Before recommending horror movies and other genres for Halloween not to be missed, let’s find out where this party that has become so popular comes from.
Halloween it is an ancient festival which celebrates the end of summer and the beginning of winter, linked to the cycle of the seasons and to the agricultural harvest. Some have associated it with the ritual festivals of ancient Rome dedicated to the Goddess of fruits and seeds Pomona, or with the anniversary of the dead which was called Parentalia. But the most frequent association of its origin is that linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, originally from ancient Ireland. According to this ancient medieval tradition, on Halloween it is possible to enter into communication with the souls of the dead, and this over time has created the traditional association of Halloween with macabre masks and supernatural.
The word Halloween, which originally meant “night of all holy spirits” in a Scottish variant, probably comes from the story of Jack o’ Lantern. Jack was a cunning drunken blacksmith who managed to keep the devil from taking his soul while alive. When he died he was rejected by both heaven and hell, and was condemned by Satan to wander the world in the dim light of a hollowed-out lantern: to hallow in English means to dig.
Around the year 840 the pope replaced the pagan feast with an official recurrence of the Christian calendar, the feast of All Saints on November 1st. But the Halloween tradition revived in the United States thanks to Irish immigrants from the mid-nineteenth century. In the last years of the twentieth century the party lost its original meaning and was transformed in Anglo-Saxon countries into a consumerist costume party.
Throughout the Halloween holiday, there is the custom of using costumes that could be defined as carnivalesque, but which differ from them in a significant tendency towards the macabre and monstrous, a custom deeply rooted in English-speaking nations. The first time costumes were used was on the night of October 31, 1585 in Scotland. The practice of wearing monstrous costumes on Halloween night derives from the belief that, on the night of October 31st, numerous supernatural beings and the souls of the dead have the ability to walk the Earth among the living.
In North America this practice is first recorded in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, published an article in which it cited some children who had walked in disguise through the streets of the city. In the early years of the twentieth century, the practice of cross-dressing was almost nonexistent among adults. The costumes were made at home and the makeup remained in the Gothic style.
Beginning in the 1930s, some American companies began to produce Halloween costumes on a commercial scale, which began to be purchased in grocery stores and children’s stores. The most used characters were vampires, zombies, monsters, skeletons, witches and ghosts. Over the years, these characters have been joined by superheroes and aliens. Among adults there was a fashion for wearing erotic and skimpy costumes.
Halloween from a Spiritual Point of View
The spiritual meaning of Halloween revolves around death, spirits, witchcraft, violence, devils and evil. In response to the holiday’s growing appeal, some religious fundamentalists and conservative evangelical churches have resorted to handouts and comic books to turn Halloween into an evangelical occasion. The Christian world opposes Halloween celebrations, believing that paganism, the occult, cultural phenomena and associated practices are incompatible with the Christian faith.
Some Christians, especially the descendants of the Celtic individuals, from whom Halloween derives, do not attach an unfavorable meaning to it, seeing it simply as a non-religious celebration committed to commemorating “imaginary ghosts” and obtaining sugary foods. For these Christians, Halloween poses no danger to the spiritual life of children: death and the beliefs of Celtic ancestors can be a legitimate life lesson and a part of their parishioners’ cultural heritage. In the Catholic Church of the United States there are those who think that Halloween has a connection with Christianity.
Father Gabriele Amorth, exorcist of the Catholic diocese of Rome, said that “commemorating Halloween is offering a hosanna to the devil. Who, if loved, even if only for one night, believes he can claim rights over the person”. The Archdiocese of Boston actually threw a party to trace Halloween back to its Christian roots as an event on the night before All Hallows or All Hallows Eve.
Horror Movies for Halloween Not to Be Missed
Here are some horror movies for Halloween, selected from the must-see movie, for a movie marathon on the night of the witches.
An avant-garde film from the mid-1920s, written and directed by Swedish director Benjamin Christiansen, is a great masterpiece of enormous artistic value, provably one of the most beautiful films in the history of cinema, and not only in the horror.
Halfway between documentary and fiction, between essay and gothic film, Christiansen invents linguistic models that would only arrive many years later, in the avant-gardes of the 60s such as New wave, with important directors like Jean-Luc Godard. We pass with incredible ease from the almost didactic analysis of texts on witchcraft to satanic sabbath scenes shot with visual mastery and an editing pace that makes Tim Burton’s best film pale.
Extraordinary special effects for the time, witches flying on brooms, human sacrifices. Faces of desperate old men, accused by priests of being worshipers of the devil, filmed with a realism and desperation rare in the history of cinema. Haxan is one of those moments where the cinema history meets the history of art, and becomes something unique and inimitable.
The director also enjoys playing the role of Satan. It is the only film made by Benjamin Christiansen, who will later open a cinema and will dedicate himself to the activity of exhibitor.
A Page of Madness (1926)
“A Page of Madness” is a Japanese silent film directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa and released in 1926. This film is considered a avant-garde masterpiece Japanese film and is known for its innovative visual storytelling technique.
The plot of the film is set in a Japanese asylum, where a man gets hired as a janitor to be close to his interned wife. The story mainly takes place inside the asylum and follows the lives of the patients and staff members, creating a surreal and disturbing world. The film explores themes of madness, dream and reality, using a series of extraordinary visual sequences.
