Halloween is almost here, but for those of us who don't like scary movies, it can be a little tough to get in the spooky spirit. But never fear! Here are some excellent horror movies to get you ready for all sorts of tricks and treats.
I'm a total wimp when it comes to scary things. I haven't been to a haunted house since the third grade. I jump during tense scenes in regular, not-scary-at-all movies. I slept with the blankets over my head for a few months after watching the vampire episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? (and yes, yes I am afraid of the dark, now that you mention it). I don't really see the point in watching something that gives you nightmares. But I love Halloween, and in the spirit of all things creepy, here are a few movies that even a horror hater like me might like.
I'm a sucker for great writing and stuff that errs on the side of science-fiction. Twilight Zone and War of the Worlds? I'm all for it, so it's no surprised that I wound up really loving Get Out. For me, it ticks all the boxes: the writing is smart, the concept is out of this world, and it's full of twists and turns that keep you engrossed in the film. There's a little gore at the end, but it's not overly grotesque for the sake of being grotesque.
The Cabin in the Woods
For me, the quality of the movie has to outweight its freakiness, and with The Cabin in the Woods there is enough really cool plot going on to cancel out the really creepy moments. This is the horror movie I recommend to everyone because I think it has a little something for everyone. It's funny and scary and incredibly self-aware. There are a couple of jump scares and some gory moments, but for those I close my eyes and just wait for the story to pick back up.
Dracula and the Universal Monster Movies
When I was growing up, my brother used to watch all of the Universal Monster movies on VHS. The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, The Mummy -- these classics were on loop at our house. His favorite was always The Wolf Man, and I remember playing in countless reenactments and spin offs for him. This month, I've started doing a rewatch of all these old monster movies, and I have to say, while The Wolf Man isn't my favorite, I think Dracula stands the test of time. Bela Lugosi is haunting and mesmorizing, and Renfield is a scene stealer. But all of these movies are worth a watch and they are guarenteed to put you in the Halloween spirit.
The Birds or really any Alfred Hitchcock film
I think when we think of horror these days, we think of jump scares and gushing blood. But there are other ways to elicit fear. Alfred Hitchcock was brilliant when it came to creating a sense of terror and unease. For example, in I Confess, Montgomery Cliff is a clergyman who is implicated in a murder the audience knows he did not commit. I yelled at the TV a few times while watching this because I was terrified for the main character. But if you're going to watch any Hitchcock this Halloween season, might I suggest The Birds. It's really unsettling without being gruesome. And it will make you unreasonably weary of a large groups of birds for quite some time. I mean, I watched this in high school, and I still get spooked by a lot of birds in one area. But then again, this is me we are talking about.