October brings chilly air, falling leaves and an entire sub-genre of movies. Lilia Starnes presents her list of the best and worst movies to watch this Halloween season as you prepare for the spookiest day of the year.
Best: “Hocus Pocus”
Out of all the Halloween movies, how could “Hocus Pocus” not land the No. 1 spot? This classic film was released in 1993 and directed by everyone’s favorite Disney director Kenny Ortega. Finding out that the “High School Musical” director also directed one of my childhood favorites just sealed the deal, sending this flick straight to the top. As a kid, nothing was scarier than the idea of three witches on a mission to suck children’s souls. One of my favorite childhood memories has to be piling up on the couch with all my Halloween candy and watching “Hocus Pocus.”
Best: “The Silence of the Lambs”
Out of all the horror movies I’ve seen, “The Silence of the Lambs” will always give me the heebie-jeebies. This 1991 film is so good because it does not rely on cheap jump-scare tactics. Instead, it the takes viewers on a twisted psychological journey that, by the end, makes them scared to leave their homes. Director Jonathan Demme’s film torments the viewer, but the anticipation is addicting, cementing this movie as a fan-favorite to re-watch again and again.
Best: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Real question: who doesn’t love “The Rocky Horror Picture Show?” Yes, this 1975 spooky musical-comedy hybrid is a bit on the stranger side, but the music and the iconic characters make this film great. Director Jim Sharman’s cult-classic was an immediate hit, but its fame skyrocketed when movie theaters started doing midnight showings of the film. Every Friday night at midnight, the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta hosts a midnight showing of “Rocky Horror” and crowds of people show up to the theater dressed as the iconic characters ready to sing along to the movie.
Worst: “Paranormal Activity”
This is one of those films that is shot to look authentic, and boy, does it look authentic. To me, “Paranormal Activity” looks like it was filmed on an iPhone 2 at best. The 2007 film ultimately did well in theaters because of its unique style, but the content of the film is similar to its quality. Yes, doors slamming by themselves is creepy, but when you can see the string being pulled to slam the door, the fear disappears. Director Oren Peli might get props for a successful film, but I am unimpressed.
Worst: “Slender Man”
If this film came out when the Slender Man phenomenon was still relevant, it could have been a good scary movie, but unfortunately it came out a few years too late in 2018. Throughout the movie, all I could think of was the old Slender Man meme that circulated the internet when I was in middle school. Director Sylvian White tried his best, but in the end, I learned that internet memes make boring movies.
Worst: “Ghostbusters” 2016 Remake
Director Paul Feig’s 2016 remake should have listened to the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Even though the movie featured a stacked cast, it was on the cheesy side, and frankly had me questioning why these powerhouse comedians signed on to the movie. This is one of those movies where I might sit through it again just because I like the actors, but I see no need to remake the 1984 classic.