Curry portrayed Stephen King’s creepy clown in the TV miniseries. That got us thinking: which horror gems arrived on our screens 27 years ago in 1992? We've done our own time-travelling and selected some nostalgic classics.

Scroll down beneath the poster to discover what they are.

It: Chapter Two Pennywise movie poster

1. Alien 3

The feature film debut from Fight Club’s David Fincher, the third instalment in the Alien saga isn’t typically held in the same regard as its predecessors. Famously, Alien 3 went through multiple script re-writes and a particularly troubled production, although the movie still has its fans.

Set shortly after the events of Aliens, Alien 3 sees series protagonist Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash-landing on an isolated planet used as an all-male prison. In typical Alien fashion, Ripley wasn’t alone as a stowaway face hugger births a new breed of xenomorph.

As the vicious creature hunts the prison's inhabitants one-by-one, Ripley face her demons in another claustrophobic blend of action and horror.

2. Braindead (aka Dead Alive)

Before he blew audiences away with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Kiwi filmmaker Peter Jackson was cutting his teeth in the late eighties and early nineties with some truly insane (and utterly gross) B-movies like Meet the Feebles, Bad Taste and – in 1992 – Braindead.

A zombie movie like you’ve never seen before, Braindead sees mild-mannered Lionel (Timothy Balme) attempt to cover-up a zombie outbreak after his mother (Elizabeth Moody) is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey at the Wellington Zoo. As events escalate into blood-drenched carnage, Lionel must find a way to stop the flesh-hungry horde before it’s too late.

Downright hilarious (for those with a dark sense of humour) and brilliantly bizarre, this cult classic is a must for any horror fan – just don’t eat before watching it.

3. Candyman

While the likes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th set the slasher movie ablaze in the eighties, when the nineties rolled around it was Candyman that injected fresh blood into the genre.

Based on Clive Barker’s short story The Forbidden from his Book of Blood anthology, the film adaptation follows grad student Helen (Virginia Madsen) researching local urban legends for her thesis.

She soon stumbles across the tale of the titular figure, who’s said to appear if you repeat his name while looking in a mirror. But after discrediting the myth, the real Candyman (Tony Todd) isn’t amused, vowing "to shed innocent blood" to reignite people’s fear of him.

Complete with charming charisma and hook hand, Candyman is a criminally underrated slasher icon worth remembering. And he’s soon to be resurrected in a Jordan Peele-produced remake, due for release in 2020, and starring Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

4. Army of Darkness

After the success of 1987’s Evil Dead 2, writer-director Sam Raimi upped the ante five years later with beloved cult classic Army of Darkness.

In the movie, protagonist Ash (Bruce Campbell) is sucked back in time to 1300 – however, being the lovable idiot that he is, Ash misspeaks the incantation that can take him back to his own time. In the process, he unwittingly unleashes a powerful spirit and their undead army.

Brimming with outrageous one-liners from the king of cult and gallons of wacky undead fun, Army of Darkness is one seriously groovy horror-comedy.

5. Man Bites Dog

Highly acclaimed and incredibly disturbing, Belgian mockumentary Man Bites Dog centres around a team of documentary filmmakers following serial killer Ben (co-director and co-writer Benoît Poelvoorde), a charismatic man with a passion for art, philosophy and murder.

Initially beginning as a black comedy, the film becomes increasingly bleak when the crew become involved in Ben’s vicious acts of violence, and as we’re watching our role as the audience falls between spectator and accomplice.

Largely interpreted as a commentary on an audience’s lust for violence in media, Man Bites Dog is a biting comedy that’s unflinching in its brutal portrayal of violence – definitely not for the faint-hearted.

6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The Godfather’s Francis Ford Coppola brought the 1897 Gothic tale to life with extravagant style in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

The movie stars Gary Oldman as the iconic horror figure, and a much-derided Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, the clerk who falls prey to the vampire’s evil schemes.

Snagging three Oscars, including one for Eiko Ishioka’s sumptuous costumes, the movie stays pretty close to the source material as it chronicles the monstrous love triangle between Dracula, Mina (Winona Ryder), and Harker when the vampiric count moves to London. The bloodsucker is in search of Mina who he believes to be the incarnation of his lover who committed suicide centuries earlier.

Oozing with stellar performances and effortless style – and bucketloads of stylised gore effects – it’s no surprise that this incarnation of Dracula has become a horror classic.

7. Ghostwatch

Although technically a one-off TV special as opposed to a feature film, Ghostwatch is more than worthy of a place on this list.

Hosted by Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene and Craig Charles, the BBC special was aired on Halloween night under the guise of an investigative report. Its aim: to document apparent supernatural goings-on in a north London home brought on by a poltergeist named Pipes.

But what makes Ghostwatch so remarkable is how, despite being filmed weeks in advance and listed as a drama in Radio Times, thousands believed the events to be genuine. Resulting in a mass uproar and a tragic suicide, the show was never broadcasted again on UK television.

Years ahead of its time, it continues to haunt the minds of an entire generation.

As it turns out, 1992 was a sublime year for horror movies, so which of these was your favourite? Let us know @Cineworld and prepare for the arrival of It: Chapter Two on 6th September.

Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.