Poltergeist (1982): This will forever remain my favorite scary movie of all time. I remember my mom didn’t want to show it to me when I was too young because I looked a lot like Carol Anne. It didn’t matter, I was still afraid I’d get sucked into the TV. Or that my closet would eat me in the middle of the night. I still get creeped out when I forget to turn the light off in the closet and close the door. I just love how this movie slowly builds on the creepiness through things moving about on their to complete and utter insanity. And just when you think the house is “clean,” shit gets even CRAZIER. It’s just so fun and creepy. It’s a must-watch movie for me every October.
The Craft: How do I even begin to explain how much I love The Craft? I think it was one of the most formative movies of my pre-teen and teen years. I related to these girls, going to a co-ed Catholic high school and having a couple close girlfriends who I definitely tried “light as a feather, stiff as a board” with during sleepovers. (I think most girls did this, yes?) Thankfully, I also had a mom who enabled my obsession with this movie and took me to the local “New Age” store so we could get incense, candles, stones, books, etc. And even now, I think that movie has influenced my wardrobe, makeup, and jewelry choices. If you knew me in middle/high school, then you totally get it.
ANYWAY, the movie is the ultimate girl power movie. To put it as simply as possible, four girls who have some subtle magic powers team up as friends and cast spells on the men that have wronged them. The spells aren’t hokey. Everything is based on real mythology and principles. And obviously, while the results are exaggerated, it feels real. It turns into a true horror movie for the last 15 minutes. The soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever, and I still listen to it regularly. There’s no movie like it and no movie that resonates so strongly with me still today.
The Witch: “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” I like to call this movie my origin story. (It doesn’t help that one of my friends is convinced the main girl looks like me, ha!) This is a great psychological thriller that builds a quiet terror throughout an isolated family in 1630 New England — a few decades before the great witch panic of Salem. What happens when a witch in the woods steals a baby and terrorizes a family from afar by slowly driving them all insane? The teen girl is to blame, of course. There are some haunting images throughout this film and the final scene is… perfection.
The Strangers: I have a fascination with home invasion movies and this one takes the cake. Why do so many people insist on living in remote places so far from civilization!? Sure, it’s peaceful but there are so many crazy, murdery people out there! This one is horrifying because it seems all too plausible. There’s no rhyme or reason for the violence done to the couple. It’s done simply “because you were home.” *shudder*
10 Cloverfield Lane: What happens when you crash your car and you’re locked in an undergrounder bunker with a man who may or may not be an insane homicidal maniac? I love, love this movie. And I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead. If you can’t tell, I tend to love horror/creepy movies that aren’t blatant about it being a horror movie. We really don’t know what‘s going on in this one. Is there really an apocalypse happening outside? Or is this man just completely batshit crazy? Does he want to murder the others or does he just want some companionship? Go watch it because it’s so, so good.
Alien: This is classic horror at its best. I hope you’ve seen it. If not, you need to correct that immediately. What’s better than Sigourney Weaver being the ultimate badass while looking super foxy. An alien slowly and gruesomely taking out a ragtag crew trapped on a spaceship. A cat, which survives the whole film. It’s perfect.
Get Out: Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele) created one of the most harrowing horror movies of the modern era. It plays on the discomfort of white families attempting to welcome their daughter’s new black suitor. They overcompensate by talking about Obama and attempting to prove they’re not racist because of all their black friends! They seem awkward but well-intentioned. But as the family getaway progresses, things prove to be more and more alarming. It’s uncomfortable, gruesome, hilarious at times (because it’s written by Peele), and psychologically crazy.
Cabin in the Woods: I couldn’t make this list without this one! It starts out just like every other horror movie: a group of horny 20-somethings heading to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of drinking and frivolity when suddenly they’re being axe-murdered by zombies. But… we soon learn this is all being orchestrated by a team behind the scenes with a slew of monster-movie tropes at their disposal. It all just depends on which horror the victims “select” in a dark basement full of creepy antiques. The cast is fantastic: Thor (before he was Thor), Fran Kranz from “Dollhouse,” Amy Acker, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, Tom Lenk, and, of course, Sigourney Weaver.
Honorable Mentions Because I Couldn’t Decide and Love Spoopy Movies: Trick R Treat, Aliens, The Conjuring, The Ring, Ju On, Hausu, The Descent, It Follows, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, The Babadook, Scream, Black Christmas (1974), The Others, The House of the Devil, The Fly, Eraserhead, The Birds, and many, many more!
What are your favorite spoopy movies?