Horror Movies

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Everyone shares a link within the realm of movies. We’ve all got our favorites and everyone likes certain types of movies over others. But during this Halloween season, FictionTalk invites you to see our favorite horror movies. These films are the ones going bump in the night and giving us all nightmares. Some might be funny, others might be gory, we don’t judge. Most of all, these are our favorites, the ones we think are the best.

So come along for us on this journey, and we’ll get through it together. Don’t worry about that dark and scary abandoned house. Keep your eyes away from the cobwebs filling the corners, and stay out of the forbidden forest. Whatever you do, don’t go in there, and always look behind you. One thing is for certain, none of these movies will give you sweet dreams.

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine Horror Movies
Heart-stopping terror arrives this Valentine’s day!

Does My Bloody Valentine classify as a Halloween or Valentine’s film? Regardless of that, my personal all-time favorite horror film is the original 1981 ‘My Bloody Valentine’. The miner mask is potentially one of the most recognizable horror masks. However, it doesn’t have a huge franchise behind it like some other big names. A group of teens decides to hold a Valentine’s dance that hasn’t been held for 20 years. The infamous miner killer ‘returns’ to demand the town to cancel the dance immediately. If not, the death toll will continue to rise.

The viewer is in suspense throughout, wondering who’s behind the mask. The film keeps you guessing so much that in the 2009 remake, they changed the identity of the killer! My Bloody Valentine might be old, but it’s certainly a great film if you don’t mind going back in time. Nevertheless, when you see the infamous miner you know some light bulbs are about to be smashed and you need to run before the pick-axe gets you!

The Thing (1982)

The Thing Horror Movies
Being cold and alone never felt so terrifying…

When it comes to horror movies I’ve watched a ton of them, but I’m always pulled back by older ones. John Carpenter is the granddaddy of horror films, and also the director of my favorite one, 1982’s ‘The Thing’. Yeah, I know they had a prequel in 2011, but that was garbage, and we don’t talk about that one. The best part about The Thing is the sense of paranoia, which is constant throughout the entire movie.

There aren’t any jump scares, but the idea was never about that and the monster that appears isn’t that terrifying when you think about it. Much like a certain clown, it can shapeshift into anybody, and that alone is scary. The characters go back and forth on who is the monster and who they can actually trust. Not to mention that the entire thing is inspired by H.P Lovecraft, who I always find entertaining to read.

Let’s Get into the Nitty-Gritty!

An even bigger plus is that it has one of my favorite actors, Kurt Russell. He is perfect in the role of MacReady, and while there isn’t much characterization when it comes to the protagonists, it’s still well-acted. The premise is simple. A team of American scientists finds an excavation team in the Antarctic. They appear to be all dead, so the boys pack up and return to their base, and that’s where shit begins to happen. Tensions rise, people get killed, and alliances form.

Even when you reach the end you still feel as if something is not right, and you’ll definitely have your own theory when you finish the film. All in all, a great movie in my opinion. For all of those who aren’t looking for demons and ghosts, and just want an uneasy feeling throughout the entire film, this is a perfect choice. Also, go ahead and listen to the opening soundtrack, and tell me you don’t already feel a bit tense after hearing it.

Cabin in the Woods

Cabin In The Woods
There’s something seriously messed up going on in these woods…

Cabin in the Woods starts off innocently enough by going through a lengthy list of tropes and clichés you would expect to see in a horror movie. You’ve got your run-of-the-mill gang of young people, each depicting a familiar archetype – the jock, the nerd, the hot blonde, the strong and silent type. You know, the standard affair. Naturally, this stereotypical group of characters decides to take a trip to a secluded and mysterious cabin where modern means of communication don’t work. As all young people often do. On their way there, our gang of lovable misfits runs into the generic gas station redneck who gives out ominous warnings to all passersby.

By this point, you probably know where the story is going and you would have every right to assume that the characters would soon find themselves in a nightmare-inducing scenario from whence there is no escape. I’m guessing most people would predict psycho murderer wandering the forest or maybe a ghost that’s haunting the cabin, but it’s actually zombies. Not exactly a big twist but this is where things start to get interesting.

A Twist That You Genuinely Won’t See Coming

Cabin in the Woods offers exactly what you expect to see in a horror movie up until a certain point. Once you think you know where the plot is going, the movie presents a twist that was pretty much impossible to guess and that’s when the real fun begins. As soon as it is revealed that the cabin is actually part of a testing ground for supernatural monsters, the tone changes completely. The basic gist is that there’s a top-secret facility found underneath the cabin where scientists are collecting and studying various types of monsters like in some sort of twisted version of Pokémon.

