I am such a sucker for a good horror movie. Walter and I watch scary movies all year round, so I have quite a few recommendations for the Halloween season. I didn’t include some favorites like Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown, but those are obvious go-to’s for wholesome Halloween fun (and we already watched them as soon as October began)! I broke these down into categories, so hopefully if you like it really spooky or if you just want a little goofy gore, you can find what you’re looking for!
Suspiria - The Dario Argento classic is not only perfectly shot and designed, but the tale of a ballerina at a boarding school with a terrifying history is insanely spooky. Look out for a remake coming out on October 26!
Carrie - What would a classic scary movie list be without watching Sissy Spacek crush it as the girl you probably would want to be a little nicer to in high school?
Black Christmas - Technically a Halloween AND a Christmas movie! The story of a group of sorority girls who are left alone over the holidays for winter break, when they start receiving strange phone calls. A psychological thrasher, filled with gore and real-life fear.
Hellraiser - This movie is just SO. FREAKING. COOL. A lot of goth fun.
Rosemary’s Baby - Beautifully shot, perfectly cast. If you have never seen this one, you are doing yourself a major disservice. It’s one of those movies that you can watch every year when Halloween comes around, because it’s so captivating that it doesn’t matter that you know the ending.
The Shining - Another kind of “duh” classic, but Walter made the good point that starting off with all of these well known classics would give you folks a better idea of my taste. That way, you could sense of if the other recommendations would be for you or not! This was one of the first movies to really terrify me to my core. I grew up watching Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer (which I still love, especially the Scream franchise) but this was the first movie that truly haunted me, instead of just grabbing me with the jump-scares.
NOT SO SCARY:
Sleepaway Camp - Gory and pretty silly, this slasher will have you laughing out loud at the quintessential B Movie Horror.
Hausu - The perfect Japanese horror comedy about young schoolgirls who go to visit their friend’s aunt, only to find out that the house she lives in might have some ideas of its own. Incredibly visually stimulating.
Bad Taste - A horror comedy/splatter film made by Peter Jackson. Yes, THAT Peter Jackson. He made a couple of splatter films in New Zealand before he went on to do the Lord of the Rings series, and let me tell you - you would not believe they were made by the same guy. It was between this one and Dead Alive (AKA Braindead), but the story of aliens coming down to kidnap humans and turn them into galactic fast food is just too hilarious.
The Love Witch - Just look at this gorgeous queen right here. Made by feminist film maker Anna Biller, this gorgeous tribute to 1970s technicolor is a movie that I want to live inside of. Elaine is a young witch who uses magick to make men fall in love with her, to tragic ends when it doesn’t go the way that she wants.
Dale and Tucker VS. Evil - Well meaning country folk, Dale and Tucker, are on the vacation of their dreams when some kids from the city start camping near them in the woods. They are mistaken for evil psychopaths, but turn out to be just the heroes that the kids need when real problems begin to arise. Perfectly executed horror comedy.
Creep - The story of a filmmaker who answers an online ad to do some videography for a stranger in the middle of the woods. Things get more and more bizarre as time goes on, leaving you deeply uncomfortable.
Hereditary - We saw this one in theaters and were nauseatingly uncomfortable during the entire slow burn. A couple of tragedies lead a family down a dark path, examining the deeply disturbing parts of their family history.
Veronica - This is based off a true story about a real-life demonic experience had by a young girl in Spain, that ended terribly. So scary that I wouldn’t let Walter leave me alone for the rest of the night, including when he had to go to the bathroom.
The Eyes of My Mother - Trauma takes over a young woman’s life, and her morbid curiosity (inspired by her mother’s life as a surgeon) leads her into some really nightmarish situations.
Goodnight Mommy - Walter didn’t like this one, I am a sucker for great shots and imagery, so I really did. Twin brothers become suspicious of their mother’s cruel behavior after some reconstructive surgery that disguises her face in bandages. Is she even really their mother?
House of 1,000 Corpses - Low-key a classic at this point, since it came out in 2003. I’m old, though, so it just doesn’t seem like that long ago to me. Rob Zombie’s directorial debut, this story encompasses so many things that I am afraid of: kidnapping, torture, really disturbed backwoods folk (the kind of people that might show out to the midterm polls, so REGISTER TO VOTE!!!!!!!!!)
Cache´ - Michael Haneke’s (of Funny Games) movies are always so disturbing. This one is the story of a young family who starts receiving videotapes of their house, portraits of their intimate life, that threaten their safety. There is nothing that the cops can do about it, there is no source to be found. They are forced to dig deeper and try to engage the person taunting them, and there are things in their past that they might not want to dig up with it.
Green Room - Bear with me here, because the premise is going to sound so, so, so dumb. I was mad at Walter when he was bringing me to this movie, and I apologized profusely after it was over. A punk band witnesses an act of violence at a show, and subsequently become hostages of the white power skinheads who stand to get in trouble if their witnesses leave. I know, it sounds like a movie that a 7th grader who just listened to their first Germs record would come up with. I SWEAR IT IS NOT! It’s SO GOOD!
The Invitation - An invitation to a dinner party becomes an invitation into a cult in this wonderfully paced thrill ride. The lighting is so beautiful, the story is captivating, the actors and actresses are super hot. It doesn’t get better. Just the perfect vibe.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me - David Lynch’s prequel to the incredible television series. Investigate the death of local sweetheart Laura Palmer, and find out that there are demons and darkness at play here well beyond what this seemingly postcard town is willing to let on.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer - A surgeon becomes a mentor to a troubled teen. He is faced with the ultimate sacrifice, and his home life is ruined because of it. I can’t tell you too much about this one without giving it away, but I can tell you that it’s a nerve-wracking watch and that Walter and I didn’t speak for probably a half hour after we walked out of the theater.
There are TONS more that I could have put here and decided not to, because no one wants to read a blog post that takes 45 minutes to get through. This should be a good start for the rest of the Halloween month, though! Let us know what some of your favorites are, and Happy Haunting!