The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Here are the SLOHS Expressions Staff picks for best scary movies to watch this Halloween


Photo illustration courtesy of junior Linnaea Marks

It’s nearly Halloween, and if San Luis Obispo High School students want to get in the spirit, they know to watch scary movies.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to root out the gems from the vast sea of terrible films in the horror genre. Lucky for them, Expressions already did it, withholding spoilers and providing streaming services on which they can be viewed. Here are the TOP THIRTEEN classic and contemporary scary movies to watch this Halloween season.

13. “Halloween”: Made in 1978, this perfect scary movie can appear cliche and unoriginal by today’s standards. However, the concept at the time was quite creative and unseen, and it is a must see slasher for those who want to delve into the history of horror. Rent it on Amazon to experience one of the most notorious slasher films.

12. “The Sixth Sense”: Film Production club president Ian McKay’s favorite scary movie (available to rent on Amazon), The Sixth Sense revolves around a boy visited by ghosts with an unresolved past.

“The closer a story is to your own life, the stronger the connection you’ll have with it, and with horrors, the scarier it’ll be. I had pretty bad insomnia as a kid, and I can vividly recall having a terrible fear of the darkness… which probably didn’t help the insomnia, in retrospect. And with ‘The Sixth Sense’, if you disregard the seeing dead people part, our protagonist is just an ordinary, scared little boy, which hits home a lot more than slasher films and creepy dolls and such” said senior Ian McKay. The relatability of the film makes it all the more spooky, setting it apart from ridiculous horror narratives.

11. “The Boy”: While the execution on this 2016 flick was nothing special, the movie deserves a shout out based on the exceptional script and story alone. It’s difficult to create an original story about a haunted doll, but this movie proves that it can be done. This PG-13 thriller, available on Netflix, while appearing mild, provides a sufficient amount of jump scares, twists and turns, and overall creepiness to meet the expectations of a horror flick snob.

10. “Dawn of the Dead”: Who doesn’t love a classic? Rated one of Digital Photography teacher and film guru Zach Roper’s all time favorites, this cheesy zombie movie has more depth than it appears.

“I like zombie movies because beyond the literal horror there is always a strong political component to that imagery. Whenever a film deals with zombies they’re usually representing bigger political issues like immigration, racism, consumerism or militarism” said electronic media teacher Zach Roper. Look for those hidden messages while watching this George Romero masterpiece that can be streamed through Amazon.

9. “Ouija: Origin of Evil”: For fans of “The Haunting of Hill House,” this director Mike Flanagan film, available on Amazon, gets the job done. This prequel to the original movie “Ouija” is by far superior due to its achievement in depicting the 1960s and in achieving the perfect level of demonic scares throughout the movie. 

8. “The Witch”: This Puritan horror film, deemed Film Studies teacher Craig Stewart’s current favorite scary movie, is perfectly blood-curdling. From the extensive psychological torture to the perfectly period costuming, this movie, streaming on Showtime and Amazon, tells a perfect story of the Salem witch hunt.

7. “The Babadook”: A story of an Australian mother and son stalked by a bizarre, Edward Scissorhand-like creature, this strange and amazing film has an incredible 1920s silent film style, with the black and white monster appearing to move in stop motion. Offered on Amazon, it’s a perfect original scary movie with a beautiful, stylized aesthetic.

6. “The Conjuring”: Another amazing demon movie, available on Netflix, The Conjuring has everything needed in a scary movie: jump scares, creepy dolls, basements, and Patrick Wilson, the guy who’s in almost every scary movie ever made. This huge franchise that includes The Nun and Annabelle stemmed from this one horrifying film.

5. “The Invisible Man”: Senior opinion editor Celia Lober’s top pick, “The Invisible Man” (available on Hulu and HBOMax) delves into the life of a woman whose ex-boyfriend scientist turns himself invisible to terrorize her.

“When I first started watching it I honestly thought it was going to be kind of cheesy, but it got really complex and psychological,” said Lober. It also includes a more meaningful theme of female empowerment rarely seen in the horror genre.

“I liked that there was a focus on Moss’s character’s mind and how she came to ‘avenge’ her stalker,” said Lober. 

4. “Scream”: Arguably the best satirical piece in the horror genre, Scream is undoubtedly a classic scary movie perfect for people who have a low fear tolerance. Offered on Hulu, this is a must see for anyone who enjoys making fun of cheesy horror movies and wants to enjoy one at the same time.

3. “Get Out”: Jordan Peele’s first masterpiece “Get Out” won for best original screenplay at the Oscars, an amazing feat for a horror movie. This political and psychological thriller is junior editor in chief Nina Ramezani’s “favorite movie right now.”

“Even if you’re not a fan of horror, I recommend watching this movie because it is so interesting and has so many meanings and symbols that make you think” said Ramezani.

Streamable on Amazon, this thriller calling out racial division is ideal for intellectuals who want an incredibly clever and original scary story.

2. “It”: This rendition of Stephen King’s classic thirteen hundred page novel is one of the highlights of 2017. Available on HBO and Amazon, “It” is full of child nightmares and a villain so terrifying it will have people avoiding balloons for months. 

1. “The Shining”: Another writer Stephen King interpretation, “The Shining” easily has the most incredible cinematography of any horror movie ever made. Period. This work of art which can be streamed on Amazon is the most impressive scary movie of the 1980s, achieving both psychological terror and extremely impressive cinematic beauty.

“It’s so iconic and has inspired so many other movies,” said Ramezani, who is also a huge fan of the Stanley Kubrick classic. One of the best movies in the history of film, “The Shining” should be number one on the list of horror movies to watch this Halloween.

Besides, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, aren’t you a little too intelligent to go trick or treating?

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