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Tis the Season to Get Spooky

Horror is a genre that many people enjoy on a daily basis. Some watch horror in the summer heat. However, there's something special about prepping for Halloween. A holiday that many hold dear to their hearts. And nothing makes their hearts happier than watching a good horror movie. Those who aren't faint of heart enjoy it even more if there's gore involved. Because let's face it. Sometimes it's the kills that make the film. Alongside other factors that make a scary movie. Keep in mind that these films are not ranked or are in any specific order. Without further ado, here are the top five horror films those awaiting Halloween should indulge in. 


SCREAM (1996) 


Let's start off with a cult classic. A film only director Wes Craven himself could make into the iconic slasher it is today. Until the 90s, slasher/horror films were always about the one big bad that was an unstoppable, supernatural force. This terrorizer would run rampant, killing off insignificant characters whose sole purpose in the film was to get brutalized- leading up to the big final battle with the film's true hero, only to find that they probably die anyway. SCREAM was meant to change the genre and the way it was viewed. 


The Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees days were slowly burning out. There needed to be an evolution. In came screenwriter Kevin Williamson, ready to make the film, originally titled "scary movie". After hearing plenty of no's, Miramax picked up the script and got Wes Craven as the director. The writer and director of the successful Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. 


With this duo, the two were able to come up with something people were craven (get it?). An exciting new killer. One that wasn't unstoppable or powerful. They were just smart; masterminds that led others to their demise. And just a tad bit clumsy. The best part was that there was always a different motive. However, it doesn't stop there! The audience was also introduced to scream Queen Sidney Prescott. A female protagonist that was tough, resourceful, and didn't rely on her male counterparts. On top of all that, the chase scenes and the suspense were something new. A who-done-it that still resonated with the audience. The gory kills just made the film that much better. 


Hellraiser II (1988)


This movie is the epitome of disturbing, which is perfect for the season. The mystery of the box and its origin, the origin of the creatures and a witty protagonist are what make this movie. Sure, many may think of the movie as cheesy or campy. But that can be said for many slasher movies of that time. Besides, who doesn't think that Pinhead or Chatterer is deliciously grotesque? Although this film may not be the most groundbreaking out there, it has its charm. 


There are even some notable cliches that we've all come to know and love: the evil stepmother, the innocent female lead(s), and monsters from hell. You name it. Who can turn down a good ole cliche? Not only that but the environment and visuals they chose for the film are eye-catching, although dark. Dark dungeons and leaky corridors are the best kinda environment for building tension and suspense. It was definitely something that set Hellraiser apart from Friday the 13th or Halloween. 


Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) 


Speaking of Wes Craven, it would be hard not to mention his most famous franchise. What was so interesting about Freddy Krueger was that he could kill you in your dreams. What killer can kill you in your sleep? The innovation of this slasher was just so rare, even by today's standards. He was a sassy killer with cheesy one-liners but killed with intent. An entity that needed to feed on the souls of the Elm Street children. And the kills were unique at the time. In the dream realm, they died violently. Meanwhile, they die suddenly in the real world. It's something that wasn't seen before. And the origin of this villain also sets him apart—a child murderer who (literally) got away with murder—subsequently burned by the angry parents in town, thus fueling his revenge. 


And we have a pretty tough heroine in Nancy Thompson. She takes this dream demon head-on (with the help of some booby traps) to make sure that his reign of terror comes to an end. 


The Ring (2002) 


This reimagined version of a Japanese classic is one of the first films you think of when you think of horror. The whole concept of a tape cursing someone and torturing them for 7 days before meeting an untimely doom was terrifying at a time when watching tapes was the thing to do. And the ghostly figure that came after you was equally as terrifying. Samara (or Sadako for those who watch RINGU) had a simple yet chilling design. All that long black hair in front of her face, with her pruny pale skin and contorted walk and crawl, is nightmare-inducing. And the dynamic between mother and son touches the viewer's heart. A mom that will stop at nothing to make sure this curse is stopped. To ensure the safety of her baby. Many elements that many films have tried to replicate. And the blue tone that the movie consistently has? It really sets the mood. 


Silent Hill (2006)


This is one of the very few video game-to-film adaptations that is enjoyable and somewhat accurate to its game counterpart. The theme of this film is also family; however, the twist is that the daughter, Sharon, is adopted. Nothing is more unsettling than someone's adoptive daughter's recurring nightmares about a ghost town named Silent Hill. So thinking she'll find answers, Sharon's adoptive mother, Rose, takes her to Silent Hill. Only to find that its past quite literally haunts the town. A tale of witch hunters wrongfully burning a young girl believing she was evil sent them to damnation when she survived and wanted revenge. Sharon is only a victim of circumstance. The monsters in the movie are disturbing in their own right. Armless humanoids, a freakishly tall man with a pyramid on his head, and faceless nurses would send a chill down many spines. And we get freaky demon children too! There's a charm to this movie. It's mysterious and eerie. And this movie will never let you see fog and ashes the same ever again. 


Halloween is a time for scares and candy. So watching movies that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up is the perfect way to prepare and a perfect way to pass the time.


Edited By: Chanelle Jassim

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