Now that we’re entering October (where the hell did this year go?) there are a few exciting things about this month other than the myriad of pumpkin flavored things (do we really need pumpkin spice Oreos and chewing gum?). In my opinion, the best thing about October, by far, is having the excuse to watch countless horror movies. Given that there are an abundance to choose from in general I thought I would target Netflix’s selection for convenience. Whether you’re just looking for a straightforward scary movie or a horror flick with a comedic spin, here a few you can watch immediately to start the month off right.
If You Want a Classic Horror Film:
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
This movie is not only an incredible scary movie, but it’s also just one of the best movies of all time. Between Polanski’s stellar directing, Ruth Gordon’s wonderful and chilling performance, the plethora of quotable lines (Guy’s eyes are normal!) this film is pretty close to perfect. Whether it’s your first time seeing it or your seventeenth, this is a must-watch this time of year.
Runner-up: Carrie (1976)
If You Want a Serial Killer Movie:
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
This very low-budget film stars a young Michael Rooker in his first role based on the real serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. It’s the perfect choice for anyone interested in the more morbid, realistic scary movies. Personally, as much as I love a good ghost story, nothing is more terrifying to me than a complete psychopath that may or may not be that charming guy who doesn’t seem like he’d hurt a fly. Rooker is perfect for the part, too, convincingly striking that dichotomous balance of sweet guy and cold-blooded killer.
Runner-up: American Psycho (2000)
If You Want an Art House Horror Film:
Let the Right One In (2008)
This absolutely stunning Swedish film is so far from the typical vampire movie that it can hardly be considered one. It not only fulfills any dark, twisted desire you might have for a scary movie, but it also holds it up with the substance of a very endearing coming-of-age/young love story.
Runner-up: House of the Devil (2009)
If You Want a Laugh: Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)
Easily one of the most hilarious, campy-but-intentionally-so monster flicks. I can’t decide which I like better: the high-pitched screams that emanate from the fuzzy tomato puppets or the perfectly spot-on performance from a young Clooney. Maybe I just need to re-watch it a few more times to make a more educated decision.
Runner-up: Leprechaun (1993)
If You Want Something Foreign and Gory:
Ichi the Killer (2001)
This movie is definitely not for the weak of heart. Although the film borders on hilarious given how over the top it is, the endless and (very) graphic violence will, without a doubt, make you feel sick at some point. It’s as if director Takashi Miike took the more disturbing elements from his hit Audition (1999) and stretched it into a full-length film, making Ichi entirely ridiculous, wonderful, and messed up.
Runner-up: Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
Author: Catherine Haas
Catherine Haas is a native Philadelphian who received her master’s in film history from Columbia University. She is a freelance film programmer, writer, and an avid pug enthusiast.