Trick or treat, give me something good to eat! As the yellow and red tinted leaves fall off the trees and jack-o-lanterns secure their places in front porches, here comes everyone’s favorite time of the year—Halloween! It’s the only day of the year that people shake the dust off the costumes neglected in the corners of their closets, and become ever so pumped about trick-or-treating… not. The reality is, however, that most of us will be holed up in our beds eating the chocolate we gathered, binge-watching movies. We all have our own methods of enjoying Halloween movies: challenging ourselves to not flinch once through the entire film, screaming into the arms of our significant others, or even just feeling the chills crawl up our spines. Well, guess what? Here’s a list of must-watch Halloween movies that does not include the ones you’ve watched every year at school (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”).
Lights Out (2016)
Of course, Halloween is all about horror, right? Everyone knows that images of ghosts and spirits are going to haunt them when they close their eyes to shampoo their hair, or as they stick their heads into the sink to wash their faces, but they love scary movies regardless. Instead of going for the typical, cliché horror films like “The Conjuring” or the “Paranormal Activity” series that you’ve watched at least three times each, try the most recent popular horror film, “Lights Out.”
This movie is based on the common childhood fear of what happens when the lights are off. The movie starts off with a textile warehouse worker, Esther, who sees the silhouette of a woman with gruesomely long fingers in the dark. When she turns on the lights, however, the monstrous figure is nowhere to be seen. The rest of the film portrays the family of Paul, the owner of the warehouse, as they experience similar sightings and are even attacked by the mysterious silhouette in the dark. This spine-chilling horror film has the potential to change even the short walk to your bed from your wall, after you turn the lights off at home. Beware! No one knows who or what might be lurking in the darkness of your room.
Monster House (2006)
Don’t like horror? That’s fine. “Monster House” is not the first animation that comes to mind when you think of Halloween, but a memory of it probably lies somewhere deep in your brain. Three young children explore the mysterious house of their neighbor Nebbercracker—rumor has it that Nebbercracker ate his wife—and try to enter the house while it is “asleep,” because it seems to be alive and moving at other times. The animation illustrates the journey of the children as they try to figure out the secrets behind the apparently haunted house.
Just listening to the synopsis makes this animation seem like one that parents take their three-year-old children to. But contrary to its seemingly childish movie cover and predictable storyline, many critics including Todd McCarthy of “Variety” magazine have said that the movie is filled “with shocks and jolts provided with reliable regularity.” So if you’re looking for a scare but don’t want to have to worry about spending sleepless nights trying to push thoughts about scary clowns and serial killers out of your head, this movie is perfect for you.
Watching the newest horror films sounds great, but watching classics here and then never does any harm. “Casper” was released in 1995, but has since remained a long-time favorite when it comes to Halloween movies. In the movie, Casper is a young and kind (yes, kind!) ghost that peacefully (yes, peacefully!) haunts a mansion. To catch this ghost, a paranormal expert named James Harvey and his daughter Kat move into the mansion. Once they move, in, they are met with more spirits that differ in size and personality as well as numerous obstacles that prevent them from simply getting rid of these ghosts.
Contrary to the typical Halloween movie, “Casper” does more than just depict a story with no real plot and only a few jump scares. As Kat spends time with Casper, who has fallen in love with her at first sight, they build a friendship more valuable than anything else. Both Kat and Casper have a tragedy in some form of another in their own lives, but they are willing to help each other out. If you are more inclined toward dramas and heart-warming movies yet still want a hint of Halloween in the film, “Casper” will be the perfect complement to your lazy Monday night under a warm and fuzzy blanket.
Now that you have a list of movies to turn to on Halloween night, you won’t ever have to worry about being lonely at home with nothing to do. Enjoy! And remember: make sure your closet door is tightly closed before you go to sleep—you don’t know what might crawl out of it while you are fast asleep.