5 horror movies to watch this Halloween

The favorite horror movies of a few editors at The Reflector.

Whether it's carving out jack-o'-lanterns, attending costume parties in last-minute ensembles or venturing through “haunted” attractions, many Halloween traditions evoke a sense of terror and thrill in everyone. However, no tradition evokes these feelings more than the beloved horror movie marathon on Halloween nights.

As the genre of horror continues to evolve from the simple beginnings of “Dracula” and “Nosferatu,” an abundance of horror movies has become a pain for lovers of the Halloween tradition.

Endless scrolling through streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu in search of the right horror movie can become a chore. However, these five horror movies are sure to bring a sense of frightening Halloween spirit and ease the choice of selection on Halloween night.

House

The 1977 Japanese horror film “House,” directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, is best described as an experience. A good experience at that.

The experimental film follows Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) and her six friends traveling to her aunt’s house after Gorgeous meets her father’s new wife, Ryoko Ema (Haruko Wanibuchi). Upon arrival, Gorgeous and her friends quickly discover the house and her auntie are not all that they seem as supernatural events begin to occur.

The visual effects of the film, which Obayashi described as wanting to feel like a child had created them, set the film apart from other supernatural films in the genre. Throughout its 88 minute runtime, the unrealistic effects and frenzied editing make the film feel chaotic. However, the comedic atmosphere and amateur performances make every bizarre effect that happen in the film well worth the chaos.

“House” is one of the many films where the less one knows, the better. It can be streamed on HBO Max.

My Bloody Valentine

Director George Mihalka’s 1981 slasher film “My Bloody Valentine” follows a Valentine’s Day party that invites the vengeful wrath of a serial killer dressed in mining gear. The mystery surrounding the killer’s motives and reappearance after 20 years serves as the film’s plot.

“My Bloody Valentine” is a true testament to '80s slashers and an engaging 90 minute feature that captivates viewers through its gore and intriguing cast of characters. Mihalka’s ability to capture the horrors awaiting a small town for defying one of its age-old traditions is sure to excite fans of classic slashers like “Scream,” “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.”

“My Bloody Valentine” is available to stream on either HBO Max, Hulu or Pluto TV.

The Descent

Director Neil Marshall’s 2005 “The Descent” effectively highlights the horrors of confined, tight spaces. The film explores the survivalist instincts of six women trapped inside a cave system in search of a way out.

With every move the women make, the air around them becomes tighter, passageways become narrower and the humanoid creatures become more violent.

It is an anxiety-raising, skin-crawling film with a satisfying ending that’s sure to entice viewers looking for a thrill. It can be streamed on Prime Video, Paramount+, Tubi or Shudder.

In Fabric

While “In Fabric” may not be as high-stakes as other films in this list, it is still a captivating slow burn.

A haunted red dress sold to patrons by the mysterious Miss Luckmoore (Fatma Mohamed) destroys the lives of its hosts in unique ways. The avant-garde film is a subtle comedy that utilizes late 1900s aesthetics marvelously through its set and costume design. The film’s unique motifs and bizarre central location of the department store are sure to soothe viewers looking for a more artistic viewing.

“In Fabric” can be streamed on Fubo TV, Kanopy or Showtime.

Malignant

In recent years, there has not been a film as wild as James Wan’s “Malignant.” The film follows Madison Lake-Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis) and her strange hallucinations.

The film utilizes visual and digital tricks to display an over-the-top yet suspenseful story that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The exploration of a confusing descent into madness pairs well with the film’s many genre shifts, ranging from a subdued mystery to an intense spectacle of action.

“Malignant,” found on HBO Max, is a refreshing take on the horror genre. It is packed full of humor and thrilling scenes suitable for a late-night watch.

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