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Staff Picks: Best Halloween Movies

It’s officially spooky season and our staff’s latest list will make sure that your Halloween movie nights are covered. Our favorite movies include some truly terrifying flicks and not-so-scary seasonal favorites that are sure to get you into the spirit of the season. So whether you’re a fan of the freaky or are just looking to watch a seasonal family favorite, the Hult Center staff has you covered!

Jen Cumberworth – Education Coordinator

Trick ‘r Treat

Every Halloween season, I like to host a scary movie marathon complete with buckets of candy, pumpkin beers and of course a variety of scary movies. I try to have a fun one, a scary one and a wildcard/campy selection. Trick ‘r Treat is definitely the fun one, and has become a tradition to watch every year. The movie covers 5 different stories that are loosely interwoven. They are all unique, a little bit scary and a lot of fun. Plus, the movie takes place in Ohio, my home state, so that’s awesome!

The Descent

The ending of this movie ruined me, but no spoilers here! This movie follows some friends on a spelunking adventure that goes horribly wrong. If you are claustrophobic at all, this may not be the movie for you. But if you can tolerate tight spaces, monsters and complete madness, this movie will have you on the edge of your seat.

Midsommar

Nothing I like more that creepy cult story! This movie is really disturbing and will definitely stick with you, but also, it is oddly beautiful. It has a different feel than a traditional horror movie, but equally unnerving. Definitely a must watch!

Jen’s Runner Ups:

Mandy, Hereditary, Green Room, The Lighthouse, The Babadook, Candyman (the original), The Wicker Man, The Strangers, The Conjuring, Texas Chain Saw Massacre (original)

Abbey Aronica – Marketing Coordinator

The Wicker Man (1973)

I always tend to lean toward more unsettling scary movies, rather than gory thrillers, so this classic cult story is right up my alley. The Wicker Man is about as unnervingly creepy as it gets. This movie tells the story of a police sergeant who heads to an eerie Scottish Island village in search of a missing girl that locals claim never existed.  This movie is bizarre in the best way, and something about this ‘70s  horror film is both aesthetically beautiful yet downright spine-chilling.

Eraserhead

In true David Lynch fashion, this movie left me feeling confused, uneasy and extremely creeped out. The film is pretty plain & dark its dialogue and scenery, which makes me think the main purpose of this movie was to invoke an emotional response – just not necessarily a pleasant one. Eraserhead follows Henry Spencer, a factory worker on his vacation, when he finds out he’s the father of a hideously deformed mutant baby. Throughout the course of this black & white movie, you watch Henry fall into madness (and almost feel yourself slipping, too). I’m forever impressed by the huge impact this seemingly simple movie had on me and I seriously recommend this for anyone looking for a non-traditional scary movie.

Vicki Infinito – Director of Programming

I married a huge horror movie fan and I happen to HATE horror movies, but I do happen to love Halloween. For those of you out there who also are not a fan of the creepy, scary, gory films here is my list of films to watch during Halloween.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is one of my favorite movies and not only is it a Halloween movie, but it’s a Christmas movie too! BONUS!!

Coraline

I LOVE this movie! It is just the right amount of creepy and whimsy and so wonderfully done. The original book is written by one of my all time favorite author Neil Gaiman (who just happens to be coming to the Hult in May…)

The Corpse Bride

I know, I know, I’m going back to Tim Burton on this, but it’s just a great movie and Tim Burton does to Halloween type movies very well.

Beetlejuice 

Yes, I know…back again with Tim Burton, but is there a better ghost with the most than Beetlejuice?! Michael Keaton is just a genius and I truly hope this movie is NEVER remade as it is perfect. Bonus the Broadway show is hilarious and so well done too!

Rich Hobby – Director of Marketing

Scores Worth Dying For

While my fellow horror homies wanted to focus on film, I couldn’t help but take a different tact and instead focus on an element of scary movies that rarely gets the credit it deserves: the score. I find the scores of horror films to sometimes be the true star of the film. They can be menacing. Slipping little streams of dread and foreboding into scenes as subtle reminders that all is not well. Here are two scores that will always stand out:

The Shining (1980)

This might be the best score from a horror film of all time, and I’m fairly certain I’d be willing to fight about it. I’ve always considered the score of this film to be a character in the film, even a narrator of sorts. From the very first scenes you are immediately struck with a sense of foreboding, created by the doom-laden notes of Hector Berlioz’s “Dies Irae”. From there the score continues to lurk in every scene, and in my opinion, evolves in alignment with the madness that infects Jack Torrance, leading to the frightful tipping point later in the film. What really stands out to me is that I’m not sure The Shining would be the same without this vital element, and that makes it all the more intriguing.

Halloween (1978)

Probably a little too easy of a choice on this one as it is one of the most recognizable themes and scores in film. Most will instantly turn to the Halloween theme that accompanies Michael Myers as he slashes onwards. While that theme is top notch, I often found myself more entranced by John Carpenter’s use of surging synths behind the brighter notes to create moments of anticipation and dread. This is one of the few films where the score was composed by the Director and I think it displays a level of mastery that few achieve. Side note: this score is so recognizable that I was able to discern it through the walls of the cinema while at the new Bond film during massive action scenes. My senses even heightened for a brief moment expecting a new villain to enter the frame, that’s how powerful of a connection that score can create.


Watch for new lists of good stuff and always be sure to share your own finds in the comments on our social posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok! Happy haunting, boys and ghouls!