BY: DIG EDITORIAL STAFF
It’s the spookiest season of the year, and that means it’s time to delve into some of those Halloween movies that only fit your mood at the end of October. We’ve compiled an extensive list of our favorite frightening films for you to peruse. If you think our taste in movies is horrific or we missed a classic Halloween-themed cinematic gem, tell us with the hashtag #DMHalloweenFav.
Denny Cristales, Editor-in-Chief:
At this point the mere thought of the “Saw” franchise is scary (Oh, God, let’s hope they don’t make another one). But you have to understand that back in 2004, at my ripe age of 9, the very idea of “Saw” terrified me.
You’re probably wondering why a little kid was watching such a gruesome film, but that’s not why you’re here. What made this movie so engaging to me was the sense that this could actually happen. There could be some freak out there who terrorizes people. Everything about this movie -- from sawing off a foot (Haha. I get it. It’s called “Saw.” Get it?), to all the traps, and the ending where the main character is locked in a bathroom to starve to death in the darkness -- really got to me at the time.
In hindsight, this movie is actually pretty mediocre, and I have no intention to see it again -- or any of the 67 sequels that it spawned -- but the concept always grabbed me. Here’s hoping you don’t have to saw off your own foot in the future.
Stephanie Perez, Online Editor:
Some of you may not recognize the name of this movie, but my fellow Disney fanatics will! “Halloweentown,” in my opinion, is the best non-scary fun movie of all time. Don’t you wish there was an actual Halloweentown where humans can interact with monsters? I do, but that may just be because I am obsessed with the holiday and would love to have personal experiences with each creature.
Sadly, not the whole series is great. Marnie Piper, who is played by Kimberly J Brown is replaced in the last part of the series...really Disney? The first two films are definitely the best, but you will still catch me watching the all four movies until October 31!
Corpse Bride (2005)
Lauren Gandara, Managing Editor:
Pretty much any Tim Burton film is a favorite of mine, but Corpse Bride is definitely at the top of the list. It has love, humor, music, gore and creepy creatures galore! It’s not very scary so if you’re a big chicken like me, this movie is safe to watch for even the smallest child. What more could you possibly ask for in a movie?
Cody Cano, Creative Director:
“Disturbia” by Rihanna is my favorite Halloween song at the moment-- but since we’re talking movies here, the music video for the song is my pick. Actually, the equally haunting thriller “Disturbia,” a loose remake of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” will suffice.
- The house it was shot at is a seven-minute drive from my house, and I’m semi-nerdy about film locations, perhaps just this one.
- If I wanted to put myself in a situation where I might just get murked by a very sketchy guy to really make use of the Halloween experience, I know which house to go to.
- It came out in 2007, the same year as that Rihanna song.
- The thought of driving by the house to Rihanna singing “bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum” while re-envisioning the movie scenes.
Monica Gallardo, Copy Editor:
My favorite movie of all time is “Psycho.” It was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and was released in 1960. No matter how many times I watch it, I'm always excited to see the twists and the story develop. It's not just a movie about an obsessed mama's boy, it's a psychological thriller that confronts human weaknesses, loneliness and temptation.
The Omen (1976)
Navy Keophan, Copy Editor:
I love a good scary movie, but I’ve never been too keen on ones that rely heavily on gore with very little plot to go along with it. It’s no surprise that I’ve always been drawn to horror movies that lean toward the psychological thriller end of the spectrum. One of my all-time favorite thrillers I try to watch around this time of year is “The Omen.” Not the 2006 remake starring Julia Stiles, but the original 1976 version starring Gregory Peck. The cult classic about an American diplomat who discovers that his adoptive son is the Antichrist is thrilling from beginning to end. The effects are dated by today’s standards, but I’d choose this over two hours of an Eli Roth-directed gore fest any day.
Daniela Alvarez, Copy Editor:
There are so many good and so-bad-they’re-good scary movies. I’d have to pick “Misery” as a Halloweentime favorite. Although it’s more of a psychological thriller than scary movie, it’s one of those films that keep you on the edge of your seat for its entirety.
Based on the book by Stephen King, it follows writer Paul Sheldon's (James Caan) captivity in the home of his self-proclaimed number-one fan Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). The book terrified me so much when I first read it as a teenager, so when I discovered the movie a few years later I was super excited for it. Annie Wilkes is one of my favorite villains in film and I think the movie overall does the book justice, which isn’t something that happens often. It’s a must-see if you love Stephen King adaptations (Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” is another great Halloween time movie) and ankle-shattering suspense.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Wardah Imran, Senior Editor:
Among other kiddie Halloween movies, “Hocus Pocus” is one of my favorite things to watch around Halloween time. It never fails to give me warm and fuzzy holiday feelings. I don’t know if someone who hasn’t grown up watching the film would find it as fun to watch as I do, but it just doesn’t get old. It’s heartwarming, nostalgic, and as Halloweenie as it gets. Not to mention there are a bunch of lines that passed over my head as a kid that I now chuckle about.
A favorite example is this exchange between the three main witches and a bus driver:
Witches to bus driver: “We desire…children.”
Bus driver: “It may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think that’d be a problem.”
