Top 10 Must-See Halloween Movies.

As the holiday of horror approaches on October 31st, I find myself digging through my DVD collection for my favorite scary movies.

To me, there is no better way to get in the spirit than snuggling in with some extra cozy blankets, some fresh kernel popped popcorn (with a teaspoon of Coconut Oil drizzled on top), and a truly frightening horror flick.

I try to make it a yearly tradition to watch at least one, if not all, of my top favorites. While not everyone may agree that these are Halloween classics, for me they have become so.

I will be listing these by order of release date, my must-see list:

The Exorcist: released in 1973, this supernatural horror film deals with the demonic possession of a twelve year old girl and her mother’s attempts to save her child through an exorcism.

This movie is so full of horror that it would be impossible for me to identify my favorite part, but if I had to choose, I would say it is when Regan (the daughter) begins doing a spider walk (backwards in a bridge) down the flight of stairs.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This 1974 American slasher film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals.While this entire movie is an edge-of-your-seat thriller, there are two scenes that stick out prominently in my mind.

First, in the beginning of the film, the group of friends pick up a strange hitchhiker who proceeds to barrow someone’s knife and slices his hand wide open. From there things start to pick up and within minutes, the hitchhiker slashes one of the friends arms open as well. From there, it is quite the ride as we see characters such as Leather Face parade around wearing a mask made from the skin of another person’s face.

Fun fact: The character of Leather Face and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer, Ed Gein.

The Shining: A 1980 horror classic directed by Stanley Kubrick. This tale takes place in a haunted hotel that eventually possesses the father, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), who tries to murder his wife and son during a snowstorm.

Favorite line: REDRUM

The Watcher in the Woods: A 1980 horror film based on the 1976 novel (with the same name) written by Florence Engel Randall. The film tells the story of a teenage girl and her little sister who get sucked into a supernatural mystery regarding a missing girl in the woods.

As the story goes, the two girls move into a manor in the English countryside with their parents. The owner of the residence is stunned by the resemblance of one of the girls who looks a lot like her own daughter who disappeared in a chapel near the village some thirty years prior.

The girls are drawn to the woods and to the mystery of the missing girl. While I wouldn’t say this is a super scary movie—it’s one I thoroughly enjoy. It was one of the first horror movies I was allowed to watch.

Poltergeist: Released in 1982, this film focuses on the Freeling family who live in a haunted housing development. The ghosts seem to communicate with the daughter through the television set.

What are the most memorable and scary parts of this film? I think you can probably pick just about any part of this film to satisfy the fear factor: There is a guy that tears his own face apart, there is a malicious clown doll that loves to strangle, vengeful zombies coming out of a swimming pool, and let’s not forget the angry trees that bust through the window to do malice.

Cat’s Eye: This 1985 film was written by Stephen King. It comprises three stories that are connected only by the presence of a traveling cat.

For me the most memorable part of this movie is in the third (and final) part of this film, ‘General,’ the name given to the cat by a little girl named Amanda who adopts the feline.

There is a troll living in Amanda’s room that emerges at night and tries to steal Amanda’s spirit through her breath. With the assistance of the cat, together they battle the evil troll.

The Serpent and The Rainbow: This 1988 American horror film was directed by Wes Craven. The script is loosely based on the non-fiction book (by the same name) written by ethnobotanist, Wade Davis.

This is truly a terrifying movie as people are buried alive, though declared dead from a drug used in the Voodoo religion of Haiti.

I can’t list a specific favorite part of this film as the entire movie is cinematic art and grabs you and draws you in from the beginning. Definitely a must see!

The Cell: While this 2000 thriller has a very good story line, it’s full of cinematic art. This film is in regards to a Psychiatrist (Jennifer Lopez) who is an expert in an experimental study for coma patients. The main plot begins when she enters the mind of a serial killer and gets trapped in his psychosis.

This film sheds light on traumatic childhood abuse and the effects it can have in splitting a person’s mind.

I have many favorite parts of this film that are extremely dark. This was probably one of the most visually stimulating films I have ever seen. I mean, who wouldn’t appreciate a horse dissected into many sections displayed behind glass panes?

The Skeleton Key: This 2005 American supernatural horror film centers on a young hospice nurse (Kate Hudson) who lands a job at an old plantation home. It doesn’t take long before she becomes entangled in a supernatural mystery involving the house, its former inhabitants, and the Hoodoo rituals and spells that took place there.

Again, this entire film grabs your attention from the start. For me, the scariest part of the movie was the Hoodoo aspect and the ‘Conjuring’ from Mama Cecile and Papa Justify.

Children of the Corn: This 1984 supernatural horror film is based upon the 1977 short story (by the same name) written by Stephen King. Set in a town of Nebraska, the film tells a tale of an entity referred to as “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” which entices the children of the town to ritually murder all the adults to ensure a successful corn harvest.

What could be more terrifying than a bunch of blood thirsty children trying to kill you?

While this list could be so much longer (I didn’t even delve into Pet Cemetery, Pumpkinhead, Flowers in the Attic, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, or Crawlspace), this list is a great place to start for Halloween classics.

What are your favorite scary films to celebrate the season?

Author: Mary Rogers

Editor: Emily Bartran

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