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20+ Halloween Films to Watch This Season: Feast Upon This

Keeley Brooks & Mixed Alternative Staff

Oct 22, 2023

With Halloween 2023 right around the corner, Mixed Alternative got together to recommend some of our favorite Halloween movies!

‘Tis the season for all things spooky, my friends, and here at Mixed Alternative, we love the weird and spooky because, well, that’s just who we are—well, maybe not spooky but definitely weird in the best possible way. In addition to costumes, candy, and creepy-looking house parties, Halloween is also celebrated in cinema. With the 2023 Halloween season right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to give you guys a little roundup of our favorite Halloween movies recommended by our writers and editors. Happy Viewing, my friends.




Evil Dead II (1987)

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi, Kassie Wesley DePaiva


The Evil Dead franchise follows Ashley “Ash” Williams (Campbell) in his battle to survive on onslaught of flesh-possessing demons that he and his friends accidentally unleashed when they found an old book, the Necronomicon, at a cabin in the woods and read it aloud. Oops. Evil Dead II finds Ash holed up in cabin with a group of strangers as the demons continue their attack.

“I first watched Evil Dead II in middle school with friends at a sleepover, and what I loved about it then and now is the way it mixes comedy with gore. It’s wonderful. Evil Dead II will always be one of my favorite horror movies because of how absolutely fun it is to experience and how many memorable and quotable scenes there are not just in the franchise but in Evil Dead II in particular.”

A Quiet Place (2018)

Director: John Krasinski

Cast: John Krasinkski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe


If they hear you, they hunt you. Imagine having to live in a world where making the softest sound could get you killed. In A Quiet Place, a family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Emily Blunt, of Edge of Tomorrow) and Lee (John Krasinski, of The Office) are determined to find a way to protect their kids while desperately searching for a way to fight back.

A Quiet Place is so great on so many levels, as it took something we all tend to take for granted and made the mere act of making sound a death sentence. Imagine giving birth in a world where you can't make a sound and there is no medical care, where you must keep your newborn quiet lest it be snatched by an alien before you can blink. Babies are not quiet, so the combined tension of giving birth silently and keeping a newborn quiet are just horrific. A Quiet Place is excellent writing and acting merging into a masterpiece from one spectacular idea. While A Quiet Place Part II didn't quite live up to the original, I still hold a place in my heart for this movie.”


*Honorable Mention:

The Omen (1976)

Director: Richard Donner

Cast: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner


The Omen is about a boy named Damien (Harvey Stephens, of The Bat) who is believed to be the Antichrist. When American diplomat Robert (Gregory Peck, of Cape Fear) adopts Damien after his wife Katherine (Lee Remich, of Around the World in 80 Days) delivers a stillborn, Damien’s first nanny hangs herself. When Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton, of Doctor Who) warns Robert that Damien will harm Katherine’s unborn child, it isn’t long before Brennan turns up dead and Katherine miscarries when Damien pushes her off a balcony. As more people around Damien die, Robert investigates the kid’s background and realizes Damien may just be the devil’s son.

“I read ‘The Omen’ book as a young child and later saw the film. The idea that a child had been born as the son of the devil to an influential family and would one day rise through the ranks of society was fascinating to me. The way The Omen built suspense and overall tension is truly something to witness. ‘Damien, it's all for you.’ Plus, I kinda looked like the child actor when I was his age.” 




Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier, Lorna Rave, David Paymer


Alison Lohman (Gamer) stars as Christine Brown, a beautiful girl with a loving boyfriend (Justin Long, of Accepted) and a great job at an L.A. bank. Her heavenly life becomes a living hell when, in an effort to impress her boss, she denies an old woman’s request for an extension on her home loan. In retaliation, the crone places a curse on Christine, threatening her soul with eternal damnation. Christine seeks a psychic’s help to break the curse, but can she afford the price to save her soul?

Drag Me to Hell is one horror movie that always stood out to me. Actress Alison Lohman does an amazing job as the lead and looks a lot like our editor-in-chief, Nicole Brice! Drag Me to Hell has some very suspenseful and scary moments throughout the film, starting from early on. I think this is a great movie that doesn't fall into a list with the more obvious ones."


The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb, William O’Malley


One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair, of The Exorcist: Believer) starts acting odd—levitating, speaking in tongues—her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn, of Requiem for a Dream) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. However, a local priest (Jason Miller, of The Exorcist III) thinks the girl may be seized by the devil, so he makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow, of Flash Gordon) to help.

