Five horror flicks to haunt you long after the holiday weekend

Illustration by Madeline DeMichele

Grace McOmber, Contributing Writer

Curling up with a big bowl of popcorn and a blanket to hide under as you watch a horror movie is a perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Below are five scary movies that are sure to make you sleep with one eye open.

 

“Carrie” (1976)

Carrie White, a timid and insecure teen, spent years being tormented by high school bullies and her fanatically religious mother. After a series of increasingly strange events, she discovers her telekinetic powers and utilizes them for revenge. This adaptation of Stephen King’s 1974 novel has been a holiday staple since its release, and its iconic, bloody prom scene has inspired numerous Halloween costumes for those unafraid to get a little messy.

“Carrie” is available on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube, Starz and Vudu.

 

“Scream” (1996)

A year after her mother’s murder, Sidney Prescott becomes the target of Ghostface, an anonymous serial killer who has been terrorizing teens in Prescott’s hometown. Using their own knowledge of scary movie tropes, Sidney and her friends must unmask the killer before they end up in his clutches. Directed by horror icon Wes Craven, “Scream” uses dark and subversive humor to poke fun at the often absurd cliches of the genre. 

A list of Halloween films would be incomplete without at least one from the slasher category a subgenre of horror in which a villain stalks and kills their victims using some sort of blade. This quintessential film is delightfully cheesy at times but still packs enough shocks and scares to keep viewers on their toes. 

“Scream” is available on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Freeform, Sling TV and Vudu.

 

“Us” (2019)

Following his first film in 2017 –– the Academy Award-winning “Get Out” –– Jordan Peele’s “Us” has helped cement the comedian-turned-director’s status as a horror powerhouse. “Us” follows the Wilsons, a seemingly normal family whose beach vacation is interrupted by unexpected guests. While still relatively new, this disturbing film is sure to become a holiday classic due to its nonstop suspense and layered metaphors. 

Filled with secret clues, major twists and a chilling performance from Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as the family matriarch, “Us” demands a second viewing — if you’re brave enough. 

“Us” is available on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

 

“It Follows” (2014)

This limited-release indie film tells the story of Jay, a teenager being stalked by an inescapable shapeshifting creature that can take the form of any person — including her friends and family. Fighting back against the creature is futile, leaving the girl constantly guessing which person the creature has become and escaping before it can kill her. 

“It Follows” contains subtle, yet effective scares and a synthy soundtrack inspired by 1970s and ’80s eerie horror movie scores. The film is a callback to the beloved classics while also offering a new and arguably more menacing villain.

“It Follows” is available on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling TV, Vudu and YouTube.

 

“Zodiac” (2007)

Based on one of the most infamous unsolved American mysteries, “Zodiac” follows an investigative team as they hunt down the Zodiac Killer. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this unidentified serial killer murdered at least five people in the San Francisco Bay area during the 1960s and ’70s. The Zodiac Killer taunted police and media by sending crime scene evidence, handwritten letters and cryptic messages supposedly containing his identity. Despite these clues and witness accounts of the murders, the perpetrator has never been caught and the case remains open to this day.

“Zodiac” features an all-star cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, portraying the real-life investigators dedicated to unmasking the killer. The film does not rely on gore or cheap jump scares to frighten viewers. The true events the story is based on are enough to keep you awake at night.

“Zodiac” is available on Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and YouTube.

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