Another gust of wind blows colorful leaves that crunch under the pressure of footsteps. Carved pumpkins that glow at night take over the empty space on front porches. Deep orange lights, hanging skeletons, and artificial cobwebs are this month’s home decor.
It’s Spooky Season.
For some, October is just an excuse to eat candy and start wearing sweaters again. But for others, October is the pot of gold at the end of a Halloween-less year. It is the rejuvenation of the horror-obsessed zombies that wander through the rest of the year, waiting for October to bring them to life once more.
Spooky Season is more than a time of year—it is a lifestyle change.
Scary movies are an essential to the Halloween fanatic starter pack. Below are movie suggestions for those wanting to start the month off on a seriously horrifying note.
(Editor’s note: No, really. These movies are not for the faint of heart. They have ruined my life in a way I am forever grateful for. You have been warned.)
Directed by Ari Aster, who is beginning to take over the surrealist horror genre, “Hereditary” is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. In fact, “scary” isn’t the correct way to describe it. “Disturbing,” “a never ending feeling of dread,” and “mentally scarring, but in a fun way” might be better suited.
The film tackles identity crises and the toll of generational trauma through the story of the Graham family. With one unfortunate death after another, Annie (Toni Collette) begins to question the narrative she’s been told about her mother and childhood. However, none of it comes without a cost, and soon, the whole family suffers in the wake of Annie’s decisions.
The movie is beautifully written, filmed, and edited, and even shot in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah. It is both incredibly thought provoking and never-sleep-again scary. Anyone other than true horror fans should think twice before this embarking on this adventure.
“The Ring” (2002)
It might be almost 20 years old, but I stand by the fact that “The Ring” is terrifying. While the plot itself is unsettling and sad, the real fear of the movie comes after the viewing experience.
The story takes place in a world with a deadly videotape. Legend has it that anyone who watches the short tape of vague and bizarre images and sounds will mysteriously die seven days later. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) becomes the tape’s next victim and is determined to find its source and put a stop to it once and for all.
The premise is creepy, for sure. However, the film is rumored to feature subliminal messages that leave the viewer far more than unsettled. According to some theorists, the killer videotape is played throughout the movie for split seconds at a time. When the two hours are up, the viewer has watched the videotape over and over again.
There’s not a lot of evidence to say that theory is true, but what I do know is that I still refuse to watch this movie a second time.
“The VVitch” (2016)
Full disclosure: I actually haven’t seen the whole movie. Why? I chickened out half way through.
Taking place in 17th century New England, a farming family’s newborn son mysteriously goes missing, possibly due to witchcraft. The family is pulled apart as they begin to blame each other for the recent tragedies, which only makes things catastrophic.
Although slow paced and not extremely plot-heavy, this movie has one of the darkest, eeriest vibes I’ve ever experienced. It’s beautifully made but unsettling, to say the least. If you can handle 90 minutes of pure dread, this might be right up your alley.
“The Babadook” (2014)
Are you afraid of the dark? Monsters that lurk in every part of your brain? How about the never-ending presence of death and grief? If so, “The Babadook” is sure to haunt you.
The film centers around a single mother and her son who are still grappling with the death of their husband/father. One day, a mysterious children’s book shows up at their door, which releases an evil that won’t leave them alone.
Themes of grief and depression are heavy, but told in an artistic and beautiful way. While the film is certainly a dark journey, it’s certainly an important one to discuss. With so much to relate to in terms of content, the film seems to fit perfectly in the real world.
For those with the craving for the dark room, jump scares, and unforgettable, truly terrifying imagery, now is the perfect time to satisfy it. Spooky Season is among us.
Story by Amanda Walton
Photo Courtesy of IMDB