By Alyx Johnstone
Halloween is my favourite time of year. It’s when I can indulge in my favourite genre of horror and thriller, judgement-free from those around me, and delve into the dark world of the supernatural, the macabre and the grotesque. To celebrate Halloween this year, I watched the top 5 best rated horror films on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re looking for a spooky film this Sunday, look no further and pick from these acclaimed films (which I’ve rated out of 5).
1.- Get Out (2017)
Directed by Jordan Peele and released in 2017, this groundbreaking horror film is (in my opinion) the best horror film of all time. It is dark, powerful and uncomfortable with its explorations of themes like racism and power set in the backdrop of Trump’s America. The white characters are so privileged and comfortable in their own existence that it made me feel uneasy as they attempt to emphasise just how inclusive they are. At one point Bradley Whitford’s character turns to Daniel Kaluuya and proudly boasts that “he would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could have” after he justifies his reasons behind having black workers in his fully white middle class household. It keeps you guessing at every turn and the twists along the way really did chill me. If you are looking for a modern horror film that will make you realise the real horrors are what is actually happening in society, then this is the film for you.
Scare factor- 4
Should you watch this Halloween?- YES
2.- The Babadook
I had heard of this 2014 horror film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent before but had never gotten around to watching it. At only an hour and a half long, this isn’t a particularly long watch which I personally love as I frequently find myself exhausted at the lengths of some newer films. That being said, I didn’t love it. I found the characters to be unlikeable and though I think that was perhaps the point, when I don’t like at least one character then I struggle to empathise and in turn feel the horror that they are facing in the film. There were plenty of jump scares, sadly most did play up to the typical cheesy trope of music and darkness, making each jump more predictable than the next. One thing I did like about this film was the set and costumes. Grey is the main colour used throughout and the house that the family live in was like an unloved mansion from a gothic novel.
Scare factor- 3
Should you watch on Halloween?- YES (if you just want a quick film)
Written and directed by Ari Aster, I was so excited to watch this highly praised film. He created one of my favourite films, Midsommar and so I went into this one with the highest of expectations, knowing all too well how good his effective jump scares and gore are. This film, to me, was perfect. The story revolves around a family that begin to learn about their ancestors after their Grandma dies, forcing them to unearth some terrifying secrets. This film really is everything I love about a good horror. Suspenseful and jumpy but clever too, with a story that offered the audience more than just some screams and gasps. There is one particular scene in the car that has stayed with me since I watched it, so let this be a warning if you’re diving into this on Halloween night, it will definitely leave you feeling unnerved.
Scare factor- 5
Should you watch on Halloween- YES! Then watch Midsommar for an Aster double-bill!
4.- It Follows
This 2014 horror from director David Robert Mitchell was one I had never heard of before reading about it on Rotten Tomatoes. With a cast of actors that I hadn’t ever heard of and a front cover that gave me teen drama vibes, I was somewhat sceptical. Despite my initial reservations, I really enjoyed it. The basic premise is that the main character Jay is given a fatal curse by her boyfriend after sleeping with him for the first time. This curse can only be passed through sex and nobody else is affected by it. She is haunted by sinister looking figures that follow her around and try to cause her harm. This film was ominously quiet which helped to build the suspense and by the end of it, I definitely had reservations about sleeping in the dark. Not one to watch alone if you don’t want to be fully creeped out.
Scare factor- 4
Should you watch on Halloween- YES- creepy and clever, definitely a good film
5.- Let The Right One In
Last on the list is the 2008 Swedish horror/romance from director Tomas Alfredson. I had never heard of this one before and because I didn’t know any of the plot, I went in completely blind. Sadly, with this film was disappointed. The whole vampire aspect of the film to me is just so overdone. My interest in fanged creatures peaked in 2012 when the final Twilight came out and although there were literally no similarities between the two, I mentally switched off. The added romance element to the film didn’t really appeal to me either and when you take both of those away there wasn’t much left to it. I did read amazing reviews of it and it received some high praise which made me question both my taste in film and my ability to critique. Maybe I’m boring for preferring more traditional horror movies but I certainly would not rewatch this one.
Scare factor- 2
Should you watch on Halloween- NO- personally I’d rather watch Edward Cullen.
So, after many hours of movie watching, thus concludes my reviews for Rotten Tomatoes’ Top-rated Horrors- Happy Halloween!
Politics & Journalism Student