wods by Bojana Duric
With Halloween festivities creeping in this weekend, there’s nothing better than watching horror movies and eating away all the candy meant for the tick-or-treaters.
When choosing what to watch, it’s always best to go with the classics since the horror films today focus too much on gore and not enough on the premises.
These films are the real deal. There’s more to them than just gory scenes with excruciating acting. They’re the ones that play with your psyche and leave you up at night. From deranged individuals to haunted hotels and even to adding a satirical approach, these five films are the perfect Halloween movies to watch on the spookiest night of the year.
The Shining, Stanley Kubrick, 1980
Here’s Johnny! Stephen King is one of the most recognized authors in the horror genre so when Kubrick adapted the The Shining, it was sure to be a scary hit. The film follows a family moving into a massive and deserted hotel where strange events occur. From bizarre scenes that still have you puzzled today, to a possessed Johnny and to finding out what redrum meant, Kubrick’s adaptation is one of Hollywood’s most memorable horror films. Even though King publicly stated he didn’t like Kubrick’s take on his novel and disagreed with the casting choice of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, the film leaves a disturbing chill down your spine with images of a creepy deserted hotel, the never-ending hallways and who could forget the twins who have forever scarred us.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola, 1992
Since the classic novel first published in 1897, the fascination with count Dracula continues. Forget about all of the newer films about glistening vampires, Coppola’s version stays true to the gothic horror genre involving seduction, evil and a stake to the heart. From the production design to Gary Oldman’s performance and his incredible transformation including costume design and makeup, both of which that won the Academy Award, the aesthetics of the film allows you to travel to Transylvania during the nineteenth century when it all started.
Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock, 1960
To this day, Alfred Hitchcock is known as the king of horror. When looking back to Hitchcock’s works today, his films show how much he understood what truly frightens people and manipulated that into his camera work including the angles, character development and the music. Psycho uses all the right elements to terrify an audience from a secluded motel, to a deranged owner living a double life as his dead mother who he murdered, to the unforgettable shower scene when the woman gets stabbed to death with the most recognizable music score adding to the tense moment. There is no doubt that the most terrifying thing about the horror genre is when it plays with the human psyche because then it seems all too real.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975
This is more of a satirical take on the horror genre using singing and over the top characters. The irony of the cult classic plays to the appeal with a young innocent couple entering a house full of scandalous activities and outrageous costumes. The entire film is centered on luring the innocent couple into a world of sin with hilarious moments and gore along the way. Tim Curry definitely steals the show as Frank the mad scientist and transvestite as well as Susan Sarandon who plays the sweet and innocent Janet. To this day, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is shown with live performances and audience participation.
Beetlejuice, Tim Burton, 1988
All you have to do is say his name three times and all hell breaks loose. Burton’s comedy horror film might not leave you shaking but it mixes the essentials of classic horror with a comedic approach. A dead married couple is stuck sharing a home with an eccentric family but the irony of it all is how the ghosts can’t seem to scare them away. Since they are terrible at being ghosts they try getting help from the devious Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton. The makeup and costumes plays a big role in adding to the aesthetics of the horror genre.
words by Bojana Duric