Ten Horror Films for Halloween


As we enter fall, the temperatures drop along with our cold, icy hearts. As a result, we at The Harriton Banner have compiled a list of our favorite horror movies that will add an extra dash of fear to your Halloween weekend (or Hallo-weekend). Below is a list of ten of our favorite horror movies, both recent and classic.

  1. Hereditary (2018)

When the grandmother of the Graham family dies, she leaves her daughter and grandchildren to discover the dark and terrifying truth about their lineage. These truths unravel as the family attempts to outrun their inevitable and malevolent fate. While this unsettling plotline gets right to the point, I will warn viewers that the director manages to include every gory detail imaginable. Before the movie, my eyes were closing due to lack of sleep; after the first few scenes, I was wide awake and immediately felt a rush of adrenaline. Although unsettling, Hereditary spices up the average horror film with creative and disturbing twists throughout the story, making it the perfect breath of fresh air for us movie-lovers.

  1. Scream (1996)

The original Scream is one of the most influential slasher films of all time, re-defining the horror genre while still drawing inspiration from the classics that came before. The film follows a young teenager, Sidney Prescott, who is being attacked by a mysterious killer named Ghostface. The film illustrates the fear of a suburban town under attack, something to which many of us could relate. Aided by director Wes Craven’s unique lens of the horror genre, this film will have you on your feet, hiding under the blankets, and laughing, all in one night.

  1. Psycho (1960)

An oldie but a goodie, Psycho is the horror film masterpiece directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. When a secretary, Marion Crane, steals $40,000 from her office, she immediately drives away, overcome with both paranoia and fatigue. Exhausted, Marion pulls over to an old motel and meets the unusual owner, Norman Bates, who lives in the eerie house alongside his troubled mother. As the plotline progresses, Hitchcock keeps his viewers on the edge of their seat while unraveling a shocking twist that is very advanced for its time. The most iconic part of this movie is the shower scene, where Hitchcock pushes the limits by including some violent graphics that were previously unheard of in cinema. This movie not only scared the living critters out of me, but I also finished it in awe, wondering how a person could create such a complex, freaky, and very creative film.

  1. The Conjuring (2013)

While the Conjuring has a jump scare at every turn of the movie, it still deserves a spot on our “must-watch” list. Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators, work to aid a family that is haunted by dark spirits in their new farmhouse. If you are into exorcisms, dark spirits, and possession, this movie is right down your ally. Perhaps it is the special effects or impressive acting, but the Conjuring always manages to leave its audience with a chill that tingles up their spine. While the movie has a bit of a slow start, it escalates to the point where you wish the horror would just end. Still, the Conjuring is a fabulous Halloween movie that provides its audience with entertaining nightmares and a possible pair of wet undies!

  1. A Quiet Place (2017)

With a concept that could be slow and boring, this modern-day, thriller masterpiece, is anything but. In Krasinski’s (The Office) directorial debut, he explores a family forced to remain quiet due to the regional monsters that attack based on sound. One thing that makes this film so engaging is its ability to draw viewers in, not with jump scares, but with the core family conflict and the enticing acting. Along with the acting, the movie excels in its sound mixing and editing. Its ability to magnify small sounds into ominous cries, or instantly switch from a silent paradise to an agitated hell, is remarkable. Come for a terrifying experience; leave satisfied with a newfound understanding of family and communication.

  1. It (2017)

For the creepy clown lovers in the audience, this one’s for you. Based on Stephen King’s novel, It is about a small group of bullied friends in Derry, Maine, who assemble to defeat a devilish, shapeshifting clown monster that is only visible to children. This friend group spends the summer of 1989 discovering the curse of their town while trying to defeat the clown and end the tragedies of the missing children. While this movie is loaded with jump-scares and psychological torment for the audience, it also conveys the meaning of friendship and loyalty through this tight-knit group of buddies who all stick with each other through thick and thin. This horror film reminds the audience that even when a friend is on a murder mission to kill the local, bloodthirsty clown devil, you should still support their decision and have their back in doing so—and take a blood oath while you are at it! #bestiegoals

  1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Taking place in Philadelphia, director M. Night Shyamalan’s classic supernatural horror film served as a key example to those that followed. The film delves into the world of a child psychologist, played by Bruce Willis, who begins to help a young boy who has the ability to see ghosts. As the movie goes on, the audience embarks on the journey with the two main characters, seeing how the two create a unique bond that slowly unfolds itself. With an intense climax that leads to an unpredictable twist, this movie is a classic movie for Halloween time.

  1. Don’t Breathe (2016)

When three bandits devise a plan to break into the house of a wealthy blind man, they think it’ll be an easy scheme. As they enter the house and the night goes on, they realize that the man is a lot stronger than they had originally believed. This harrowing journey reveals disturbing secrets and makes you question which side you should be on. This film keeps you on the edge of your seat while banking off of several of the genre’s cliches. It may not go down as one of the most artistically crafted horror films of all time, but Don’t Breathe is definitely entertaining and extremely suspenseful.

  1. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

The second film of this science fiction/horror anthology trio proves to be the strongest of the bunch. 10 Cloverfield Lane plays on the fear of uncertainty and entrapment, and places you in the middle of an on-edge, sometimes even awkward, situation. The film follows a women who gets in a car accident and suddenly wakes up in a bunker with no knowledge. As the movie goes on, the woman and the viewers began to realize that something evil lurks in their ominous bunker. Helmed by the production of sci-fi legend, J.J. Abrams, and by the terrific acting of the three main actors, John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr., this film is the perfectly captures the horrors of a futuristic world. The film proves that in an apocalyptic world of monsters and destructions, sometimes humans are the greatest threats.

  1. The Boy (2016)

An American nanny, working as a babysitter for an English family, soon discovers that her job includes looking after a life-sized doll. After breaking a long list of caretaking rules for the doll, unsettling consequences make her believe that this boy is actually alive. While this movie seems to follow the cliché direction of many other horror films where a doll becomes possessed and haunts its owner, the writer twists the story and transforms the plot, making it far more compelling yet much more disturbing as well. The Boy is one of those horror films that, when finished, makes you sit back in your seat, reflect for a minute, and then think “What the heck was that?”

No matter which movie(s) you choose to watch this October, we promise our list will not let you down. When October 31st arrives, go trick-or-treating, compile a candy stash, and then do this ten-movie-marathon. Even if these stories do not trigger fear, remember that most of these films are based on true stories, and when you feel that extra chill down your spine on Halloween night, chances are that a dark spirit may have latched onto you as well. With that lasting thought, we wish you farewell and a happy Halloween!