Still in the Halloween spirit? While part one of the 13 Best Movies was merely a toe-dip into the black pool of horror, these next six films will really stress your courage. So, dim the lights and pop that popcorn because we’ve got the best 6 flicks to finish out Halloween 2020.
October 26th: Creepshow
There are not that many horror films out there that can quite make you feel the range of emotion that Creepshow can achieve. You will experience laughter, paranoia, fear and even shock as George A. Romero and Stephen King recount an anthology of five stories from the classic 50s’ EC horror comics.
The film is almost portrayed like the writers did a roulette of people’s greatest phobias. Imagine being buried to the neck at the beach with the tide coming in, or being trapped inside your own grave, or even being smothered to death by cockroaches. Each story told will, in some way or another, relate to an irrational fear the audience keeps under lock and key at the back of their minds and that is the brilliance of Creepshow.
The film’s cinematography is also worth mentioning, perfectly complementing the original comic book source material. The lighting, the scene transitions and even how they elevate the actors’ crazy performances make this an incredibly unique film to check out this Halloween season.
October 27th: Underwater
Are you afraid of the dark unknown of the deep ocean? You will be after viewing Underwater. Believe it or not, this movie was filmed back in 2017 and just sat on the shelf 20th Century Fox until Disney decided to dump into 2020’s January releases. For those of you who don’t know, January is the infamous month where movie studios to dump their garbage because it’s right in between award season and new releases going into Spring.
However, Underwater is too good for a January release because this is a truly pulse-pounding thrill ride. The film follows a group of survivors in a drilling company on the ocean floor after the mysterious entity destroys a whole chunk of the facility, forcing them to find means of survival before air runs out. It’s not long before they realize that they are not alone in the water; something is watching and hunting them. You won’t be this scared going back into the water since watching Jaws.
October 28th: Ju-On
Sure, 2004’s The Grudge was an okay remake, but nothing beats the original Japanese classic. Following the same premise of a house, this is a truly creepy film. Kayoko’s only real crime is finding love outside of an abusive relationship. She wanted out and became smitten with a man named Kobayashi. Unfortunately, her husband found out about her secret feelings and, in a jealous rage, he killed her, their son and even the pet cat. This act of extreme violence placed a hex on the house; whoever enters is cursed to die at the hands of the vengeful spirits of those who were killed.
The camera angles and use of sound mixing by the director are masterful, knowing exactly when to cut the sound in the scene to heighten the tension and how long to linger on a shot. The sound of Kayoko gasping for air will stay with you long after the credits start rolling. If you think you can handle the terror, then watch at your own risk.
October 29th: Lake Mungo
So far, as of 2020, Lake Mungo is the only feature film brought to us by writer/director Joel Anderson. This man is a ghost because no one can find him online or offline, no social media and no public appearances at any conventions. This is especially off-putting because he made possibly one of the creepiest films you will experience this Halloween. Told in the form of a mockumentary, 16-year-old Alice Palmer was found deceased on the shores of Lake Mungo after supposedly drowning. This film follows the family as they are trying to find closure to her sudden death, figuring out why she was out at the lake and the events that led to her end. However, strange occurrences begin to take place in their home and around the lake.
This is a deeply unsettling film. While most horror movies rely heavily on jump scares, loud scores and special effects to elevate their scares, all Lake Mungo has to do is hold on to a single grainy shot. The longer you look, you start to see something that should not be there and then cut. What was that? Was that a person, or something else? It wouldn’t be surprising if the Paranormal Activity franchise took some inspiration from this movie.
Throughout this whole movie, you will be looking over your shoulder, wondering if something is watching you from the dark corners of your room. Who knows, something might be.
October 30th: The Lighthouse
How long have these two been on this island? A couple of days, a week maybe? Perhaps five weeks? You never know how much solitary will affect the human mind. Two lighthouse keepers are tasked with the upkeep of a lighthouse on a secluded island for four weeks in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, a storm brews stronger and stronger, keeping them on the island much longer than anticipated. Tensions rise higher and higher, bonds are tested, and the only questions is, who is going to crack first?
This is a very surreal film, with lots of disturbing imagery and sequences that make you wonder whether what you’re seeing is real or just in the twisted minds of the characters. In the end, your questions might not be answered but that’s okay because, with a second, third and maybe even fourth viewing, you’ll start noticing certain themes and ideas that weren’t present, to begin with. Whether you understand what just happened or not, at the very least, you can say it was an experience.
October 31st: Trick r’ Treat
It’s Halloween night and mischief is in the air. A school principal is on the prowl with a sinister secret, teenagers are ready with the pranks, girls are partying in the forest, and all of this is being watched by a mysterious trick-or-treater. Quite honestly, this isn’t the most spectacular horror film you’ll watch this Halloween season. The scares are kind of predictable and you’ve seen these character types in many other horror films.
However, there is one thing that makes this film a classic for this time of year: the atmosphere. This movie is plastered with the Halloween spirit all throughout the picture. No matter where you look, there is jack o’ lanterns, people in costumes, and haunting decorations everywhere. No movie, not even the original 1978 Halloween, has celebrated the holiday with such vigour and enthusiasm as Trick ‘r Treat. This is truly a love letter to all those who love the spooky macabre of All Hallow’s Eve and does not hold back in the slightest.
With that said, the film is also a lot of fun, it is aware of what it’s trying to be and goes all out. It’s goofy, gory and a great bookend to another Halloween season.
By Kory Glover