The Top 5 Scary Movies to Watch at Halloween Time
By Roni Loren
I’m a romance writer. This means that people assume that the only books I want to read or movies I want to watch are romantic ones. So when I tell people that one of my favorite genres besides romance is horror, I get the look with the “huh?” head tilt.
Falling in love (or reading/watching people fall in love) is an adrenaline. But so is fear. I love to be (safely) frightened. In real life, I’m a huge chicken. I don’t like roller coasters. I don’t want to go to those haunted houses where the people chase you with the chainsaws or jump at you. Screw that. But reading a book that makes me double check that my doors are locked or watching a movie that makes me cover my eyes and watch between my fingers? Yeah, I’m all over that.
This is one reason I love October. I mean, the month already has a lot going for it. Cooler temperatures after the brutal Texas summer heat, the endless supply of pumpkin-flavored things, and free candy (which you of course steal from your children’s Halloween bucket). But the best is that the TV stations and movie theatres start rolling out the scary stuff. Bring it on.
So here are a few of the movies I like to hunt down in October for a scary night on the couch.
1. Halloween – This is my classic. It’s got all those lovely b-horror movie elements and somehow it still holds up over time. And it just evokes that sense of fall and Halloween—the blowing leaves, the kids running around trick or treating, the guy with the creepy mask who wants to kill teenage babysitters. You know, the usual. ;-)
2. The Exorcist—This goes down as scariest movie of my childhood for me. (It still scares me.) Perhaps this was because I was raised Catholic so demons seemed like a real threat. Like when we played with those Ouija boards at slumber parties, most of us were really worried we were going to summon something and be in need of our local priest.
3. It – Okay, clowns are effing terrifying. Stephen King knows this and Pennywise the Clown is like the ultimate embodiement of that fear. We all float down here… Yeah, okay. I’m freaked out just hearing that in my head lol. I’ve read the book and the movie did a good job in my opinion (except for the ending) but this one holds up for me too. I love the miniseries time length and that we get to see them as kids and then as adults. If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth watching.
4. The Lost Boys – Okay, so this one is kind of horror/comedy. Very 80s. The two Coreys are in it. There is a great soundtrack. The plot is…a little convoluted. But I think because it’s nostalgic for me, it doesn’t get in my mind.
5. Poltergeist – Not the remake. They did a decent job with the remake, but nothing will top the original. I saw this movie when I was probably too young. There was a big ass oak tree in our front yard and I never trusted it after that. Plus, this one gave me my initial fear of clowns. I’m going to sound very “get off my lawn” old with this, but they don’t make them like this anymore. We’ve been exposed to so much violence/gore/special effects now that this level of horror probably wouldn’t freak out kids these days (see, I told you I’d sound old) but this one pulled off the scare factor without gore and with limited special effects.
Honorable mentions: Scream, The Ring, The Strangers, Nightmare on Elm Street
So those are mine. What are some of your favorite scary movies? Or do you avoid them at all costs? What do you like best about fall?