What makes “A Page of Madness” unique is the creative use of innovative cinematography and editing techniques to depict the mental state of the characters. The film mixes dreamlike imagery, visual symbolism and almost psychedelic sequences to immerse viewers in the experience of madness and isolation. Despite being made in the silent film era, ‘A Page of Madness’ is a visually powerful film that offers stunning insight into the human condition and the depths of the mind.
This film is considered a classic of experimental cinema and a milestone of Japanese cinema, and can be a fascinating choice for a Halloween evening thanks to its visual style and surreal atmosphere.
“Ugestsu ” is a Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and released in 1953. This cinematic masterpiece is regarded as one of the best films in the history of Japanese cinema and is widely recognized internationally. The film’s original title is “Ugetsu monogatari,” which roughly translates to “Tales of the Moon and the Rain.”
The plot of “Ugestsu ” is set in Japan’s Sengoku period, a time of conflict and turmoil. The film follows two farmers, Genjuro and Tobei, who try to take advantage of circumstances during the war. Genjuro seeks to become a wealthy potter, while Tobei wishes to become a samurai. Both pursue their dreams to the detriment of their families. During their journey, the characters have paranormal experiences and encounter vengeful spirits.
“Ugestsu ” is known for its stunning visual beauty and elegant directing style. The photography is exceptional, with long shots and impeccable camera movements. The film deals with universal themes such as ambition, the fulfillment of dreams and the cost of selfish choices. It also introduces elements of Japanese folklore and superstition, creating a spooky and creepy atmosphere.
This film is widely considered to be a profound reflection on the human condition and the pursuit of personal success at the expense of others. “Ugestsu ” is a cinematic classic that offers a fascinating insight into ancient Japan and remains an iconic work in Kenji Mizoguchi’s filmography.
Village of the Damned (1960)
“Village of the Damned” is a 1960 British film directed by Wolf Rilla. It is a film adaptation of the novel “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham. The film falls into the genre of horror and science fiction, and is considered a classic of genre cinema.
The plot revolves around the small English town of Midwich, where an inexplicable event occurs. During one day, all the inhabitants of Midwich suddenly fall into a state of unconsciousness. Shortly thereafter, they awaken with no memory of what happened. A few months later, the women of the village begin to discover that they are all pregnant, even those who were previously unable to conceive. Pregnancies proceed quickly and, even more strangely, all women give birth at the same time.
The children born from these pregnancies are all very similar: blond hair and light eyes, giving them an almost hypnotic appearance. In addition to appearance, these children are revealed to have extraordinary abilities, such as the ability to control people’s minds and telepathically communicate with each other. The children begin to demonstrate a cold and distant demeanor, suggesting they may be part of a larger plan.
The film explores the tensions and fears in the Midwich community as residents try to figure out what is happening and how to deal with the threat posed by children. Themes such as alienation, social control, fear of the unknown and the struggle for survival are addressed.
“Village of the Damned” is considered a classic of science fiction and horror cinema due to its evocative narrative and its ability to create a constant feeling of foreboding. The film inspired subsequent adaptations and had a lasting impact on popular culture.
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
“The Exterminating Angel” is a film directed by the Mexican director Luis Bunuel in 1962. This surrealist film and allegorical may be considered an intriguing choice for Halloween viewing or for those interested in a cinematic work that challenges narrative conventions and offers a profound reflection on human nature.
The plot of the film revolves around a group of guests who find themselves trapped in a mysterious and inexplicable situation: they are unable to leave the house they are in. As time passes, human behaviors degrade and tensions emerge, displaying a variety of reactions of fear, paranoia and violence. The film has been interpreted as a symbolic representation of social conventions, religion and human decadence.
“The Exterminating Angel” is known for its surreal structure and unique cinematic style. The dreamlike and often disturbing sequences contribute to an eerie atmosphere that might be particularly suitable for viewing during Halloween, when people are open to experiences that defy the norm.
Luis Buñuel, with his ability to explore the boundaries of reality and imagination, has created a film that can generate a range of emotions and reflections. Its ability to tackle deep themes through non-linear and provocative storytelling makes “The Exterminating Angel” an intriguing option for those looking for something different this Halloween holiday or any other time of the year.
The Terror (1963)
“The Terror” is a 1963 horror film directed by Roger Corman and produced by Roger Corman and Francis Ford Coppola. The film is known for having been made on a very low budget, within a short period, but it has still gained a cult following over the years.
The plot of “The Terror” revolves around a French army officer, played by Jack Nicholson, during the Napoleonic era. He gets lost in the marshes during a storm and ends up at a mysterious coastal villa. There, he encounters a mysterious woman, portrayed by Sandra Knight, and becomes embroiled in a series of supernatural events and mysteries tied to a ghost.
The film is noted for its gothic and atmospheric style, with a storyline that incorporates elements of horror, romance, and the supernatural. Much of it was shot using sets that had already been constructed for another Corman film, “The Raven,” which contributed to its quick production process.
While “The Terror” wasn’t a major success upon its initial release, it has gained some notoriety over the years due to the presence of actors like Jack Nicholson and its association with Roger Corman’s filmography. It is considered an example of low-budget cinema with its own unique charm and has been appreciated by fans of the horror genre and those who enjoy low-budget film productions.
A gothic horror on the theme of black magic and the control of the physical body by evil entities. The old witch who lives in a shack near the castle is a black sorceress accused of practicing the phenomenon of mesmerism.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
A great classic of horror cinema that ushered in the Zombie Movie genre: Night of the Living Dead George Romero.
