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Halloween Horror: The Best Horror/Thrillers to Watch to Prepare for the Spooky Season

By Skylar Alley
On October 30, 2021

Photo by Olivia Kloster

Horror movies hold the intent to shock, disturb and frighten an audience. Around Halloween, it’s common to search for the best, most thrilling horror film to truly immerse the viewer in the spooky season. The following films have both been critically praised and are, in my opinion, the greatest horror films to watch.



“Parasite” is a South Korean comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho. The film features the Kims, a poor family that lives in a basement home, and their plan to infiltrate the wealthy Park family. It’s a social commentary film regarding the relationship between rich and poor with brilliant symbolism throughout. It also doesn’t have a typical three-act film structure; instead it works as two films woven into one, the shift between the two happening at exactly the half-point in the script. The film won many Oscars in 2019, including best picture of the year.



Directed by Ari Aster (who is also the director of the horror film “Hereditary”), “Midsommar” is about a group of friends -- one of them being a grief-stricken girl who recently lost her entire family -- that travel to Sweden to celebrate a seasonal ritual. While there, however, they become trapped within a sick and demented cult. The realism in how cults manipulate the vulnerable through methods such as mirroring is unsettlingly realistic. The is one of the few horror films that features bright colors and embraces the sunlight rather than the shadows.


“Get Out”

“Get Out”, directed by Jordan Peele, features Chris, a black man, going to his white girlfriend’s family reunion. At first, the family’s awkward behavior is chalked up in Chris’ mind to him being in an interracial relationship with Rose; however, as the week progresses, more and more disturbing instances begin to reveal an insidious plot. Much like in “Parasite,” Peele masterfully incorporates much symbolism that foreshadows the catastrophe awaiting Chris. It’s also a commentary not just on racism but “positive” racism and the fetishizing of people of color.


“Don’t Breathe”

“Don’t Breathe” was directed by Fede Alvarez and concerns a trio of teen robbers attempting to steal from a blind war vet in order to escape their town. Despite their initial idea of it being an easy job, they quickly realize that the old man is a masterful combatant as they become trapped n his house with him. The film features a great use of darkness and adopts the horror that comes with silence. 


“The Invisible Man” (2020)

A loose adaptation pf the H.G. Wells novel of the same name, the film follows Cecilia as she escapes from her abusive partner. Rather than finding solace, however, her ex-partner returns, dawning a suit that makes him invisible and is hell bent in destroying every positive thing in her life. The film, directed by Leigh Whannell, presents a disturbingly realistic abusive relationship and the way the abuser gaslights and manipulates the victim. The film’s camera work also adds such a depth of suspense and questioning on the viewer’s half. It eases in the slow burn and revels in the tension built.


As these films have you constantly looking back over your shoulder and checking the shadows for creatures. They also hold deeper, more philosophical messages about humanity. These films use humanity to forge their own monsters.

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