Movie recommendations for your spook-filled October
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief and Janis McMath, Assistant Editor
Eyes Without a Face (1962)
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 87 percent
This French black and white flick documents a scientist’s obsession with experimenting on animals and eventually, his own daughter. After an accident, his daughter’s face is deformed—so he looks for victims to find a replacement for her face. This flick is a full course dinner. Eyes Without a Face offers memorable characters, haunting imagery, seamless symbolism, fantastic writing, an eerie soundtrack, and an utterly satisfying ending. This film is consistently entertaining, and the story is fully realized and meaningful—never losing steam or coherence like so many other films in the genre. Eyes Without a Face is simply no-nonsense entertainment that serves beautiful and horrifying scenes that will always sit with you.
It Follows (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 66 percent
A teenager learns of a curse spread through sex after sleeping with her new boyfriend for the first time. The film follows as the girl and her friends are run from a presence the audience never sees. Death creeps towards her at the most carefree moments, giving the impression that we are never really safe from this entity. This movie has a simple yet terrifying premise that is beautifully executed. It creates unsettling horror it a totally unique way. It never overwhelms or confuses the audience, has great pacing, and is visually appealing. It’s everything you could ever want in a horror film.
Dawn of The Dead (1978)
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 90 percent
The film is about an outbreak of the dead coming back to life—the fact erupting in chaos at a radio newsroom. A radio employee, his girlfriend, and some renegade SWAT members escape on a helicopter and find safety from the zombie outbreak in the best place possible—a mall. Zombie fighting hijinks naturally ensue. This movie makes our good list because of the fantastic plot and the development of the characters; they’re all people you root for the whole time to make it through. You can watch the movie again, and again—and love it every time. Recommended viewing for this one is the first of the Romero zombie franchise, Night of the Living Dead.
The Evil Dead 1 & 2 (1981) (1987)
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 84 percent and 89 percent
Five college students take a trip to a cabin in the woods for a night of partying. After finding a creepy book (the Necronomicon) and listening to some audio recordings in the basement, an unspeakable evil terrorizes the group. One of the crew, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) tries to save himself and his friends from becoming possessed until daybreak. The sequel consists of essentially the same plot but has much more of an emphasis on comedy. This low-budget cult classic generously offers creepy atmospheric cinematography, great character development, and impressive practical effects.
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 83 percent
A man living in an industrial wasteland finds out he impregnated an earlier fling and marries the expectant mother. After they get a place together, she gives birth to a weird alien like child and he begins have surreal nightmares. Although this movie may be regarded as a cult classic and rated highly for its nightmarish images and insane plot, but this movie is awful. Complicated in an “artistic” way, this movies fails to entertain because it is too impressed with how interpretive it is. This is one of those movies you have trouble understanding until you read what it means, which translates as, it might’ve been a good book—but it’s a dumb movie.
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 79 percent
A wife reveals to her husband that she is having an affair and abandons her family, including their son. The husband is devastated and after some violent and uncomfortable confrontations, he hires a private investigator to follow her. Meanwhile, the film documents the wife’s spiral into madness and the reason for her insanity. (Spoiler!!: It’s because she’s having sex with a weird alien creature thing.) This movie is as ridiculous as the ending and justifies the nonsense by calling it a “metaphor for something.” Movie endings that have to be explained are never good endings. This “meaning” and overkill screaming scenes are the reasons this cult classic should be flushed down the toilet. There is also an uncomfortable amount of unnecessary gore and violence, and it borders on absurd. In short, what would possess you to watch this movie?
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 89 percent
Young serial killer, Michael Myers, murders his older sister and is put in jail for 15 years. On the day before Halloween, he escapes security while being transferred, and goes back to terrorize his hometown in this classic American slasher flick. This movie is bad because there is too much tension, and plot buildup—and not enough action. Halloween is essentially a full 90 minutes of a guy walking towards you. It may be iconic, but it’s definitely not worth your time when you could be watching better, scarier films. On this Halloween, skip Halloween.
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 63 percent
This horror flick is about a group of students who travel to Sweden to visit and study a rural village’s mid-summer festival. Starting their trip with an idyllic tone, the group soon realize that they are at the clutches of a pagan cult’s twisted culture. Midsommar is the worst kind of mediocre horror movie because there are so many reasons to hope the film will be good. It pulls you in with its’ pleasing cinematography, vivid colours, an unbelievable number of flowers, and menacing undertones of dysfunctional relationships—but ultimately the movie falls flat. It lacks meaningful elements that satisfyingly guide and explain the story. Many elements are haphazardly thrown in; plot plots don’t naturally click into place. Unfortunately, the film squanders any chance for enjoyable scares by prioritizing gore, and overly dramatized horror scenes that are so out of the realm of possibility that they just feel silly. Like a lot of content being produced today, the film prioritizes visuals over story. Infants may be able to enjoy such films that are essentially stimulating flashing colours—but for anyone else, the movie is not deserving of an extended attention span.
The Thing (1982)
Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 92 percent
A group of scientists in Antarctica are researching at a base camp when they take in a rogue sled dog. After it brutally kills some of the other dogs and begins to attack some of the crew members, a pilot and a doctor fight the creature into a gory battle for their own lives. This movie deserves some praise because of its iconic special effects— but has poor build up. There is also a great cast (Kurt Russel) and character development, but it falls flat on its climax. The actual “thing” they are running from is pretty goofy and not very scary. Overall, this movie registers as more of an action movie with horror movie elements—making it sort of meatless if you want to be truly terrified.