Spoilers ahead: horror movies to stream this Halloween

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Ian Stoddard

October is a time of fears, frights, and everything of horror. Every year the whole world gets enveloped in the smell of pumpkin spice and gets prepared for Halloween night, the time where kids come door to door collecting sweets and treats. One way many people, including myself, love to celebrate the season is to sit down and binge watch a whole plethora of spooky movies. Here are some of my thoughts on the most popular horror movies of all time.

Ringu: “Frolics in Brine, Goblins be Thine

“Ringu” (1998) pioneered the horror genre in Japan in the late 90s. While most might compliment the special effects in the third act, I’d like to highlight how ahead of its time the haunted VHS tape was. The editing and uncanny nature of the cursed tape established the style that is most commonly found nowadays in internet horror. Japanese horror throughout the years has always taken inspiration from Japanese folklore and mythology, and “Ringu” is no different. Taking on the archetype of the onryō, or vengeful spirit, antagonist Sadako Yamamura blurs the line between fiction and reality. If the characters themselves are not safe from the threat of the Sadako, then are the movie-goers safe? Not only is “Ringu” one of the defining pieces of Japanese film, it is also a masterclass of leaving the audience uneasy and questioning the legitimacy of the conclusion fed to us.

Streaming on Tubi

Silence of the Lambs: “It rubs the lotion on its skin”

Silence of the Lambs is a difficult movie to review. In terms of a horror movie, this is one of the best psychological thrillers in film history. On paper, it nails the mystery genre, and gives us all we could ever ask for in the suspense department. What makes this a difficult movie to review, is that in 2022 this would not be considered “politically correct.” The portrayal of transgenderism is certainly a product of its time. Buffalo Bill’s character, focused on harvesting flesh to make his own skin suit, promotes a not so favorable commentary on transsexuals. Looking at this from a movie reviewing perspective, it’s absolutely fantastic; Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster’s performances are nothing to scoff at, and the soundtrack provides the ominous yet calm nature that fits the tone of the movie so well. While I can’t say it’s a “timeless classic,” it is absolutely a movie that I would recommend if you like suspense.

Streaming on Pluto TV, Tubi, & Prime Video

Scream: “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

Okay, forget everything I’ve said so far. “Scream” is my all time favorite movie to watch around Halloween. From director Wes Craven, Scream maintains its status as a fright filled movie, while also providing satirical commentary on the slasher movie genre as a whole. As a trope that had been played out to a massive extent in the 80s–including Craven himself who wrote and directed “A Nightmare on Elm Street”– Scream is best described as self-referential. During the opening scene, our main character Casey, played by Drew Barrymore, discusses over the telephone her favorite horror movies with a mysterious man on the other line. She describes the movies in a way that emphasizes the absurdity and repetition of the slasher movie genre. Scream manages to flawlessly balance the humorous undertones, while also producing an suspenseful, terrifying movie.

Streaming on Paramount Plus