With the first week of October officially coming to a close, we head into the weekend with some time on our hands and looking to get into the spirit of Halloween. Thanks to the variety of streaming services and digital downloads, we are faced with hundreds of different options when trying to select a horror movie, oftentimes resulting in spending the length of a movie just trying to narrow down what to watch.
Horror fans enjoy genre films all year long, enjoying tales of monsters, ghosts and the undead through a variety of narratives. When it comes to Halloween, some movie fans will settle for virtually any type of horror movie featuring any type of scary subject matter, as it might be a genre they generally avoid. For more experienced horror hounds, there's a certain subset of movie that fully embraces the mood and tone of the Halloween season.
Scroll down to see some spooky flicks to help build your excitement for the upcoming holiday!
The strength of the original Halloween is that the holiday festivities of donning a mask gave caution to any suspicious individuals, making you think twice about the creep down the street who might be staring at you. Similarly, Hellions taps into a similar fear, but trades creeps in jumpsuits for little kids in seemingly innocent attire.
After finding out she's become pregnant by her boyfriend, a teenaged girl spends the night at home answering the door for trick or treaters. When a particular trio of kids seems to loom around her house, the teen realizes these creepy children are after much more than candy.
In addition to tapping into the primal fears of Halloween, Hellions also borrows a healthy amount from the Evil Dead films, as the film descends into the realm of surrealism to frighten its viewers. The film is sure to make you think twice before answering the door ever again.prevnext
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
One of the most highly-regarded haunted house movies, The Legend of Hell House shows an entirely different exploration of a supernatural setting than has become the norm in films like the Paranormal Activity series, focusing on science more than fear.
A combination of mediums and scientific researchers head to a home regarded as the "Mount Everest of haunted houses" to begin an investigation into the home in hopes of proving conclusively that life exists after death. The team immediately starts to experience strange happenings, but rather than flee from the situation, they aim to uncover the root of the problem. What the team discovers surprises everyone involved, reminding them that few things are scarier than what humans are capable of.
Many contemporary films rely on jump scares and loud noises to get their point across, but this haunted house film from the '70s portrays brave characters who aren't easily shaken by what would send other characters in modern movies running. The film has strong performances and creates an overall mood of unease, easily earning its reputation as one of the best haunted house movies of all time.prevnext
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of the most timeless and regularly adapted spooky stories, written by Washington Irving. This version of the story takes a few liberties with the original story, but all those liberties pay off.
Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) demands science and logic be implemented when dealing with murder, forcing his superiors to send him to investigate a series of bizarre murders in Sleepy Hollow. Many of the town's residents blame the murders on a "Headless Horseman," which Crane dismisses. Through his time in the town, Crane traces the root of the murder to an actual human, but the investigator can't deny the supernatural involvement of the vengeful horseman.
Directed by Tim Burton, the director crafts an incredibly eerie tone that became a staple of every one of his films, almost to the point of the filmmaker becoming a parody of himself. Those strengths work perfectly to craft the tone of Sleepy Hollow and Depp, who also has become typecast as an eccentric character wearing makeup, finds the right balance between odd and endearing in his portrayal of Crane.prevnext
We Are Still Here (2015)
Ghost stories on film often rely on mood and tone to scare their viewers, showing creaky doors and dark shadows to convey a feeling of unease. This is true of a majority of We Are Still Here, but the film also packs a punch in a blood-soaked finale that is unlike virtually any other ghost story.
Hoping to put their lives back together after the death of their son, a couple relocates to an old house in New England with a fresh start. After a few chance encounters with the local community and one too many bizarre experiences in the house, the couple realizes there's something living in the house with them. Sadly, these spirits not only don't want to leave, but have a score to settle, causing a massive showdown full of gruesome practical effects.
What makes We Are Still Here so effective is its unique blend of classic ghost story tropes while also injecting it with contemporary filmmaking. Additionally, the wintery New England setting taps into the change in seasons as we all begin bundling up just a little bit more to keep away the chill, which this film surely brings.prevnext
The Houses October Built (2014)
For many, the best way to celebrate October is by staying in and watching a variety of scary programming. For others, heading out to experience some real-live frights in a haunted house is the way to go, which The Houses October Built uses as its premise.0comments
In hopes of finding the scariest haunted house the country has to offer, a group of friends visit every haunted attraction they can think of, no matter how popular or how remote. To say these friends meet some "colorful characters" is an understatement, as one attraction in particular seems to result in discovering some truly sadistic people who will pull out all the stops to scare attendees, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.
Horror fans who live in major cities are lucky to be able to attend haunted attractions with high production value, but those who live in more rural areas have to settle for much more rudimentary frights. If you've ever been to a small town haunted hayride, Houses October Built taps into the fears you have when thinking about the type of person who gets their kicks from scaring strangers all month long.prev