Thrillers, chillers, and Halloween killers: Our definitive horror flick list

Culture Film

It’s October, folks, and y’all know what that means! Dark by six with a definite drop in temperature — otherwise known as the perfect settings for a horror movie night! Just grab those blankets (sure Jan, it’s just to keep warm) and hit the couch because we’ve got a killer set of options — if you catch our meaning — all tailored to the type of vibe you’re feeling. Not sure what to pick? Check out our recommendations to ease that “which seat do I take” choice anxiety. Happy hunting!

The Classics

Alien, The Blair Witch Project, Carrie (1976), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Evil Dead II, The Exorcist, Halloween (1978), Scream, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Thing (1982)

Jennifer’s recommendation: With a Stranger Things phenomenon going on, let’s restart the Weaver-fever with a throwback to classic ‘70s sci-fi. Alien is my pick, with a major shoutout to the queen of all things not-of-this-world, Sigourney (who nearly forty years later still looks hella fine).

Myles’s recommendation: Two words: The Thing. Why? Another two words: Practical effects, baby (oh damn, that’s three). And Kurt Russell gets to burn some shit up with a flamethrower. What’s not to love?

Modern Horrors

The Babadook, The Conjuring, The Descent, The Grudge, Insidious, It Follows, Let The Right One In, Paranormal Activity, Wolf Creek, The Witch

Jennifer’s recommendation: It might be the perfect use of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” but Insidious has my vote (with The Conjuring as a strong second —hmm, maybe it’s just Patrick Wilson, then?). This scene will either make or break it for you, but I’ll leave that up to your opinion. For some, it might make you decide to tiptoe the f**k out . . .

Myles’s recommendation: It Follows is my pick of the litter here (with The Babadook taking a close second). Featuring a wicked ‘80s throwback aesthetic and a spooky synth soundtrack that would make John Carpenter proud, this film has a lot to offer if you look past the surface-level “the monster is an STI!” reading.


Cabin in the Woods, Shaun of the Dead, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, What We Do in the Shadows

Jennifer’s recommendation: As a dedicated fan of the Whedonverse, it has to be Cabin in the Woods. And for all those horror-phobes out there, you’re in safe hands with this one. It takes a classic setting —just check the title —and gives you all the right amount of fear but with a clever, comedic spin. 10/10 on the ending.

Myles’s recommendation: Without a doubt, your best bet for some spooky jollies is What We Do in the Shadows. The mockumentary format allows for some deviously clever commentary on vampires in pop culture, and the main cast has a lot of heart (including Taika Waititi, who, aside from being very, very funny, co-wrote and co-directed the film with Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame).