The month of October is the prime time to explore all the scary movies and tv shows the world has to offer. Daylight fades faster, temperatures drop, and the leaves begin to turn to compliment the colors of the decor inside and outside of our dorms. With the opportunities to go out safely are scarce, a nice spooky movie with a friend, or alone if you dare, is the perfect alternative. Below is a list that spans from cemented classics to brand new offerings to assist you with picking the right one, because no one enjoys scrolling through Netflix aimlessly for an hour. The lists are progressive moving from the objectively least scary option to the most frightening.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Some argue that this Tim Burton masterpiece fits better as a Christmas movie rather than Halloween, but the argument for the opposite is just as strong. Done in Tim Burton’s signature style, this is technically a children’s movie but is beloved by people of all ages. The plot follows the king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, as he tries to establish some characteristics of newly discovered Christmas Town in his own domain. The ensuing confusion, assisted by catchy songs, makes for an entertaining hour and sixteen minutes. Several theaters near SNU are showing it on the big screen this month, and it can also be found on Disney+ and Amazon.
Steven Spielberg tells the increasingly creepy story of the Freelings family as their encounter with seemingly friendly spirits turns demonic. It was particularly scary at the time because it takes place at a normal house in a normal neighborhood which is a change from the usual abandoned buildings and locations in the middle of nowhere. It still has a rating of PG, but it does deliver some scares accompanied by impressive special effects for the year it was released. Available on Netflix.
You may be familiar with the multitude of sequels and spin-offs of this Halloween classic, but it all began in 1978 when Michael Myers made his escape and returned to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, the place where he murdered his sister 17 years earlier. Full of both jump-scares and suspense-building storytelling with an R rating, it is easy to see why this movie is imitated so often. Available on Amazon Prime and Apple tv.
The Exorcist (1973)
Another classic that has been imitated in many forms, The Exorcist was generally thought to be the scariest movie ever made at the time of its release. It focuses on a young girl who begins to show signs that a sinister presence may have taken over her form. In an act of desperation, an expert exorcist is called to rid her of this demon. Nowadays it won’t terrify the modern viewer as much as the original audience, but it still is a frightening experience. Not to mention it is based (loosely) on a true story. In fact, there are several real-life happenings surrounding the making of the movie that adds to the suspenseful atmosphere. Complete a quick google search before starting the movie if your aim is to be shaking in your seat. Available on Fandango and Prime Video.
Don’t you hate it when you and your friends stage a COVID- friendly hangout via zoom and accidentally invite a demon into your lives? So inconvenient. Okay, maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but that is exactly what happens to six friends in this anxiety-inducing thriller. If you don’t already cover up your camera after ending a zoom call, you definitely will if you watch this. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Two seasons of this excellently done horror tv show was just not enough. From start to finish the terrifying telling of five siblings growing up in the most haunted house in America grips you with a rotting fist. Now, adults, these brothers and sisters have to deal with the lingering effects of their upbringing. You really get to know the people in the show while dreading to meet the ghosts. Available on Netflix.
The Conjuring (2013)
This titular movie launched several prequels and sequels such as Annabell and The Nun. The Perron family’s move to a secluded house turns out to be a very bad idea after the mysterious things happening to them go from annoying and unnerving to straight-up horrifying. This movie is both criticized and praised for using every trick in the horror-movie playbook, but it makes for a thrilling Halloween watch. Available on Fandango and Prime Video.
If you are worried about certain themes being present in any of these movies or tv shows then you can visit doesthedogdie.com and search the title to view a list of possibly triggering topics present in the film/tv show.