“I would have to say the scariest film of all time would be The Exorcist. The story, cinematography, acting, editing, and old school techniques combine perfectly to cast a deep shadow of fear in the hearts of any viewer.


*Honorable Mentions: Saw Franchise (2004)

Director: James Wan

Cast: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes

Creators: James Wan and Leigh Whannell, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Danny Glover


A groundbreaking horror franchise, Saw is about a sadistic serial killer named Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) who kidnaps people and sets them up in one of his perverse little puzzle games so that they have the choice: live or die. In the original Saw movie, photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannel, of Upgrade) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes, of The Princess Bride) regain consciousness while chained to dirty, grimy pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped, flashbacks relate the fates of Jigsaw’s previous victims while the two men are forced into torture as they fight for their survival, as Gordon’s wife and young daughter watch via closed-circuit video.

“As far as gore goes, the Saw franchise is fantastic and ultimately features some of the most cringeworthy horror scenarios available today. It’s no wonder the Saw movies make up the highest-grossing horror franchise of all time.”  

Halloween II (1981)

Director: Rick Rosenthal

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasense, Charles Cyphers, Dick Warlock


After failing to kill stubborn survivor Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis, of True Lies) and taking a bullet or six from former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence, of Halloween), the masked Michael Myers follows Laurie to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where she’s been admitted for Myers’ attempt on her life. The institution proves to be particularly suited to serial killers, however, as Myers cuts, stabs, and slashes his way through hospital staff to reach his favorite victim.

“There’s a lot about the Halloween movie franchise that stands out for numerous reasons, but one of my favorites is Halloween II, which focuses on Dr. Loomis’s hunt for Michael as a traumatized Laurie is rushed to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Only thing is, Michael is right behind her and when he gets into the hospital, the action makes for one unforgettable scene that forever stands out for me. It’s a must see.”




Get Out (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, LaKeith Stanfield, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson


In a slam dunk of a directorial debut from actor, producer, writer, and comedian Jordan Peele (Nope), Get Out follows young couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, of Black Panther) and Rose (Allison Williams, of M3GAN) as they go to visit her parents in Upstate New York. Chris has never met them before and is a little weary about this milestone in their relationship. When they first arrive, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship (Rose is White, Chris is Black), but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries leads him right to a truth he could’ve never imagined. 

“What I enjoyed about Get Out is its commentary on how Black people are treated in the 21st Century. Peele managed to write an ingenious horror movie that’s stone-cold realistic commentary on the enslavement of a race of people for their perceived physical attributes and longevity. Get Out is masterfully told and acted out on all parts of the cast—the ensemble of which was a big deal.


The scene where Chris is struck in sheer terror emanates with how Black people must feel today: like there’s an area where if they cross some perceived line in reality, there’ll be retaliation by the system. Catherine Keener (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale) represent this and capitalize on Black lives before Black Lives Matter ever became a thing.


This movie is important for a lot of reasons: It’s a good movie with a valuable message as a horror movie, it adds to the shallow repertoire when it comes to black horror films, and it crosses borders like Us (2019) does. The social commentary with Get Out is exploitation on Black people as a whole treated as a commodity, as something to be traded or sold. Peele wrote a horror movie about Black people that is a real-time horror tale set in real life, and he couldn’t bring more valuable views and messages to the masses with his work.”

Zombieland (2009)

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray


After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world’s surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the hungry undead. Four survivors—Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson, of White Men Can’t Jump) and his cohorts, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg, of The Social Network), Wichita (Emma Stone, of La La Land), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin, of Little Miss Sunshine)—abide by a list of survival rules and zombie-killing strategies as they make their way toward a rumored safe haven in Los Angeles … at the house of one Bill Murray (Lost in Translation).

Zombieland is one of the best comedy-horror films today. From its comedic aspects such as Columbus’s rules for surviving in this new zombie-infested world to the tough but sensitive levity Woody Harrelson brings to his character to the zombies’ development and adopted zombie-telling techniques from other areas, everything about this film works together to enhance an already excellent storyline. Zombieland is exciting, full of wild action with well-choreographed stunts, and it features just the right amount of gore without being too much. Zombieland is a movie that you can still watch and get something out of it, even if you’re not a zombie person.






The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb, William O’Malley


One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair, of The Exorcist: Believer) starts acting odd—levitating, speaking in tongues—her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn, of Requiem for a Dream) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. However, a local priest (Jason Miller, of The Exorcist III) thinks the girl may be seized by the devil, so he makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow, of Flash Gordon) to help.

The Exorcist set the standard for possession movies. Friedkin's bold adaptation of Blattey's novel has shocked and scared audiences since its release in 1973 and still does so to this day. Often imitated but never replicated, no possession movie has ever surpassed this one in thrills and chills.” 

Hereditary (2018)

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff


When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they’ve inherited.

“I once read somewhere that Hereditary was The Exorcist of this modern-day generation, so it is no surprise I love it. The Exorcist it is not, but that doesn't mean it isn’t unsettling. Ari Aster's dark take on the cult/occult subgenre of horror will keep you awake for days. That’s a guarantee.”

Halloween (1978)

Director: John Carpenter

Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes, Charles Cyphers


On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes, returning to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

“John Carpenter and Debra Hill raised the bar for slasher movies with Halloween. Ominous, atmospheric, and foreboding, Michael Myers has a creep factor that many of his predecessors and contemporaries lack. Halloween also has the best theme music ever!” 




28 Days Later (2002)

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Naomi Harris


When a group of eco-terrorists free a chimp from its lab cage in a Cambridge medical research lab, they’re unaware it’s infected with what is called the “Rage virus” and unknowingly unleash the apocalypse. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy, of Peaky Blinders) wakes up from 28 days in a coma, he finds London in total collapse, the world in destruction, and society completely obliterated. It’s only when he’s chased through the streets by aggressive, wicked fast, bloodthirsty creatures and is saved by a couple of uninfected that he learns what has happened and must figure out a way to survive in a world not only full of raging zombies but also littered with broken down groups of humanity.

28 Days Later was the first zombie movie to truly scare me. Before then, I’d never seen fast zombies, let alone violent, aggressive ones. I love everything about this movie, from its concept to its pace in storytelling to its simple use of blood to imply more than what is seen. 28 Days Later features stellar acting (this was Cillian Murphy’s first big movie) and a smart soundtrack that drives the panic and tension throughout the story. And further compounding this hair-raising scenario is the horror story within the horror story, which shows what happens when humanity ceases to exist. I also love how Director Danny Boyle juxtaposes this horrific scenario with the beautiful backdrop of nature—ironic since nature is where viruses originate.

**For more about this movie, read my full review of 28 Days Later.

World War Z (2013)

Director: Marc Forster

Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Matthew Fox


When former U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt, of Ocean's Eleven) and his family get stuck in urban gridlock, he senses it’s no ordinary traffic jam and he’s right: The city is erupting into chaos at an incredibly fast pace, leaving little to no chance for escape or survival. A lethal virus spread through a simple bite is turning healthy people into something vicious, unthinking, and feral within a matter of 12 seconds. As the pandemic threatens to consume humanity, Gerry leads a worldwide search to find the source of the infection and, with a stroke of luck, a way to halt its spread.

“Clearly, zombie movies are my favorite horror movies--next to slasher films, of course. World War Z had the same effect on me that 28 Days Later had: sheer terror. I didn’t think it was possible to amp up the aggression, speed, and bloodlust that zombies of the early 21st Century had come to display, but World War Z came along and nailed it. With the exception of about four minutes at the beginning and end of the film, World War Z is adrenaline-inducing and heart pounding from start to finish. Every single moment of this film is level 10 panic and chaos—no time to think, no time to movie, no time to fear. The cinematography is gorgeous, again using the technique of juxtaposing breathtaking views with a horrific reality. And I have to give mad props to the makeup and special effects department, who, no pun intended, killed it with these zombies. Those moments in the halls of the Center for Disease Control had me holding my breath as I sat there, mouth wide open, in total awe and appreciation of what I was seeing: tension to the max. Also, that massive horde of zombie savagely climbing the walls of Jerusalem is just breathtaking—terrifying, but breathtaking. World War Z is stellar horror all the way around.”

Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich, Neve Campbell, Tatum O’Neal, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Henry Winkler


Set in the small town of Woodsboro, Middle America, Scream’s plot follows high school student Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell, of The Craft) and her friends, who, on the anniversary of her mother’s murder, become the targets of a costumed, knife-wielding serial killer known as Ghostface.

