As the leaves start to fall, the temperature begins to cool and pumpkins transform into jack-o’-lanterns, it’s clear that Halloween is just around the corner. It’s also the perfect time to stay in, turn down the lights and watch a scary movie.
But you may be asking yourself, “There are so many scary movies out there, how could I possibly settle on one movie to watch?” Have no fear – well at least not until you pop in the DVD – because there is a limitless list of horror films for you to choose from.
Back in the early days of cinema, monster movies were all the rage. Whether it be the original King Kong or Them!, the highly realistic tale of giant, mutated ants attacking humanity, monster movies thrive on cheeky and blatantly obvious special effects.
Naturally, this is due to the early era in which these movies originated, but the obvious visuals take away from the actual horror. So if you’re looking for “crap your pants” scary, you may want to find something else.
You could always opt to watch a classic, genre-defining horror film, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The perverse film about a hotel manager with severe mommy issues still influences contemporary horror films. Other recommended classics include Halloween, about the infamous psychopath Michael Myers, The Shining, one of director Stanley Kubrick’s crowning achievements that features a terrifying performance from Jack Nicholson, and The Exorcist, naturally about an exorcism.
Then there are the comedy-horror hybrids, which uncomfortably force you to decide if you should laugh or scream. This year’s The Cabin in the Woods is the perfect example of this. The snarky dialogue is interspersed with scenes of legitimate gore and frights. Other options are Scream and The Evil Dead films.
If you’re looking for pure, over-the-top gore instead of thrills and chills, movies like Suspiria are right for you. Suspiria features candy-color visuals, elaborate death scenes and a completely bonkers soundtrack. Other wonderfully gory films are The Descent and the Saw series – though those movies kind of suck.
So get some blankets for snuggling, and clip your fingernails so you can violently dig them into the arm of an unsuspecting friend. Pick a night this Halloween season to take a break from all that schoolwork and watch a good ol’ scary movie. Admittedly, it may not be as scary as your schoolwork.