By Farhan Coleman
Halloween is a holiday where we collectively celebrate being scared. A well-practiced tradition during this holiday is watching scary movies, and here are ten movies that I recommend you should see to get into the holiday spirit.
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
In this best-picture winner, Jodie Foster plays a young F.B.I agent who seeks the help of an incarcerated cannibal named Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in order to catch a serial killer who skins his victims. Anthony Hopkins is cinematic gold in this film. His performance as Hannibal Lecter is probably the creepiest thing to have ever been witnessed on screen and is also a huge reason why this film is as scary as it is.
- The Shining (1980)
In this Stanley Kubrick classic, a family goes to an isolated hotel for the winter where an unexplained evil presence possesses the father and drives him into a violent rage. This film has a plethora of both disturbing images and subtle hints at the father heading toward complete insanity. Both of which add to the already eerie vibe that that you get right from the start of the film. All of this, coupled with the iconic performance that Jack Nicholson gives, is why The Shining is considered to be one of the greatest horror movies ever made.
- The Conjuring (2013)
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga take on the roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren who are hired to help a family who are being haunted by a paranormal presence in their newly-bought house. This movie is really scary. Director James Wan does a fantastic job of making you feel completely terrified while watching this film. The film’s entire cast all give great performances, which makes the film feel that much more horrific.
- Poltergeist (1982)
When the Freelings move into their new home, they are met by some unexpected visitors who seem friendly and playful at first, but these spirits are revealed to be hostile when the youngest daughter of the family, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), suddenly disappears. This film keeps you holding your breath waiting for the next horrifying thing to happen. To this day Poltergeist is still one of the scariest movies ever made.
- Insidious (2010)
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play two parents who take desperate measures in order to save their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins), who is the target of a demon who wants to posses him. This film is different from the other films on this list. Instead of a family moving into a house and discovering that it is haunted, they have to deal with the horrific truth that their son is haunted and the source of the dark entity that is terrorizing his family.
- It Follows (2014)
After teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend for the first time, she finds out that she is the recipient of a life-threatening curse that can only be passed on through intercourse. This curse can take on the form of any person and you die if it touches you. The most terrifying thing about this movie is the fact that “It” can take on the form of any person that it chooses. Throughout the film I was constantly keeping my eye on the random people walking around wondering if any of them were “It”. This is an anxiety filled horror film that will leave you terrified upon viewing.
- Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is one of the most recognizable names in the history of cinema, and his first time appearing on the big screen is horror movie gold. The idea of a burned psychopath with claws who kills people through their dreams is scary enough, but coupled with Robert Englund unforgettable performance as Freddy, then you have yourself a classic which is exactly what Nightmare on Elm Street is.
- Sinister (2012)
Sinister follows the story of a washed-up true-crime writer named Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), who finds a collection of Super 8 home videos that suggest that the murder he is researching is the work of a dark entity. This movie is not for the faint of heart. The Super 8 videos that Oswalt comes across, each show the gruesome murders of various families. A great performance from Ethan Hawke and great direction from director Scott Derrickson are what make this film so terrifying to watch.
- Paranormal Activity (2007)
After moving into a suburban home, a couple is terrorized every night by a demonic presence. This was the film that put found footage movies on the map. The fact that the entire movie is shot through the character’s camera almost make you feel like you’re eavesdropping on this couple being haunted.
- Friday the 13th Part 1(1980) and Part 2 (1981)
The reason that I included two films here is because they are basically one long movie. Friday the 13th focuses on Mrs. Voorhees who goes on a murder spree in revenge for her son Jason’s death who died while under the supervision of the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. Friday the 13th Part 2 focuses on Jason Voorhees, who rises from the dead to kill anyone who dares to step foot on the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake.