When spooky season comes lurking in, with its darkness and eeriness, the time has come to celebrate all things horror. The best way to do that is by binge-watching the best horror movies. Check out some of the top cult movies to stream!
“We all go a little mad sometimes” One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films, Psycho has defined and inspired countless of slasher movies. In the deserted, run-down Bate’s Motel, the runaway unemployed secretary, Marion Crane finds refuge as the one and only guest of Mr. and Mrs. Bates. But, just because she stayed doesn’t mean she gets to leave.
Psycho is a fantastic horror film. It’s filmed in black and white which adds suspense to the film, as well as, focuses on the complexity of human relationships. From lust to fear, and other powerful emotions, there’s a fine line, and once you cross it, well… things can get psycho.
“You can’t kill the boogie man!” John Carpenter’s blockbuster slasher film, Halloween is the first film you should watch on Halloween night. Named after the creepiest day of the year, Halloween follows the story of six-year-old Micheal Myers who on Halloween night in 1963 murders his sister, Judith. After being sent away to a mental hospital for 15 years later, Micheal escapes and returns home to continue what he started. The iconic Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Laurie Strode, being one the first who faces Micheal, in what would begin a decade long fight, each Halloween night.
What makes this movie great is the seeming lack of motive behind Micheal’s actions. He’s expressionless, emotionless, and callous driven by an animal instinct to resurface and kill on Halloween night. The worst part, you’ll never see his face or hear his voice, only his blank eyes. With the franchise comprising a total of 10 movies, you’ll see for yourself the horror of Micheal Myers.
Friday the 13th (1980)
“Did you know…” This slasher and Horror classic by Sean S. Cunningham tells the story of revenge and consequence, some that haunt. Said to be born on Friday the 13th, young Jason Voorhees dies after being left unattended by the guidance counselors of Camp Crystal Lake circa 1957. Twenty-two years later the camp, is visited by a group of counselors who plan on reopening it, and if not more aware than the ones before, death with it.
The story’s begging is all about madness through grief and the legacy of revenge that can continue for generations. Is it all just some supernatural evil force or the product of sinister planning? One thing’s for sure after watching, Friday the 13th you’ll have one more thing to worry about when that date comes around. Plus, there’s something seriously wrong with someone who wears a ski mask during summer.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
“My family’s always been in meat” One of the most disturbing films created, Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tells the story of a group of friends who are brutally killed by a family of cannibals. Sally and Franklin Hardesty, and their friends, road trip to their deceased grandfather’s house, on the way they pick up a hitchhiker who’s encounter leaves a bad taste. Afterward, they soon meet the chainsaw-wielding butcher, Leatherface, and his family.
This film is a dictionary definition of horror. What adds to the plot of overwhelming, shocking, and terrifying events presented is that it’s inspired by a true story. The real-life Ed “Butcher of Plainfield” Gein. Who enjoyed to murdered and make accessories and furniture out of his victim’s skin. The rest of the characters and plot is a patchwork of other real-life-killers and events.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
“Good evening, Clarice” Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of the novel by Tomas Harris The Silence of the Lambs, narrates the story of FBI Trainee, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who is assigned to investigate the female killer, Buffalo Bill. Starling, in need of a psychological profile of the killer, meets with imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lector, a renowned psychiatrist, and cannibal. Between catching a killer and working with one, Starling must face her fears before completing her assignment.
This movie is a stellar example of the complexities of the human mind, and the chilling nuance of a sociopath. It’s disturbing but in a good way. With brilliance projected in such a callous inmate, determination on a vulnerable lead, and fear in a serial killer, you’ll think twice about the effects of trauma in human development.
The shining (1980)
“Here’s Johnny!” One of the most iconic Stephen King’s Novel adaptation by Stanley Kubrick The Shining evaluates the decay of the human mind in isolation. Autor Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) is employed as a groundskeeper for the isolated Overlook Hotel during the winter shutdown. Forewarned about previous horrific incidents, Mr. Torrance is intrigued by the idea of space and time for his writing. Wendy, his wife, and Danny, his son agree. All the surplus is soon beaten out by the monotony, which influences Mr. Torrance into repeating the horrors once told, in what seemed like a cursed hotel and soul.
This film is, by far, a cinematic treasure. With each second that passes of this slow-burn feature, the suspense, and sociological toil increases. Besides debating and bending the realms of reality, it articulates the fragility of sanity. Is it the environment that makes the person, is it circumcise, or just innate wiring in a genetic code? These are the debates that, decades later, horror fans are left to wonder. As expected from King, the film features paranormal figures, that incarnates most fears and reimagines simple terms into puzzles, beware: REDRUM.
“Prom?” Based on Stephen King’s first novel, the cinematic adaptation by Brian De Palma is a supernatural rendition to dealing with bullies. Carrie White is an impressionable and shy 16-year-old who is both miserable at school and home. In her high school, she faces endless scrutiny for her lack of knowledge in sexual education, and at home, rebuked by her super-religious mother, Margaret White. Carrie’s distress triggers her telekinetic abilities. This secret soon bursts as she unleashes her rage against a cruel joke on what would be the horror of horrors, prom.
The word eerie pretty much sums up Carrie. It’s very dramatic. A movie inspired by youthful cruelty and parental restriction to the point of negligence. The whole film is very graphic, the scenes and dialogue reveal so much, but nothing like the ending to grasp the horror that leads with Carrie. Once again, the question is asked, is it nature or nurture which drives people mad? Sometimes things need to burn to grow anew.
“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Wes Craven’s slasher comedy, and “whodunit” horror film, Scream is an entertaining and nerve-wracking rendition to all those horror classics of yore. The movie plays the life of Sidney Prescott as she is targeted by Ghostface, a killer in a well…Ghostface mask and costume. One by one her group of friends shortens, with the only clue, to stop the killer, is related to Sidney’s murdered mother. Her death’s anniversary may have cast this fate onto her. One thing is for sure, the killer is a horror fanatic, and this is his movie.
Scream is modern-day slasher movie gold. It’s a horror fanatic’s guilty pleasure. It highlights the cliches present in horror films, but without affecting the mystery, and the terrifying effect that we seek for in these movies. Next time you hear the phone, freshen up on some movie trivia before answering.