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Women-Lead Horror Movies to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” – Ghostface

It’s finally spooky season and you know what that means: scary movies. There is nothing better to get in the Halloween spirit than to curl up on your couch watching a scary movie. 

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like Halloween until you step on the first fallen autumn leaf or until the temperature drops below 60 for the first time. And sometimes you need a good movie to get you in the Halloween spirit, so here are my recommendations to prepare you for the spooky season.

“Ready or Not”

Defining what it means to be a girl boss in a horror movie, Samara Weaving leads this 2019 horror film with flair. She plays a bride whose night has suddenly turned from love to gore and she will leave you with her blood-curdling scream left ringing in your ears.


1996’s “Scream” is one of the most quintessential and iconic horror films of all time and it is a necessary October watch. The final girl of all final girls, Sidney Prescott, leads you through this classic slasher as she tries to figure out who is targeting her and her friends. If somehow you haven’t seen it yet, you must immediately.


A play on “Freaky Friday,” “Freaky” is a body-swap horror movie that has you on the edge of your seat. Kathryn Newton plays a 50-year-old killer in a teenage girl’s body so well that you don’t even remember that she is supposed to be imitating Vince Vaughn. The high school slasher makes for a great movie night.

“Jennifer’s Body”

For the perfect Halloween costume inspiration and horror movie in one, “Jennifer’s Body” is the perfect pick. Meghan Fox plays a menacing boy-eating killer better than anyone else could’ve and she plays the role so well you almost want to root for her.


Performances like Mia Goth’s in “Pearl” should get you nominated for an Oscar but the Academy Awards are known for snubbing well-deserved performances like hers. Goth’s performance captivates you throughout the film as you watch her every move, scared of what is to come next.


This horror classic might be old, but it is a must-watch for anyone getting into the horror genre. “Carrie” is such a classic that there have been multiple remakes but, none are better than the 1976 original.


Jordan Peele’s sophomore film, “Us” breaks out as one of the most memorable horror films in recent history. Lupita Nyong’o plays a mother who has to protect her family from herself. It is a travesty that Nyong’o didn’t get nominated for her amazing performance.

“Talk to Me”

If you’re unfamiliar, the film company A24 has produced, made, and/or distributed a number of horror hits, many with female leads like “Midsommar” and “The Witch.” This year it was “Talk to Me” led by newcomer, Sophie Wilde, who makes you never want to take your eyes off the screen.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that the best horror films are led by women and you can’t go wrong with any of these and many others to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Sophia is a junior majoring in Public Relations at Penn State University. She loves watching movies, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends.