I wanted to take this opportunity to break up our normal regimen of posts devoted to serious personal finance topics and dive into something far more entertaining: Good scary movies to watch this Halloween!
If you’re like me and always looking for some good, cheap fun around Halloween-time, then there is nothing better than renting a couple of really scary movies from the Redbox or Netflix that will leave you scared to go to bed.
This is the third edition of my “good scary movies” post. You can find my past horror movie picks from 2013 and 2012 at these links with reviews of some of my favorites like The Ring, Sinister, Insidious, Drag Me to Hell, Cabin in the Woods, Trick r’ Treat, Donnie Darko, etc.
Here are my new additions for this Halloween:
Good Scary Movies to Watch – 2014 Additions:
Oculus was sort of the big-budget scary movie of last year that the film industry really seemed to push on us every chance they could. Fortunately – the movie was good enough to live up to the hype!
The movie is about a brother and sister who track down and try to expose the demonic nature of this eerie mirror that supposedly killed both of their parents. However as they come to realize the mirror is exceptionally talented at messing with your head. There are lots of times in movie where you’re not really sure what’s real and what isn’t.
What I liked best about this movie was that the “evil” they were trying to battle didn’t really have a face. It was just this malevolent force that kept getting more and more creative with its trickery as the movie went on.
Any time a horror movie has a strong psychological aspect to it, that gets bonus points with me!
For anyone who hasn’t seen it already, the Conjuring was the somewhat true story of a family that moves into an old farm house, encounters demonic possession, and then seeks the help of a husband/wife paranormal investigation team to try to battle it.
I’ll be honest: At first I was mad at the Conjuring. I saw those previews that made it look absolutely terrifying and so I rushed out to the theaters to see it. Unfortunately I was then disappointed because it wasn’t the most scary movie I had ever seen.
Now I feel like me and the Conjuring have made up and are good terms. I’ve re-watched it a few times on the movie channels and am now able to better appreciate what a good job James Wan (director from the Saw movies) did with it.
Plus I love the fact that this story was based on real events.
If you’ve never heard of VHS, I’m not surprised. VHS was a movie that I’ve only seen available through Netflix streaming. But since it had high reviews, I decided to give it a shot. And I’m glad I did.
The premise of the movie is that a group of hooligans are lured to this creepy house where they discover (what they think is) a dead body surrounded by VHS tapes. They decide to watch the VHS tapes to see if they can uncover what is going on.
That’s what makes this a great scary movie to watch. Each of the tapes is in itself a short horror movie (all created by different unknown directors) – and they’re pretty good! This gives the otherwise bland central theme fo the movie more a “Tales from the Crypt” type of feel where you’re really watching 4-5 short 15 minute movies that are in no way connected to the main theme of the movie.
Be forewarned: The whole movie is shot in a shaky point of view (POV) style similar to Paranormal activity.
What do you do with an indie flick that has modest success? How about make a sequel!
V/H/S 2 is basically the same plot as the first one but with all new short scary movies. They are all just as weird and bizarre as the first ones.
My favorite: One of the shorts is a young man with a bike cam on his head riding his bike through the woods. Suddenly he gets attached by a zombie and then he turns into a zombie himself. The bike cam still keeps rolling, and so you watch his transformation from normal person to mindless zombie take place right in front of you all from his perspective. It’s different!
Again – similar to V/H/S 1, this movie is free to watch on Netflix streaming (if you have it).
Like I mentioned in my review last year, Insidious was a surprise gem. Insidious was a movie that started off like a typical haunted house movie but then got way more intense with the subject of possession.
Created by Saw director James Wan, this sequel picks up right where the last one left off. The Dad becomes possessed by the scary old woman who got him in the first movie. As the story unfolds, you learn a lot more about the scary old woman, her back-story, and the fact that she’s not even really a woman at all.
The movie also makes a lot of surprise connections to the original which I thought were well played.
If you liked the original movie, then you have to see Insidious Chapter 2. FYI – They are working on an Insidious 3!
I’m going to add the remake of Evil Dead to this list because it accomplished what the original Evil Dead did not – to be a truly scary movie.
Unlike the silly, campy 1981 version, this one had a very similar plot but was way more terrifying. A group of friends goes to a remote cabin in the woods to try to help one of them battle her addition to drugs. They unfortunately find an ancient book that unlocks a malevolent evil force from the woods. The evil then mercilessly plaques the group of friends turning then one by one into disfigured creatures of terror.
The things this group of teens has to endure to survive the night are completely unthinkable. One of the girls cuts off a part of her face. The other one cuts off her own arm.
You’re definitely going to be on the edge of your seat with this one.
I was just starting to completely lose interest in the whole Paranormal Activity franchise when I decided at the last minute to give movie number 5 – The Marked Ones a try.
Something about this edition was different. Unlike the first 4 movies which just seem to keep re-hashing the same story over and over; this one revealed more to the overall story than the previous ones had done. In this movie you learn that the whole demonic procession that terrorized the two sisters in the first 4 movies is much, much bigger and more elaborate than you probably thought. Apparently the witches are trying to build some kind of demonic army?
This may or may not be a bonus (depending on how you look at it) – they introduce time travel into the story?
I’m already looking forward to 2015 to watch some new good scary movies. In particular I want to see how the new Poltergeist remake will do. I’m wondering if the “Poltergeist curse” will continue with this new edition to the franchise. Maybe this time they won’t use real skeletons like they did in the original film (yes, that’s a true story …).
Readers – What are your recommendations for some good scary movies to watch this Halloween? Any recent favorites?
Images courtesy of IMDB