Must-see classic scary movies for Halloween

Oct. 27, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

As Halloween quickly approaches, students should be clearing time on their busy schedules to see scary films such as “Dracula Untold” or “Annabelle.” But scary movie fans forget that many horror film classics are available to watch at home.

Here are just a few:

“Psycho” (1960):

Arguably director Alfred Hitchcock’s best and most wellknown work, “Psycho” tells the story of hotel proprietor Norman Bates and his run-in with misguided embezzler Marion Crane. As the story unfolds both the audience and the characters begin to learn that things at the Bates Motel are not as they seem. Famous for being able to circumvent typical horror movie stereotypes and tropes of the time, “Psycho” went on to become a fi lm masterpiece and cemented Hitchcock as the master of suspense. The fi lm was also known for its infamous “shower scene.”

“The Exorcist” (1973):

Regarded by many as the scariest film ever made, “The Exorcist” tells the story of a young girl who has been possessed by a demon named Pazuzu. Inspired by the case of a real life exorcism, the movie relies on a chilling atmosphere and constant tension for great effect instead of the cheap “jack-inthe- box” scares that most other horror films use. Full of terrifying moments that have become staples of pop culture, the film gained attention from the press, who reported several audience members passing out from fright in theaters. In addition to its impressive legacy, the film was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

“The Shining” (1980):

Adapted from the Stephen King novel, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” became wellknown through its tight direction, terrifying visuals and fantastic acting. The story revolves around a hotel caretaker’s descent into madness due to surrounding supernatural forces inside the hotel. While fans of the novel may be disappointed with the director’s interpretation of the story, the film has had a massive influence on popular culture and is filled with moments that are both frightening and brilliant. The bathtub scene in room 237 still stands out as one of the most terrifying scenes in cinematic history. “The Shining” was filmed and based on the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo.

“Evil Dead 2” (1987):

The original “Evil Dead” was a masterpiece of lowbudget inferior horror. The remake/sequel perfected the form and remains a must-see horror film for all generations. In the film, hero Ash Williams releases a demonic horror after inadvertently reading from the Necronomicon and must battle the possessed woods in order to escape. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the film manages to seamlessly blend gore, horror and comedy into a tapestry of movie magic. This introduced filmgoers to director Sam Raimi’s signature style of horror known as “splat-stick.” Other horror film by Raimi include “Drag Me to Hell,” “The Grudge,” “30 Days of Night” and “The Possession.”

“Se7en” (1995):

The serial killer film above all other serial killer films, “Se7en” stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives tracking down a serial killer who murders his victims by using the seven deadly sins. Originally conceived with an entirely different cast, script and director, after several iterations it became the horror masterpiece that is still regarded as one of the darkest films to be created. While the film spares no expense at conceiving horrific deaths to the audience, most of the actual horror is shown off screen, requiring the audience to fill in the blanks themselves. “Se7en”  is also renowned for having one of the most shocking and brilliant endings in scary films. There is something old and new to scare you into the Halloween spirit this year.