A man and a woman, along with 5 other people are trapped in a house near the Pennsylvania cemetery. Due to mysterious radiations coming from the planet Venus, the dead come out of their graves and come back to life with cannibalistic instincts.
Any person who is bitten turns into a walking dead. Low-budget film that marked a turning point in horror cinema, brought by Romero outside the studios and conventions of mainstream cinema. It is a bitter film that hides behind the horror genre the vision of the end of the American myth: the protagonist is in fact a black man, an unthinkable protagonist in the cinema industry in 1968.
Costing just over 100,000 dollars, it grossed more than 5 million. A film followed by countless remakes which in 1968 conquered the audience of fans of the horror genre becoming a cult film.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
“Rosemary’s Baby” is a 1968 horror film directed by Roman Polanski, based on the novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The film is renowned for its chilling and suspenseful storytelling and is considered a classic of the horror genre.
The plot revolves around Rosemary Woodhouse, portrayed by Mia Farrow, and her husband Guy, played by John Cassavetes, a young couple who move into an apartment in a historic New York City building. As Rosemary becomes pregnant, she begins to suspect that something sinister is happening with her neighbors, particularly the elderly couple next door. As her pregnancy progresses, Rosemary’s paranoia and fear escalate, leading to a terrifying climax.
“Rosemary’s Baby” is celebrated for its masterful pacing, psychological tension, and the eerie atmosphere that Polanski creates. It delves into themes of paranoia, gaslighting, and the fear of losing control over one’s own body, all within the framework of supernatural horror.
The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release and has since become a touchstone of the horror genre. Mia Farrow’s performance as Rosemary is particularly praised for its vulnerability and growing terror. “Rosemary’s Baby” is considered one of Roman Polanski’s finest works and continues to be regarded as a classic in the realm of psychological horror.
“Kuroneko” (1968) is a Japanese film directed by Kaneto Shindo and is a remarkable masterpiece of Japanese horror with a gothic atmosphere and ghostly. The film is set in the Muromachi period of Japan, during a time of conflict and turmoil.
The plot focuses on two women, Yone and Shige, who are brutally raped and killed by a group of samurai during an assault on their isolated home. After their deaths, the women’s souls return as vengeful spirits known as “onryō,” eager for justice and revenge for the horror they suffered. Their souls wander in the dark of night, luring samurai to the underworld.
The film deeply explores the themes of revenge, redemption and the blurred line between the world of the living and the dead. Kaneto Shindō’s direction offers an eerie atmosphere through the effective use of black and white and the creation of gloomy and ghostly scenarios.
“Kuroneko” is known for its gripping terror sequences and gripping storytelling, which is based on traditional Japanese myths and legends related to ghosts and revenge. The film is considered one of the great masterpieces of Japanese horror and offers a fascinating insight into the culture and popular beliefs of ancient Japan in relation to the supernatural worlds.
The Enchanting Ghost (1970)
“The Enchanting Ghost” is a chinese movie of 1970 directed by Ho Meng-Hua. However, it should be noted that “The Enchanting Ghost” is not exactly a horror film, but rather a romantic drama with supernatural and fantastic elements.
The story is based on a famous Chinese legend which tells of the tragic love between Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Ying Tai, two students who study together in male disguise. Eventually, their romance is revealed but due to unfavorable circumstances, they get separated. The supernatural part of the film revolves around the ghost of Zhu Ying Tai, who keeps trying to reconcile with Liang Shan Bo even after he dies.
While “The Enchanting Ghost” is not a horror film in the traditional sense, it does have fantasy and supernatural elements related to love and destiny. It is a cinematic interpretation of a well-known story in China, and is known for its romantic and dramatic dimension.
If you’re interested in tragic love stories with a supernatural twist, “The Enchanting Ghost” might be a movie to consider. However, it is important to note that the tone and genre of the film may differ from those typical of conventional horror films.
Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
“Silent Night, Bloody Night” is a 1972 horror film directed by Theodore Gershuny. This film is known for being a classic of independent horror cinema and has gained a cult following over the years.
The film’s plot is set in a small town and revolves around mysterious and frightening events involving an abandoned mansion. When the owner of the mansion dies under suspicious circumstances, the property is inherited by the nephew, who returns to town to sell the house. However, a series of brutal murders and strange occurrences begin to disrupt the town’s tranquility, leading to unsettling revelations about the mansion’s dark history.
“Silent Night, Bloody Night” is known for its gothic atmosphere and intricate storytelling with unexpected twists. The film was one of the early examples of blending horror and mystery in a Christmas setting, adding an even darker dimension to its appeal.
While the film didn’t achieve major commercial success upon its initial release, it has become popular among horror enthusiasts and has gained a cult following over the years. It is considered a representative work of 1970s independent cinema and continues to be appreciated for its eerie atmosphere and mysterious plot.
Another cinematic gem, a film cult not to be missed perfect to watch on Halloween night. Unreleased in Italy, shot for about 300,000 dollars with a style similar to John Carpenter’s Halloween, but much less known.
The Devil’s Mirror (1972)
“The Devil’s Mirror” is a 1972 Chinese film directed by Sun Chung. It’s a movie supernatural horror which mixes elements of mystery and fantasy. The plot is based on a traditional Chinese story.
