Five best horror movies to spice up your October

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“Halloween” directed by John Carpenter is a classic in the horror genre and is still entertaining audiences today. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Colin Bartley

With Halloween around the corner and a semi-recent revival of the horror film genre taking place, you may be looking for some hidden gems or a reminder of the best classics. Either way, this list offers something for you to spice up your October.

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) directed by Jonathan Demme

While “The Silence of the Lambs” lends itself more towards crime drama than horror, at its core it is one of the best examples of a psychological thriller. Throughout the entire film the audience is kept in suspense, knowing the genuine threat of its primary antagonist, Hannibal Lector. Director Jonathan Demme tackles rather heavy themes of mental illness and identity under the backdrop of a chase for a crazed killer. All of this is wonderfully brought together by the acting of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, who really bring the story to life. 

“Train to Busan” (2016) directed by Yeon Sang-ho

At first glance this may look like another generic zombie movie. Zombie movies seem to be a bit overdone in recent years. “Train to Busan” works to revitalize the genre in a unique way. Taking place in Korea, it tells the story of a family surviving a zombie outbreak. What makes it unique is that it is a drama first and horror movie second, Director Yeon Sang-ho focuses more on its characters lives rather than the horror that surrounds them. Gong Yoo plays a father fighting against hordes of zombies to reunite with his daughter.

“Halloween” (1978) directed by John Howard Carpenter

The original “Halloween” is a must watch simply because of its impact in the horror genre. While it may not be as terrifying or shocking in comparison to more recent horror movies, it still has some genuinely intense scenes. The story, which may seem a bit tired by modern standards, is held up by the excellent cinematography from director John Carpenter, who shot scenes featuring the terrifying Michael Myers, played by Tony Moran, in tight confined spaces to give an almost claustrophobic effect. Jamie Lee Curtis also delivers an impeccable performance as Laurie that launched her career.

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974) directed by Tobe Hooper

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is a unique horror film because it is so campy and silly at times but then switches quickly into some genuinely unsettling scenes. The film gets gradually more strange and disturbing as it progresses. Director Tobe Hooper leans into this awkward B movie aesthetic throughout the script. Despite all the quirkiness, the introduction of Leatherface, played by Gunnar Hansen, is a genuinely shocking and iconic scene. If you are looking for slightly more lighthearted horror for Halloween, this is a good option.

“Hereditary” (2018) directed by Ari Aster

“Hereditary” is an incredibly disturbing psychological thriller from director Ari Aster that uses its subtlety to its advantage to create a slow build into its disturbing conclusion. It starts as a family drama and repeatedly drops hints to what is really going on behind the scenes. The twist in the plot also makes rewatching it genuinely interesting as it changes the tone of the movie. Toni Collette and Alex Wolff deliver  amazingly believable performances as an increasingly estranged mother and son. If you like artsy films then you will more than likely be into “Hereditary.”