Counting Down to Halloween: Classic Movies to Enjoy With Your Friends

October is best spent watching spooky movies, overindulging in candy, dressing in elaborate costumes, and obsessively purchasing Halloween decorations to make our hearts and homes content! Personally, I love curling up in a blanket with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and binge-watching as many scary movies as I can from October 1 to October 31. Halloween is such an exciting time of year, especially for those who love classic Halloween movies as much as me! Naturally, I am a huge fan of horror movies because I find it fascinating just how much unnerving situations can frighten a person, even the ones we know are fake. In my opinion, there is nothing quite like watching a movie that is so terrifying that it makes your skin crawl with discomfort! There are so many great movies to choose from during the Halloween season, but don’t worry if you are feeling overwhelmed! Although it was very hard to choose, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Halloween-themed and scary movies.

  1. 1. Carrie (1976)

    Salsa dancing

    Brian De Palma's Carrie is by no means your standard scary movie with the same boring, drawn out plot. Part of what makes this movie better than most is that the protagonist, Carrie, is not another cliché product of the horror genre: she's a shy and unpopular high school Senior with extraordinary powers. She can manipulate things without touching them, a rare ability known as telekinesis. Throughout the movie, Carrie's powers manifest in various ways, but things take a turn for the worst on prom night. Given that she is forced to grow up in an abusive, religious household and then endure additional torment at school, it is no wonder why she finally snaps. Ultimately, Carrie vows to exact revenge on the people who torment her.

  2. 2. Halloween (1978)

    A skull and bones sits in a forest, grey scale

    The original Halloween is one of the best horror movies of all time! While there may be thousands of horror films that you can watch to get in the Halloween spirit, there is only one Halloween. For those who haven’t seen this classic, the movie is set in Haddonfield, Illinois, and documents the horrific acts committed by a mask-wearing psychopath named Michael Myers. In the original, Michael Myers is a 21-year-old who pursues and terrorizes three babysitters on Halloween night. Since 1978, there have been 11 additional movies created, and two more are currently in the works following the most recent Halloween movie that came out in 2018. Sadly, the die-hard fans of this franchise must patiently wait until October of 2021 for the highly anticipated release of Halloween Kills and then begin the process all over again prior to the release of Halloween Ends in 2022.

  3. 3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    Woman trapped outside window

    The movie A Nightmare on Elm Street has always terrified me because my mom grew up on a street with the same name. Freaky right? In this movie, four teenagers living on the same street fall victim to Freddy Krueger, a man who is deformed from burns and has a bladed leather glove. Freddy Krueger preys on the teens in their dreams and these terrifying visions make it so they are killed in reality. When I first watched A Nightmare on Elm Street, I was very intrigued by the depth of the plot because few films dare to portray the strange relationship between the dream world and reality, but this one does with a chilling resolution.

  4. 4. Beetlejuice (1988)

    two skeletons

    I can vividly remember the first time I attempted to watch Beetlejuice, but I never conquered the anxiety this movie filled me with years later. As a kid, Beetlejuice horrified me because nothing seemed amiss in the beginning, and then within a matter of seconds, I was watching Barbara and Adam Maitland die in a car accident. From there, matters continue to worsen because their spirits become trapped in their house, unable to escape. When a new family moves into the home, the Maitlands make it their mission to scare them away, but they fail in doing so. Consequently, it is Barbara and Adam’s unsuccessful attempts that attract Beetlejuice, a lively spirit whose “help” suddenly becomes too dangerous to handle.

  5. 5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    To this day, whenever I watch The Silence of the Lambs, I am still horrified by the premise of the plot because the idea that people can be so evil and unremoresful disturbs me to no end. Despite knowing what will happen next, I am always left with an unnerving feeling in the pit of my stomach. The movie revolves around Clarice Starling, a student at the FBI's training academy, who is asked to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a gifted psychiatrist by day and a disturbed psychopath by night. Although Lecter faces life behind bars for numerous acts of cannibalism and murder, he cannot deny the connection he feels to Clarice. I think what disturbs me most is that there is something about his character that makes him likable, even though he represents the most inhumane form of mankind.

     

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  6. 6. Hocus Pocus (1993)

    Everyone knows that some of the best Halloween movies are from your childhood, and Hocus Pocus is no different! For years, I have adored this movie because it is the type of Halloween movies that never gets old no matter how many times you watch it! The movie takes place on Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, and follows Max, Dani, and Allison on their uncanny adventure after dark. Unsure of whether to believe the famous legends, they take a trip to the haunted house of the Sanderson sisters, three evil witches hanged 300 years ago. Since Max is not afraid of superstition, he lights the black flame candle and brings them back from the dead, which causes mayhem to ensue soon after. It's just a bunch of hocus pocus! 

  7. 7. Halloweentown (1998)

    spell ingredients

    Like Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown is another Disney Channel classic! The movie includes two of the best things: friendly witches and magical powers. The Halloweentown series consisted of four movies that aired between 1998 and 2006: Halloweentown, Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown. In the first movie, the protagonist, Marnie Piper, discovers that she is a witch and goes on a mission to save Halloweentown, a place full of other supernatural creatures. One of the reasons I love this movie is because it proves that "normal" is a worn-out cliche that shouldn't exist because it is perfectly okay to be different. Throughout the series, Halloweentown also reveals the importance of strong family ties,  proving that having a united family is often our greatest asset.

  8. 8. Get Out (2017)

    Get Out with Jordan Peele

    Let me just start by saying Jordan Peele is a brilliant mastermind because this movie is so good that it solidified his directing career. At its core, Get Out is about American slavery and Afrofuturism, a cultural aesthetic that wants to reimagine the history of the African diaspora and invoke a concept of a faithful and technologically driven future in which Black people prosper. The plot revolves around the relationship of an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who have finally reached the meet-the-parents milestone. As a way to celebrate, Rose invites him on a weekend getaway upstate at her parent’s house. Initially, Chris justifies her family's oddly accommodating behavior as an awkward effort to come to terms with their daughter's relationship. However, as the weekend progresses, Chris makes several startling discoveries that lead him on a dark path toward an unsettling and twisted truth. What makes Get Out so disturbing is that Peele employs Chris' character to depict the theft of a Black body, revealing how he becomes paralyzed by his inability to act. 

If you haven’t had the chance to watch these movies, trust me when I say that you need to. For those who have, I think you would agree with me when I say that they are missing out on appreciating these movies for what they are: masterpieces. Personally, I think we should reserve the month of October for streaming enjoyable, terrifying, and chilling movies because there is no better way to get ready for Halloween. When it comes to scary movies, people either love them or hate them—there is rarely an in-between. If there is one thing I know, it is this: nothing will get you into the spirit of Halloween quite like bloody crimes, psychological mind games, and jump scares will!