Be prepared to be scared

October 31, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… spooky season. Most high school students have been celebrating at haunted houses or Halloween parties all October long because, unfortunately, Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year. We may be too old to trick or treat, but that does not mean that we don’t deserve to have a good scare on Halloween, even if it is on a school night. Lucky for you, I would consider myself a horror movie fanatic, and I have compiled a list of the best scary movies. While I enjoy being scared, I understand that opinions on horror movies are very polarized. I have included movies for everyone’s spooky taste, even those who despise fear of any kind.


A timeless serial killer classic…

Halloween (2007)

This film has been remade countless times; in fact, the 2018 version was released last weekend. Although I have not seen it yet, I am confident that it will live up to the high expectations of the franchise. Michael Myers is an iconic serial killer that has retained an audience since the original version in 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis played Michael’s sister, Laurie, in the original film, and 40 years later, she returns to kill Michael. However, the version that I would recommend for a spooky night-in is the 2007 Halloween directed by Rob Zombie. The movie starts by showing Michael Myers’ rough upbringing. He shows signs of a serial killer at a young age. He begins with torturing animals, but this behavior escalates and he kills a school bully, followed by his older sister, her boyfriend, and his step-dad. After being found guilty for these murders, Michael is committed to a mental institution, but escapes seventeen years later on Halloween night to find his little sister. Because Michael’s sister is babysitting the night he escapes, I would not suggest watching this if you babysit at night and tend to get scared easily. It may also hit close to home because it is set in an Illinois suburb. While it may be disturbing, this movie is intense, suspenseful and embraces all the characteristics of a quality horror film.


Another classic serial killer franchise..

Scream (1996-2011)

Scream is another iconic serial killer movie. The ghost face mask has been a trademark Halloween item since the series started in 1996. Each movie in the series has a kicker twist ending, and this franchise is what sparked my own scary movie obsession. If you tend to enjoy 90’s teen movies, this is just like that, but the high school class is being tormented by a serial killer. There are four movies in the franchise and each follows the same characters, centered around Sidney Prescott. She is a high school girl who is targeted by the serial killer in the ghost face mask in each movie. A characterizing detail of these films is the phone calls from the serial killer. He will call his victims and talk in a creepy voice to build suspense. The deputy Dewey Riley and the reporter Gale Weathers are also returning characters in each Scream movie who are trying to solve the case as teenagers are being brutally murdered. If you’re looking to have a movie marathon, the Scream movies are suspenseful teen horror movies that are scary without being too intense.


If you’re into the supernatural…

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal Activity is filmed in a way that tricks the audience into believing it is real. Demons are haunting a family, and the entire story line is shown through home videos and security camera footage. A young couple moves into a house in a suburban neighborhood but they are terrorized by a demon in their own home. Security cameras catch strange occurrences of things moving in their house while they sleep. The cuts between different camera angles builds suspense, and this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are six movies in the paranormal activity series. Katie is the main character in the first film and she claims that she has been followed by demonic spirits her entire life. The rest of the movies in the series center around Katie or her sister, who is also followed by demons. Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel that shows Katie and her sister as children, revealing that the demons have always haunted them. If you believe in ghosts and are looking for a realistic thriller, I would recommend the Paranormal Activity series.


If you can handle a little gore…

The Evil Dead (2013)

The Evil Dead centers around a young woman named Mia who is a drug addict. Her friends accompany her to a short stay in an isolated cabin in the woods to help her cope with her addiction. Little do they know that some sinister spirits live in those woods, and with classic horror movie ignorance, they unknowingly release the spirits. This one is a remake of the 1981 original. While the ratings are not as high as the original, it is a fun film to watch with your friends and not take too seriously. The acting isn’t too great but the special effects are still bound to give you a scare if that’s what you’re looking for. The Evil Dead is a stereotypical horror movie where a group of friends stupidly put themselves into a very unfortunate situation, but it is entertaining. I would suggest this if you want to be scared, grossed out, and laugh all while watching one movie.


One you can see in the theaters…

The Nun (2018)

The Nun begins with an intense scene where a young nun in Romania kills herself to avoid becoming possessed. Another young nun and priest are then sent to investigate the tragedy, and what they discover is far darker than a suicide. The Romanian church has been exposed to unholy spirits and the catacombs have an open portal to hell. This movie is based on the character Valak who was introduced in the Conjuring films, and it stars Taissa Farmiga who has also had roles in American Horror Story. While plot lines including nuns and unholy spirits has been used before, I think this movie has a different angle and is particularly intense. This is the kind of movie where someone would throw their popcorn while seeing it in the theaters. It is full of jump scares, supernatural occurrences, and unexpected twists. Not all of the reviews were outstanding; however, I think that this movie took a classic plot and used new techniques to make it more intense. I would definitely recommend seeing the Nun before it leaves theaters.


One you can find on Netflix…

Open House (2018)

While they have made some hit shows, Netflix is not known for having fantastic original movies. For The Open House, they used the same actor who plays Clay in their hit show Thirteen Reasons Why, and his performance did not disappoint. Dylan Minnette plays a teen boy who lives with his mom in her sister’s secluded mountain home after his dad is murdered in a mysterious hit and run. Strangers are constantly in and out of the house because it is on the market, but they are broke and have nowhere else to stay. The mother and son are the only ones in the huge house when strange occurrences begin. This movie is super suspenseful and will definitely get your adrenaline pumping, but there is one problem: the ending sucks. The plot seems fine until the end, where plot line never gets tied together, and ends abruptly. If you’re looking for a scare and nothing more, you should watch this movie. If you will be disappointed with an abrupt ending and loose ends to the plot, this may not be the movie for you. Overall, the beginning and middle of this movie were worth the terrible ending because it is evident that the directors know how to build suspense and the acting was very convincing.


If you would consider yourself a scaredy cat…

Coraline (2009)

If you don’t want to be scared, but still watch something a little freaky, Coraline is perfect. Tim Burton always manages to make his animated films kids friendly and a little creepy. Coraline is a curious eleven year old girl who explores her new house and discovers parallel worlds where people have buttons as eyes. She has to escape and get back to her real parents so she doesn’t get stuck in the new world. This quirky film will push you out of your comfort zone without actually being scary.

Happy Halloween, Dukes!

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