The annual Halloween horror-thon
The spookiest movies that you should binge this Halloween
By Colin Macgillivray, Arts Editor
It’s the scariest time of the year, and soon enough, little children will be knocking on your door screaming and begging for you to give them candy. There is nothing more frightening than seeing a child in a frog costume cry because you gave them a Twix bar instead of a Mr. Big. So, why don’t you save yourself some grief and misery, turn out the lights, lock your door and invite a couple of the most gruesome ghouls you know for a scary movie marathon. Don’t know what to watch? I’ve got you covered.
Now I know that science fiction isn’t for everyone and the idea of an alien being scary was ruined by one of the most overrated movies of all time, E.T the Extra Terrestrial, but Alien is a masterpiece. Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night and discovering a nest of unidentifiable eggs hatching in your closet. Pretty spooky, hey? If you’re not scared yet, the egg’s mother is stalking you in the darkness, and will most likely murder you and plant more eggs inside of you. Absolutely terrifying, right? That is basically the premise of Alien, but coupling this already disturbing plot with the haunting claustrophobia of a spaceship, is a recipe for success.
Not only is this film the perfect mashup of science fiction and horror, but it forgoes the now common horror tropes by building a tension-filled atmosphere through beautiful cinematography, an evocative score, and of course, some absolutely brutal moments of violence and horror.
Unfortunately, most of the sequels don’t deliver the same initial terror that Alien harnesses, but the original stands the test of time and is still one of the best movies to watch on Halloween.
28 Days Later
The zombie genre has been done to death. With The Walking Dead essentially ruining zombie themed entertainment forever due to its mediocre, melodramatic, soap-opera plot, it is incredibly refreshing to return to a time where there was some actual originality when it came to the living dead. Enter 28 Days Later. Danny Boyle essentially gave a new life to the dying zombie genre with the film, which is a testament to its revolutionary power.
While you might recognize some of the now overused zombie-tropes, but the attention to detail in this post-apocalyptic horror is what sets it apart. The focus on creating an atmosphere of fear and the unknown, rather than relying on cheap jump scares is refreshing. Some may say it is incredibly derivative, and there have been countless critics who have called it B-movie nonsense, but there is something incredibly endearing about this film. The harrowing journey that Jim, gracefully played by a pre-fame Cillian Murphy goes through is frankly fascinating. There are countless moments where one forgets that they’re watching a zombie movie and not a humanist drama. If you’re looking to be spooked by some frighteningly fast zombies, but also watch an intriguing character study, 28 Days Later is the perfect flick for you.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The gold standard of slasher films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre might be incredibly devoid of substance but there is no doubt that it is absolutely terrifying. It’s cheaply made, roughly shot, grotesquely violent and has no business being good. But it is. Although the violence in this film is certainly not for everyone and many would argue that it is unnecessary and over the top, it sure is scary!
There is a certain charm in each actor’s performance, with the demented Sawyer family providing some unintentional levity due to their sitcom-esque hijinks. At the same time, Leatherface, who is now one of the most iconic figures in the horror genre, is still to this day one of the scariest villains in movie history. The crude directing style, realistic performances and dirty atmosphere that this film reeks of all play into this depraved films themes. It’s a shame that it is written off by so many movie fans due to the violence.
That being said, don’t watch this movie with your baby sister.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is required viewing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of horror and is a must watch for anyone planning a Halloween movie marathon this year.
Halloween is the spookiest time of the year and there are numerous other films out there that will chill you to the bone. If we’re going to talk classics, Rosemary’s Baby remains one of the most haunting exercises in psychological terror to this day, while Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the greatest movies ever made.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a fantastically frightening and hilarious horror that doubles as a poignant social commentary, and 2014’s The Babadook is a surprisingly deep tale about relationships with some excellent scares to boot. Whether you enjoy jump scare filled movies, or would rather watch a psychological thriller, horror is one of the most underrated genres in film so make sure your Halloween is filled with some spooky movies.