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One of the most interesting and original horror films in the past decade, “The Babadook” is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its entirety. The story follows Amelia, a single mother, and her son Samuel as she tries to help him overcome his fear of monsters. When they stumble upon a mysterious book about a shadow-dwelling creature called the Babadook, they both start feeling a threatening presence in their home. After several unsuccessful attempts to destroy the book, Amelia and Samuel are forced to find a way to remain alive.
Roman Polanski directs a creepy and fantastic movie. The second film in his “Apartment Trilogy,” “Rosemary’s Baby” stars Mia Farrow as an expecting mother who worries her husband sold their first-born child to the neighbors, who intend to use the baby as a human sacrifice. As her pregnancy progresses, everything around her appears to confirm her suspicions. “Rosemary’s Baby” is one of the best horror movies in history, making it an instant Halloween classic.
“Let the Right One In”
Tomas Alfredson brilliantly directs “Let the Right One In” and creates an anything-but-ordinary romance story. The movie focuses on a puny 12-year-old boy named Oskar who is regularly bullied at school. After a mysterious girl (and vampire!) named Eli moves in next door, she teaches Oskar learns how to defend himself at school. Oskar begins to fall in love with Eli and is overwhelmed with emotions while trying to handle the bloody truth.
“A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night”
Ana Lily Amirpour makes her debut with “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” –considered by many as the “first Iranian Vampire Western.” Critics are calling Amirpour the next Quentin Tarantino. The movie is based off Amirpour’s graphic novel by the same name and takes place in an Iranian ghost town called Bad City. The town’s citizens are unaware that a lonely vampire stalks the streets. The film follows Arash, a teenager struggling with his father’s drug addiction and with the idea that he may have fallen in love with a vampire.
Tim Burton brings Washington Irving’s short story to life in “Sleepy Hollow.” The film follows New York detective Ichabod Crane and his investigation into the deaths of a series of decapitated victims. The incredible cast and excellent set design give what would normally be an over-the-top slasher movie its true character. Johnny Depp’s performance alongside its special effects gives the age-old tale a modern touch.
Wes Craven directed this 90s slasher film about a high school student who suddenly becomes the center of a serial killer’s obsession. “Scream” features a 90s all-star cast including Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Rose McGowan. In an effort to make the movie more realistic, screenwriter Kevin Williamson based the masked killer (known as Ghostface) off the real-life, Florida-based serial killer Danny Rollins, known as the Gainesville Ripper.
“The Houses October Built”
What appears to be just another found footage film among others such as “V/H/S” or “The Blair Witch Project,” “The Houses October Built” makes its mark as a very creepy and very disturbing film. The movie follows five friends on a mission to find the scariest Halloween haunted house attraction. The actors of the haunted houses soon begin to stalk the friends. A creative take on found footage, the movie plays on individual phobias that can seem realistic and unsettling.
A ghost story from 2011, “The Awakening” was released in theaters with little recognition. Set in 1921, the story follows a supernatural debunker who visits an all boys boarding school to investigate its supposed paranormal activity. Some aspects of the movie resemble Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone.” The protagonist searches for answers to what is causing the haunt but, as the story continues, her own backstory begins to unfurl. It is a good watch for those seeking a classic spine-chilling ghost story as opposed to an overly violent one.