BY AUSTIN VAN PAY
- “Halloween” (1978) With his film “Halloween,” iconic director John Carpenter all but invented the sub-genre that is slasher horror flicks with his horror-icon character, Michael Meyers. Donning a white, William Shatner mask, Michael begins his murder streak as a young boy when he murders his older sister on Halloween night. On Halloween night in 1963, Michael escapes the hospital after being held there for 15 years and decides to return to his hometown of Haddonfield to kill. A group of teenagers, including actress Jamie-Lee Curtis, are stalked and attacked one by one by Meyers in grisly fashion. The creepy score, iconic Michael Meyers character and overall creepiness factor are all great reasons to make this one of your top films to watch on Halloween and why it’s the number one horror film for Halloween!
- “The Conjuring” (2013) Director James Wan has had a mean streak of horror films over the past 10 years, with films series such as “Saw” and “Insidious.” Wan continues that streak with the fantastically creepy film “The Conjuring.” In 1971, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren are tasked with figuring out what dark presence is terrorizing their family in their newly purchased farmhouse. The overall cinematography of this film and the sound design pump up the creepiness factor dramatically. This film is arguably one of the scariest of all time and one of the most well done horror films in recent memory. All of the actors’ performances are very well done, but Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga steal the show as the Warrens. If you’re looking for a paranormal film or just a film to scare you senseless, make sure you check out James Wan’s, “The Conjuring.”
- “The Babadook” (1978) Foreign films aren’t the most popular genre among many individuals, but the Australian horror film, “The Babadook” may give them a change of heart. Years after her husband’s death, Amelia struggles to control her six-year-old son Samuel, who is out of control with his nightmares and behaviors. One night before bed, Samuel’s mother finds a book on her son’s shelf called “The Babadook.” She finds that it’s no normal book and is filled with disturbing rhymes and pop-up images. After that night, Samuel becomes more convinced that the monster is real, and he spirals out of control, forcing his mother to medicate him. When his mother begins to see this creepy “Babadook” creature around her, she begins to realize that her son may not be wrong after all. The fantastic thing about “The Babdook” is that it relies on our fears of monsters as children, as well as giving a sort of folk-tale myth that we’ve all heard growing up. Instead of jump scares, it focuses on real horror aspects. Not only is it scary, but it also gives a moving mother-and-son dynamic too. “The Babadook” is a great treat for Halloween!
- “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) Wes Craven, who recently passed away on Aug. 30., 2015, is considered a pioneer for the horror genre for his innovative film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Introducing the knife-glove wearing Freddy Kreuger, a child killer who was burned alive by parents of Elm Street, returns to now haunt the dreams of teenagers. The twist with this film is that if you die in your dreams, you die for real. Freddy Kreuger (Dave Englund) and his blade glove are iconic within the horror genre, and Englund’s performance as Freddy has a great impact on the quality of this film. The creative dream sequences are mind-bending and well done, while also adding some extra spice to the normal slasher genre. Wes Craven crafted a creepy, iconic and one-of-a-kind premise within the horror world, and it more than deserves a viewing this Halloween!
- “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012) There are so many sub-genres and clichés within the horror world, so it’s only fitting for a film to come along and poke some fun at them. Thankfully, that film has come, and it’s “The Cabin in the Woods.” The story on the surface is basic: five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods and bad things happen to these said kids. The real twist comes later in the film, but that shouldn’t be spoiled for any reason at all! Avengers director Joss Whedon and producer of the Netflix show “Daredevil” Drew Goddard come together to create a one of a kind horror-comedy experience. The twists and explanations for what’s happening in the film may throw a lot of people off, but the film’s creativity factor is unmatched due to this fact. The best thing about “The Cabin in the Woods” is that it’s able to be funny, scary and often strange all at the same time. Don’t miss out on this film this Halloween!