Still looking for a thrill after Halloween?
By Tom Morkin
We’ve all been there, late at night, wanting to watch something new on Netflix only to be robotically clicking down on your Roku remote as you waste away the hours in frustration. When it comes to scary movies anything worth watching, sadly, takes time to find. I like scary movies, but I’ve seen too many that have been too low budget, poorly written or downright tacky. If you give my list a chance, I figure it can save you a lot of time and clicking.
- It Follows-
This story, out of any on the list, gives the deepest and most prolonged sense of fear and dread. It doesn’t rely on jump scares to beat its rivals but rather a well thought out, yet simple idea.. Without giving too much away, the premise is this one thought: what if there was something that knew exactly where you were and followed in that direction forever until it reached you so that it could end you. What would you do? Could you sleep at night knowing that each morning you wake up the thing is that much closer? Worst of all you don’t know what it will be disguised as. It’s #1 on this list for a reason as well as at least top 5 on many others, it’s truly creepy.
- The Conjuring-
This movie had me say out loud “this is scary!” It’s the greatest scary movie I’ve ever seen when it comes to timing. They know that you know what a generic jump scare is and they’ve perfected the art of horror. The greatest part of this movie is how it doesn’t just haunt the characters, it haunts everyone. It’s so scary at times you fear that it will break the fourth wall and bring you with it. Have some lights on after this one!
- Lights Out-
A Warner Bros. Studio picture, a company with a huge budget for all the scares.
This movie will scare just about everyone who watches it. Yes, it relies partially on jump scares, but it stays away from cheesiness with its steady storyline, quality shots and cast. I usually don’t watch the trailers before I watch the movies, but I did watch the trailer for this and instantly made me get this movie and watch it the same night (go on your phone right now and watch it, you’ll see what I mean).
The movie focuses on an age-old deeply genetically entwined fear of the dark rooted within us all. This idea of wondering to yourself “what’s that shadow in the corner of the room when you turn off the lights when you leave the room? I don’t remember there being a coat rack there…” Turn the light on, it’s gone, turn it back off, it moved and now it’s closer and has hair. A close #3 on my list because I could tell you every scene in this movie and give away all the dialogue and it still would scare you the first time you saw it. It’s that good.
- In the Tall Grass–
I may have bias that comes in to play for this one. Its brand new on Netflix. I’ll admit, it’s not the scariest movie, and that’s why I put it down a few, but its #1 on the list for the amount of thought put into it. The way this movie flowed was like staring at a beautiful math equation – the sheer brilliance of the chronology of events packed into 90 minutes is startling. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it because half the scariness revolves around that balance. It gives nothing away and outwits you constantly.
The movie is about people who go into a field to save a boy they hear on the side of the road, but this grass does not want them to find their way back out. It will do anything to keep them in there forever. Give it a shot, it’s softer on your anxiety and will stimulate your mind.
Probably the second scariest idea on the list behind “It Follows”. It is also second on the list in terms of how well it uses chronology of events (behind “In the Tall Grass”). It’s centered around the idea of an evil mirror a couple purchased for their home that tears the family apart.
Not much is creepier than looking in the mirror and seeing your own reflection morph into an evil version of you.
- The Invitation-
A movie I’m sure not a lot of people have seen, but it’s very good.
Nothing paranormal here; Just a couple who get invited to a good friend’s house in the wealthy part of the California mountains. It teeters on thriller and horror as Will, the main character, judges his friend and his new house as suspicious. The movie really immerses you with its lighting and ambiance throughout and makes you feel as if you’re the 9thguest sitting with everyone at the dinner table. The flick amps up slowly and confidently as it reaches its boiling point where even you, the viewer must make a choice as to who you think the good guy and who’s the bad one.
A psychological thriller that will make you question the motives behind the new people you meet. It’s unsettling and unnerving. Creep isn’t a conventional scary movie, it’s more of a slow release film that will affect you over a week or so after watching.
There’s no demons or ghosts, just one man hiring another man to help film him living his life for one day so he can show the video to his son after he passes. The movie will have you rooting so hard for the innocent man filming that you’ll tell your thoughts to quiet down.
- A Quiet Place-
It’s scary in a richer, quieter (duh), more cinematic way. And it has John Krasinski! From The Office! Jim!
I like him in this movie over any other movie or action role he’s been in (sorry Jack Ryan) the tension of him caring for his 2 kids and pregnant wife all while trying to remain quiet gives this movie the cherry on top it needs.
A quiet place is set in a beautiful Upstate New York right at the beginning of fall with quiet and wide panned scenes that become a treat for the eyes. This movie, amongst all others on this list truly makes you feel like you’re there with John and his kids being mindful of every step – you’ll see why if you watch it. The downsides of breaking a branch with your foot too loudly or speaking in non-whisper is something quite catastrophic.
- A Dark Song-
Shot in an around Dublin in just under 20 days, it has the 2ndbest openers out of any movie I’ve ever seen (behind Lord of the Rings of course). The movie shows no indication of it being scary up until about 40 minutes in. It just has a very smooth, logical beginning that gets you excited for the rest to come, even though you know it will be dark.
This film teeters between awe, wonder and summoning evil. It slowly gets scary but in a very calmly, meaningful way. This movie will leave you with one of the best feelings after watching it – without saying anymore out of fear of spoiling it, I’ll leave it at that. A must watch.
- Train to Busan-
This is a brilliant film coming out of Korea. It’s a zombie film that isn’t scary in a creepy paranormal, abandoned cabin type way. It’s kind of like an action movie where half the actors have really bad skin. It’s a more palatable film that takes course mostly during the daytime, if this weren’t all shown while the sun was up, I’d probably move it to top 4 on my list.
I haven’t watched many films coming out of Asia, but this movie was one that has really changed my drive to. It has everything, a great storyline, great cast and great build-up. It slows down and speeds up better than any other movie on this list and above all has you rooting for the main characters more than ever before. It’s really cool to see Korea do their thing with the horror genre and they really knock it out of the park.
- Don’t Breathe-
A crime horror thriller. The reason its not a psychological horror (even scarier) is because the people the bad stuff happens to have it coming because they are the ones who decided to rob this man’s house. Too bad the man knows this house like the back of his hand – even though he’s blind. A good movie, great mid and ending scenes too.
- World War Z–
Starring Brad Pitt, it’s a great movie with a great storyline.
Zombies affect the world; the epidemic has just begun and now Brad Pitt and a few others have to make it to a military base to make sense of it all. This movie ranks towards the end of the list but still makes it because while it makes you feel along for the ride you are more a spectator of the events rather than a participator (unlike The Conjuring above).
Well, that’s my list FGCU. I hope you enjoyed reading and can take something from it and pick one that interests you most.