The five best classic horror movies to watch this Halloween

The five best classic horror movies to watch this Halloween

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Beth Beaudry, Student Life Editor

Not every horror movie is a Halloween movie, but there are some horror classics that feel right to watch as Halloween approaches. Whether you’re into the supernatural, jump-scares, psychological thrillers, or slasher movies, there are endless horror movies to pick from. This list of horror classics will range from black and white thrillers to iconic slasher movies from the 80s.

5. “The Nightmare on Elm Street”
“The Nightmare on Elm Street” was released in 1984. Director Wes Craven introduces the world to one of the most iconic fictional killers: Freddy Krueger. Freddy Krueger attacks his victims in their dreams, but in reality, they die. His signature look is fitting for a nightmare, complete with his scarred face, razor blade glove and a striped sweater. Craven chose to make the killer’s sweater red and dark green after learning it is the most difficult color combination for people to look at. This movie does not shy away from gory deaths and terrifying visuals, making it a great option for your Halloween movie collection.

“The Nightmare on Elm Street” became a nine-movie franchise with several actors taking on the role of Freddy Krueger, but in my opinion, the best will always be the original, Krueger Robert Englund.

4. “Them!”
Although a black and white horror movie about giant ants may not seem like a show-stopper, it always gets me ready for Halloween. “Them!” is a 1954 sci-fi/horror film directed by Gordon Douglas that follows New Mexico police as they investigate the area’s mysterious deaths and disappearances. During their investigation, they find monstrous footprints belonging to a colony of ants that were mutated by a chemical reaction. With a bizarre plotline and thriller action sequences, “Them!” is nothing short of a classic horror movie.

And, if you’re still not convinced, “Them!” scored a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, a trusted movie review resource.

3. “Psycho”
When a fictional character is based on the real-life story of a serial killer, you know things are going to be gruesome. “Psycho” began as a 1959 horror novel by Robert Bloch, who was influenced by the history of serial killer Ed Gein. In 1960, director Alfred Hitchcock brought the story of the Bates family to life on-screen. Norman Bates is under the control of his mother Norma, who owns the Bates Motel. When a secretary steals money from a client, she goes on the run, making a stop at the motel where a string of murders happens following her arrival.

There was a remake of this classic in 1998 starring Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. In 2013, Netflix came out with a prequel television series “Bates Motel,” featuring Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates, and Freddie Highmore as Norman.

2. “The Shining” and “Dr. Sleep”
A horror movie list would not be complete without including at least one Stephen King adaptation. King’s best-selling novel, “The Shining” was produced and directed in 1980 by Stanley Kubrick. “The Shining,” tells the tale of a former alcoholic and writer Jack Torrance, who becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. When a winter storm hits, Jack becomes trapped in the hotel with his wife Wendy, and his psychic son Danny, whose ability to have visions is referred to as “the shining.” Danny’s visions become more intense as he witnesses horrors that previously happened at the hotel. As this is occurring, Jack’s sanity begins to slip, causing him to unleash terror on his family.

In 2013, the sequel “Dr. Sleep” was released. In the sequel, Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor is now an adult dealing with the trauma he faced at the Overlook Hotel. He finds a child gifted with “the shining” and together they face a cult who feeds on “the shine” of innocent people. Although the sequel doesn’t have the same psychological thrill the original has, it has the perfect amount of references to leave fans feeling nostalgic.

1. “Friday the 13th”
Even if you’ve never watched this 1980s classic, I promise you’ve seen the lead character, Jason Vorhees’ infamous hockey-mask on someone’s face every Halloween. Director Sean Cunningham’s “Friday the 13th” follows a masked murderer who preys on Camp Crystal Lake counselors. The camp already has a morbid history of drownings and murderers, but as the counselors try to reopen the New Jersey camp spot, they find themselves being stalked. This thriller has been deemed a success with its inclusion of countless jump-scares, as well as the growing suspense as counselors start to disappear, culminating in an unexpected ending.

“Friday the 13th” was such a successful film that the “Jason” franchise now consists of twelve movies. One of the most well-known versions is the 2009 reboot starring “Supernatural” actor Jared Padalecki, and the 2003 film, “Freddy vs. Jason”.Audiences get to see Jason Vorhees cross paths with the infamous “Nightmare on Elm Street” killer, Freddy Krueger.