The story revolves around a young woman named Su Huan-Erh who, after being kidnapped by bandits and then set free, discovers that she possesses a magical mirror that allows her to communicate with the dead. The mirror draws her into a dark, supernatural world where she faces evil forces and vengeful spirits. Throughout the film, mysteries and intrigues emerge leading to a haunting climax.
The film explores themes of revenge, mystery and the supernatural, typical of traditional Chinese tales. “The Devil’s Mirror” is known for its dark atmosphere and spectacular visuals that blend supernatural elements.
If you are interested in horror films with a fantasy twist and stories based on Chinese mythology and folklore, “The Devil’s Mirror” could be an intriguing choice for your Halloween movie marathon.
The Exorcist (1973)
“The Exorcist” is a 1973 horror film directed by William Friedkin, based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. The film is known for being one of the most influential and terrifying horror films ever made and is considered a classic of the genre.
The plot follows the story of Regan MacNeil, a twelve-year-old girl played by Linda Blair, who begins to exhibit increasingly strange and violent behaviors. After exhausting all rational medical explanations, her mother, portrayed by Ellen Burstyn, turns to a priest, played by Max von Sydow, who believes the girl is possessed by the devil. Thus begins a harrowing battle for Regan’s soul and her redemption.
“The Exorcist” is famous for its possession sequences and the use of cutting-edge special effects for the time, which contributed to creating one of the most eerie and terrifying atmospheres in cinema. The film tackles themes of faith, evil, and the conflict between the supernatural and the rational.
The film received widespread critical and commercial success upon its release and was nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning two. It is considered a masterpiece of horror and has had a lasting impact on popular culture, influencing numerous subsequent films in the genre. “The Exorcist” is also known for its chilling sequences and Linda Blair’s extraordinary performance as Regan.
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a 1975 musical horror comedy film directed by Jim Sharman. It is known for its unique blend of horror, science fiction, and campy humor, as well as its enthusiastic cult following.
The film’s plot follows a young engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, portrayed by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon, who find themselves stranded at a bizarre mansion during a storm. The mansion is inhabited by an eccentric and hedonistic group of characters, including Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Tim Curry, a flamboyant and sexually liberated mad scientist. As the night unfolds, the couple is drawn into a series of increasingly strange and risqué events, including the creation of a hunky and muscular creature known as Rocky Horror.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is famous for its interactive screenings at theaters, where fans dress up as characters, shout out lines, and sing along with the musical numbers. It has become a cult phenomenon and has one of the longest-running theatrical releases in film history.
The film features catchy and memorable songs, including “Time Warp” and “Sweet Transvestite,” and has a subversive and gender-bending quality that was groundbreaking for its time. It has had a significant impact on LGBTQ+ culture and remains a beloved and enduring part of pop culture.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is celebrated for its offbeat charm, energetic performances, and its status as a midnight movie classic. It has a dedicated fan base that continues to embrace its campy and unconventional spirit.
The Killer Snakes (1975)
“The Killer Snakes” is a 1975 Chinese horror film directed by Why Chih-Hung. It is a film that pushes the boundaries of the genre, with a disturbing plot and an eerie atmosphere. The story focuses on a young outcast named Ah Qiang, played by Kam Kwok-Leung, who is constantly bullied and abused. Tired of the injustices suffered, Ah Qiang decides to take a terrible revenge, using poisonous snakes as a weapon.
The film features provocative and raw imagery, with scenes showing snakes being used to commit murders. This sensationalist element contributes to the film’s controversial nature. The portrayal of snakes as instruments of revenge amplifies the disturbing and uncanny atmosphere of the film.
“The Killer Snakes” is part of a sub-genre of Chinese cinema known as “exploitation”, which is characterized by the use of shocking and controversial elements to attract viewers’ attention. This film in particular has achieved cult status due to its unique and provocative nature.
While it may not be to everyone’s taste, ‘The Killer Snakes’ remains an interesting example of 1970s Chinese cinema and offers a glimpse into how cinema can push beyond conventional boundaries to create an unforgettable, albeit controversial cinematic experience .
Black Magic (1975)
“Black Magic” (also known as “Witch”) is a 1975 Chinese horror film directed by Ho Meng-Hua. It is a film that mixes elements of horror, dark magic and thriller.
The plot follows a man who, desperate to win back the love of a woman, turns to a witch practicing black magic. The witch uses magic to make the woman fall in love with him, but the consequences are dark and disturbing. The film explores themes of magic, possession and the conflict between good and evil.
“Black Magic” is known for its disturbing sequences and use of supernatural elements. The film also tackles the dark side of magic and supernatural forces, with sometimes shocking and distressing results.
If you’re interested in movies that explore the world of black magic and the occult, “Black Magic” might be an intriguing choice for your must-see list on Halloween night. Please note that the film contains disturbing content and may not be to everyone’s taste.
The Oily Maniac (1976)
“The Oily Maniac” is a 1976 Chinese horror film directed byHo Meng-Hua. It is a distinctive example of the genre”exploitation” and Asian horror of that era.
The plot of the film revolves around a man, played by Danny Lee, who discovers that he has the power to transform himself into a supernatural being covered in oil. This transformation gives him superhuman strength and allows him to perform acts of vengeance against those who have exploited and abused him. However, his thirst for vengeance leads him down a dark and violent path.
“The Oily Maniac” is known for his transformation sequences, involving the use of a viscous oil-like fluid. The film also features elements of sex and violence, common in exploitation films of the time.
