It’s spooky season here on the Bluff and The Beacon has compiled a list of all our personal favorite Halloween watches to put on your list this Halloween night. So turn out the lights, grab your candy of choice and settle in for some seasonal frights and delights.
“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Recommended by Kate Cuadrado, Editor-in-Chief
“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” is an indie American Persian-language horror film that follows a music loving, skateboarding vampire as she prowls the streets of Bad City, stalking and killing men who prey on women. Artful and haunting all at once, Director Ana Lily Amirpour creates a visually and narratively compelling story about feminine revenge in the form of a bloodsucking vampiress.
“The People Under the Stairs”
Recommended by Janea Melido, News and Managing Editor
“The People Under the Stairs" is a 1991 horror film directed by Wes Craven, centered on a young boy named Fool who, in an attempt to help his struggling family, teams up with some burglars to rob their creepy landlords, the Robesons. But as they break into the house, they stumble upon a horrifying secret. The horrors of class disparity, abuse and isolation are explored within the film, serving as a commentary on suburban dysfunction.
Recommended by Kimberly Cortez, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Editor
So you want to get into horror? “The Conjuring” is a great movie to start! Based on the real-life stories of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators associated with prominent cases of alleged hauntings, the movie takes you through a journey of evocative clairvoyance and chilling paranormal scenes that might have you sleeping with the lights on. For veteran horror movie-goers, choose this film for the acting performance of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, as well as the detailed story building.
Recommended by Gavin Britton, Multimedia Editor
“Robots” is a very futuristic animated film where robots live like humans. The movie follows a young robot named Rodney Copperbottom as he embarks on a journey to pursue his dreams to work for a spare robot parts company. Although "Robots" isn't really related to Halloween, it's imaginative and sort of creepy. I think there are many scenes that kind of make you wonder what the director was thinking.
Recommended by Tiffany Marquez Escobar, Reporter
A Puritan family is faced with the sudden disappearance of their youngest child. Fingers are immediately pointed at the oldest sister, who was the last person to see him. With suspicion of witchcraft and a series of paranormal incidents, the family begins to turn on one another. Set in the middle of a forest in 1600s New England, this is the perfect movie to watch on a gloomy night with all the lights turned off. It’s unsettling, grim and will be sure to leave you terrified.
Recommended by Julianna Pedone, Reporter
“Oculus” is the reason that I never watch horror movies anymore. It is a supernatural psychological horror film that follows the lives of two siblings whose antique mirror induces intense hallucinations that lead to death, destruction and horrid misfortune in their family. If you want to never be able to look at your mirror the same again, even your $7 one from Target, this is the movie for you.
Recommended by Jayme Mintz, Photographer
This is a Spanish found footage horror movie. A news reporter and her camera crew go to a fire station to do a segment about firefighters on the job. They get caught in the middle of a mysterious outbreak localized to an apartment building. I love this movie, because it’s not trying to be a spectacle or a gore fest — it’s simply pure dread. The movie does a great job of using the handheld camera to build tension rather than throwing jump scares in your face. It’s so good that at times I found myself physically backing away from the screen. It’s a standout among both found footage horror and zombie movies.
Recommended by Netty Jurriaans, Community Engagement Editor
I wouldn't call myself a horror movie fan at all. In fact, I literally convince myself for a week straight after watching anything scary that the exact same thing will happen to me. That's why I prefer the more psychological horror genre, and “Get Out,” one of the most genius movies I've ever watched, is just that. “Get Out” is a film directed by Jordan Peele that follows a young black man as he vacations at his white girlfriend's family home. After several terrifying encounters with her family members and their staff, he realizes that his girlfriend is not who he thought she was. A twisted look at social issues like race and white supremacy, “Get Out” is perfect for those who want a scary movie that also makes you think.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
Recommended by Aidan Hyde, Sports Reporter
Who doesn’t love some Charlie Brown? This Halloween special is about Linus’ journey of faith toward the Great Pumpkin. To prove that the Great Pumpkin exists, he spends a night alone in the pumpkin patch. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is great for all ages and Halloween lovers.
