Why you should care
Because getting a little scared will loosen you up! Plus, it’s Halloween.
Some of you are like, “Yes! Halloween! I love horror movies.” Others say, “Not my thing.” But if that’s you, you’re wrong. Want to scream, laugh or just be confused? Maybe you need something artsy. There’s a “scary” movie out there for each and every one of you.
The 1920 silent film Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) is thought to be the first horror movie. By the late ’60s, we had classics like Night of the Living Dead. The ’70s were probably the best decade for horror, with The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Carrie and Halloween. The ’80s — a decade that’s a low taste point, in general — gave us the worst camp crap, like Hellraiser, Creepshow, Puppet Master and Nightmare on Elm Street sequels that never came close to the greatness of the original. OK, there was The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, but aside from that, the ’80s were pretty disappointing.
If you love absurdity, try Troll 2, The Gate or The Stuff, a cult film about homicidal yogurt. Yes, I’m serious. Someone paid to make these films. And no, they are not scary. At all.
If you actually want to be scared, aside from the classics, I recommend It Follows, Drag Me to Hell, The Babadook, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Ringu and Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In). Good luck sleeping soundly afterward! If you’re stuck with small children (or are using that as an excuse for your cowardly nature), definitely avoid those. But there’s still Halloween fun to be watched: Try Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Edward Scissorhands, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or The Monster Squad.
For those of you still feeling too high-brow for all this fun, there are arty scares out there too. To name a few: The Shining, Eyes Without a Face, Nosferatu, Suspiria, Don’t Look Now and The Nightmare Before Christmas. And, nerds, how about some meta-horror to indulge your smarts? There’s Scream, Cabin in the Woods, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Behind the Mask and Shaun of the Dead, which brings me to funny. If you really just want to laugh, you can try the so-bad-they’re-funny fare or one of these horror comedies: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Slugs or Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
If none of that suits you, there’s really only one more to try: David Lynch. Watch Eraserhead or Inland Empire and, well, be confounded, anxious or ecstatic.