This film is considered an example of pulp cinema and represents the bold and often provocative approach typical of many exploitation films. If you are interested in exploitation films and works that challenge the boundaries of the genre, “The Oily Maniac” may attract your attention as a unique choice for Halloween viewing.
“Suspiria” is a Italian horror movie of 1977 directed by Dario Argento. Set in a German dance school, the film follows the story of a young American dancer who moves there to study and soon finds herself embroiled in a series of disturbing and supernatural events.
“Suspiria” has a gloomy atmosphere, a haunting soundtrack and visually intense sequences. Director Dario Argento is known for his distinctive visual style and his use of cinematic art to create tension and fear. The film is characterized by saturated and vibrant colors, as well as a narrative that mixes mystery and supernatural horror.
The murder sequences and suspenseful scenes in ‘Suspiria’ are particularly well curated, creating a constant feeling of unease and uncertainty. The film lends itself perfectly to viewing during the Halloween season, as it is able to convey a sense of dread and wonder in a gothic and supernatural context.
“Suspiria” is an excellent option for those who are looking for a witch movie intense and frightening, due to its combination of unique visual aesthetics and gripping storyline.
“Eraserhead” is a one-of-a-kind cinematic work directed by David Lynch in 1977. This surreal and psychological film has earned a reputation for cult film thanks to its extraordinarily disturbing nature and its ability to defy traditional cinematic expectations.
The story follows protagonist Henry Spencer as he navigates through a surreal and haunting world. After the untimely and monstrous birth of his son, Henry finds himself trapped in a series of disturbing and bizarre events. The film explores themes of alienation, isolation and anxiety through dreamlike imagery and a haunting soundtrack.
The eerie and eerie atmosphere of “Eraserhead” makes it particularly suitable for viewing during Halloween or on occasions when you want to experience a different type of film than usual. Its somber aesthetic and visually stunning sequences place it among the must-see films for those seeking a mental and visual challenge.
David Lynch’s ability to create a cinematic world that defies reality and insinuates one’s deepest fears is evident in “Eraserhead.” The non-linear storyline and often disturbing imagery can capture viewers’ attention and generate a feeling of unease.
The classic of Halloween horror films – the film by John Carpenter Halloween. Made on a small budget and with little-known actors, Halloween has become one of the independent film blockbuster in cinema history, creating an incredible number of sequels.
The story of Michael Myers is known to the general public: Michael is a mentally ill boy admitted to a psychiatric hospital who killed his sister on Halloween night as a child. The day before Halloween many years later he manages to escape from the psychiatric institution where he is hospitalized: a long trail of blood spreads in the small town where he was born …
Halloween was the greatest success of slasher cinema that in the 70s, a genre much loved by young audiences. In the film horror slasher the protagonists are always kids in danger from an evil supernatural being or a serial killer: usually those who drink, take drugs or have compulsive sex are the first to die.
“The Shining” is a 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It is one of the most famous and influential films in the genre of psychological horror and has gained a prominent position in popular culture.
The plot follows Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), a man who takes a job as a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, an isolated hotel that is closed during the winter season. Jack moves into the hotel along with his wife Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall) and their young son Danny (played by Danny Lloyd), who possesses the telepathic power known as “radiance”.
While the family stays at the hotel, the isolation, loneliness and dark secrets of the Overlook begin to eat away at Jack’s sanity. Meanwhile, Danny discovers that his telepathic power allows him to see violent past events at the hotel and to sense the evil haunting it. The most disturbing presence is that of the Overlook which seems to take on a life of its own, influencing Jack’s mind and gradually driving him insane.
“The Shining” is known for its impeccable direction, evocative cinematography, intense performances and the sense of foreboding that pervades every scene. Stanley Kubrick has managed to create an atmosphere of tension and paranoia that gradually creeps into the viewer, without resorting to excessive special effects or sudden frights. The film explores profound themes such as madness, isolation, family violence and the duality between reality and perception.
“The Shining” has become a landmark in the world of horror and continues to influence generations of filmmakers and movie fans. However, it is important to note that the film deviates from Stephen King’s novel in some places, which has caused some criticism from the author himself.
Friday the 13th (1980)
“Friday the 13th” is a 1980 horror film directed by Sean S. Cunningham. The film is known for helping shape the slasher genre and for starting one of the most famous horror film franchises in cinema history.
The plot of the film revolves around Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp that has been abandoned for years due to a series of mysterious murders. When the camp is reopened, a group of young counselors and campers begins working there to prepare it for reopening. However, they soon discover that they are being targeted by a mysterious killer who starts to murder them one by one.
“Friday the 13th” is known for its approach to the slasher genre, featuring brutal murder sequences and a mysterious killer figure, Jason Voorhees, who would become an icon of horror. The film established many of the genre’s conventions, such as the masked killer and the use of jump scares.
Despite a relatively low budget, “Friday the 13th” achieved surprising box office success and became a cult film in the horror genre. It spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs over the years and had a significant influence on popular culture. The film has become an important part of horror culture and introduced audiences to one of cinema’s most iconic villains, Jason Voorhees.
The Evil Dead (1981)
“The Evil Dead” is a film horror splatter of 1981 directed by Sam Raimi. This film is known for starting one of the most celebrated cult franchises in the horror genre and for being an example of how a small budget can be used creatively to create an intense cinematic experience.
