With Halloween rapidly approaching, you’re probably beginning to think which films you should be watching or prepared to watch to celebrate the frightening holiday. Well, we’ve been thinking about that a lot, too, which is why we came up with five of the best movies to watch to celebrate the spooky season.
There’s one catch: Even though these are universally great for anyone at anytime—as long as you’re old enough—they’re especially perfect for a group of new flatmates. What better way to, say get ready for the end of the world than by watching Doomsday together? And what if someone you know is related to a blood-thirsty maniac like Michael Myers from Halloween? These are jokes, of course, but the films can definitely lead to a great bonding experience, as long as no one gets too freaked out.
Without question, this is the slasher film to end (and start!) all slasher films. Many of the others you’ve seen in this vein, whether it’s the Friday the 13th series or even later Halloween movies, have been modeled after the original Halloween. You want to know real terror? It lies in the hands of a “man” named Michael Myers (no not the actor) with no apparent soul or reason for being beyond killing off every living person in his bloodline. Also, how awesome is Jamie Lee Curtis? She actually earned the nickname “the scream queen” for her blood-curdling shrieks as protagonist Laurie Strode. And if you want to get that even more university-themed, watch Halloween H20. Be forewarned: It’s kind of a mess.
If you like gory and suspenseful “grindhouse” films and you haven’t seen Doomsday, that needs to change now. This is one of the better movies in the genre to emerge in the past five years, but don’t let that lead you to believe it’s a brilliant piece of cinematography. It’s like a bagful of candy—you crave it even though it’s bad for you and you enjoy it when it’s happening. Also, it pays homage to Mad Max and Escape from New York, so you can’t really go wrong. But one of the best parts about this movie? You can watch it right now on movie-streaming service PictureBox. That way you won’t have to track down a DVD or, god forbid, a VHS copy to see some truly awesome and over-the-top campy horror. Also, maybe watching this will get you ready for the apocalypse … if you believe in that sort of thing.
Don’t worry about seeing the first installment or even the remake, because Evil Dead II is all you need in this series. Why? Because it’s pretty much an updated version of the first Evil Dead with most of the same people involved, including our hero Ash Williams who’s portrayed hilariously by Bruce Campbell. The movie has equal doses of straight-up horror, low-budget gore, and creepy humor. It will also remind you that you should never agree to go to a nasty old cabin in the woods. But if you do, get ready to fight and stay away from the trees!
While the first might be the best in the franchise, Scream 2 is still a damn-good slasher flick. Much of the appeal is in finding out exactly who is behind those ghoulish masks and robes, which will keep you watching even as you think you’ve got it all figured out. But what will keep you truly engaged is the goofball humour, the way certain characters inevitably get offed, and the beyond-corny love story between Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). Also, it takes place at an actual university, so you can relate.
The Shining is easily the “best” film on this list, because of its direction, script, and acting. But it’s also the flat-out scariest. Just imagine heading to a gigantic mansion in the middle of nowhere during a winter storm, only to have one of the people you’re with lose his or her mind. How do you cope? Do you start seeing things and getting the urge to become murderous too? Those thoughts alone make this one terrify, along with the idea of being cooped up in a house that big with someone like Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance.