The Shinning

What to Watch on Halloween

Fall means pumpkin spice lattes, carving pumpkins, apple picking and, of course, watching horror films on Halloween. Everyone has their favorite seasonal movies to watch—when it comes to Halloween, my favorite has always been Casper Meets Wendy. But for those of you who can’t get enough of horror and suspense, here are some of the best horror films to watch this season.

Upon doing some research for this article, I discovered the website Ranker, which is a credible website that thoroughly ranks the best and the worst of everything from movies to trends, people, places, music, sports teams, cars and so on. Ranker’s list of the 10 best horror films streaming on Netflix this fall includes The Omen, Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, Scream 1, 2 and 3, Let the Right One In, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, V/H/S, Children of the Corn, Identity and The Conjuring.

IMDB offers a similar list on its website, but features a vastly different selection of films. IMDB recommends The Shining, Alien, Shaun of the Dead, Psycho, Cloverfield, Zombieland, Saw, The Exorcist, 28 Days Later and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Ranker’s top pick, The Omen, was released on June 25, 1976. The R rated movie received a 7.6 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie begins when Robert Thorn’s wife, Kathy, has a stillbirth. A priest suggests adoption to the grieving couple, and while Robert and Kathy are hesitant at first, Robert agrees, thinking it would cheer up his devastated wife. They adopt a little boy named Damien, but things take a scary turn when the couple is informed that Damien is the son of the devil who is out to kill everyone around him, and the only way to stop Damien is to kill him.

While Ranker advocates for The Omen, IMDB suggests checking out The Shining, which earned a slightly higher score of 8.4 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. This R rated film made its debut May 23, 1980. In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Jack Torrance, who was recently let go from his teaching job because he is a recovering alcoholic. In an attempt to start a new chapter in his life, Jack applies for a position at the Overlook Hotel despite being informed of the residence’s creepy reputation: legend has it that the former caretaker went insane and murdered his wife, his two twin girls and eventually killed himself.

As Jack moves into the Overlook with his wife and son, Danny, mysterious things begin to occur. Danny has horrific visions of murders that took place at the hotel until he starts to go insane, and the family comes face to face with the terrors of the Overlook.

While these are two of the more popular films to watch around this time of year, the list of spooky movies to indulge in on Halloween is endless. Gianna Cusanelli, a senior Spanish education major, notes that her favorite Halloween films are “[animated classics like] It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or The Nightmare before Christmas.” Leonard Ostroski, a senior, prefers the horror comedy, Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College. “There’s not one dull moment,” Ostroski explained. “My friends and I would laugh from start to finish.” Matthew Lawrence, a specialist professor that teaches a course on horror films, believes that, “horror movies just don’t get the respect they deserve. They are among the most popular (and lucrative) of Hollywood genres.” His three favorites are The Exorcist, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Sleepaway Camp.

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