It's finally October, which means this is the month where I really get to talk about all of my favorite horror movies. The thing is, though, people are letting bad movies like Paranormal Activity or Annabelle be the go to movies this month. The thing is, though: they are bad movies. They rely on cheap jump scares to pull the audience in. Anyone can create an ambiance to make someone scared in a dark theater, but when the lights go off when they get home they aren't going to be scared of a ghost movie. The movies just don't resonate with people like the classics do. Have no fear, though. I am here to tell you 31 movies you should watch this season and why they are the best (in no particular order).
Let's just focus on this slasher movie that truly reinvented the genre at this time. People were getting bored of the same old Friday The 13th esque summer camp horror (I mean, Sleepaway Camp, really?) This amazing, re-inventive movie that blessed us, (thank you Wes Craven), needs to be watched this season.
Friday The 13th series
I know. I just totally bagged on summer camp horror films, but hear me out. When Friday the 13th came out, it not only included one of the most memorable kills, (sorry Kevin Bacon), but really proved that low budget movies can make it big in the box office. You'll also never guess who the killer is in the first movie, (no, seriously). It is also pretty comical to watch the ridiculous adventures Jason goes on, like ending up in Manhattan, outer space, and we cannot forget Jason as a badass cyborg (it's totally ridiculous). If you wanna be scared and laugh at the same time watch the series of movies.
The Birds (1963)
Universal Pictures & Alfred Hitchcock Productions
Alfred Hitchcock. Tippi Hedren. Need I say more? This movie creates an awesome ambiance. Not only is it something that I could actually picture happening, unlike possessed dolls, this movie plays on birds just randomly becoming murderous. Like, that's it. And it's wicked cool. Fun fact: hundreds of live birds were trained for the movie.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
Stephen Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, & Charles Chiodo
Hear me out on this one. Yes, it is cheesy. Yes, you can tell it's an 80's movie. Yes, it is not scary. The amazing thing about this movie is all of the costumes and amazing detail that went into the clowns. They look humorous, but don't take that with a grain of salt. Their captures are amazing, the costumes are great, the acting is average, but it still is one of my most loved films.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Mia Farrow plays Rosemary, a wife who, to put it simply, does not believe her baby is of this world. She becomes seriously isolated when she becomes pregnant and the ending of this movie is seriously so unsettling. Don't let the release date fool you. This movie surprised me in more ways than one and displays an expecting mother's worst fears.
Lionsgate & Twisted Pictures, James Wan & Leigh Whannell
Does this series just play on the gore factor? Yes. Does this series have a super confusing, convoluted timeline where you have to figure out what happened when? Yes. This is another example of what a low budget film can be. James Wan, who also stars in the first film, and Leigh Whannell debuted Saw I in 2004 and the rest is history. Every twist, turn, and gory trap proves the fact that people are seriously so damn creative. Don't skip out on Jigsaw (2017) which shows us that Tobin Bell still is all that.
George A. Romero & Stephen King
I remember watching this when I was way too young with my mom, and one thing that has always stuck out to me was, 'Something to Tide You Over,' and 'The Crate.' Written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero, this movie is composed of five anthology scenes, getting darker and scarier as it goes. This is another movie where you cannot let the release date fool you: it is genuinely terrifying.
Twentieth Century Fox
Taking place in deep space, a crew is awoken from their cryo-sleep capsules to a distress call sent out from an alien vessel. More a Si-Fi mystery than horror, this movie still has a place on this list of things that are just down right creepy and good for the season. Who can forget the Chestburster scene? Seriously, just iconic.
The Walt Disney Company (via 20th Century Fox)
While we are on the topic, Predator also has a spot on this list. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this debut as a solider sent on a rescue mission for politicians in Guatemala. When they get there, however, they realize they are basically being hunted by the most badass, super strength beings ever. Predator always has a place in my heart as one of the coolest characters in a movie.
