Required Viewing this Halloween

It’s that time of year again. Time to curl up and eat the candy your mom bought for other peoples’ kids and watch movies that make you laugh, or scream depending on how well you take horror movies.

Here are a few of my personal favorite horror classics:


I first saw this as a kid and I’ve loved it ever since. There’s something I like about a good ghost story that draws me in to this film. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, this is the one that started the “build on an ancient burial ground” trope. An unsuspecting family moves into a house that turns out to be haunted, and they hire psychics to help cleanse it. It’s a classic and a must-see for anyone in the family.

Scare Factor: A few jump scares and a happy ending.

Also See: Gremlins or Ghost Busters for something more tame.


What better movie to celebrate Halloween? This movie follows the dreaded killer Michael Myers and his infamous mask. And a reboot. This is one of those movies you can catch on movie channels, or at least you can catch one of the several sequels. Or the reboot. The reboot was pretty good.

Scare Factor: This one can get kinda gory; it’s a classic slasher film.

Also See: Nightmare on Elm Street.

Friday the 13th

Speaking of slasher films, why don’t we talk about one of the most famous horror films of all time? Friday the 13th is about Jason (yes, the hockey mask Jason, although he doesn’t wear it in this one) and his adventures in a summer camp full of teenagers. It goes as well as you would expect.

Scare Factor: A good ol’ chainsaw slasher flick perfect for a weekend of sequels!

Also See: Texas Chainsaw Massacre if you really dig chainsaws, or Child’s Play.

Blair Witch Project

The first person perspective combined with the powerful threat makes this movie a leader in  genre of found-recording thriller movies. Its ending makes it all the more terrifying, and real. It plays off the atmospheric tension to scare some, but bore others. Love it or hate it, it’s an archetype.

Scare Factor: Jump scares and not much gore.

Also See: Paranormal Activity for more found-footage fun.

The Shining

This not only thrills you but leaves an impact. With wonderful acting that seems almost too good for Jack Nicholson to be completely sane, it left it’s mark on pop culture as well. Many scenes such as the door scene, the twins, and the infamous “redrum” writings. The novel of the same name is equally brilliant, but that is beside the point. This is a movie about a man’s descent into madness and the unseen forces behind it.

Scare Factor: This movie leaves an impact; I always feel thrilled afterwards.

Also See: For more of King’s works try Carrie or Children of the Corn, also see The Ring and The Grudge.