The plot follows a group of five friends who travel to a secluded cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway. Inside the hut, they discover a book called the “Necronomicon Ex-Mortis”, along with a voice recording that contains cursed spells. In an attempt to translate the spells, the protagonists unwittingly awaken demonic forces that begin to torment them.
The film evolves into an increasingly chaotic and horrific series of events, with demonic possession, violence and visually harrowing sequences. Director Sam Raimi uses creative camera techniques, such as “malevolent force travel” that offers a haunting and sinister point of view from the demons that haunt them.
“The Evil Dead” is known for its unique visual style, which combines elements of horror with moments of dark humor. Initially, the film was met with mixed reactions, but over the years it has gained a solid fan base due to its originality and innovative approach to the horror genre.
The popularity of “The House” has led to several sequels and remakes, including “Evil Dead II”, “Army of Darkness”, and a reboot called simply “Evil Dead “. The series is known for its blend of horror, black comedy and iconic scenes that influenced genre cinema and continue to be celebrated by horror fans.
Creepshow includes five short stories: “Father’s Day”, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” (based on King’s fiction “Weeds”), “Something to Tide You Over”, “The Crate” and also “They’re Creeping Up on You!” 2 of these stories were adapted from King’s stories, with the film closed by a prologue and epilogue scenes including a little boy called Billy (played by King’s boyfriend Joe), who is haunted by his abusive father for reviewing horror comics.
Creepshow is a tribute to 1950s EC horror comics, such as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. In order for the film to give the audience a comic book feel, Romero employed longtime specialist Tom Savini to achieve comic book-like results.
A collaboration between the masters of horror George A. Romero and Stephen King, 1982’s Creepshow is a collection of creepy stories. While some of the stories border on the absurd, there are some genuine scares, as well as truly remarkable special effects, including prosthetics and animation.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a 1984 horror film about a serial killer directed by Wes Craven. The film is known for introducing one of the most iconic villains in the horror genre, Freddy Krueger, portrayed by Robert Englund.
The plot follows a group of teenagers living in a quiet suburban town who share a nightmare in which they are pursued by a man with a glove equipped with sharp blades, Freddy Krueger. However, they discover that Freddy is much more than just a nightmare; he is a vengeful spirit of a convicted murderer who has returned from beyond the grave to torment them in their dreams. If they die in their dreams, they also die in reality.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is renowned for its blend of supernatural horror and slasher elements, featuring frightening scenes and creative deaths. The character of Freddy Krueger has become an icon of horror, thanks to his unique appearance, sadistic personality, and tendency to deliver humorous one-liners while dispatching his victims.
The film has spawned a series of sequels, prequels, and remakes over the years, as well as deeply influencing the horror genre. It is considered a classic of horror cinema and has captivated audiences with its unsettling premise and memorable antagonist.
The Fly (1986)
“The Fly” is a 1986 science fiction and body horror film directed by David Cronenberg. This cinematic adaptation is based on an earlier story and a 1950s film of the same name.
The plot follows Seth Brundle, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum, an eccentric scientist who has developed a teleportation machine. However, during an experiment, a fly becomes accidentally trapped in the machine with him, leading to their genes being molecularly fused. Initially, Brundle appears to acquire superhuman abilities, but he soon begins to undergo a horrifying transformation, with devastating consequences.
“The Fly” is known for its disturbing body transformation sequences and its raw, realistic portrayal of the consequences of the accident. The film explores themes of identity, physical decay, and alienation and is considered one of Cronenberg’s masterpieces.
The performances of Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in the film were particularly praised, as were the special effects that made the protagonist’s transformations believable. “The Fly” has become a cult classic in the body horror genre and remains a landmark for fans of genre cinema.
The Ghost Story (1987)
“The Ghost Story” (also known as “A Chinese Ghost Story”) is a 1987 Chinese film directed by Ching Siu-tung. It is a film belonging to fantasy genre and and horror, based on a novel by Pu Songling. This movie is very well known for its romantic and supernatural story.
The plot follows a young wanderer named Ning, played by Leslie Cheung, who finds himself seeking shelter in an inn during a storm. Here he meets a mysterious woman named Nie Xiaoqian, played by Joey Wong, who seems to have a dark secret. As time passes, Ning discovers that Nie is a ghost trapped in the world of the living due to tragic events. Despite the difficulties, the two fall in love, but face supernatural challenges and dark forces that try to keep them apart.
The film is known for its use of spectacular special effects for its time and for its combination of romantic and supernatural elements. “The Ghost Story” has become a classic and has inspired numerous adaptations and sequels over the years.
If you’re interested in romantic movies with supernatural elements and mysterious atmospheres, you might like “The Ghost Story” as part of your Halloween vision.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
“The Silence of the Lambs” is a movie psychological thriller of 1991 directed by Jonathan Demme, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. The film is known for its gripping storyline, remarkable performances, and its status as a cinematic classic.
The plot follows Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster), a young FBI agent, who is assigned to interview the brilliant stately criminal Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins). Lecter is locked up in a criminal asylum and is known for his brilliant mind and for being a cannibalistic serial killer. The FBI hopes Clarice can get information from Lecter that will help catch another serial killer known as “Buffalo Bill,” who kidnaps and murders young women.
What follows is an intense psychological game between Clarice and Hannibal Lecter, in which the manipulative criminal tries to probe the young agent’s psyche while she searches for information to solve the case. The film explores themes of fear, manipulation, power and the thin line between good and evil.
‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is known for the memorable performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, especially the latter who brought to life one of the most iconic and haunting characters in cinematic history. Hopkins’ performance as Hannibal Lecter earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, despite his limited screen presence.
The film was a critical and commercial success, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress for Jodie Foster. “The Silence of the Lambs” left a lasting imprint on the psychological thriller genre and continues to be celebrated for its gripping tension, character psychology, and masterful direction.
Donnie Darko (2001)
On October 2, 1988, teenager Donald “Donnie” Darko sleepwalks outside, led by a strange voice. Once outside, he meets a being dressed as a bunny who introduces himself as “Frank” and tells Donnie, precisely, that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.
Donnie wakes up the next morning on a neighborhood golf course and also returns home to find that a jet engine has actually collapsed right in his bedroom. His older sister Elizabeth tells him that detectives don’t know the cause of the crash.
This arthouse film set on Halloween night deals with deep and existential themes such as destiny and predestination. Disillusioned teenager Donnie (a dazzling Jake Gyllenhaal) is plagued by visions of a man in a big bunny suit.
We spend the film uncertain whether Donnie’s strange populated world is an element of something wrong with his mind or a larger, dangerous vision for the world. Definitely the more cerebral pick of Halloween, Donnie Darko is sure to leave you wondering about many of life’s great secrets.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a 2005 film directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is based on true events and is inspired by the story of Anneliese Michel, a young German woman who underwent an exorcism in the 1970s. Although a supernatural thriller with elements of horror, the film is known for its narrative based on judicial trials and reflections on faith.
The plot follows a lawyer who defends a priest accused of manslaughter after a botched exorcism. The film features flashbacks reenacting the events leading up to the death of young woman, Emily Rose. The story explores the dilemma between rational explanations and religious beliefs, leaving open the question of whether Emily was actually possessed by a demon or if her symptoms were the result of medical and psychological problems.
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is known for its combination of supernatural and legal elements, offering a unique perspective on the challenges of faith and science. If you are interested in movies that deal with the supernatural in a legal context, you might find this movie interesting to watch on Halloween night.
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
“Trick ‘r Treat” is a 2007 anthology horror film directed by Michael Dougherty. The film is made up of several interconnected stories that take place on Halloween night in a small town. The stories intertwine and feature elements of suspense, horror and black humour.
The storylines follow various characters, each involved in supernatural and frightening events on Halloween night. The film explores traditions and myths associated with the holiday, tackling themes such as folklore, urban legends and the consequences of ignoring Halloween rules.
“Trick ‘r Treat” is known for its unique style and non-linear narrative structure. It’s a tribute to the atmosphere and spirit of Halloween night, with a touch of dark humor and situations that take an unexpected turn.
If you’re interested in movies that capture the essence of Halloween and feature related stories, “Trick ‘r Treat” could be a perfect choice for your Halloween night movie marathon.
‘Martyrs’ is an extremely intense and controversial 2008 horror film directed byPascal Laugier. This film is known for its grittiness and brutality, and is undoubtedly a bold and provocative choice for a Halloween viewing or for anyone looking for an extremely disturbing cinematic experience.
The plot follows two young women, Lucie and Anna. The story begins with Lucie, a girl who was tortured and abused at a young age by unknown people. Years later, Lucie finds the family supposedly responsible for her suffering and commits an act of violence against them.
Lucie believes that the people who tortured her are part of a group of religious fanatics who believe that through extreme pain and physical suffering it is possible to achieve a direct connection with God and discover the secrets of the afterlife.
Over the course of events, the film explores themes of pain, suffering and the effect of abuse on the victims.
“Martyrs” is known for its violent sequences and tense, emotionally charged atmosphere. Director Pascal Laugier has created a film that pushes viewers to the limit, both in terms of tension and reflection on the depths of human darkness.
The Conjuring (2013)
“The Conjuring” is a horror movie about exorcism of 2013 directed by James Wan. The film is part of ‘The Conjuring’ cinematic universe, which includes various sequels, spin-offs and related films. “The Conjuring” is known for its classic style of horror and its focus on paranormal and supernatural elements.
The plot is based on true events and follows the work of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). Set in 1971, the film follows the Warrens as they travel to a haunted house in Harrisville, Rhode Island to help a family terrorized by evil presences.
While conducting their investigation, the Warrens come across disturbing and increasingly frightening phenomena. The film highlights their skills as supernatural investigators and their struggle to free their family from the bonds of a malevolent entity.
“The Conjuring” stands out for its tense and atmospheric approach to horror, with suspenseful scenes and well-constructed moments of terror. James Wan, the director, is known for his ability to create palpable tension, playing with the viewer’s expectations and exploiting the use of light and shadows to create a frightening atmosphere.
The film’s success led to several sequels and spin-offs, including ‘The Conjuring 2’ (2016), ‘Annabelle’ (2014) and ‘The Nun’ (2018), which expanded the universe and delved into the mythology of the characters. “The Conjuring” series has been well received by critics and audiences alike and has helped reinvigorate the supernatural horror genre in recent years.
The Purge (2013)
“The Purge” is a 2013 horror film directed by James DeMonaco. The film is set in one dystopian society futuristic where, for one night a year called “The Night of Judgment”, all crimes, including murder, are legal and there are no legal consequences.