“I love Scream because it scared me without terrifying me and made me laugh in ways that didn’t make the movie any less effective in its serious nature. Featuring one of the best opening scenes in a slasher movie, which was alone enough to instill the fear and pace of this narrative and hook us in from the get-go, Scream reinvented and revitalized the slasher-horror genre. It’s funny and clever in dialogue and character portrayals—thanks, in part, to momentous performances from David Arquette (Never Been Kissed), Matthew Lillard (Good Girls) and Henry Winkler (The Waterboy)—while remaining deep in the vein of seriousness, psychological thrills, and plenty of jump scares. Craven masterfully builds tension and self-parody as the body count in Woodsboro rises and a fright-masked knife-wielding maniac stalks high school students in middle-class suburbia. Another reason Scream is a must see: the irony in Randy Meeks’ (Jamie Kennedy, of Son of the Mask) scene explaining the rules to surviving any horror movie: (1) never have sex, (2) never drink or do drugs, and (3) never ever ever, under any circumstances, say, ‘I’ll be right back.’”

Cujo (1981)

Director: Lewis Teague

Cast: Danny Pintauro, Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone


Adapted from infamous horror author Stephen King’s story of the same name, Cujo is the terrifying tale of a sweet St. Bernard who is bitten by a bat and contracts rabies. Cujo, who roams between his owner’s house and auto garage on the same property, starts behaving oddly and becomes very aggressive, eventually morphing into a dangerous beast thirsting to kill. When stay-at-home mom (Dee Wallace, of Sons and Daughters) gets caught in Cujo’s crosshairs while out on a fateful errand with her young son Tad (Danny Pintauro, of Who’s the Boss?), she must fight to protect herself and Tad from Cujo when they become trapped in their tiny Ford Pinto after it breaks down at the auto garage … for days, with no help in sight.

“I won’t lie: Cujo scared the absolute shit out of me when I first saw it as a young teen. It’s not the rabies-infested dog that makes Cujo so scary; rather, it’s King’s claustrophobic scenario of being trapped in a tiny, dysfunctional car guarded by crazed, rabid beast that terrifies. From the scenes of Dee’s escalating fear to Cujo viciously attempting to get into the car to Teague’s filming techniques that keep us grounded in awareness, Cujo is definitely one of the scariest real-life scenario movies I’ve ever seen. I never looked at St. Bernards the same way after seeing this film.”

Beetlejuice (1988)

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder


After Barbara (Geena Davis, of A League of Their Own) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin, of Supercell) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck in their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes (Catherine O’Hara, of Schitt’s Creek, and Jeffrey Jones, of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and their teen goth daughter (Winona Ryder, of Mr. Deeds) move in, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. That’s when they turn to rambunctious bio-exorcist Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton, of Batman) and all hell breaks loose in the best possible Tim-Burton way.

“I adore this movie and everything about Tim Burton’s exaggerated gothic style. Beetlejuice features an all-star cast who, honestly, couldn’t have played their roles any better. Beetlejuice is original, creepy, funny, artistic, and completely entertaining. This movie never gets old and now with a sequel coming in 2024, I suspect Beetlejuice will reach a whole new generation of fans. I can't wait.”




The Night House (2020)

Director: David Bruckner

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarh Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Evan Jonigkeit


Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall, of The Town) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tires as best she can to keep it together, but then the dreams come and disturbing visions of a presence in the house call to her, beckoning with a ghostly allure. But in the harsh light of day, any proof of a haunting dissolves. Against the advice of her friends, Beth digs into her husband’s belongings in a frantic search for answers.

“I love a good scare, and one of my go-to films for a sleepless night that has me double-checking the locks on my door while experiencing mounting, almost unbearable suspense is The Night House. Rebecca Hall stars as a widow whose grief is complicated by anger, confusion, and guilt as her husband died by his own hand. The remote lake house setting makes it all the creepier (and more delicious) to explore, along with the protagonist's thin spaces between reality and nightmare.”


Fear of Rain (2021)

Director: Castille Landon

Cast: Katherine Heigl, Harry Connick Jr., Madison Iseman, Israel Broussard


Fear of Rain brilliantly takes the audience into the dark, terrifying world of a teen girl who struggles with mental health.” Rain (Madison Iseman, of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) has early-onset schizophrenia, a condition that not only causes her to see vivid hallucinations but also puts a strain on her parents. When she meets Caleb (Israel Broussard, of Fear the Walking Dead), a charmingly awkward new kid at school, Rain finally feels a lifeline to normalcy. But as she starts to suspect her neighbor kidnapped a child, she must figure out who and what is real while also battling the overwhelming forces that haunt her daily life. “The danger she encounters during her episodes might not all be ‘in her mind.’”


