Pursuits

12 Horror Flicks to Marathon This Weekend

Timeless tales of witches, exorcisms, and other paranormal entities to keep you up at night.
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It may seem like time has flown and we're not quite ready for Halloween, but these 12 classic horror films should put you in the mood for the holiday. Our only disclaimer is that these haunting flicks might keep you up all night.

Midsommar

Leave it to director Ari Aster to turn the story of a college couple’s breakup into a trippy tale of Swedish cults and human sacrifices. After she’s left alone and practically orphaned, Dani (Florence Pugh) crashes her boyfriend Christian’s (Jack Reynor) excursion trip to a remote village in Sweden, where a rare midsummer celebration is set to take place. You might think you know what you’re getting into with Midsommar, but the surprises will keep coming until the very last minute. Keep your eyes peeled for all the symbols and easter eggs that are scattered throughout this visually mesmerizing production.

WATCH: Midsommar, Amazon Prime

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The Others

On the year of its release, The Others gave moviegoers the plot twist of a lifetime. Even if the twist has been out in the open for close to two decades, The Others is worth rewatching for the air of mystery throughout the film, Nicole Kidman's performance, and the cast of characters' general confusion.

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Hereditary

Another entry by Aster, the eerie 2018 film stands out for three reasons: a uniquely horrific plot that caught everyone off guard, stellar performances from the main cast (Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro), and finally, its thoughtful cinematography that keep audiences hearts racing the whole time. Hereditary doesn’t deliver the usual frights following the same formula of the horror films of its time. Viewers are fed in-your-face scenes—demonic possessions in the middle of the day, decapitated heads, and people catching on fire, not necessarily in that order. The creepy miniatures that Collette’s character creates just add to the scare factor.

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The Conjuring

For a fix of aggressive spirits and jumpscares, the original Conjuring movie is still your best bet. The best thing about James Wan-directed films (movies where he plays the role of producer, are entirely different) is that audiences can always expect good to triumph over evil in the end. Where demons abound, there’s always a sense of hope, moral virtue, and spirituality to trump them. 

Us

We loved Jordan Peele as a comedian but we might love him even more as a director. Peele has been known to call his debut film Get Out a “social thriller,” and the follow-up film Us a horror film. Where Get Out serves suspense, Us is a game of survival and does pack more weird scenes. But with all the political and social commentary underlying the latter film, the real monsters in Us are not who you expect them to be.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

If you’re planning to watch with the kids, this Tim Burton classic is suitable for all ages. A Halloween fixture searching for new purpose, which leads him to abduct Santa Claus to steal Christmas? It’s a tale as old as time. If you’re feeling extra, you can throw a viewing party following the theme of the movie. It’s as easy as repurposing your Christmas ornaments and making them look spooky. 

Shutter

Horror film fans will be happy to know that this Thai supernatural title is now streaming on Netflix. While there are Hollywood horror stories left and right, there's a quality about Asian flicks such as this one—the portrayal of ghosts or setting, perhaps?—that lend it an undeniable flair.

 

The Witch

The year 2015 was not the best for horror flicks. Between Insidious 3, Sinister 2, and a low-rated Paranormal Activity sequel, there was little for horror fans to get excited about. Then, along came The Witch (stylized as The VVITCH). The movie is set in an unlikely time and place—1630s New England—where a banished family experiences supernatural disturbances in the woods. If old school witchcraft is your scare of choice, then The Witch is a twisted tale that will more than leave you disturbed and beguiled.

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Suspiria

Whichever version of the film you choose to watch—the 1977 original or the 2018 remake—Suspiria is a refreshingly bizarre and dark take on witchcraft and covens. It’s set in a ballet school, first of all, and constructs an alternate world where witches feed off the power of dance and a whole lot of politics ensue within the coven. Prepare yourself for an unexpected twist.

 

Rosemary’s Baby

Its controversial director aside, we have Rosemary’s Baby to thank for launching Mia Farrow's career. She garnered numerous awards for it, including the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year. Performances aside, the film touches on themes of the occult and will no doubt send chills down one's spine. 

Little Evil

This Netflix film takes the concept of horror lightly and infuses a dark kind of comedy into an archetypal father and stepson relationship. It has Halloween written all over it but with a dash of family values and the odd mention of the antichrist. This film starring Adam Scott is something to watch with friends over a bottle of wine.

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The Craft

If you never believed in karma, then The Craft will change your mind. This teenage flick about (surprise!) witches, yet again, features your typical clique of teenage outcasts but with powerful dark magic as an added character. It will have you chanting their made-up spells all the way to Halloween night.

The Sixth Sense

Perhaps M. Night Schyamalan’s best work to date, The Sixth Sense turned 20 this year, which is reason enough for you to revisit this unforgettable Bruce Willis blockbuster. In 1999, it surprised audiences with the biggest movie twist of the year. If you don’t know what this is yet, please take two hours and ten minutes off to watch a young Haley Joel Osment speak to ghosts.

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Hannah Lazatin
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