I’ve always enjoyed making a bag of popcorn and settling down in the dark to watch a movie from my favorite genre: horror. Now with Halloween right around the corner, and horror movies popping up everywhere, many of my friends have been wanting to get into the genre, but don’t know where to start. Here are five horror movies to kick off your spooky journey!
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Released in 1996 by famous horror director Wes Craven, “Scream” is equal parts horror and comedy. The movie follows Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) a year after the death of her mom (Lynn McRee). Around the anniversary of her mother’s murder, a series of killings begin occurring in the small town of Woodsboro. Sidney isn’t spared from the mass terrorization, as Ghostface—the killer—is determined to not only strike fear in the town, but into Sidney as well. "Scream" has gained mass popularity over the years and has since had a total of five movies in the franchise, with a sixth on the way. The movie doesn't shy away from the stereotypical slasher violence, as practically every death is perfectly executed, leaving the audience in shock and suspense. Though this may worry some, I guarantee that "Scream" isn't a movie with constant, out-of-the-blue jump scares. The movie is perfectly balanced with a great deal of comedic lines and scenes throughout. "Scream" is perfect for those who want that classic slasher movie vibe, yet don't want to watch something too sullen.
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I’m sure the majority of us are aware of the infamous horror movie villain, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). The movie version of “IT” was released in 2017, with a two-part TV series and book preceding it. The movie follows "The Losers Club"—Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer), Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Martel), Stanley Uris (Wyatt Oleff), Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs) and Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis)—as they encounter this mysterious force of evil that has been abducting children in Derry, Maine every 27 years. Throughout the movie, the group discovers the dark history behind their small town and finds a way to confront Pennywise by facing all obstacles and fears in the process. "IT" does an amazing job of putting fear into its viewers through jump scares, and is perfect if you want an adrenaline boost. If this worries you, don't fear (too much), because one of the best aspects of this movie is how well intense situations are diffused through witty and arbitrary commentary. Trust me, even if you get scared, that feeling will quickly fade away from a perfectly executed out-of-pocket joke.
"Bodies Bodies Bodies"
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Released by A24 on Aug. 5, "Bodies Bodies Bodies" quickly gained popularity for its well-known cast and unexpected plot twist. The movie is best described as a comedic "whodunnit"; a group of millennials become hysterically paranoid of one another after the apparent murder of their friend, David (Pete Davidson), during an intense storm. Throughout the movie, we watch each character become progressively more distressed as secrets spill and distrust increases. Out of all the movies I've mentioned, this is truly the perfect entry into horror if you don't want something scary. "Bodies Bodies Bodies" doesn't have a stereotypically noticeable villain, and though all the characters are horrified throughout, there isn't much of a reason for the viewer to join in on the fear. I usually dislike when a movie doesn't focus heavily on the fear aspect, but the concept and execution of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" was so amusing that I couldn't stop watching. The movie was hilarious—as well as pointless—and showed that not all horror movies need to be serious and apprehensive to be enjoyable.
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Released in 1976, the original "Carrie" is one of Stephen King's most iconic movies, ranging from its memorable lines to the well-known pig-blood scene. The movie follows shy and sheltered Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), who navigates being bullied by her classmates, as well as being constantly shamed by her domineering and religious mother after starting her menstruation cycle. On top of that, she gains telekinetic powers that are a struggle to contain, causing her to eventually unleash the powers recklessly on a prom night full of humiliation. I truly can not put into words the love I hold for this movie. From the way the plot builds up to the acting at the climax and beyond, "Carrie" makes for an entertaining horror movie, with so much more to it than what you would expect from a stereotypical old movie: cheap scares and mediocre acting. The themes of a suffering and vengeful teenage girl are perfectly depicted and make this movie great in displaying the struggle of femininity, sexuality and gender (since Carrie's powers kick in after she starts her period). "Carrie" isn't a typical horror movie and has a much deeper meaning than what's shown on the surface, leaving you thinking about the movie hours after watching it. This movie is perfect for those wanting a movie different than the usual horror films that have a more meaningful and complex message to keep you contemplating and at the edge of your seat in suspense.
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As a huge "Supernatural" fan, hearing about Kathryn Newton starring in "Freaky" immediately had me eager and excited to watch the movie. "Freaky" surrounds 17 year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton), who spends her days of high school under the terror of the popular crowd until she comes in contact with the town's infamous serial killer, the Butcher (Vince Vaughn). When the Butcher's magical dagger plunges into Millie, instead of facing a painful and gut-wrenching death, the two characters switch bodies. For the next 24 hours, Millie and her two friends are determined to find a way to get Millie back in her teenage body before she's stuck in the body of a murderous middle-aged man for the rest of her life. Going into the movie, I knew little to nothing about it besides the whole "switching bodies" plot. "Freaky" was a comedy-filled movie, leaving no room for one to be stricken with fear. Though it wasn't textbook scary, "Freaky" was full of gruesome murders which will leave you temporarily disturbed. However, I enjoyed the plethora of comedic lines and the gore, as it tends to be more interesting to me rather than a regular jumpscare, which has never succeeded in making me uneasy. If you're one to shy away from more gore-filled movies, I still recommend giving "Freaky" a try, since all of the death scenes are meant to be taken in a lighthearted and comedic way in contrast with all the unrealistic and over-the-top scenes.
Horror is a category with a variety of films, all with different ideas about what encompasses the true meaning of the genre. These movies are not only entertaining and lighter than many others, but they're perfect for those wanting to dip their toes into this adrenaline-filled genre.