Top Ten Horror Movies to Watch During the Halloween Season

By: Arianna Ash

Warning! These movies may contain violence and offensive language. Please follow the rating of the film for guidelines before watching.

Let’s face it, we all love to get into the spooky ambiance of Halloween whether it's dressing up, scaring your friends, decorating your house, or a very common way- watching scary movies. People’s taste in movies includes a far range of genres, but I will introduce you to, in my personal opinion, the top ten horror movies to watch during the Halloween season.

#10: Krampus (2015)

The hybrid of Christmas and Halloween, Krampus twists the joy of Christmas with the horror of your toys coming to life solely to kill you. In this movie, a young boy loses his Christmas spirit while meeting with his dysfunctional family for Christmas, thus summoning the Christmas demon. Throughout the film, multiple inanimate objects come to life such as snowmen, an angel (or cherub), gingerbread men, and, of course, a teddy bear. All in all, Krampus truly brings the German legend to life while also functioning as a persuasive tool to get any child to get rid of their toys.

#9: Pumpkinhead

Released in 1988, Pumpkinhead is one of the less modern horror movies. Despite the low quality, like many slasher films, it is still enjoyable. Revolving around the idea of vengeance, the movie is based upon a man who seeks vengeance when his son is killed in a hit-and-run accident. With the help of a local witch, the man summons a vengeful demon, Pumpkinhead, to kill the teens responsible for the accident. As the demon continues to do his bidding, the man discovers a bond between him and the demon. Having second thoughts, he fights to end the Pumpkinhead’s rampage.

#8: Child’s Play

Another slasher film, Child’s Play is based upon a dying murderer, Charles Ray, using black magic to transfer his soul into a doll named Chucky. In the present, the doll is bought by Karen Barclay and is given to her young son, Andy Barclay. The child is first unaware of the livelihood of the doll, but once Chucky murders Andy’s babysitter Andy becomes aware of the danger he is in. Andy becomes institutionalized when he tries to warn people, leaving his mother, Karen, to save him from the doll’s murderous intentions.

#7: Hellraiser

Directed by Clive Barker, Hellraiser is based upon the main character, Frank Cotton, and a puzzle box. Solving the puzzle, Frank opens the box and releases humanoid creatures called cenobites. Captured and skinned alive by the cenobites, Frank tries continuously to escape Hell. Throughout the story the main character falls victim to his habits and constantly tricks people and his relations into assisting him with rebuilding his body and escaping Hell.

#6: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The first of a classic franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a nostalgic must-watch for many. The movie revolves around Freddy Krueger, a disfigured murderer who preys on people in their dreams, and, in turn, kills them in reality. When several teenagers fall prey to the killer, a teen named Nancy begins to suspect that a dark secret that her friend’s parents and her keep may be the key to solving the phenomenon. Nancy and her boyfriend, Glen, try to solve the mystery while also trying to survive.

#5: Friday the 13th

Like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th is also a traditional must-watch. A classic slasher film, the movie and its entire franchise revolves around Jason Voorhees, a drowned boy and currently a resurrected, vengeful murderer of Camp Crystal Lake. In this first movie of the franchise, it tells of a group of teenagers trying to reopen an abandoned campground and ending up being picked off one by one. The teenagers try to survive, but it seems simply impossible with the immense strength and creative (and gory) ways Jason has to kill each one.

#4: Saw

The first of a well-known franchise, the first Saw is focused around the main idea that all Saw movies are based upon- creative gore. John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer, sets up many traps and tests for the people he and his accomplices capture. Wanting to test how much the victims valued the gift of life, he would play a game of life and death with them that included the lethal and painful traps. Such traps included a razor wire maze, a flammable jelly trap, a drill chair, and, one of the most well-known traps, the reverse beartrap.

#3: Rose Red

One of my personal favorites, Rose Red isn’t quite as gory as most other movies. Its on more of the paranormal side of things, in which an obsessed psychology professor gathers a team of psychics and a ‘gifted’ autistic girl to literally wake up a supposedly dormant haunted mansion called Rose Red. As the group stays the night, the house becomes more lively as it literally switches the rooms around. The group becomes frightened of all the apparitions and the house itself, and soon enough they realize that the house is feeding off their vitality when they witness the gardens and plants becoming more vibrant and healthy. The entities of the house continue to frighten the ‘guests’ and try to take over their minds to continue the legacy of constantly continuing to expand the manor.

#2: Cabin Fever

Now, what kind of horror list would this be without something zombie-associated? Another of my favorites, Cabin Fever is about a college student going on vacation with his friends to a cabin in the woods and mistakenly shooting a man with a skin infection who manages to fall into a reservoir. With the water supply contaminated, one of the college student’s friends becomes infected with the contagious, skin-eating disease. The group struggles to stop the skin-eating disease while having to sacrifice their own and running from the angry backwoods locals that are out for revenge.

#1: The Blair Witch Project

I’m one of those types of people who don’t get scared easily, so when I watched The Blair Witch Project I was very satisfied. The movie consisted of video footage that tells of three film students travelling to a small town to document footage about the Blair Witch, a local legend. The video showed the students interviewing the locals, and then eventually spending the night and becoming lost in the woods after they start to hear some odd and horrific sounds. As their time in the woods continues, the more paranormal the experience becomes. Soon one of the group members, Josh, goes missing and all the group can hear are his screams. The rest of the group eventually run upon an abandoned house, which is where most of the legend takes place. Throughout the movie I was probably as close to scared as I ever will be with horror movies, so it was, in my opinion, a horror masterpiece.

These movies are my top ten to watch during Halloween, but everyone has their own preferences and I certainly haven't seen every single horror movie. There are also some mentionable ones that aren’t quite horror, such as the Sci Fi franchise of Alien along with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and other good but unchosen horror films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silent Hill, or the new 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It. All in all, horror movies (whether they’re classified as horror or not) are a great way to enjoy the Halloween season, especially with the large variety of types of horror available today.