Staff Recs: Scariest Horror Movies

As October kicks into high gear and the briskness of fall overtakes the city, scary movies are a surefire way to count down the days until All Hallows’ Eve. Unfortunately, the horror genre has been a bit disappointing in recent years, at least for those who love the thrill of being truly spooked. To remedy this, WSN staff members chose their favorite deliciously scary horror movies of all time. Enjoy.

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991):

I’m not easily frightened by most of the typical tropes in scary movies — demons, exorcisms, ghosts and all the rest of the supernatural elements that exist in horror movies as of late (see “Annabelle,” “The Conjuring” and “Sinister”). What scares me the most is a gripping, twisted storyline that could actually happen in real life, and that’s exactly what “The Silence of the Lambs” offers. Hannibal Lecter is terrifying to no end, and while I won’t spoil the story for you if you somehow haven’t already seen it, the plot twists and turns in ways that are still shocking after multiple viewings.

Jordan Reynolds, Arts Editor

“Alice, Sweet Alice” (1976):

The seventies were momentous for the horror genre, churning out seminal classics like “The Exorcist,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Halloween,” to name a few. An often overlooked tour de force, however, was the atmospheric, gothic slasher “Alice, Sweet Alice.” The Argento-inspired film, originally titled “Communion,” is shot from the view of demented 12-year-old killer Alice Spages and, semi-spoiler alert, sees the graphic asphyxiation of ten year-old Brooke Shields in her film debut. What makes “Alice” so terrifying is not the jump scares, or even the subject matter of children murdering children, but rather the foreignity of our character’s surroundings and the eerie score of childlike nostalgia. Not to mention, the title character’s translucent mask and Catholic schoolgirl uniform is pretty unnerving.

— Ryan Mikel, Entertainment Editor

“Coraline” (2009):

“Coraline” is not a horror movie, per se, but it is creepy in the biggest way. It’s something to put on with friends who maybe aren’t into horror but are still trying to get into the Halloween vibe — a parallel universe, some claymation-tastic effects and a lot of buttons.

— Hailey Nuthals, Editor-at-Large

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974):

This legendary example of campy horror illustrates just how good a film can be even with a low budget. The fact that none of the actors are well-known makes it feel like a home video gone terribly wrong. The victims’ deaths are never actually shown, but the film is so engrossing that the viewer subconsciously imagines the absent scenes in a way more poignant than would have ever been possible by simply seeing them. There are no special effects, no cookie cutter horror movie soundtrack and no half-baked attempt at a storyline. All that’s left is pure unadulterated fear.

— Connor Gatesman, Music Editor

“The Invitation” (2015):

This is one of my favorite horror films of all time. A sinister slow-burn in terms of scares builds it into the ultimate psychological horror. Based in Los Angeles, the movie features a couple that is invited to an intimate dinner party, hosted by friends they haven’t seen in over two years. While on the surface, the party checks off all that is necessary for a good dinner party — good food, good company and of course, good wine — things take a quick turn for the sour. Definitely watch with friends, because this film will leave you shaking.

— Thomas Chou, Deputy Features Editor

“Up” (2009):

Everyone is well aware of the cliche, A-list horror films such as “Halloween,” “Psycho” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.” But nobody has known true fear until they have watched the Disney/Pixar masterpiece “Up.” Putting aside the heartfelt warmth we feel for Carl and Russell as they embark on their journey to Paradise Falls, this film is lowkey scary. Being suspended thousands of feet up (pun intended) on an old house with nothing but hundreds of balloons keeping you alive — how is that not scary? Those balloons can pop at any time, and the characters are chilling like they have no worries in the world. I was truly petrified in my seat and have residual anxiety due to this film — not recommended for the faint of heart.

— Adryan Barlia, Deputy Opinion Editor

“Twitches” (2005):

As a rule, I don’t watch horror movies. I can’t handle them — a girl’s got to sleep at night. I will say, though, that up until the age of 13, “Twitches” was my favorite quote-on-quote horror movie. Whenever Halloween rolled around and Disney was going hard on its spooky specials, I would be giddy as soon as “Twitches” started. Then, right after the mystical black fog rolled in, I’d regret all my life decisions. Honestly, Tia and Tamara Mowry are my heroes for not succumbing to the black fog. If you’re 12 years old inside, like me, watch Twitches and be sufficiently scared to join in on the Halloween haunts without losing sleep.

— Natasha Roy, Assistant Managing Editor

Email the Arts desk at [email protected].

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