You know when it’s that time of year- the wrinkled leaves of dying trees are blanketing the ground; the orange and black decorations adorning the parched streets. The feeling is seasonal; an eerie smog rolling across the town. It is once again October, which means its time to break out the frights!
No Halloween would be complete without some creepy cinema. Just like an actual scare, horror films can add a bloodcurdling good time! With a genre so diverse, selecting the best lineup of scary movies can be a bit overwhelming: but don’t fret. We are here to help you chop down the competition.
The Ring (2002)
The Ring is a great crowd pleaser, chalk full of intense dialogue and fantastical imagery. The great thing about this film is the overall balance of story and fright. The American film makers molded their film in the likes of uber-popular Asian cinematography. The plot is modern and takes an innovative approach towards the unexpected horrors of technology. The ring was the prerequisite to the all too similar, “The Grudge.” Movies these days rely on gore and “quick thrills,” while The Ring manages to carry it’s ominous undertones from start to finish. Adults and children alike will enjoy this, as it’s got an age-appropriate PG-13 rating.
The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “The Shining,” is based on the popular novel by horror-king, Steven King. The film is spectacular to witness, with it’s vast countrysides and exquisite architecture. Furthermore, Kubrick’s use of cinematography dazzles the screen; each shot could easily be a still-frame. The Shining has an exceptional arc, and the plot steadily builds without disappointment. The characters are strange and quirky, and Jack Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime. The overall effect is tremendous.
Looking for a some hacking, slashing and fast-reacting? Saw delivers! Undeniably the best of the Saw series of films, the original Saw set the main-stream standards for American gore. The plot is original, with an appallingly unexpected twist. Though the acting might not be top-of-the-line, the film it’s self is certainly gut-wrenching, and perfect for avid blood-seekers. Just make sure you have a strong stomach!
The Exorcist (1973)
Probably the most notable of horror movies, The Exorcist still frightens people to this day. The film was said to be based on a true account, which only adds to its eerie appeal. Take one dose of god-fearing christianity, three doses of exceptionally creepy child-acting and a pinch of early-hollywood special effects and you get The Exorcist.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
In need of a rocking good shock? House of a 1000 corpses, directed by Rob Zombie, is your cure. Evil is embraced in this clever and visually astounding film. The movie is braised with industrial music and creepy, idiosyncratic characters. Zombie creates a sense of depraved humor with an A+, B-movie feel. Sexy villains, necrophiliacs, deranged hillbillies and crazy clowns will keep you glued to your boob-tube.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Even if you haven’t seen Wes Craven’s signature flick, you undeniably have heard of “Freddy Kruegar,” the psychotic, child-molester who haunts children’s dreams. He’s got razors for fingers and an unnerving face. And thats exactly what you’ll get. Get prepared for the popcorn to fly, as this one is sure to make you jump out of your skin.
Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween films aren’t just about the fear, but also the camp! Evil Dead is a cult-classic that should never be missed. No ominous forest would be complete without thirsty zombies scratching at your cabin door. Furthermore, what could be more campy than bizarre spells and unforetold ancient burial grounds? Evil Dead balances the laughs with the thrills.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
What horror-fest would be complete without brain hungry zombies? Night of the Living Dead is a landmark apocalyptic film, and is a testament to excellence, as the film it’s self was quite low-budget. Other than a few cheesy supporting roles, the acting is sublime. Tension will be high as you relate to the characters and their struggle to not become part of the undead.
Alfred Hitchcock’s gem, “psycho,” will leave an everlasting impression. Hitchcock’s rare ability to frighten without fluff or gore makes for one snazzy suspense-horror-thriller. The infamous “shower scene” is a staple to this day in the modern horror community. If you are looking for more than just quick spurts of fear, Psycho does the trick. The acting is superb and never over-the-top. Each scene tediously builds, combining dark humor with unsettling illusions. The end’s haunting twist will leave you on the floor in disbelief.
The Descent (2005)
There is nothing better than a horror movie that glorifies women. All too often, the genre depicts women as “vulnerable and naive.” The Descent takes a realistic plot, embellishes it with flesh-starving monsters and tosses in a group of butt-kicking, alpha-female rock-climbers. The scenery is spellbinding: gorgeous underground caves, lush forests and lots and lots of velvet blood. The textures and sound work symbiotically to create one of the best, new horror movies.