Must-Watch Horror Movies for the Halloween Season

3 mins read

By Mairin Hoffman ’25

Photo credit Rotten Tomatoes

Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, as people love to dress up and embrace the scary things we all love. Halloween is important to me mostly because of the horror movies aired on various TV channels, which I consumed so much as a child. Ever since a young age, I have been a true horror movie lover. Some movies in the genres satisfy me, and others disappoint me due often to their lame attempts to scare the audience. I have watched so many great movies that I think are needed to share for the upcoming holiday. I hope this list helps you prepare for Halloween and know which movies to pick! 

  1. The Ring 

The Ring is a 2002 horror and thriller starring Naomi Watts. This film sparked my horror obsession. “It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.” (Synopsis via Wikipedia). This movie has so many creepy elements and one of the creepiest characters in history, Samara, who is played by Daveigh Chase, who you may recognize from her voice, as she was Lilo in Lilo and Stitch. This movie is based on a Japanese urban legend and an American remake of Hideo Nakata’s  movie, Ring

Photo Courtes:y Teen Vogue 

  1. The Shining

A classic 1980 Stanley Kubrick film, this movie is a movie adaptation of the Stephen King book of the same name. “Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes a winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.”(Synopsis via Wikipedia). This movie is a classic in horror cinema and has been listed as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Stephen King also made a sequel to the film Doctor Sleep, which is a book but also a film released in 2019.

Photo courtesy:  The Independent

  1. Psycho 

Psycho is a 1960 thriller film by the extremely famous Alfred Hitchcock, and it is one of the most famous horror films out there. “Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops at the ramshackle Bates Motel for the night. She meets the polite but highly-strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man interested in taxidermy and a complex relationship with his mother.” (Synopsis via Wikipedia). Various events lead to the movie’s most iconic scene, the shower scene. A fun fact about this film is that the main character, played by Janet Leigh, is the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis, the main character in the iconic slasher movie Halloween. Just note that this movie is a little violent, so be careful about who is with you when you watch it!

Photo courtesy: Screen Rant

  1. Us

Us is a 2019 horror/thriller film by Jordan Peele, a very famous horror director known for his other movies, including Get Out and Nope. “Accompanied by her husband, son, and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something terrible will happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons to fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them.”(Synopsis via Wikipedia). This is one of the eeriest movies I have ever seen and confusing, so read about it afterward if you decide to watch it. It has one of the most insane plot twists that are so worth watching. This movie also has a bit of violence, so just be careful.

Photo courtesy: mxdwn Movies

  1. Signs

Signs is a 2002 Sci-fi/thriller by famous horror director M. Night Shyamalan, known for his iconic movie, The Sixth Sense (1999). Signs is an alien invasion horror film, which is part of why it is one of my favorite scary movies. “Everything that farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) assumed about the world changes when he discovers a message – an intricate pattern of circles and lines – carved into his crops. As he investigates the unfolding mystery, what he finds will forever alter the lives of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and children (Rory Culkin), (Abigail Breslin). It is a unique story that explores the mysterious real-life phenomena of crop signs and their effects on one man and his family. “(Synopsis via Wikipedia). The way this movie progresses is terrifying and admirable, and I definitely recommend it.

Photo courtesy: GenreVision

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