Spooky movies for the soul


It’s spooky season and, for me, that means the advent of my favorite holiday tradition: binging horror movies. This week, in honor of the real-life horror movie we’ve all been living for the past few months, calm your nerves with the fake gore and terror of horror classics. 

5. Se7en

This classic David Fincher crime thriller features everything a horror buff could want: excessive bloodshed, a mysterious serial killer and Brad Pitt. The film follows a murderer who bases his kills on the seven deadly sins, demonstrating the evils of lust, wrath and greed through creatively gory crime scenes. Pitt, a young detective, works with the nearly-retired Morgan Freeman to track down the monster perpetrating the crimes. The shocking finale is a horrifying version of an M. Night Shyamalan twist. 

This film will appeal to fans of Zodiac and Shutter Island

4. The Conjuring

This James Wan film has inspired fear in countless teenagers across the country, and its eerie stillness will make your skin crawl for hours after its conclusion. A fictionalized version of the real-life ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring is a haunting meditation on spirits trapped in the mortal world. Expect jumpscares, cheesy acting and plenty of ghostly mischief. 

Fans of The Conjuring will also likely enjoy The Amityville Horror, recent television hit The Haunting of Bly Manor and the countless other films in The Conjuring’s cinematic universe. 

3. Midsommar

Ari Aster’s sophomore creation, Midsommar features the awe-inspiring Florence Pugh as both a delicate flower queen and a fearsome badass. The film focuses on its overwhelming surrealist beauty to build up a slow suspense which culminates in a breathtakingly scary final scene. The colorful setting is juxtaposed with a strangely secretive and utterly terrifying script, constantly raising the hair on the back of the viewer’s neck. Fans of Aster’s first film, Hereditary, will notice a significant stylistic change between the two films, but will definitely recognize the horrific beauty that has become the director’s hallmark. 

If you enjoy Midsommar, then The Haunting of Hill House will also send shivers down your spine. 

2. Final Destination 

After watching three of the most serious and gorgeous horror movies of the past 20 years, you deserve a break. And that break should come in the form of the most ridiculous, poorly-written and positively hilarious horror series to ever exist. The Final Destination franchise centers on a series of wildly unexpected death scenes, following a vision by the films’ main characters. Each film features a different cast (with the exception of the incomparable Clear Rivers character in the first and second films) and a wide variety of silly and gory accidental deaths. Make no mistake; these movies are terrible. But they will definitely add a bit of levity to your Halloween horror-fest, and that’s necessary after three of the most bone-chilling performances of our lifetimes. 

Fans of Final Destination will likely enjoy the full five-movie series, as well as the ultra-gory oeuvre of director Eli Roth. 

1. The Silence of the Lambs

The iconic Jonathan Demmes film is the film that made me love horror. It has every element that a great scary movie deserves: blood, cannibalism, serial killers and a strong woman who can solve the case better than any man. Jodie Foster, playing FBI agent-in-training Clarisse Starling, dazzles me every time with her silky-smooth Southern accent and her unparalleled bravery. Anthony Hopkins, who plays the notorious cannibal and psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, terrifies me with his drawling monologues, childish anagrams and deep delve into the mind of a psychopath. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Fans of this movie will love horror, all-encompassing, because this movie contains every perfect aspect of every good horror movie.