Recommended by Emma Swett, Sports Reporter
This year is the 25-year anniversary of the movie and the town it is set in is only 45 minutes away from UP — where they set the scene for fans to come see every October. What a time to be a Halloweentown lover! A must watch during the holiday season as you embark with Marnie on her newfound journey as a witch to Halloweentown. A place that ceases to exist in the ‘real world,’ filled with anything and everything supernatural. Not too scary, just the right amount of fun, and it is guaranteed to put you in the spirit while bringing you back to the nostalgia of Halloween as a child.
Recommended by Riley Martinez, Copy Editor
“The Menu” is a horror/thriller depicting the events of a night at an exclusive restaurant owned and operated by a mysterious, reclusive chef. Each of the guests has their own reasons for attending this avant garde culinary experience — some of them very dark and upsetting. The plot moves quickly and keeps you engaged with unexpected shocks, horrors and revelations. While moving you closer to the edge of your seat, this movie will make you think about wealth, class, authenticity and above all, food.
“American Horror Story”
Recommended by Molly Bancroft, Sports/News Reporter
I know it’s not a movie, but if you watch two or three episodes, it starts to feel like the length of one. “American Horror Story” goes through various locations and times in the show, depicting all kinds of psychological horror to the viewers. Some are more current, such as a murder house in Los Angeles or the formation of a cult in a post-Trump era. But others transport you to a brand new time and place, such as an insane asylum in the 1960s or a slasher summer camp in the 80s. What’s great about AHS is it always varies in if it’s more jump-scare orientated or psychologically driven in horror. And good news is, if the season isn’t your jam, you can be reassured that the next one will be different.
Recommended by Camille Kuroiwa-Lewis, News Reporter
“House” is a Japanese horror movie about a group of schoolgirls who visit a haunted house. Initially received poorly, the insane editing has since cemented the film as a cult classic in Japan and America (also now considered by many critics to be one of the most important horror films of the 20th century, if you care about that sort of thing.) The film experiments with horror clichés in a camp way, making for a super fun watch. Though silly, it still packs a punch with its commentary on grief and family, as well as having some shots that are just genuinely scary.
Recommended by Maggie Dapp, Sports Editor
The first film to feature a CGI lead, “Casper” is a Halloween family classic that follows a ‘ghost therapist’ hired to exorcize a haunted mansion, his daughter and the preteen ghost floating around the mansion that falls in love with her. Originally criticized for its darker take on the friendly ghost, this movie will feed your need for cozy and nostalgic Halloween vibes.
Recommended by Michael Lang, Opinions Editor
As the thirteenth installment in the “Halloween” franchise, “Halloween Dies” is a slasher film set around Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and her ultimate goal of killing Michael Myers, the antagonist who has returned over the years and slaughtered countless individuals with his ruthless tactics. The soundtrack is distinctly related to the “Halloween” franchise and the scenes, while gruesome, are oftentimes unpredictable given that Michael Myers never seems to die during the altercations. This is also Curtis’s final role in the series after playing Strode over the past decades.
Recommended by Noah Carandanis, Living Section Editor
Before there was “Fortnite” there was Kinji Fukasaku’s “Battle Royale.” The film follows a class of junior high school students who are selected by the government to participate in a fight to the death against their classmates. The splatter within the film is counterbalanced with scenes that tug on the heart strings, creating an engaging experience with no lulls during its runtime. This to die for field trip provides plenty of camp and horror for any Halloween screening.
Recommended by Natalie Gordon, Photographer
Typically I find some horror movies to be slightly cheesy and “hacky,” but “Smile” is genuinely one of the better made horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. It follows psychiatrist Dr. Rose Cotter (played by Sosi Bacon) as she begins to be threatened by a bizarre entity that seems to taunt and play with her personal trauma. Bacon’s acting chops are highlighted in the many highly emotional scenes and the SFX are paired well with the general unsettling aesthetic of this mind-bending, psychological thriller.
This list was compiled by The Beacon staff. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.