“Full disclosure: Both The Night House and Fear of Rain deliver heart-stopping jolts of fright that let me skip the gym the next morning—an added appeal.”




Halloween (2007)

Director: Rob Zombie

Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, William Forsythe, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo


Nearly two decades after being committed to a mental institution for killing his stepfather and older sister, Michael Myers breaks out, intent on returning home to Haddonfield, Illinois. He arrives on Halloween with the indomitable purpose of hunting down his younger sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton, of An American Crime). The only thing standing between Michael and a Halloween night full of bloody carnage is Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell, of A Clockwork Orange).

“Rob Zombie’s Halloween completely changed my view of the Halloween franchise. Growing up, I always felt that beyond the first two original Halloween films, the franchise became cheesy and stale. Then in walks Rob Zombie with this scary as f**k take on the narrative and I was blown away. To this day, Halloween (2007) still freaks me out, but in a good way."


Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Jeffrey Jones, Christopher Walken


Set in 1799, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow is based on Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Faithful to the dreamy custom-bound world that Irving paints in his story, Sleepy Hollow mixes horror, fantasy, and romance while featuring an extraordinary cast of characters that dabble in the supernatural. And, of course, it features Tim Burton’s unforgettable gothic style to it.

“I absolutely love everything about Sleepy Hollow. When Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp, of Pirates of the Caribbean) is sent to the creepy town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, he soon discovers the culprit isn’t another person but is the legendary apparition The Headless Horseman. Everything about this movie is perfect: the acting, the tone, Burton’s pace of his film, the cinematic techniques used to create suspense and fear, the scenery, the narrative—absolutely perfecto in my opinion.




Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Director: George Romero

Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

The black-and-white George Romero classic Night of the Living Dead follows seven people trapped in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania as they fight to fend off a hungry horde of reanimated corpses. Pragmatic Ben (Duane Jones, of Vampires) does his best to control the situation, but when the reanimated bodies surround the house, the other survivors begin to panic. As any semblance of order within the group begins to dissipate, the zombies find their way inside.

Night of the Living Dead is my first favorite movie from when I was all of 10 years old. When I revisited it in college, I found out it held up really well. What I like about Night of the Living Dead is its subversive nature. It was a commentary on 1968 America, and it is still relevant today.” 


The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Ving Rhames, Sean Whalen, Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer


When young Fool (Brandon Adams, of The Sandlot) breaks into the home of his family’s greedy and uncaring landlords, he discovers a disturbing scenario where incestuous adult siblings have mutilated a number of boys and kept them imprisoned under the stairs in their large, creepy house. As Fool attempts to flee before the psychopaths can catch him, he meets their daughter, Alice (A.J. Langer, of Private Practice), who has been spared any extreme discipline by her deranged parents.

The People Under the Stairs is the first R-rated movie I ever saw in theaters. How my dad convinced my mom to let him take me I'll never know. The People Under the Stairs comes across as goofy and campy, but there's actually a great deal of subtext about gentrification and ‘urban renewal’ in it.”




The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb, William O’Malley


One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair, of The Exorcist III) starts acting odd—levitating, speaking in tongues—her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn, of Requiem for a Dream) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. However, a local priest (Jason Miller, of Paradox Lake) thinks the girl may be seized by the devil, so he makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow, of Flash Gordon) to help.

“The scariest horror movie for me remains The Exorcist. At maybe 13 years old, I saw the TV version of the original 1973 movie, and even that version with the most graphic scenes and swear words removed was the scariest movie I had ever seen. Several years later, I saw the full, uncut version and was once again terrified.


The Exorcist is exquisitely done. Its special effects for that era were superb. The subject matter, especially for someone raised in the church, seemed so much more real than a Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees. The Exorcist avoided a lot of the jump-scares and other horror tropes and instead just told a story that scared the shit out of you. It's the all-time best horror movie, in my opinion.


*I also love some of the movies adapted from Stephen King's books: The Shining, Pet Sematery, Carrie, Christine, and Cujo, for instance.   

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