The Top 6 Must-Watch Movies This Halloween

The Top 6 Must-Watch Movies This Halloween

A quick list of some of the best horror Movies to get you into the Halloween Spirit!

It's crazy easy to find a few good horror movies worth watching around this time of year. Lists are readily available online, retail stores put them on display, and most people will be more than willing to share that one Halloween themed movie they've watched this year. Those titles are going to range from psychological slashers like John Carpenter's "Halloween" (heck, I went to a marathon of those at a drive-in last weekend), and "A Nightmare on Elm Street", to a few throwback movies on Disney Channel like "Halloweentown" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas", to maybe even some super throwbacks to the original "Dracula" or "The Wolfman". In lieu of the times, here is my list of the top 6 must watch Halloween movies this year; guaranteed to be worth your while!

6. Coraline

While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother, and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her forever. This stop motion movie is low key the new Nightmare Before Christmas. With beautiful art direction fused into a mysterious and spooky atmosphere, the film captures both the Halloween spirit, and a vivid sense of wonder. Here is a very cool "the making of" short video on Coraline:

5. Scream 1 and 2

High school student Sydney Prescott, and her ensemble cast of friends, a news reporter, and an inept police officer are hunted by the spooky masked killer, Ghostface, who very well may be one of them. Ghostface then returns as Sydney begins college, but this time there's a deeper connection to who, or what the killer is. Since Wes Craven's masterful modern retelling of the horror genre is nearly without flaw in the first two, and are part of the same anthology, Scream 1 and 2 deserve a back-to-back double feature.

4. The Conjuring

In 1970, paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren are called to the home of the Perrons. The family has recently moved into a secluded farmhouse, where a violent supernatural presence has made itself known. My boy James Wan (featured in a previous article) revived the classic haunted house trope with this film. It is both genuinely scary, and inventive, and has some killer needle droppers (no pun intended). A perfect of example of that, and a great tracking shot can be found here:

3. The Cabin in the Woods

Typically I don't like the work of Joss Whedon (yes, I don't think either of the Avenger films are that good), but Cabin in the Woods truly is a great little film. When five college friends (including Chris Hemsworth) arrive at a remote cabin in the woods for a vacation, they little expect the horrors awaiting them. Pretty typical right? Wrong. The five represent the classic character archetypes of jock, brain, goody-two-shoes, stoner, and wild-child, who are being terrorized by a huge array of cinema's scariest monsters controlled by unit of time card punching scientists serving a secret higher purpose. There is also a wicked twist ending.

2. Trick 'r Treat

Planning to watch only one horror movie this Halloween? Ignore all my other suggestions, watch Trick 'r' Treat. This direct-to-dvd movie is the biggest miss of a hit in the 21st century (apart from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). Separate interwoven stories demonstrate that some traditions are best not forgotten as the residents of a small town face real ghosts and goblins on Halloween. These tales of terror resonate well with the holiday because they give classic genre-mash-up new twists. This film was overlooked on its release, but has rightfully developed cult-film status. It's pretty great.

1. It Follows

Easily the greatest horror film achievement since the original Halloween, "It Follows" blends elements of the depredation of today's culture with a haunting soundtrack, and beautiful and unique imagery, with a new fear that had yet to be explored in modern film making. A simple look at the plot could make the film seen laughable, but the movie manages to hold a tight grip of fascination and fear over the audience, while transporting them to another place. Personally, it is my favorite on the list, and it is absolutely worth a first viewing.

So in review, check these out if you want some good scares within a good movie this yea. Some of these six relatively modern films could very well become your Halloween classics of the future.

Cover Image Credit: Fandango

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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