‘Tis the season—Halloween season, to be exact—to scare yourself silly. I’ll admit I’m not a big horror fan, but there is a time and a place for scary movies, and that time is October and that place is in the comfort of your own home where no one else can see what a pitiful cowering-under-a-blanket mess you are.
Here are 7 great horror films to check out in the run-up to Halloween:
Wish Upon – If you want to ease into the season, this might be a good one to start out with, because it’s not actually that scary (if I can deal with it, I assure you that you can as well) and veers more toward camp. It’s about a teenager (Joey King) whose dad (Ryan Phillippe) gives her an old music box he found, and this music box is able to grant 7 wishes. However, unlike Genie from Aladdin’s lamp, this music box also KILLS SOMEONE for every wish granted.
Dead Zone – Oh, man. I saw this one at some point when I was a kid—it came out in 1983, and yes I’m #old—and it was one of those movies that if you watch it at a really impressionable age will kinda haunt you forever. That said, helmed by visionary director David Cronenberg, it’s also one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel (91% on Rotten Tomatoes!). It stars Christopher Walken as a man who can predict the future after he wakes up from a coma. And the future ain’t pretty.
Pet Sematary (2019) – Yep, it’s 35+ years later and Hollywood is still adapting Stephen King novels because they’re just that good. This 1983 best-seller was first made into a movie in 1989, but last year’s remake is considered superior. It stars Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz as a couple who discover a powerful evil spirit residing in a graveyard near their house. It is not, as I assumed when I was younger, about a bunch of zombie animals.
The Jeepers Creepers trilogy – If you wanna go all out with a horror binge, may I kindly point you to Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2 and Jeepers Creepers 3, which revolve around an ancient monster called “the Creeper,” who’s like a really, really, really evil cicada — appearing once every 23 years to feast on human body parts. You might want to plan on NOT eating during this movie marathon.
Hereditary – I saved the most terrifying pick for last. Here is horror film that is both scary as hell and critically lauded—for acting, of all things! Toni Collette is masterful as the matriarch of a family whose dark secrets start to unravel. You may not be a fan of its divisive ending, but you will never forget it, and the journey to that point is filled with the worst kind of dread.
What are your go-to movies to get you in the mood for Halloween?