Amanda Del Cid, Social Media Editor:
“Hocus Pocus” is probably my favorite because every year since I can remember I've watched it on TV with my sisters and my mom while we planned our Halloween costumes or decorated the house.
The Conjuring (2013)
Daniel Green, Food Editor: Movies like “Saw” and “Hostel” that use over-the-top violence and gore instead of true horror never appealed to me. Fortunately, it seems that the genre is turning a page back to traditional scares.
“The Conjuring” is a movie that focuses on characters and story over blood and violence. It does have scenes that will jump out at you, but the movie relies on tone and suspense to put the audience on edge. The story centers around a couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who travel to Rhode Island to help a family under attack from paranormal sources. The Warrens were a pair of real life paranormal investigators and the movie is based off one of their cases. One of the best things about this movie is the chemistry between the actors who play the Warrens, Vara Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Unlike many horror movies they actually make you care and root for the main characters.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Nicolette Norris, Assistant Food Editor:
“The Sixth Sense” is a classic! It borders the line of being a thriller, which is my favorite type of scary movies. There are a lot of twists and turns that show that reality is not always what it seems. I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t seen it, but you should definitely watch it if you haven’t.
TIP: most films directed by M. Night Shyamalan are good quality movies.
Edward Singleton, Staff Photographer:
“The Sixth Sense,” was a film that pulled and twisted at my sense of death and the afterlife. To remain eternally forgotten, unseen and unnoticed was terrifying to me as a child. By virtue of being utterly alone and forgotten, “The Sixth Sense” is a terrifying movie.
Zachary Juarez, Fitness Editor:
“Pieces” is a cult classic and a dream to any horror movie fanatic. Don’t get me wrong, I love plot-driven and psychological thrillers, but I also require a heavy dose of useless gore. The wonderfully-serene screams will echo throughout your household as you watch with anticipation, and possibly fear, as less-than-B-rated actresses are brutally murdered.
Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular (2003)
Kathy Phan, Assistant Fashion Editor:
I’m not really big on the blood and gore that comes with most horror films, but I definitely love animated movies. Based on a series of children’s books created by artist Jill Thompson, “Scary Godmother” is a whimsical and family-friendly TV movie about overcoming childhood fears with the help of your very own scary godmother.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Parker Shannon, Entertainment Editor:
Easily my favorite scary movie ever, “The Blair Witch Project” propelled the found-footage genre of films to new heights. The key to the terror of this movie is the mystery that remains throughout the entirety of the film. The audience is never shown what the terrified characters are reacting to. It’s all left to our imagination, which is often far scarier than some computer-generated imagery (CGI) monster or an actor in spooky makeup. Also, rumor has it that the filmmakers didn’t warn the actors when or how they were going to start scaring them, so many of the reactions caught on camera are true terror.
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Grester Celis-Acosta, Ask the Expert Editor:
I’m not a horror movie fan. If anything,I hate scary movies, but a movie that I enjoy watching during Halloween time is “Scary Movie 3.” I like the fact that this movie is a parody of scary movies. I think poking fun of scary stuff is great, and it lets me enjoy the movie.
Amanda Mayberry, Social Media Editor:
This movie is so funny! I was six when this movie came out and not even close to being brave enough to watch it. I didn’t watch it until my teenage years, and it’s actually horrible rather than horrifying. It’s so bad that you can’t look away, and I love every minute of it. Also, this movie features Matthew Lillard in his prime. SPOILER ALERT: The best part of the movie is when Lillard is dying laughing, “It wasn’t supposed to hurt, bro!” Jokes on you Matt, jokes on you.
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Uche Ezeoke, Multimedia Editor:
It is the scariest movie I have ever seen. To be fair, I was much younger then and with such a feeble mind, anything and everything gets to you. “Thirteen Ghosts,” by Steve Beck, is a movie about a family who moved into a house left to a lady by her uncle. She knew he was a collector of some sort but never realized he was a collector of souls.
The Ring (2002)
Steffanie Padilla, Photo Editor:
Does “The Ring” count as a Halloween movie? Because that film is creepy as f**k. I still have nightmares 14 years after it came out! If you are not into flicks that involve lots of blood and gore, I suggest this one. You’ll never want to see someone wearing a long white dress with long black hair ever again.
Terrah Starling, Photo Editor:
I wouldn’t dare go through one Halloween without watching the late 80s classic “Beetlejuice.” Not only is it hilarious, but it’s freaking disgusting! Filled with flies, roaches and dead people, “Beetlejuice” is perfect for celebrating the spooky holiday. Let’s not forget the kick-ass talent in and out of the film. With Tim Burton at the helm and a cast including Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder you can’t go wrong! Add “Beetlejuice” to your Halloween traditions and you’ll thank me later.
The Grudge (2004)
Jose De Castro, Staff Photographer:
“The Grudge” and a little bit of “The Grudge 2” (the blanket scene)
I think that was the first movie where I experienced the whole movie theater screaming and crying throughout the whole film. When “The Grudge 2” came out, that scene where the blue demon girl came out of the blanket was pretty gnarly, and I actually had to sleep without one that night.
The Addams Family (1991)
Lei Phillips, Fashion Collaborator:
Hands down, “The Addams Family” is my favorite. It has everything you need: humor, dark comedy, and the best wardrobe to mimic for a costume.