This review contains spoilers.
October is here, and it’s time for all the scary films that Halloween lovers will surely enjoy. Below is a list of the Daily Lobo’s top five scary films that will definitely freak you out this Halloween season.
Some movies on this list are popular — and others you likely haven’t heard of — but if you like scary, you’ll enjoy each one for different reasons.
5. “Mandy” (2018)
“There were bikers, and gnarly psychos, and crazy evil!” -Red Miller
Ever wonder what it would be like to see Nicholas Cage in a chainsaw fight against cult members? Then you’ve come to the right place. From director Panos Cosmatos comes a thriller worth watching more than once. Cage, playing the role of Red Miller, goes on a hunt for a cult leader who captured and murdered the love of his life.
From the animated dream sequences, chainsaw building, satanic cult meetings and redemption, this film is a 10 out of 10 for a beautifully different, refreshing and absolutely original movie. The imagery in this film is gorgeous, with lots of action and terror to last.
If you weren’t a Cage fan before, you will be after this film. You’ll be enraptured after watching the scene where the leader of the cult and Cage get into a fatal chainsaw fight.
4. “Haunt” (2019)
“Do you still wanna see my face?” -Ghost
What if a haunted house was run by psychopaths? “Haunt” will make you never trust a haunted house ever again.
Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, this film has a twist and terrifying story sure to leave you creeped out the rest of the night… or week. The costumed actors in this house aren’t here to scare the costumers, but to murder them through torture and terrorizing. The movie embodies the Halloween spirit by taking place in an extreme haunted house with a group of friends that quickly learn this is not a temporary visit.
The film takes place in an extreme haunted house filled with traps to torture the customers. This movie goes above and beyond the normal amount of scary that’s associated with a haunted house — decorated mannequins and safe costumed actors — and makes you think about what would happen if your worst nightmares came to life by showing it happen to the characters in the movie.
The rooms in this haunted house are designed to remind the characters of their worst experiences. There is no exit, and the characters are stuck to die one by one in their own nightmares. But don’t worry, there is redemption in the end.
Harper, the main character, gets away and makes it back to her home. When she gets there, she turns her own home into an extreme haunted house, which comes as a surprise to the demon who followed her home. And as soon as her haunted house traps go off, you’ll be happy with the ending.
Another twist that comes is the reveal of the owners’ real faces behind the masks — a ghost, clown and demon. In this scene, we see that each character is actually tattooed and mutated to look like the monster their masks show.
3. “The Visit” (2015)
“Nothing can scare me!” -Tyler
“Yeah, right.” -Becca
If you’re looking for a film with a great twist, you’ve found it. Written and directed by the master of plot twists, M. Night Shyamalan, this movie will give you chills by the time you reach the end reveal.
Siblings Becca and Tyler are forced to endure their creepy grandparents, whom they’ve never met before, while their mother is on vacation. From there, things get interesting fast.
With very little communication with their mother, who hasn’t even spoken to her parents in 15 years, it becomes more and more clear that there is something wrong with grandma and grandpa. From the grandmother asking them to get into the oven to clean it, to the grandfather forgetting where he is and starting fights with strangers, this movie is at the least unsettling.
Shyamalan goes above and beyond with this film, making it good, scary fun. However, even with all the scares, there are still a couple of funny rap scenes and a good connection between Becca and Tyler.
The best part of the film is the heart-dropping Shyamalan twist we’ve all missed since “The Sixth Sense.” The most shocking moment of this film is definitely when Becca and Tyler’s mother is finally able to videochat with them, and she informs them that the people they’ve been staying with are actually not their grandparents.
2. “Clown” (2014)
“It’s not just a costume. It’s skin and hair of a demon.” -Karlsson
Directed by Jon Watts, “Clown” is a disturbing story about a man who takes the place of a birthday clown for his son when the actor is a no-show. The only problem? He gets the costume from a deceased person’s house and now can’t take it off.
If you’re like me, you like a good scary clown film. However, movies like “It,” “Joker,” “House of 1,000 Corpses,” etc., all lack one thing that makes “Clown” so perfect: a backstory for killer clowns.
Imagine a creature in a cave with a cold white face and a swollen red nose who can only live by feasting on children. The original clown in the cave was a demon, and the suit is the hair and skin of the original “clown.” This suit is then passed down through generations, where it is later found by the protagonist of the story who puts it on before learning he can’t take it off.
The creepy build up to the full menacing clown makes this film a great climb to a horrendous ending. The scene where the clown hides in a dark forest while hunting for children will give you goosebumps every time you have to walk in the dark.
This film itself is creepy all throughout as the main character turns into a monstrous birthday clown that feasts on children to become stronger. This is a must-watch movie for all killer clown lovers.
1. “Hell House LLC” (2015)
“We have no business being here.” -Alex Taylor
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this movie will make you thankful that going through a haunted house isn’t allowed this year. When five friends set out to make the best haunted house in an abandoned residence in upstate New York, things turn from bad to worse when they find the home has an actual haunted past.
From decorative mannequins moving on their own to an opening night filled with murder and terror, this film turns out to be more than creepy. From the start of the film, you’ll be waiting for what will happen next, and every disturbing scene is followed with something even more heart-pounding, like a doppelganger spirit that watches the characters sleep.
If you’re a fan of the found footage horror style, where the camera moves with the protagonist of the story, this movie does it better than any other film in the genre. The camera shots will freak you out from their subtle placements in a room, capturing spooks like a ghost behind the characters sleeping, the opening night of customers being murdered and attacked, and the little changes in scenery like props being moved slightly.
The best part of the film is the twist ending, where you discover that the main character was actually a ghost the entire time and will be stuck in the Hell House forever. This twist is jaw dropping and ends with no real salvation.
This is the perfect film to watch at night with the lights off. This number one scary movie will have you on the edge of your seat all night.
Lauren McDonald is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @old_mcdonald25