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Halloween: The Holiday of HORROR

Logan Gaertner, Contributor

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It’s getting to that time of year where everyone is getting ready to celebrate the event of Hallow’s Eve, and what better way to do it than checking out some quality, classic, and terrifying horror films! Here is a couple of movies to check out and watch over the course of the Halloween season to get into the season of spooks (or just for fun. That’s cool, too of course)!

 

The Shining (1980) My personal favorite horror movie of all time, The Shining is a fantastic entry into the genre of horror (unless you ask Stephen King, but don’t worry about that). Jack Torrance has gotten a job caretaking the Overlook Hotel while it’s closed during the winter. His wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, are living with him over the course of the hotel’s closing. And then…weird, creepy, and maybe supernatural things start to affect Torrance’s already crippling sanity, and his family becomes vulnerable against the terrifying hauntings of the hotel. The Shining does its job masterfully when it comes to creating a sense of isolation with the long and big hallways of the hotel (that may or may not have two creepy little girls appear as a character rounds the corner), and it makes for some genuinely effective thrills that might be anxiety-inducing for some. If you are a fan of horror, or just movies in general, The Shining is an essential experience! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

The Exorcist (1973) Although maybe a tad bit dated by today’s standards, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist is one of the most iconic and influential horror movies ever made, and is definitely still a worthy watch. Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn gives a very real and raw performance) is an actress living about her life, when all of a sudden her daughter, Regan, starts showcasing some abnormal behaviors, and the behaviors start to get more strange as the film progresses, until the behaviors become horribly terrifying. It seems the only way to stop this behavior (that may or may not be caused by a demon) is to perform an exorcism so that Regan can live as her normal self again.  The Exorcist has been named one of the scariest movies of all time by countless people and entertainment outlets since its release, and that praise is completely justified. There are a number of times where people will be watching the movie through their fingers because of how creepy and unsettling the movie gets. The film also has a thought-provoking commentary on religion vs science that many find very interesting to dissect and discuss.

 

Hereditary (2018) The most recent horror entry of these recommendations, Hereditary, in my own humble opinion, is the scariest film I have ever seen. The film received high praise from critics, but was strangely divisive amongst audiences, so this one might not be for everyone, but it is worth a watch for fans of the genre. Annie Graham (a career-defining performance from Toni Collette) has just lost her mother, who was a very secretive and unpredictable person. Annie finds it hard to feel sad about her mother’s death because they both had a very troubled and complicated relationship, but it greatly affects Annie’s daughter, Charlie. Charlie does a lot of things people would call creepy and perplexing, and with that, I will stop right there in describing the plot in order for the surprises to be all the more impactful. Hereditary is incredibly intricate in its set design, scares, and characters, and when watched on multiple viewings, the viewer will pick up on things they may not have catched the first time, and that will make the experience that much more terrifying. Again, not for everyone, but worth a shot if you’re a hardcore fan of horror films.

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Halloween: The Holiday of HORROR