We all know someone who hates horror movies. Maybe you are one of those people. But when it comes to celebrating the spooky season, watching a horror movie with your friends is one of the best ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Luckily for those who don’t like a good cinematic scare, horror is one of the most diverse and unique genres in cinema, offering something for everyone. For those looking to find a season-appropriate viewing experience this Halloween, here are our top 10 Halloween movie recommendations, in no particular order.
1. “Halloween” (1978)
John Carpenter’s early Michael Myers venture helped establish slasher film, and with it many genre trends that persist in horror to this day. With its iconic score and famous lead performance by Jamie Lee Curtis, it’s both a foundational and much-loved horror film.
John Carpenter’s early Michael Myers venture helped establish slasher film, and with it many genre trends that persist in horror to this day. ”
2. “Her House” (2020)
Centered on a Sudanese refugee couple who fled to Britain, Remi Weekes’ directorial debut embodies horror’s unique ability to convey both terrifying entertainment and important social or moral messages. Despite its recent release, it’s already shaping up to be a beloved canonized horror for years to come.
3. “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)
You can’t talk about horror without mentioning director Guillermo Del Toro. Del Toro enjoys portraying goodness in the weird or monstrous, fully clothed in intricate makeup and prosthetics, and this film about a grieving boy who begins to encounter the supernatural at a Spanish boarding school is no exception.
4. “The Thing” (1982)
John Carpenter makes another appearance on this list with his paranoid thriller about a shape-shifting alien discovered in Antarctica. Through its combination of high-level production design, incredible practical effects, intense narrative moments, and a formidable ensemble, Carpenter’s “The Thing” is in many ways the great American horror movie.
5. “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)
Centered on five college friends who start having strange encounters in a forest, “The Cabin in the Woods” combines years of well-established genre trends to put a unique spin on what we all love about horror. This is one for the well-initiated horror fan, who will encounter new spins on beloved tropes.
6. “Dawn of the Dead” (1978)
Another seminal and influential horror film, one that is often alluded to in more recent ventures, is George Romero’s classic zombie invasion film. “Dawn of the Dead” setting the standard for zombie horror, from campy acting to heavy makeup and practical effects, while presenting a subversive societal message.
7. “Evil Dead II” (1987)
Speaking of campy, Sam Raimi’s indie horror game fully leans into the genre’s outrageousness. With over-the-top performances, gory practical effects, and unique camera techniques, this wild watch centers on a man battling the evil spirit he accidentally awakens in a secluded cabin.
8. “The Shining” (1980)
Based on the literary book “Master of Horror”, by Stephen King, and directed by cinematic titan Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” follows a family struggling with the paranormal and psychological threats of wintering in a mountaintop hotel. Visually iconic and featuring an all-time performance from Jack Nicholson, Kubrick’s film is widely considered one of the greatest horror films.
9. “Get Out” (2017)
Emerging from comedy with a powerful and disturbing start, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” has garnered critical and social attention for both its artistry and commentary, once again reminding us what horror is truly capable of. as she addresses issues of race and class. Both darkly funny and surreal, “Get Out” is both a captivating watch and an important platform for rich discussion.
Both funny and surreal, “Get Out” is both an engrossing watch and an important platform for rich discussion. ”
10. Scream (1996)
After decades of contributing to the slasher subgenre, Wes Craven took a break from serious work to direct “Scream,” a satirical take on the slasher trends that Craven himself set. Following a young woman who fears being the target of a serial killer, “Scream” embodies both the energy of a classic slasher while making fun of it, giving it a unique combination of intensity and comedic fun brought to life by a talented ensemble.
Many of these films have been screened for students by the Film Arts Committee, which organizes screenings of interesting, notable, or important films every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Bytwerk Theatre. For more information, contact Kipp De Man at [email protected].