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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
The Eagle
From: Silver Screen

Halloween Horror Weekend Watchlist: The best chills and thrills for your October

October brings cold weather, longer nights and pumpkin spice. More importantly, it's the perfect time to rediscover your favorite horror movies and check out forgotten gems. In honor of spooky season, The Eagle has compiled a list of the best horror movies to watch alone or in the company of your closest friends.  

“Scream” (1996)

The ‘final girl’ trope is gleefully critiqued and subverted in this 1990s classic from horror auteur Wes Craven. By the late 1990s, the horror genre had grown stale; Craven took it upon himself to revitalize the creatively-starved genre with “Scream.” With a whip-smart script and a cast of iconic ‘90s actors, the director crafted an enduring slasher masterpiece. “Scream” also has a lot to say about the misogynistic treatment of women in horror movies. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the film’s protagonist, is no damsel in distress. Her killer instincts sustain what has become one of the most critically acclaimed horror franchises of all time. 

“Scream” is available to stream on Paramount+ and Showtime.

“Coraline” (2009) 

You might be asking why a stop-motion children’s movie is on this list of otherwise strictly horror titles. But a rewatch of “Coraline” quickly reveals its true terror — the character design of the ‘other mother’ was enough to have kids everywhere walking out of theaters in tears. The idea of crawling through a hole in the wall to find yourself in a seemingly utopian version of your dreary life is a captivating plot device as is. The prospect of this utopia slowly dissolving into a hair-raising hellscape where your mother wants to sew buttons into your eyes is nightmare fuel. 

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“Coraline” is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.

“Jennifer’s Body” (2009) 

Those who question Megan Fox’s acting abilities need look no further than the camp masterpiece “Jennifer’s Body” to be proven wrong. Initially snubbed by critics, “Jennifer’s Body” has recently garnered cult status among queer horror fans as a misunderstood feminist masterpiece. The film explores the queer-coded relationship between Amanda Seyfried’s Needy Lesnicky, a shy, introverted high schooler, and her popular best friend, Jennifer Check (Fox). Their relationship turns sour after Check survives a failed demonic ritual and begins feeding on men’s souls. The soundtrack is a perfect time capsule of 2000s indie-pop and the colorful Y2K outfits Check wears in the movie have routinely gone viral on TikTok. At its heart, “Jennifer’s Body” is a scathing indictment of toxic, one-sided friendships. Now that’s horror. 

“Jennifer’s Body” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+.

“The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)

For a subversive twist-filled take on the critically reviled gory torture subgenre, look no further than 2011’s “The Cabin in the Woods.” This genre-bending exercise in sci-fi horror pulls the rug out from under your feet again and again during its compact 95-minute runtime. The final act contains some of the most deliciously twisted setpieces since the “Saw” franchise. 

“The Cabin in the Woods” is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.

“Ready or Not” (2019)

Ready or Not” is a dark comedy with all the thrills and chills one would expect from a slasher. The film follows the final girl template from “Scream” by presenting a female lead (Samara Weaving) who drinks, smokes, curses and shows general disregard for the traditional traits of a naive horror movie heroine. A sharp commentary on out of touch rich people and the oppressive systems that sustain their wealthy dynasties, the film has only continued to gain relevance in the years since its release. 

“Ready or Not” is available to stream on fuboTV.

rgillis@theeagleonline.com


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