Halloween always presents an interesting conundrum for easily spooked wimps like myself: while you want to get into the spirit of the season, you don’t want to do anything that would result in nightmares for the rest of your life. I’ll carve a pumpkin, decorate my front lawn, go on a hayride, visit an apple orchard, dress up on Halloween and buy treats for neighborhood kids, but I draw the line at watching straight-up horror movies. They’ve never been and will never be my thing.
If you’re like me, take heart. You can still find movies to watch this Halloween season that are spooky and will keep you on the edge of your seat . . . without sending you into therapy.
Here are a few:
Split – This mindbender from M. Night Shyamalan is dark, intense and not at all what you assume it’s going to be. James McAvoy is simply outstanding as a disturbed man with 23 personalities who’s grappling with the fact that one of those personalities has compelled him to abduct three teenage girls. I’m not exaggerating when I say that your jaw will drop when you see McAvoy switch characters. Split is certainly scary at points, but it’s still rated PG-13 and never devolves into pure nightmare territory. Bonus: fans of past M. Night films might freak out (in a good way) at the ending scene.
Get Out – Comedian Jordan Peele’s directorial debut about an interracial couple’s first “meet the girlfriend’s parents” weekend serves up creepiness, laughs and biting social commentary alongside its jump-out-of-your-seat scares. There’s a reason it’s the third-highest-grossing R-rated horror movie of all time (behind last month’s It remake and 1973’s The Exorcist): it has something important to say — and a brilliant way of saying it.
Alien: Covenant – You know what you’re getting into with any Alien movie, so that’s what makes this one safe for us softies. This prequel is definitely scary, but it’s on my list because it’s really obvious when you’ll need to cover your eyes. Plus, since it’s all about monsters in outer space in the future, you won’t have to worry about any of them attacking you in your bedroom on Earth after you turn off the light.
Hocus Pocus – Yeah it’s a Disney movie from the ‘90s — SO WHAT?! It’s an AWESOME Disney movie from the ‘90s, so don’t judge me. It stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as witches who return to Salem, Massachusetts, after 300 years to wreak havoc. It’s one of those films that wasn’t a huge hit when it first came out, but has since grown into a cult classic. If you’re looking for a family-friendly way to enjoy the Halloween season, this is it.
Aside from my picks, you might find other “scary but not TERRIFYING” options in our Thriller & Suspense Movies group.
Or if you decide you do have the courage to watch a truly frightening movie this Halloween, we have plenty of Horror Movies to choose from. (But I’m going to stick with my list, thank you very much.)
By: Redbox Writer, Erika Olson