Counting down to Halloween with 15 more scary movies

Steve Watts, Managing Editor

     1. “Black Christmas” (1974) – Youtube

One of the first ever tried and true slasher films, “Black Christmas” always finds a place on my watchlist in October and December. The film established a number of now well-known tropes and had notable influence on many films of the genre, especially John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”

     2. “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” (2020) – Peacock

An entirely new spin on vampires, “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” is a premier example of independent, elevated horror. I encourage anyone who’s looking to expand their taste this October to try this indie gem.

     3. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) – HBO Max

Horror legend Wes Craven’s masterpiece is one of my favorite films to revisit each Halloween. As a child I felt like I’d “never sleep again” after seeing this movie for the first time.

     4. “Saw” (2004) – Prime Video 

The “Saw” franchise didn’t start off by relying on over-the-top gore and gratuitous bloodshed. The original installment from 2004 proves to be twisted in all of the right ways with a narrative that’s sure to keep you guessing. 

     5. “Hereditary” (2018) – Paramount+, or Normal Theater on October 21 at 10pm

Ari Aster’s entry into the spotlight, “Hereditary” is as much a tense family drama as it is a horror movie. The film boasts incredible performances from Toni Collette and Alex Wolff that elevate the movie to another level.

     6. “Evil Dead II” (1987) – Vudu

I’ve never seen a film as unafraid to be itself as Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead II.” The movie is only loosely connected to its original, so don’t worry about missing context if you haven’t seen its predecessor.  

     7. “American Psycho” (2000) – HBO Max

     8. “Vampire’s Kiss” (1988) – Vudu

“Vampire’s Kiss” is often dismissed because of Nicolas Cage’s questionable performance as the protagonist, but I think it works as a satire in the same ways that Mary Harron’s slightly superior “American Psycho” does. 

     9. “Candyman” (1992) – Peacock

The last slasher on the list, “Candyman” provokes genuine conversations about gentrification, racism and urban legends while also providing disturbing images and scares.

     10. “The Cabin in the Woods” (2011) – Apple TV

There are a number of satires on this list, but I’m not sure any are as funny as “The Cabin in the Woods.” The film comments on the entire horror genre and redefines how we watch movies.

     11. “It Follows” (2014) – Netflix

     12. “Jennifer’s Body” (2009) – Prime Video

Sexuality has been explored in countless horror movies, but few do it as poignantly as the sexually-transmitted demon in “It Follows” and Megan Fox’s hilarious performance as a possessed high prima donna in “Jennifer’s Body”.

     13. “Raw” (2016) – Netflix

“Raw” has a simple and disturbing premise that’s sure to keep you engaged with the film: What if a lifelong vegetarian started eating the wrong kind of meat?

     14. “The Shining” – (1980) – HBO Max

“The Shining” is probably the most iconic scary movie of all time. “Redrum” is even written on one of the windows of “The Argus” office.

     15. “Sinister” – (2012) – Peacock

Towards the beginning of high school, one of my friends and I stayed up late doing a biology project. Around two in the morning, he told me he’d seen this really scary movie called “Sinister.” The events that followed were the scariest 110 minutes of my life.