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
20th Century Fox
I couldn't talk about them separately without throwing this movie in the mix. Predator is definitely my preference, but seeing these two come together to fight is literally movie magic. Basically, the plot is this wealthy guy Charles (Lance Henrickson) funds a trip to Antarctica to find the source of this heat. When they arrive, they discover the aliens, who happen to be hunted by Predators. Soon to realize, they are basically in the middle of this conflict, and it's not gonna be pretty. Again, more Si-Fi than horror, this movie still deserves to be played during the season.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series
Vortex & Bryanston Distributing Company
Another classic series to add to the list, this series has shown the same pattern as others: over the years, a convoluted, confusing, ever-changing timeline is created as a backstory for Leatherface, including multiple plots and, at times, even different names. This series calls upon our worst fears: going through the country, encountering not so nice people who just so happen to be cannibals, and being murdered in a brutally painful way.
The Shining (1980)
Stephen King & Stanley Kubrick
Although Stephen King disavows this movie and the portrayal of the characters, that doesn't take away from the incredible performance by the talented Jack Nicholson. Jack Torrance becomes the primary winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel, where him, his wife Wendy, and son Danny move for the season. When they arrive, however, Jack begins to discover the hotel's dark, hidden secrets, and basically becomes a maniac.
Ah, yet another universe that is completely messed up, (Rob Zombie, really?), this is another classic slasher series that has to be added to the list. We all know him and love him, the one and only Michael Meyers sets out to find his baby sister Laurie Strode. The murders along the way, however, are incredibly fun to watch. Don't watch Season of the Witch, though, as many people completely ignore it anyhow as it does not feature our beloved Michael Myers at all.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
An Image Ten production, Continental
A George A. Romero classic, this movie features around the dead coming back to life: zombies. A group of people decide to barricade themselves in a house, but is it enough to keep the dead out? Watch to find out! A zombie thriller that is also seen to some as a critique of the Cold War politics, this movie has a lot of interesting angles to look at when viewing.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A groundbreaking film for the time, this film is so incredible as the three main actors were basically sent out in the woods to film hours of footage, improvised, by themselves with no real directive direction. The three filmmakers set out in the woods to film a documentary on the Blair Witch? What makes this film so interesting? Spoiler: we never actually get to see the Blair Witch.
New World Pictures
I'm not going to lie, the first time I watched this movie I was left feeling a little bit confused. A portal to hell is opened when Frank (Sean Chapman) messes with the box. Soon, the Cenobites appear, and basically maul him. His family moves into his house after death, and the family accidentally bring Frank back to life. A very grotesque Frank then has his old lover lure men to the house so he can use them to put together a body. It's really weird, but an interesting watch that surely can't be passed over.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (60's or 80's version)
John Davis & Warner Bros.
Honestly, both versions of this movie are good so I had to include them both. Dr. Miles Bennell is left confused when all of his patients begin saying that it seems as though their loved ones have been replaced by emotionless, vacant people. As the plot goes on, it develops that it is exactly true: an alien force is duplicating humans by growing them from plants to take over the town. The emotionless acting is really what I enjoyed about the film.
The Mist (2007)
Dimension Films, Stephen King, Frank Darabont
If you have seen this, do not, under any circumstances, spoil it for anyone who hasn't. When I think of this movie, the only thing that comes to mind is the word, "sad." A father and son make their way to a grocery store when it's discovered a thick, mist like fog has rolled over the town. Soon, creatures begin to reveal themselves and a psycho religious lady tries to have people sacrifice themselves as she believes something biblical is raining down on them. Literally just a sad movie. Prepare to be scared and cry.
Child's Play series
I literally love Chucky. I can't help it. I literally sleep with a Chucky doll at night (TMI)? The series is so fun as it takes the whole killer doll idea on another level. Forget about Annabelle, Chucky is the OG who actually gets stuff done. From terrorizing Andy over years, to ending up at military school, to getting married, to having a baby, and coming full circle terrorizing Nica. Chucky is an icon that when people think of something that terrorized them as a child, it's Chucky.
It (original and remakes)
Stephen King & The Konigsberg/Sanitsky Company and Green/Epstein Productions in association with Lorimar Television
It has been brought to life elegantly, first in 1990 and now in recent times. We all know him, we all love him, It takes form as Pennywise the Clown and has been around since prehistoric Earth. It sleeps around 30 years at a time and when awake eats humans by feeding on their fears. It is a story of friendship, hurt, and a lot of dead kids. What's not to love?
