5 Frightful Films to Watch This Halloween

Prepare to Be Scared.


Kaleb Oakley, Writing editor

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (1974)
Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is responsible for much of the American horror scene. Shot on a shoestring budget, Texas Chainsaw follows a group of teenagers driving through Texas who need gas. They end up stranded at an empty gas station waiting for a shipment. While waiting, a few of the teenagers go missing. Texas Chainsaw paved the way for more radical horror in American cinema and opened doors for horror directors like John Carpenter. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is available on the iTunes store or Amazon Prime.

Terror: 10/10
Campiness: 4/10
Disturbing Elements: 10/10
Originality: 9/10

2. Videodrome
In Videodrome, James Woods plays a shifty television producer (Renn) always on the hunt for the next sensationalist program to broadcast on his trashy television network. When Renn uncovers a mysterious pirate television broadcast, he begins a descent into the recesses of society and his mind. With lurid practical special effects, a fantastic score by Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore, and an excellent lead performance by James Woods, all plastered together by David Cronenberg’s spectacular direction, Videodrome might be the best horror film from the eighties. Videodrome is available on the iTunes store and Amazon Prime.

Terror: 6/10
Campiness: 6/10
Disturbing Elements: 10/10
Originality: 11/10

3. Nosferatu The Vampyre. (1979)
Out of all the tremendous actor-director collaborations, few are more storied than German master Werner Herzog’s work with famed lunatic Klaus Kinski. Nosferatu The Vampyre, a remake of the 1922 silent classic, puts Klaus Kinski as the repulsive Count Dracula looking to purchase property in the city of Wismar, Germany. One Jonathon Harker is sent to broker a deal with this mysterious count. Herzog’s direction has a strange way of creeping under the viewer’s skin mixed with Kinski’s fantastic performance; a peculiar pathos reveals itself underneath all the horrors. Nosferatu The Vampyre is essential for all horror fans. Nosferatu The Vampyre is available on the iTunes store and Amazon Prime.

Terror: 7/10
Campiness: 4/10
Disturbing Elements: 4/10
Originality: 10/10

4. The Bride of Frankenstein. (1935)
A rare sequel that exceeds the original, The Bride of Frankenstein, picks up after a mob of townsfolk believes they have burnt Victor Frankenstein’s monster down inside a windmill; only the monster survived his funeral pier and is now out in the wilds surrounding the village. The beast finds himself alone and begins to search for a companion. His search ultimately leads him back to his creator, who decides to make a second monster to keep the original occupied and out of harm’s way, the titular Bride of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff’s performance as Frankenstein’s monster is particularly notable as it feels like Karloff was born to play Frankenstein’s monster. The Bride of Frankenstein may not still hold the same horror it had when released. Still, the film serves as an excellent time capsule of the origin of Hollywood horror and is terrific. The Bride of Frankenstein is available on the iTunes store, Amazon Prime, and at the Broomfield Public Library.

Terror: 0/10
Campiness: 6/10
Disturbing Elements: 0/10
Originality: 10/10

5. House. (1977)
A man turns into a large stack of bananas with a hat. What more needs to be said? House is available on HBO Max.

Terror: 8/10
Campiness: 100/10
Disturbing Elements: 8/10
Originality: 10/10