What stood out to me about Cabin in the Woods is the way it manages to pay homage to horror without feeling too cheesy. If you’re a fan of scary movies, there’s a lot to look forward to here because there are Easter Eggs plastered all over the place. Cabin in the Woods is for horror movies what Ready Player One is for video games, albeit many of the references are a bit more subtle. Others, like the twin sisters from The Shining, the Pinhead lookalike or the countless nods to Evil Dead, are all too obvious.

Whether you’re into classic horror or not, Cabin in the Woods is a must-see, especially for the scene where the monsters escape from their enclosures and all hell breaks loose.

Ju-On (The Grudge)

Ju-On Horror Movies
We have GOTTA get out of this house!!

I’d be hard-pressed to tell you my favorite horror movie of all time. I think that, even for the horror genre, there’s a range of “scary”—from subtle, creeping horror like “The Witch” to louder, jumpscare-based horror like “Insidious” (or any of James Wan’s films really)–and I think they all have their merits. But there’s one series that has haunted me for quite a few years. 

My mom and I made the unfortunate mistake of renting “The Grudge” at Blockbuster when the film first came out in the early 2000’s. I couldn’t have been older than ten at the time, and I knew then, when I heard Kayako’s death rattle as she scuttled down the stairs, that it was the scariest goddamn sound I would ever hear in a movie. I slept with my parents for a week afterward.

It took me thirteen years to finally summon the courage to watch the 2004 American remake of “The Grudge” again, and while it’s not as horrifyingly scary as I remember, it’s Japanese predecessor, “Ju-On” (2002) is unsettling as hell. I’d put the “Ju-On” franchise as one of my favorite series of horror movies. 

What Are They About?

The premise of the films is that once you even step foot into the cursed house occupied by Kayako, a wrathful spirit (also known as an onryō) and her murdered son Toshio, you’re as good as dead. There’s no way to revoke the curse, and the two will haunt you slowly, making you question your own sanity. When you’re finally at the breaking point, or when they’re done screwing with you, they’ll drag you down to damnation and spread the curse outwards. So it’s completely possible that your friends and family will also be cursed by virtue of being close to you.

Kayako and Toshio’s body count is insane; it doesn’t matter if five or fifty people enter the Saeki house. They’re all getting killed. The series has held up for more than twenty years, starting with two short films, “Katasumi” and “444444444” in 1998, where Kayako and her son make their debut, and spawning no less than 7 films.

And, on top of being virtually unstoppable, Kayako Saeki (played by the Japanese actress Takako Fuji) is creepy as all hell; her weird crab-walk and rattle have caused me many nightmares as a child. I couldn’t even look at the cover of the American release, which features a close up image of Kayako’s face, one eye obscured by a waterfall of black hair and the other looking hatefully out at the viewer, without flinching.

Apparently, they’re rebooting the franchise next year, and while the promotional pics out now look like regular American-horror fodder, I can’t wait to (hopefully) catch a glimpse of Kayako and cover my eyes like I’m ten years old again. 

Halloween (1978)

Horror Movies
This knife has killed more babysitters than you can shake a stick at…

I’ve been watching scary movies since I was WAY too small. My parents told me when I was around six that movie blood wasn’t real. I immediately tried about six or seven times to make some, carpets got trashed. But no matter what happens in life, I’ll never forget that beautiful piece of information. Not because you can make movie blood, but because it meant that horror movies weren’t real.

This was a completely transformative bit of information that set my brain on fire. If scary movies weren’t real, there was nothing to fear from them. Gory turned into funny, and once that switch was made, I have yet to stop watching horror. But when you grow up in a world where the goriest monsters are hilarious… it’s hard to be scared. That’s why I truly appreciate any film that actually scares me anymore.

So What’s My Favorite?

One movie that never stops scaring me is the original Halloween (1978). Sure, Michael Myers is just a serial killer. Of course, he’s just one guy with a knife. But the hand that’s holding that knife might as well be attached to a shark. Michael Myers is the kind of cold, black evil that only humans can create. There is no real joy he takes from killing, not like killers from other horror movies.

Michael is vastly different from the cenobites from Hellraiser. He’s not trying to kill campers who let him drown like Jason Vorhees. Michael Myers is The Shape, a figureless mass of killing intent given form in a human body. Filled with horror tropes like a slow-walking man catching up to scared, running teens, it amplifies the scare. Every scene feels like a nightmare where no matter how fas you run, it’s not enough.

Both the various sequels and the Rob Zombie remakes tried to recapture the villain in a new light. But Michael Myers is a dark part of the human soul, and that’s why he scares us all. Even though the other killers, monsters, and ghouls on this list had more than a knife, Michael scares me more. Maybe it’s the slow, lumbering walk, maybe it’s just that nothing can kill his determination. I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. But if I had to be put into any horror movie and survive… I wouldn’t wanna go against Michael.

Jon

The Ritual (2017)

Not much to say about this one. It’s great, so just go watch it and thank me later.