Watching scary movies during October is the epitome of the perfect Halloween experience. While some horror films are more frightening or gory than others, every quality horror film brings something exciting to any amateur or experienced thrill seekers.
NOT TOO SCARY
Scare Level: 1 crab
“Nope” is a recently released sci-fi horror film directed by Jordan Peele. It follows two struggling siblings who attempt to find success by being the first people to publicize a mysterious alien sighting within their town. The film relies on long moments of mystery and spooky ambience throughout the film, with minimal gore, offscreen violence, and a lack of jump scares. The film is also intentionally mixed with many moments of drama and comedy between its runtime to give its message more prominence, making “Nope” the perfect horror film to be thrilled and avoid feeling scared simultaneously.
Scare Level: 2 crabs
“Suspiria” is a supernatural horror film directed by Dario Argento following a young ballet dancer who travels to Germany to join a renowned dance academy which, unbeknownst to her, is now teeming with ancient, bloodthirsty witches. Well known for its trippy Italian music and dreamlike visuals, “Suspiria” relies heavily on chilling sounds and a frightening mystery to further set the film’s tone. Although there are a few striking acts of violence within the film, the 1970s special effects break the horror illusion due to its incredibly fake, brightly colored gore. “Suspiria” is a fun film to be spooked by, but still easy to digest.
Scare Level: 3 crabs
“X,” a slasher horror film directed by Ti West, is a reimagining of iconic slasher films following a group of adult film actors in 1979 who stay the night as guests at an elderly couple’s ranch. They later realize that the couple is a secret serial killer duo. The film is intentionally not very frightening and is mixed with twisted comedy elements throughout the film, combined with the film’s constant extreme display of violence after its characters’ introductions. “X” is an exhilarating and funny ride but requires a strong mind and stomach to sit through its gratuitous gore.
“It Follows” (2014)
Scare Level: 4 crabs
“It Follows” is a supernatural psychological horror film directed by David Rover Mitchell. It’s about a teenager who, after an unusual sexual encounter, realizes that she is now cursed to be hunted down by a shapeshifting supernatural force until she passes the curse to someone else. The film is an anxiety-inducing experience that provides a sense of constantly being stalked. Combining its realistically horrifying elements with dark synth music and ever-changing visuals, “It Follows” provides an unstable and erratic aura throughout the film, helped by its use of minimal yet intense gore throughout the film. It forces the viewer to constantly hold their breath, never allowing a sense of safety until the film finally ends.
“The Shining” (1980)
Scare Level: 4 crabs
“The Shining” is a psychological horror directed by Stanley Kubrick and follows a husband that delves into madness while staying with his family at a mysteriously remote hotel. His wife and child attempt to survive numerous terrors as he falls deeper into madness, discovering the hotel’s horrifying secrets. Known as a classic horror film, “The Shining” uses a sense of danger as its main element for the viewer, forcing the audience to progress through the film in the perspective of characters without agency or safety, as the film slowly adds more disturbing visuals and plotlines before reaching its finale. Refusing to provide any comfort for the characters throughout the film, “The Shining” displays a form of horror that forces you into the chaotic minds of the characters you are traveling with, leading to an unforgettable story.
“The Descent” (2005)
Scare Level: 5 crabs
“The Descent” is a thriller and horror film directed by Neil Marshall; it follows a tight-knit group of friends and cave explorers who attempt to go on an underground adventure as a bonding experience, only to realize that they are stuck underground and not safe from the dangers within the cave itself. Known as one of the scariest horror films of all times, “The Descent” is gut-punching through its use of darkness and closed areas to create the perfect claustrophobic experience within the film. Combined with the fact that it is a supernatural horror film hiding in plain sight, “The Descent” is a bone-chilling experience, refusing to give the audience any chance of relief within the pitch-black cave walls. In addition to the claustrophobia, “The Descent” adds terror with the use of its realistic depictions of gore and violence throughout the film, making it a perfect source of nightmare fuel and horrifying scares for Halloween.