For most people, horror movies are just something to watch when you are in the mood for a fright, but for me horror movies are the foundation of my happiness. As you can figure I watch horror movies all year long and probably know too much information about them. But now with the arrival of the best month of the year, it’s finally socially acceptable to be obsessed with everything spooky related including horror movies. Here are my top picks for horror movies to watch this month that will be sure to keep you sleeping with one eye open at night.
- Friday the 13th (1980)
Starting this list off with a classic, Friday the 13th is an 80’s slasher movie about revenge, camping, and defenseless teenagers. When a group of teens pay a visit to Camp Crystal Lake to prepare for their new positions as camp counselors, horrific events begin to occur leaving the teens to fight for survival. This movie features all star cast members such as a young Kevin Bacon, but I wouldn’t get too attached to his character if I were you. Also, Tom Savini’s special effects in the movie are incredible especially considering the time this movie came out. Friday the 13th is a movie you shouldn’t pass up this month, unless it’s the remake, you can pass that one up.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
If your prone to an upset stomach this one might not be for you. Once again following a group of teens just wanting to have fun for the summer until they are side tracked by a very disturbing event that is the catalyst for a series of horrific events that are soon to follow. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is horrifying and at times hard to watch, with that said, this movie is guaranteed to keep your jaw on the floor and force your eyes shut during some of the more macabre moments of the film.
- The Amityville Horror (1979) & (2005)
What’s spookier than a haunted house? Both renditions of this movie, the 1979 one as well as the one remade in 2005 are great options when looking for a suspenseful and scary movie in the paranormal genre. The 2005 remake stars people you may be familiar with like Ryan Reynolds and Chloe Grace Moretz. When a family moves into a huge house for a great price seemingly all too good to be true, unbeknownst to them a mass murder had taken place years prior. Pure evil resides in this house, thus the events that occur there have the family act out of character and perform disturbing actions. Be prepared to be on the edge of your seat because you wont want to miss a single second of either of these films.
- The Exorcist (1973)
This iconic movie was the first horror film to earn a nomination for Best Picture Oscar.The Exorcist actually earned 10 Oscar nominations in 1974, Linda Blair who was only 15 at the time was even nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Out of the 10 nominations, the movie won Oscars for Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Exorcist has been named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 1999, viewers of AMC in 2006, and the editors of Time Out in 2014. This movie follows a mother who seeks help from multiple priests to help her daughter who was possessed by a demonic entity. Pushing the limits for what horror looked like in the 70s, The Exorcist has been able to stand the test of time remaining to be one of the scariest films of all time.
- Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
An anthology horror film similar to films like Creepshow and TV shows like Tales from the Crypt, Trick ‘r Treat showcases five stories relating to the traditions of Halloween. A constant in this movie is Sam, a peculiar trick-or- treater who appears throughout the film to enforce the “rules” of Halloween. Dread Central, a website known for reviewing horror movies gave this movie 5 out of 5 stars, stating, “Trick ‘r Treat ranks alongside John Carpenter’s Halloween as traditional October viewing and I can’t imagine a single horror fan that won’t fall head over heels in love with it.”
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
With a budget of only $114,000 this film grossed over $30 million in the box office. The late, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is about a group of seven people trapped in a farmhouse which is surrounded by a large group of living monsters, zombies as we now refer to them as. Despite the controversy at the time due to the explicit gore of the film which was very shocking during the late 60’s, this movie has been titled as a cult classic by several credible film scholars and critics. This was the first zombie apocalypse movie, paving the way for the hundreds that were to follow and being that the movie was in black and white only emphasizes the creepiness factor of this genre classic.
- Carrie (1976) & (2013)
Based off the novel written by the prestigious and iconic horror author, Stephen King, Carrie deals with a socially outcast girl, Carrie White who is bullied at school and terrorized by her mentaly unstable, religious mother at home. Carrie realizes she possesses telekinetic powers which she uses to her benefit towards the end of the film when she finally gets revenge on her bullies. Stephen Farber stated in a 1978 issue of New West Magazine, “it’s a horror classic, and years from now it will still be written and argued about, and it will still be scaring the daylights out of new generations of moviegoers.” Moreover, a survey taken in October 2008, it was revealed that Carrie was considered one of the most popular movies teens watched on Halloween.
- Scream (1996)
A 90’s horror slasher that revitalized the slasher film genre, utilizing a tongue-in-cheek approach to convey a story that horror fans know all too well. When highschool student, Sidney Prescott becomes the prey of a mysterious killer in a Halloween mask known as Ghostface she must survive the attacks, while trying to figure out who it is that’s behind the mask. This movie is very self aware in knowing that it is a cheesy slasher, with dialogue that is intentionally satirical playing up the slasher conventions. The film was a financial success, earning $173 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing slasher film until the release of Halloween (2018).
- The Evil Dead (1981)
Stephen King cited The Evil Dead as his fifth favorite film of the supernatural horror comedy genre, becoming one of the film’s largest supporters, describing it as the “most ferociously original film of the year”. When a group of college students go on vacation to an isolated cabin in the woods, they ignorantly unlock evil spirits resulting in all havoc breaking loose. The Evil Dead is actually the first horror movie I remember watching, and every scene that took place in the woods was visually shocking. Empire magazine stated, “This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.”
- Halloween (1978)
If you take anything away from this article let it be that if you don’t watch Halloween in the month of October, you’re crazier than Micheal Myers. Halloween is one of the best, if not the best horror movie of all time in my humble opinion. The director, John Carpenter was able to portray what happens to a small town when true evil takes places in the most simple, yet horrifying way possible. After Micheal Myers was put away for 15 years as a result of killing his older sister, Judith, he breaks out and returns to his old neighborhood with murder in his eyes, all the while Dr. Loomis tries to stop him.
This film is set in a fictional, midwestern town called Haddonfield, Illinois providing a shocking backdrop for the disturbing series of events. Jamie Lee Curtis plays protagonist, Laurie Strode; a charismatic, intelligent, and all around the perfect girl next door. With that said, it’s hard to watch what she endures at the mercy of Micheal Myers whom aside from Dr. Loomis, characters refer to as “the boogeyman”. The budget for this film was only $325,000 and it ended up making over $70 million in the box office becoming one of the most influential horror films, inspiring movies like Friday the 13th and Black Christmas. I can’t say enough great things about this movie, you just have to watch it and see for yourself.
Any movie on this list will definitely put you in the Halloween spirit, making your October spooky, fun, and memorable. Grab some hot cocoa, carve a pumpkin and check out some of these flicks, thus completing a perfect fall night.