Years spanning from the early 80s to the present, our defined essence of the genre of horror has changed dramatically. Now, the only horror films my friends are willing to watch do not even include your average fictional monster, but of paranormal and or cult-like origins. Here are your movie and television show recommendations for the most frightening, and scream-infested time of year, three movies and one TV show to be exact. I have come to unfathomably enjoy these films and shows in every detail, so I better hope you take my word for it. Make sure to grab the nearest blanket, invite your friends or a significant other, and cuddle up close for all the jumps and scares.
- Halloween (1978): Directed by John Carpenter
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Morgan, and Nancy Kyes
All right. I know what you are thinking. Who wants to watch a horror film from the 70s? But you must understand this is one of the most undoubtedly iconic films of all time. Halloween explores the life of the extremely troubled, and chilling serial killer: Michael Myers. Through brief introduction, viewers come to learn that Michael committed a vicious murder against 15-year-old Judith Myers; and consequently, placed into federal confinement. Remember when I mentioned “serial killer”? Well, Michael escaped prison, and this film surrounds his big break. No pun intended.
Stream on Fubotv for free, or rent on Amazon Prime
- Hocus Pocus (1993): Directed by Kenny Ortega
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy
This is one of my favorite Halloween movies to date. It is the most heartwarming, laughter-filled, spooky movie that could never get old. I could honestly watch it three times in one night and not feel the urge to turn it off. For those of you who may live under a rock, I will fill you in. Hocus Pocus carefully centers on a curious, young California native who moved to Salem for the new school year, the home of the Salem Witches. One night, he walks upon the home of the dynamic trio of the most diabolical witches of Salem who were executed in the 17th century. What happened next? Well, you will have to watch and find out!
Stream on Disney+ with subscription or Freeform with cable provider
- Hereditary (2018): Directed by Ari Aster
Starring: Alex Wolff, Toni Collette, and Milly Shapiro
When I tell you that I was so incredibly close to leaving the theater 30 minutes after the start of it, I promise it is true. Hereditary is by far one of the most spine-chilling horror films I have ever seen. This story is a perfect portrayal of devolving character narratives including every member of this unsettled family. Following the death of a close relative, the Graham family struggles to cope and grieve with the sudden and tragic loss. As they take each day one at a time, they are repeatedly haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences that slowly lead them to madness. OK. I will stop there. Now it is your turn to experience it; and I strongly assure you that you will know the exact part I almost walked out on.
Stream on Hulu with premium subscription, and Amazon Prime
- The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020): Created by Mike Flanagan
Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Kate Siegel, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen
This Gothic romance, horror limited series aired on October 9th, 2020, as part of the numerous additions to the Netflix roster and another similar sequel to The Haunting of Hill House, but a tad different. The story follows the events occurring in the onymous Bly Manor located within the United Kingdom. Young American au pair, Dani Clayton, is hired by a man to take care of his niece and nephew at this family country home after they fall into his care. Unbeknownst of the chilling secrets lying within the walls of the “home, Dani is left in dread watching every corner for who may be left in the house. Since it is not just them. Call to mind that dead does not mean gone.
Stream on Netflix with subscription