Scary and spooky: a guide to Halloween movies

As bright summer days turn into cold fall nights, summer festivities fade and fall activities become more trendy. One common activity is cuddling up on the couch and watching movies. And as Halloween approaches, horror films become a favorite for the fall season. Here are a few popular scary movies that may help you get into the spooky season spirit.

Source: IMDb

By Megan Evans, A&E Editor

IT (2017):


Everyone is afraid of something. In this movie, viewers watch a group of friends’ fears come to life, and the monster behind their fear is Pennywise the clown. It all starts with a kid named Georgie, who decides to play in the rain one stormy evening. His paper boat ends up floating down a sewer. When Georgie looks into the sewer, he not only finds his boat, but a sinister Pennywise carrying it. Georgie goes missing shortly after the incident, causing his older brother Bill and his friends Mike, Beverly, Stanley, Richie, Ben, and Eddie to spend their summer looking for answers to his disappearance. They find themselves fighting their biggest fears, along with a killer clown, who feeds off of their terror. Before I watched this movie, I mostly thought that it would only be about a clown who terrorizes kids. However, it’s not only a horror film, but also a portrayal of aspects of comedy, romance, and life lessons, such as the importance of close friendships, and always sticking together. Throughout the movie,you feel like you’re a part of their group. If you’re into scary movies but also love comedy, this movie would be great to watch.


The Strangers (2008) and The Strangers Prey at Night (2018):


As James Hoyt and Kristen McKay try to enjoy what they thought would be a romantic, fun-filled night, they soon realize that they are in store for a time of horror and anguish. Their night starts out pleasantly as James prepares to propose to Kristen. However, James’ plan fails when Kristen declines his proposal. Upon returning to James’ family vacation home after a long, tense car ride, Kristen finds herself in a place decorated with candles, rose petals, and romantic vibes — a place where they were supposed to celebrate their engagement. As the couple prepares for a long night of sorrow and guilt, they realize that they are in store for something much worse. Around four in the morning they hear a knock on their door, and see a young girl who asks, “Is Tamara home?” and then leaves in a hurry. What they don’t realize is that this girl is part of atrio of masked killers who will torment James and Kristen throughout the night. These masked killers never reveal their true identities, which is why they are referred to as “The Strangers.” However, in the sequel to the film that was released in March 2018, viewers are able to see these killers in action, causing terror to a completely different family. It’s during this sequel that the murderers are finally unmasked. Personally, I love watching thrillers and suspenseful movies with killers, because you’re on the edge of your seat the whole time. In “The Strangers” series, you never know what’s going to happen next, and the suspense as well as jump scares are unexpected,providing a thrill and rush of adrenaline for audiences. I like the second movie better than the first. The second movie focuses on a family of four as opposed to a couple. More action and terror is involved in the sequel, as viewers get to witness the killers stalking each of the four family members, who all experience their own night of horror. Another interesting aspect of the sequel is that the murderers are unmasked, and viewers finally get to see the faces behind all of the fear.


Hush (2016):


Being a writer and living alone in a secluded forest sounds like a peaceful, relaxing experience to spend time with nature and to let those creative writing juices flow. However, when a killer wearing a white mask appears at avid writer Maddie’s isolated cabin, it’s hard for viewers not to feel a rush of anxiety as they watch her completely miss the killer knocking on her patio door. Next, a feeling of panic sets in as viewers remember an important fact that they learn at the beginning of the movie — Maddie is deaf. She later realizes that something is off when she receives a message on her computer that contains pictures of herself in her house sent from her own cell phone. When she realizes she is not alone, Maddie comes face to face with the killer, a mysterious man in a white mask whose identity remains unknown throughout the film. Maddie uses her survival skills to try and face the killer, all in complete silence. This movie is really unique because of the whole idea of the main character being deaf, which is not seen in many horror movies. The main character is portrayed as being a strong, confident, fearless woman who faces all of the obstacles in the movie with courage that never fades. Despite her condition, Maddie never backs down, which is empowering to watch.


Halloween (2018):


Michael Myers has been a popular horror movie killer since the first “Halloween” movie was released in 1978. With over ten different “Halloween” movies having been released over the course of 40 years, it’s hard to keep track of what exactly happened to Michael Myers. Many people are familiar with the original movie, which features a young Jamie Lee Curtis playing Laurie Strode, whom Myers targets and torments all Halloween night. Now, 40 years later, director David Gordon Green is bringing Myers back for a final night of Halloween horror. After escaping a mental institution, Myers returns to his neighborhood in Haddonfield, Illinois, where Laurie Strode, almost five decades later, has been patiently waiting for his return. Find out if Michael Myers finally meets his end when “Halloween” is released on Friday, Oct. 19. I’m really excited to see the new revamped version of the movie. I watched the original one, and while it was a classic, I couldn’t help but think that it was “old school.” While the effects, acting, and setting were still good quality, I’m looking forward to seeing how the detailed special effects of today will be integrated into the new movie.


The Conjuring (2013):


Moving into a new house can be a thrilling start to a new life. However, when the Perron family moves into their new farmhouse in Rhode Island, they almost meet the end of their lives. Unbeknownst to the family, their house is crawling with spirits, the worst of which being Bathsheba, a witch who hung herself on the property and put a curse on anyone who lived there after her. With paranormal events occurring almost every night in their new house, concerned mother, Carolyn Perron, reaches out to Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are famous paranormal inquirers. Stepping into the family’s house, the Warrens soon realize that they are dealing with something much bigger and more sinister than they had expected. Once Bathsheba latches on to Carolyn, Ed and Lorraine must work hard to save the lives of the family, and to bring their mother back to them. Movies with possession and demonic activity terrify me, and I usually stay away from them. Something about the idea of being taken over by a spirit does not sit well with me. However, I actually enjoyed this movie — it doesn’t focus on the possession of Carolyn, and includes a multitude of other events, which makes it more interesting and less focused on that event. But, if you are sensitive to these types of incidents, I would not recommend this movie.