The black glitter all over the floor from unboxing last year’s Halloween decorations makes me giddy with excitement for the fall season. Making trips to the dollar store and seeing all the ghostly and witchy-themed things to garnish my house with gives me a reason to drag myself out of bed and gives me a little light in my life. I’ve been watching a bunch of scary movies with my roommates lately to celebrate the coming of fall and Halloween, so I’m going to share the highlights!
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
This is my favorite scary movie I’ve seen so far! It has just the right amount of suspense and mystery. The ending scene is so chilling and terrifying I couldn’t stop thinking about it after. My favorite detail is that it was created by a low-budget, largely unknown filmmaker who collected skulls and animal remains off the side of the road for the movie and had the cast wear the same grimy outfit throughout the entire movie since they couldn’t afford duplicates. Even with the circumstances, it has still risen to the top tier of the horror genre for good reason.
2. Scream (1996)
This movie may be the most meta thing I have ever witnessed. There are so many easter eggs and cross-references to other scary movies; it’s almost every scene! This creates a satirical take on slasher films, but in itself is a chilling slasher film with enough plot twists to make your head spin, and enough gore to give you nightmares. (Also, the fashion in this movie is kind of iconic and I definitely got some inspiration from it for new fall outfits!)
3. Candyman (1992)
This one is weird . . . but it is a classic! I still can’t figure out if the killer really exists or not. It is not your typical horror movie because it ties in themes of history, racial tensions and folklore instead of following the same old tropes, which makes it all the more interesting. I have yet to see the remake, but the original is definitely worth watching.
4. IT (2017)
I can’t comment on the original, but I loved the remake. Their friendships seem so authentic on-screen. I love how this movie weaves a coming-of-age tale into horror. It is one of the less scary ones on this list (in my opinion), so I would start here if you don’t like all the murder and gore. Also, what would Halloween be without a little Stephen King?
5. Us (2019)
With more psychological horror than gore, this movie left me with so many unanswered questions about the characters’ world. While there are a lot of mysteries, there is still incredible world-building, storytelling and horror that will leave you blown away.
6. Train to Busan (2016)
If you are obsessed with Squid Game right now and you want to see more of Gong Yoo, the recruiter in Squid Game, look no further than Train to Busan. This is an action-packed zombie movie where the characters are trapped on a train when the zombies attack. Train to Busan is Gong Yoo’s breakout film into the international film scene, while already being a popular actor in Korea.
7. Halloween (1978)
A list of Halloween horror movies would not be complete without the movie that inspired todays modern horror genre! The slasher formula had to come from somewhere and this is the place. It tells the story of a psychopathic murderer that breaks out of prison to search for more victims.
If you need something lighter when you’re tired of the horror movies, I’ve been having a great time revisiting some classic Halloween-themed children’s movies from my childhood (not to mention that 90s TV for kids is unmatched).
8. Casper (1995)
I loved Casper the friendly ghost as a child and so this was a great one when I need something light! I can’t just watch murders and hauntings all day; that would be weird and kind of depressing. This one is a heartwarming freindship between a girl and her ghostly friend.
9. Halloweentown (1998)
Most of us have probably seen this well-loved favorite, but it is still enjoyable now in adulthood! The whimsical sets and costumes help tell the story of a girl who finds out she is a witch and needs to use her good witch powers to save Halloweentown.