I’m a sucker for a good horror flick. There’s something about the mix of suspense, psychological terror and the battle of good vs. evil that makes these films some of the most compelling cinema. Yes, there are duds, gorefests with little to no storytelling, and, of course, the many unnecessary sequels that never live up to their original counterparts. However, when studios get it right, we the types of films that make the horror genre what it is today.
Here are my top four personal favorite horror flicks just in time for the Halloween season.
As they say, rules are meant to be broken, and Scream does just that. This classic follows a group of friends being stalked by a killer known as “Ghostface.” It sets itself apart with its clever satire on “The Rules” of horror movies mixed in with the blood and gore. Add in constant twists and turns that leave you guessing until the very last moment, and it’s no surprise Scream remains one of the greats almost two decades later.
2. The Craft
All Sarah wanted was to fit in, but she should have picked better friends. After discovering she is gifted with magical abilities, Sarah is invited by three witchcraft practicing teens to join their coven. Together, they use magic to get everything they ever wanted, but power always comes with a price. This allegorical tale of good vs. evil and the consequences of power run amok finds its strength in its ability to ground itself in normalcy. The girls are so ordinary despite their powers it makes you wonder if The Craft could really happen.
3. House of Wax
Set to an awesome hard rock soundtrack and an intense original score, House of Wax is a reminder of why you should never pull over on the highway at night. When a group of friends are forced to camp on the side of the road, they find themselves at the mercy of a pair of brothers who turn people into wax sculptures. The sheer enormity of the fact the brothers created a whole town of wax creations is eerie in its own right, and, when coupled with the idea that all the figures are actually people, it’s down right terrifying.
4. Children of the Corn
This is proof that Stephen King is both a genius and a sick, twisted man. How else can you explain a story that revolves around a group of blood thirsty, zealous demon-worshiping children intent on slaying any adults that dare to enter their town? With its minimal special effects and faithfulness to King’s original short story, the simplicity of Syfy version grounds the film in a sense of reality making it all the more chilling. After watching Children of the Corn, you’ll never look at corn fields or mazes the same way again.