Universal Pictures & Jordan Peele
Us is another amazing movie produced by Jordan Peele. The story follows Adelaide and her family as they go to a vacation home that she grew up in as a child. When something traumatic happens to her when she is young that inhibits her speech, current day Adelaide grows increasingly nervous about spending time where she once lived. The family is attacked by intruders when they come to the realization that they look just like them. While Get Out tackled race, Us takes on commentary in the form of differing socioeconomic status'. A thrilling, must watch masterpiece.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Platinum Dunes Sunday Night Productions & Paramount Pictures
Who else can't wait for part 2 in March? A thrilling movie that surrounds a family after creatures begin to hunt humans. The only problem is that they hunt by sound. The family must be quiet, communicate in sign language, and live in fear of being heard. This movie will pull your heartstrings as the parents do everything possible to protect their family, but sometimes everything isn't enough.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Orion Pictures, a Jonathan Demme picture
This movie follows Clarice Sterling (Jodie Foster) being put up to interviewing Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychopath serving life in prison for cannibalism. Clarice is put on the case as it is believed she can draw information out of Hannibal on the perspective of a psychopath to help assist in catching a mass murder. A creepy, thrilling movie that has to be on the watch list this season.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Peter Locke & Wes Craven, a Vanguard release
No, it's not just a Weeknd lyric. The Hills Have Eyes is so special to me as I remember it being one of the first horror movies I ever watched with my dad. This movie is so terrifying and creepy it had to be added to the list. The plot follows the Carter family when they get stranded in their RV in he desert. Soon, people come out of the hills and terrorize, kidnap, and even murder some members. A terrifying, dread building film, this is a classic that everyone has to watch.
It Follows (2014)
Northern Lights Films, Anial Kingdom, Two Flints
This movie plot is seriously funny, yet clever. A demon-ghost host attaches to a person and hunts them down. This entity is literally like an STD: the only way you can get rid of it is to have sex with someone and spread it to them. If they do not spread it, though, and inevitably die, then it comes back to you. The kicker is it literally can only walk. That's it. It's an interesting film that builds dread as you're always looking in the film for someone who is walking slowly towards the camera, often times the characters not even noticing.
I think when people think of Psycho, they think of the iconic shower scene. Psycho follows Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) on the run after stealing $40,000.00 from her boss. While on the run, she ends up at the Bates Motel and meets owner Norman Bates. A weird man with an even weirder relationship with his mother, the plot twist ending is sure to get you if you've never seen it before.
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Alive Films & Wes Craven
When a group of people break into a wealthy home, the secrets of the home are revealed. He discovers numerous people living under the stairs, who turn out to be incestuous siblings who mutilate boys. This movie follows Fool (Brandon Adams) trying to escape the house while working with Alice (A.J. Langer), who is isolated due to her parents trying to mold her into the perfect child. It's funny, cute, and thrilling as Fool tries to escape the seemingly locked house.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, IDW Publishing, Columbia Pictures
I love this movie as it takes shape as vampires but with a twist. Alaska experiences a month of solid darkness a year. While most residents leave, some are left behind, and a month of darkness is the solid feeding time for ravenous vampires. This movie has blood, guts, heart, and seemingly no solution on how to escape. This is a movie I will always go back to rewatch.
Pet Semetary (1989)
Paramount Pictures & Stephen King
I'm not going to lie, I have not and probably will not see the 2019 remake, so the 1989 version is going on this list. Pet Semetary follows the Creed family who recently moved into a home that basically has a pet cemetery in its backyard. After their cat dies, Louis is advised to bury the cat in the cemetery. When the cat comes back to life, it's literally acting like a totally different cat. After Gage, Louis' son, dies tragically, he gets the smart idea to also bury him in the pet cemetery, and the rest is history.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele & Blumhouse
Wow. Just wow. This movie is incredible and horrifying. The social commentary in this movie is excellent. The story follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, who are going to meet the parents. One line that always stuck out to me is when Chris says, "Do they know I'm black?" I don't want to give it away, just know this movie is thrilling, appalling at times because of people's behaviors, and overall such a great watch.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Series
New Line Cinema
This is my favorite series to date. I can't tell who I love more: Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp, or Robert Englund. Freddy is creative, charming, but always delivers the best kills. The practical effects are amazing, the deaths are brutal, and the plot it great. Just pick up any of the movies, I promise you won't regret it.