SEVEN MOVIES TO WATCH THIS HALLOWEEN
Hui Wong and Tomila Sahbaei | October 31st 2021 | 5 min read
This week’s blog post outlines seven different movies our writers watched and reviewed leading up to and in celebration of Halloween. All the reviews are for horror films, of course, and our writers did their best to void their reviews of spoilers.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a psychological thriller that has stuck around in pop culture for good reason. The premise itself already sets it up to be good: a slowly unravelling writer and his wife and son travel up to watch over a hotel, in isolation, during the winter. If you haven’t yet watched it, this should be at the top of your list – plus, you’ll get to see where all those gifs come from. If you do choose to watch this movie, you’ll likely come out wanting to watch it again; it is a horror movie par excellence.
Sorry to Bother You
This movie may not have been as popular as some of the other ones on this list, but Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You is a great cerebral movie with one of the most unexpected twists of any movie – ever. The movie follows Cash, a telemarketer who quickly rises up the company’s ranks while leaving his unionizing coworkers behind. He then discovers a horrifying conspiracy. This is a genre-blurring film, and so it might be perfect for someone who doesn’t want to watch something with too many jump scares.
Who knew that dude from Key and Peele could actually make amazing horror cinema? If you’re less for jumpscares and more about movies that’ll put you on edge the whole time, Get Out takes the cake. The movie is centred around Kaluuya, a photographer, and his visit to his girlfriend’s family home. This is also one of the best movies to rewatch with someone who’s never seen it, or alone – the foreshadowing is immaculate. And maybe most importantly: this movie forces you to think about its realities.
This Hitchcock black-and-white from 1960 is a must-watch of cinema history; plus, you get to say that you watched Psycho. The movie itself is about Marion, a secretary who goes missing in the house of a taxidermist – and that’s all I have to say. (Do spoilers matter for a movie that was made over 60 years ago?) At the very least, you get to see how horror movies have changed over the years and see if you get scared by what they did back in the ‘60s! If you’re going to be watching a horror film, why not go classic?
For whatever reason, many are of the belief that Coraline is a Tim Burton film, when in fact, he had nothing to do with the film. The film’s director, Henry Selick, has worked with Burton in the past. This, plus the resemblance in animation styles could be attributed to perpetuating the misleading information. Directors aside, there is no doubt that Coraline was one of the top grossing animation films. Appearing as the common trope of a young child navigating their way through a new move, Coraline turns childhood angst into dark horror using an alternate dimension and a very creepy doll. It should come as no surprise that Coraline received high praise from critics; with enticing animation, and a storyline that is engaging, the film does a good job at balancing a children’s story with an atmosphere of horror.
A film that was initially rejected by critics upon its release, Jennifer’s Body was picked up a generation later, going viral on social media platforms and arguably gaining a cult following. This is largely due to fans of Megan Fox’s performance in the film, who transforms from a teenage girl into a boy-eating-demon while still getting in fights with her best friend as they both navigate the separate horror story that is high school (something the creator of the film was intent on reflecting). The gorey effects add to the film, highlighting the horror genre of the film. While it may have started as a box office failure, it is worth adding Jennifer’s Body to your list of Halloween cult classics.
Nia DaCosta and the aforementioned Jordan Peele released Candyman this year, making it the fourth film in the Candyman franchise. Tony Todd, who plays the title character of the franchise, returned to his role to leave viewers thoroughly scared. The story builds off Bernard Rose’s 1992 Candyman while also creating its own storyline by following the main character, artist Anthony McCoy’s obsession with the legend of Candyman. The frames are engaging, and the film makes good use of gore scenes and jump scares. Whether you want to start with the original, or get right into the 2021 film, Candyman is a classic when it comes to Halloween films.