Riley Wilcosh ’22
Halloween is my Christmas. Everything about the holiday makes me feel alive. And nothing is more synonymous with the holiday than fear, and in particular: horror movies. While being “the film guy” for the paper requires me to be knowledgeable about every genre, I take pride in being a horror movie aficionado. So, for both the uninitiated and the scare-connoisseurs, I present my top 4 horror films to watch this October.
A good deal of horror movies fit in the “slasher” sub-genre. A one-dimensional killer murders one-dimensional teens in a one-dimensional way. With these movies representing 90 percent of the genre, they typically are as bland as white bread. However, the best and brightest the genre has to offer is John Carpenter’s breakout film, Halloween. Despite the basic premise of a characterless murderer killing babysitters on Halloween night, Halloween has surprising depth. Both the perfectly crafted suspense and the fear of an unexplainable and emotionless evil acts as an effective creator of terror. Because of the basic approach, Halloween is a clean, efficient, and phenomenal slasher.
The Thing (1982)
From one John Carpenter film to another, The Thing is a fantastic execution of both the tangible and intangible aspects of film. The premise, a shape- shifting alien that imitates human survivors in an Antarctic incident, is intriguing. But this premise is outshined by the makeup and practical effects, which are the crown jewel of the film. Crafted from clay and rubber by Rob Bottin, the titular ‘Thing’ is one of the most creatively terrifying creatures ever constructed. I can say without question that it is one of the best practical effects in any film ever. And solidifies The Thing as one of the top horror movies of all time.
For heathens who clamour for ‘good, new horror movies,’ I recommend the masterpiece that is Hereditary. After a family tragedy, a series of strange events begin to plague a family already deep in mourning. Ari Aster’s first full-length film is a slow-burn horror to rival The Shining. Hereditary manages to turn a sudden, tragic accident into a feeling of blanketing sadness, a creeping sense of dread, and finally ending in total insanity as the terror is kicked up to an 11 in the climax. Hereditary is the best horror film of the last decade, and a must-watch film.
Evil Dead II (1987)
While the other horror movies I’ve mentioned are horror classics, I wanted to cap off my list with a personal favourite. Despite Evil Dead II being the second installment in the franchise, the first Evil Dead isn’t mandatory viewing. Evil Dead II comes with it’s own little recap. The comedy in Evil Dead II is on a scale unmatched in most horror movies, with blood geysers of outrageous proportions and physical comedy of Jim Carrey quality. Throw in a couple of ancient demons and the Necronomicon and you’ve got a movie that is a perfect introduction to the horror genre.
Photo Credits: IMDB