Spooky Scary Cinematic Favorites


Rebecca Meghani

As Halloween approaches, everyone is preparing for the thrill of the day through all spooky aspects. The popularity of the horror genre has only grown because people love the sensations that they derive from it. Students lean more into horror during October, the spookiest month of the year, and celebrate the day as much as they can. Most commonly, people get their excitement through horror films. They have hooked audiences with the effects that these horror elements have on people.

Though the popularity of horror is continuously rising, people often prefer films over books. For some, it is about the experience that one receives from watching films.

“It’s really about the atmosphere of the movie,” explained Dr. Alex Blazer, who currently teaches GC2Y: Horror Films, “There are certain movies where it is the soundtrack and the noses that really are so creepy, and it can’t be replicated in a book.”

With the increasing interest in horror rising, so have the number of horror films. In recent years, many new films, adaptations, and versions have shown up. Opinions vary on new versions because of the horror preference that people have.

“Most of the time, a remake is going to be an American version of an internal film and a majority of those remakes are going to be absolute garbage.” said Jack Howle, a sophomore political science and economics major, “Take the German film Funny Games, a horror movie designed to make you glued to the screen. The American version does the exact opposite and makes it difficult at times to keep watching.”

New versions of horror films have been highly criticized when comparing them to the original.

“For the most part, in the early 2010s, they were taking all these R-rated movies from the 1980s and 1970s and turning them into PG-13.” said Dr. Alex Blazer, “They weren’t better, they were more mass-marketed and white-washed or sanitized.”

While some are not fans of the new versions, there are others that believe new versions have potential to be good.

“Some newer horror film versions like IT is better than the older version IT,” said Jesse Butler, junior accounting major, “But in some cases, like Friday the 13th and Halloween, the classics are better.”

Similarly, Juliette Calemine, junior exercise science major, believes that new versions can be good.

I really enjoy the 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street because it plays upon the darker aspects of it all and there is less humor.” she said.  

There have been many positive outlooks on new versions of horror films, too.

“There’s a ton of remakes going on in our culture, in general.” said Dr. Lauren Pilcher, lecturer of film and media studies, “It’s tapping into nostalgia, especially if you think about classical horror movies and how many times they have been remade. It speaks to how we want to relive that to a certain extent, and we want a new generation to experience it in a new way.”

There are many aspects of horror films that people enjoy and much discussion surrounding which horror film can be defined as the best.

“Cinematically, I think that would probably be Kwaiden. It’s a 1960s Japanese anthology horror film. Kwaiden means ghost and it’s a woman’s ghost revenge story and it is absolutely beautiful.” explains Dr. Alex Blazer, “It’s basically taking these old, Japanese folk stories and ghost stories and the entire thing is filmed on a sound stage. It’s got these two-story map paintings. There’s this one anthology in Kwaiden called The Woman of the Snow and it’s a couple of guys who get trapped in the snow and walking through the forest and it’s all fake, but the background map painting is this gorgeous, blue painting with swirls of eyes. So, you see these eyes of the woman of the snow always looking at them as they die in the storm. The filters, the colors, the clarity and crispness of all the elements in just fantastic and gorgeous.”

Even in horror, people can find beauty in these films which makes the genre more appealing. Under horror, there are many subgenres which makes it difficult to try to pin down what the best horror film may be because of the different preferences that people have.

“I don’t buy into ‘These are the best of the films’,” said Dr. Lauren Pilcher. “Looking at how popular horror has gotten over time and how much has been done with it, seeing what people can do with horror is the more interesting part.”

There are many aspects to look at when thinking about what horror film can be considered cinematically the best. While there is much to be said about the topic, sometimes it is best to just enjoy what we have. In celebrating Halloween, students turn to watch their spooky favorites like Scream, The Silence of the Lamb, The Quiet Place, the Halloween franchise, The Grudge, IT, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.