It’s that time of year again! Spooky season is finally here! I don’t know about you, but for some reason, I am always more excited about Halloween than I am for Christmas.
I mean what’s not to love? Trick or treating, the candies, the costumes, the decorations, the parties, the food, the late-night visits to graveyards, haunted houses & attractions and of course the scary, spooky Halloween movies.
Watching horror movies on Halloween is like an unspoken tradition that we all love to indulge in. Let’s admit it, getting scared on Halloween is what it’s all about, right?
Whether you watch special programming on TV or go for an online movie marathon, October is the time for jump scares and for things that go bump in the night.
We love horror movies
Believe it or not, there are actually some really good psychological reasons why we love getting scared while watching creepy Halloween movies. There’s something about huddling up with friends and family, digging into the big bowl of popcorn, dimming the lights and watching your favorite horror classics.
Horror is one of the oldest genres of film and is perhaps the most entertaining. According to Søren Birkvad, film scholar from Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, horror films are highly entertaining and it helps us get rid of boredom. People who get bored easily have an increased preference for horror films. This is known as sensation seeking. This is similar to going for bungee jumping, going for roller coaster rides and opting for various extreme sports. Since you can’t bungee jump anytime you want, you watch horror films.
Birkvad believes another reason why we love watching horror films is that it enables us to cope with anxiety and fear. Horror movies allow us to test our fears and limits in a controlled, safe environment. According to Psychologist Svein Åge Kjøs Johnsen, scary movies help us to activate emotional regulation by giving us a sense of control over simulated threatening situations and experience. Being able to control the feeling of fear simply by covering your eyes, allows you to get better control over your other feelings. This opportunity of controlled fear is the main attraction of horror films, just like any other adrenaline-fuelled extreme sports.
Fear is fun on All Hallows’ Eve
Research shows that people who enjoy horror movies, especially on Halloween, enjoy the feeling of getting scared. It’s part of the fun.
Psychology Lecturer Dr. Bryan Roche at Maynooth University in Ireland, says
“Fear and pleasure are very closely related. The same physiological reactions occur in both cases…For some people, the experience of watching a horror film creates physiological feelings that are always interpreted as “fun”, “a short thrill” and so on.”
Fear specialist and sociologist Dr. Margee Kerr believes
“…being scared in a safe place is a source of enjoyment and makes them feel good physically and can even serve as a confidence boost by reminding us that we can make it through a scary situation, we are strong.”
Studies have discovered that willing exposure to simulated threats like watching Halloween movies can help us manage stress and anxiety in a better way and even boosts our resilience and mood.
Top 12 horror movies to watch this Halloween
So now that you know why you love horror so much, let’s get right into which horror movies you need to watch this year. Finding the best horror movies to watch on this night that will get in the Halloween mood can be a real challenge. You want to watch something that’s scary, fun, bit gory and something that the whole gang can enjoy.
So here is my list of the absolute best horror movies, both new and old, for Halloween that you can watch this year or any year or even any time of the year to get scared and entertained. These Halloween movies will surely get you and your friends in the Halloween spirit (pun intended).
Here are my top 12 horror movies that are just perfect for Halloween (in no particular order though):
1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
Trick ‘r Treat is perhaps the best Halloween-themed movie you can watch this spooky season. Brimming with the spirit of Halloween, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology horror film that will get you right into the mood. Consisting of 4 finely crafted interwoven stories, the movie is set in a small town where nothing is what it seems. From the loveable tiny terror Sam, to a child-murdering serial killer, werewolves and even ghosts, Trick ‘r Treat has everything you can wish for. This movie is a loving homage to the spooky holiday, it’s traditions and experiences. Trick ‘r Treat not only wants to scare you, but it wants you to have fun and it greatly succeeds in that department. If you ask me, this is the quintessential Halloween film that everyone needs to watch and rewatch on All Hallows’ Eve.
2. Halloween (2018)
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
Instead of rewatching the original 1978 John Carpenter’s slasher masterpiece, you need to check out the latest sequel in the franchise. With all due respect to the original, Halloween (2018) is actually an excellent horror movie packed suspense, jump scares and more than enough blood and gore. Ignoring all the forgettable sequels & spinoffs in the franchise, Halloween is a direct sequel to the original film and an excellent gory and graphic slasher movie. Set 40 years after Halloween (1978), the movie focuses on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is hellbent to protect her daughter and granddaughter from the carnage of the infamous masked killer Michael Myers. If you want stabbings, bludgeonings, slashings, beheadings, impalings and a whole lot of gore, then this is exactly what you want to watch.