After spending the past ten months in a vegetative state, the time has finally come to wake up for the one redeeming element of this year: Halloween. We’re finally free to carve pumpkins with reckless abandon, put on sweatpants and call it a costume, and wolf down every piece of candy except for whatever the hell a Butterfinger is. (And hey, if you have a vegan in your family, don’t forget to sedate the pumpkin before carving it.)
But what’s the true pinnacle of Halloween traditions? Yep, that’s right — scary movies. They’ve driven Halloween since 1745, when the first moving picture was created by a guy carving a bunch of tiny shapes into a turnip and spinning it around really fast. And today, I’ve compiled a list of some of the scariest movies I’ve ever watched, just for you!
- “Jumanji: The Next Level” might just be one of the most intrinsically terrifying films I’ve ever seen. Not only does it star Jack Black, a horror actor infamous for his roles in “Goosebumps” and “Yo Gabba Gabba!”, it also deals with a deep-seated fear that has plagued mankind for millennia: board games. If you’re not screaming or curling up into a ball at the mere thought of Monopoly, congratulations! You’re tougher than the rest of us.
- “Grown Ups 2” stars Adam Sandler. I think that’s all I need to say for this one.
- “Teen Beach Movie” is a darkly disturbing film that deals with all the classics of teen angst, coupled with a level of horror only theater can provide. If you’ve ever been on stage or seen any school play, this flick will leave you blissfully catatonic as you relive the mind-numbing fear that only theater kids can and will instill in you.
- “Killing Lincoln” is perfect for those of you who like a little more realism in your horror. Political scheming combined with the rough landscape of 19th century America come together for a tense and suspenseful environment like no other. The true fear settles in, though, at the climax of the film — I guarantee it’ll blow your mind.
- “The Birds” remains one of American media’s most suspenseful films. Flush with subtle foreshadowing, the film makes sure you’ll never see the antagonist coming, right up until the big reveal. And the reveal sure is big — a giant flock of birds, murdering people. Wow. I really never would have seen that one coming.
- “Scream” may be the last entry on this list, but it’s my favorite nonetheless. A seamless blend of blood, angst, and meta humor will leave you laughing, crying, and then politely asking to turn down the volume when everybody starts screaming.
For good measure, here’s some movies that didn’t quite make the cut: “The Giant Spider Invasion,” where giant spiders invade the fictional land of Wisconsin, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” about a little girl who remains locked in a closet to this day, “The Blair Witch Project,” which has enough camera shakes to make me think it was filmed on a carousel, and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl,” where three teens struggle with the horrors of bad CGI.
Regardless of your movie choices this fall, be sure to have fun eating an entire bag of candy alone in your dorm room — and don’t forget to watch a good ole scary movie to get yourself into the Halloween spirit.