Halloween is next week, meaning it's the time of year for overpriced costumes, candy and scary movies. Whether you’re recovering from frostbite after wearing that “sexy bumble bee” costume in 40˚ weather, or nursing a hangover from too much candy and even more drinks, here are Street’s top six movies to watch this Halloween.
1. Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity applies mockumentary–style footage and realism to otherwise standard jump–scares. The movie pretends to be the discovered footage of a video camera used by a young couple, Katie and Micah, to document supernatural occurrences in their home. As the events get increasingly paranormal, the suspense builds and the jump–scares get more dramatic. Watch if you want to be kind of scared by spooky imagery, but also want to be comforted by a realistic setting.
2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
This classic is full of nostalgia if you grew up with it. If not, you will still appreciate writer Charles Schulz’s dry humor presented in a children’s cartoon. Think Family Guy, but less vulgar and with more jack–o–lanterns.
3. Hocus Pocus
Another cozy Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus brings anyone back to the '90s. Funny, maybe scary and mostly cute, this movie follows three witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Najimy), the Sanderson sisters. The sisters come from Salem, Massachusetts circa 1690 and are resurrected by high school students in 1993. The witches attempt to adjust to the present times, but are puzzled by modern phenomena such as Halloween and pavement. Overall Hocus Pocus is a fun watch and a good throwback to make your Halloween a little more retro.
For movie connoisseurs, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is artfully suspenseful and a timeless thriller. The movie depicts Norman Bates, who owns a roadside motel. Marion, a young woman who has just stolen money from her boss, goes to stay at the motel run by Norman. While the motel seems safe enough at first, things quickly get violent, creepy and a little bit Oedipal. If you’ve watched the TV series Bates Motel or want to see masterful horror this Halloween, watch Psycho.
If you’ve already seen Psycho, or if its big twist has been spoiled for you already, watch Alfred Hitchcock’s less famous Vertigo. Vertigo is just as scary as Psycho and also has an incredible twist at the end. The film follows a detective, Scottie, who suffers from acrophobia. He looks to cure it, but is told that the only remedy might be another emotional trauma, which would reverse the phobia. When his friend asks him to tail his allegedly possessed wife, Madeleine, Scottie agrees. From here, Hitchcock demonstrates his mastery of psychological thrill. The movie is creepy, suspenseful and meaningful, which many horror movies are not. Watch if you want complex intrigue combined with suspenseful horror.
6. The Babadook
Arguably the scariest movie on Netflix right now, The Babadook uses elements of the unknown to deliver haunting thrills. While none of the imagery is particularly scary, director Jennifer Kent manages to turn a widow living with her son in the countryside into something terrifying. The plot centers around a children’s book, Mister Babadook, that quickly takes on sinister elements. After Amelia (Essie Davis) reads the book about a creature, the Babadook, to her son, she is unable to dispose of the book, and the book starts adding more pages. If you’re looking to be scared and somewhat scarred for life, watch The Babadook on a big screen at full volume.
Halloweentown profiles a mystical town, Halloweentown, where witches, goblins, etc. live together in harmony. The film is family oriented, and the main character is a 13–year–old girl, Marnie. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable watch for adults, like many other Disney films. Halloweentown is the first of a series of movies, in which Marnie has to help her grandmother defeat Kalabar, an evil mayor of Halloweentown. In the later installments, Kalabar returns, and Marnie enters high school. The movies are fun and uplifting, and, since there are four of them, they lend themselves to a movie marathon night.