The plot follows a family trying to survive during the Judgment Night, when anarchy reigns and danger is everywhere. As they barricade themselves in their house, they have to face external threats and also discover that there is someone inside their house who could put them in danger.
The film explores themes of violence, morals and society, as well as portraying the darkness of human nature when there are no laws restricting behavior. If you are interested in horror movies with dystopian and psychological elements, “The Purge” may be an appropriate choice for Halloween night. However, please note that the film contains intense and violent scenes that may not be to everyone’s taste.
“The Babadook” is a 2014 Australian-Canadian psychological horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent. The film gained critical acclaim for its unsettling atmosphere and psychological depth.
The plot revolves around Amelia, a single mother played by Essie Davis, who is struggling to cope with the death of her husband and the difficult behavior of her young son, Samuel, portrayed by Noah Wiseman. Samuel becomes convinced that a sinister, supernatural entity known as the Babadook is haunting their home. As their lives spiral into terror and paranoia, Amelia begins to question her own sanity.
“The Babadook” is celebrated for its psychological tension and its exploration of grief, trauma, and the complex mother-son relationship. The titular Babadook, a malevolent presence from a mysterious children’s book, becomes a symbol of the family’s emotional turmoil.
The film was lauded for its exceptional performances, particularly by Essie Davis, and for its chilling and thought-provoking narrative. “The Babadook” is often regarded as one of the standout horror films of the 2010s and has earned a reputation for its thought-provoking and unsettling approach to the genre.
And independent film English that deals with the theme of reincarnation. Raf a 26-year-old young man undergoes a guided regression experience in his past life where he learns that he was a cynical Nazi commander during the world war.
To try to answer his questions, he embarks on a journey with his friends in search of those places he has seen in the regression. However, a showdown with his own awaits him karmic debt.
A horror that explores the themes of reincarnation and Karma, along with lesser-known concepts such as gods the akashic record: registers where all the human actions of the world, present, past and future, are kept by the gods.
Get Out (2017)
“Get Out” is a 2017 American horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. The film is notable for its blend of horror and social commentary, tackling issues of race and identity in a gripping and thought-provoking manner.
The plot follows Chris Washington, portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya, a Black man who visits the family estate of his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams. As the weekend unfolds, Chris begins to notice strange and unsettling behavior from the Armitage family and their predominantly white friends. He soon discovers a horrifying secret that puts his life in danger.
“Get Out” delves into themes of racism, cultural appropriation, and the exploitation of Black bodies, all within the framework of a suspenseful and increasingly terrifying horror narrative. Jordan Peele’s direction and screenplay were widely praised for their originality and depth.
The film was both a critical and commercial success and received numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Jordan Peele. “Get Out” has been celebrated for its social relevance and its ability to spark conversations about race and privilege in America while also delivering a suspenseful and unnerving horror experience.
“Hereditary” is a 2018 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. The film is known for its unsettling atmosphere, disturbing imagery, and its exploration of themes related to grief and family trauma.
The plot follows the Graham family, particularly Annie, played by Toni Collette, who is dealing with the recent death of her secretive and estranged mother. As the family members begin to experience bizarre and terrifying events, they uncover dark and disturbing secrets about their ancestry and the supernatural forces that seem to be at play.
“Hereditary” is praised for its slow-burning and psychologically disturbing storytelling. It delves into themes of grief, mental illness, and the ways in which trauma can be passed down through generations. The film’s disturbing and graphic imagery has also left a lasting impression on viewers.
Toni Collette’s performance in the film was widely acclaimed, and the movie has been recognized as a standout in contemporary horror cinema. It has been considered one of the most chilling and thought-provoking horror films of recent years and has garnered a dedicated following among horror enthusiasts.
Incident in a Ghostland (2018)
“Incident in a Ghostland” is a 2018 horror film directed by Pascal Laugier. This film is known for its scary approach and engaging storyline, which could make it a suitable choice for viewing during Halloween or for those looking for an intense horror experience.
The storyline follows two teenage sisters who inherit a house from a distant aunt. However, after a violent intrusion by intruders, their lives take a dark and disturbing turn. The story jumps between past and present, exploring the traumatic effects of the events on the sisters’ psyches.
“Incident in a Ghostland” is notable for its claustrophobic atmosphere and scary sequences involving the supernatural and psychological horror. Director Pascal Laugier is known for his provocative and intense horror films, and ‘A Doll’s House’ is no exception.
“Midsommar” is a 2019 folk horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. The film is known for its unsettling and surreal atmosphere, as well as its exploration of themes related to grief, relationships, and cultural traditions.
The plot follows a group of friends who travel to a remote village in Sweden to attend a rare midsummer festival that only occurs once every ninety years. What starts as an idyllic and communal celebration quickly takes a dark and disturbing turn as the visitors become entangled in the village’s increasingly bizarre and ritualistic customs.
“Midsommar” is celebrated for its unique blend of horror and drama, as well as its visually stunning and symbolic cinematography. It delves into themes of grief and trauma, the dynamics of toxic relationships, and the clash of modernity with ancient traditions.
Florence Pugh’s performance as the grieving protagonist, Dani, received widespread acclaim, and the film’s eerie and immersive atmosphere has left a lasting impact on viewers. “Midsommar” is often regarded as one of the most original and thought-provoking horror films of the 2010s and has sparked discussions about its deeper meanings and symbolism.