Top 5 Horror Films for the Halloween Season

It’s only a few weeks until it’s October. Do you know what that means? It’s only a few weeks until we begin the season of horror. Everyone has their way to celebrate the Halloween season. Some like to eat candy, others like to make or wear costumes, but my favorite way to celebrate is to watch some of my favorite horror movies.

Here’s a list of my top 5 personal favorite horror movies. These aren’t in any particular order, just some films I think you should give a watch. But remember, this is my list, if you happen to disagree with me on something, that’s perfectly fine. Everyone has a right to their own opinions, and these are just mine. With that being said, here’s the list!

The Shining

The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick and adapted from Stephen King’s iconic novel of the same name, follows Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrence. The Torrence family takes a job cleaning up the Overlook Hotel, a hotel up in snowy mountains, over a few months in the winter as the winter snow blocks them off from the rest of society. Everything starts well until Jack starts to get violent tendencies, and becomes more and more of a danger to his wife and son.

That summary is all I can say without spoiling the film too much. This is one of those movies that should best be experienced blind.

I understand that this might be a movie that not everyone will enjoy, and that’s perfectly fine. It is a rather bizarre film, and it’s more creepy than it is scary, but that’s why I love it so much. It’s one of those films that I just love thinking about because it feels like you can think about it so much and still feel like you’re only scratching the surface. At which moment did Jack snap? What exactly was causing the supernatural events? What even is “Shining”?

Every actor also does an excellent performance that adds to the eeriness. Especially Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, both giving iconic performances. The film has a lot of quotable scenes, and a lot of that is owed to the actors.

Get Out

Link to Get Out Trailer

Directed and written by Jordan Peele, Get Out is about a man named Chris meeting his caucasian girlfriend’s family. However, he’s worried that he might be treated differently because he’s black. Fortunately, upon arriving he seems to be welcomed by her parents, although her dad is a little weird about it, even telling Chris that if he could, he “would vote for Obama a third term”. It all seems a bit strange, but things get even weirder as the film goes on.

If you couldn’t already tell, this film is a social commentary on modern race relations in the United States. I think what I love about this film is that it has something new to say, in a new way. I mean, how common is it for a horror film to talk about American racism?

Without giving too much away, there are some plot twists in this film. The cool thing about the twists though is that the film is filled with easter eggs and references to the twists, so even if you already know the twists, you can always rewatch the film and notice all the little secrets.

This film is the only one on my list to ever get nominated for any Oscars. It’s pretty obvious that the academy isn’t a fan of horror films, but they seemed to love this one. One of the Oscars the film was nominated for was Best Actor in a Leading Role, given to Daniel Kaluya who plays Chris. I think Kaluya also does an excellent job in his role. Again, without spoiling anything, there’s one amazing scene in which Kaluya gets to show off his skill and knocks it out of the park. If you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly which scene I’m talking about.

The Host

Warning, the trailer linked features slight blood

Link to The Host Trailer

Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, The Host takes place years after toxic chemicals are dumped into a river when a big mutated fish monster comes out and starts going on a rampage eating people, and kidnaps the daughter of our main character, Park Gang-Doo. Park Gang-Doo and his family get taken into quarantine and tell the government about how the monster kidnapped his daughter. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t believe them, so it’s up to them to kill the monster and save Gang-Doo’s daughter.

Chances are that you’ve probably never seen this film, let alone heard of it. It’s actually a Korean Film. It was directed by Bong Joon-Ho, who also directed movies such as Okya, Snowpiercer, and Parasite.

Although this is technically a horror film, I’d say it’s a lot more fun than it is scary, which isn’t at all a bad thing. There’s a lot of really good action in this film, especially between Gang-Doo’s family and the monster. Speaking of family, my favorite part of this film is the family drama. There’s a lot of great emotional scenes that show the family’s vulnerability. Each of the family members is interesting and fun to watch.

There’s some subtle but interesting commentary between the United States and South Korea’s relationship. There’s even a plotline about a contagious virus. My only critique of this film is the monster. Although the design is cool, this film was made in the mid-2000s, so the CGI is somewhat outdated. But like I said, that’s my only complaint about the film. Aside from that, this is just a fun time.

The Thing

Link to The Thing Trailer

Filmed by John Carpenter, The Thing is about a group of American Scientists in Antarctica. One day, a wolf starts running to their base with a random man trying to shoot him down. The American Scientists successfully shoot down the man and save the wolf, but later realize the animal is not what he seems. He’s been infected by a parasitic extraterrestrial organism that can control any life form it infects and can imitate them perfectly. After that, the science team doesn’t feel like they can trust each other anymore, knowing that anyone can be infected with “The Thing”. Their main goal now is to kill “The Thing” before it can infect the rest of the life on Earth.

The Thing actually didn’t do very well at the box office upon release, but later became very well known as it became a cult classic (A cult classic is a film that years after its release gains a loyal fanbase). Now, many remember it as a timeless classic.

Although this film came out in 1982, it has the best special effects out of all the films on this list. Instead of using CGI, many of the monsters were made with oil-based clay. This makes for really impressive effects that could rival even those of multi-million dollar budget films today.

However, the best part about this film is the feeling of uncertainty and distrust that this movie gives off. You never truly know if someone might be “The Thing” in disguise, or if someone who just died might’ve still been human. It’s a great film that shows the true nature of humans when everything is chaotic and uncertain.


Warning, the trailer linked features some blood.

Link to Hereditary Trailer

Hereditary is a very unique horror film. Written and directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary has many non-horror elements. In some ways, it’s a character study movie, in other’s it’s a family drama. The film follows Annie, the mother of a family. The film starts with her at her mother’s funeral, as she has just passed away. They didn’t have a good relationship, so she doesn’t feel too bad. However, as the film progresses, lots of supernatural things start occurring.

Although the film may start like every other horror movie, it quickly makes some bold decisions that set it apart from the rest. Like I said before, this movie is a combination of horror, family drama, and is even a character study of Annie.

This is one of the movie’s greatest strengths, as it gives it a unique style in not only writing but in other aspects like cinematography and editing. It has some great metaphors for how mental illnesses can continue for generations in a family and about coping and grieving in toxic ways.

Another fantastic trait about this film is the acting, more specifically Annie’s actor, Toni Collete. She does a fantastic job in what is a very emotionally demanding role. It’s very hard to just pinpoint one scene where she shows off her skills because there are just so many. I’m someone who doesn’t focus too much on the actors in movies but even I have to say that her performance is just something else.

My main critique of the movie is the ending, however. Although it manages to stand apart from other horror films in the beginning, in the ending it, unfortunately, starts to become a bit stale. There are a few plot twists revealed in the third act that the more you think about them, the more confusing they become. But aside from the last 10 minutes, this is a pretty fantastic movie that deserves a watch.