Horror Movies for This Halloween Season


In need of a good thriller for Halloween? Here are some suggestions from Mitch Brian, NPR’s KCUR movie critic, and Andy Gottschalk.

Mitch Brian
Writer, Director and Film Critic for NPR’s KCUR

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
It’s pretty great. It has an edge that turns it into sheer ferocity and energy, but there’s not much to think about. [The TCM] exists to shock and provoke you, and play games with whom you identify with.

It’s a nasty movie in that if you want to identify with the killers and you take pleasure in revelling in that that, you can, or you can identify with the victim and be terrified. It’s a very subversive movie.

The Exorcist (1973)
[It leaves you] with some fairly profound questions about the nature of faith and the nature of good and evil. [The Exorcist] aspires to some pretty amazing intellectual and philosophical ideas. It’s a pretty serious movie in that sense.]

Andy Gottschalk
Editor-in-Chief and writer

Black Swan (2010)
A movie about ballet sounds innocent enough. But when anxiety-driven madness and terrifying visions are added to the mix it gets a bit more rugged.

‘Black Swan’ follows Nina as the prima ballerina in a production of Swan Lake, where she must let go of herself and lose her innocence to become the black swan. She competes for the attention of the director of the show, and fights a fellow dancer for praise. But in her pursuit of perfection, she loses her mind.

Darren Aronofsky’s elegant horror isn’t great for squeamish audiences, but perfect for those who don’t mind seeing someone go over the edge.

Psycho (1960)
Hitchcock, arguably the best director eVeR made arguably one of the best thrillers eVeR, called “Psycho.” After stealing $40,000 from her employer, a woman leaves in a hurry, running away to a distant motel, a motel run by a terrifying Norman Bates. It’s good. Don’t miss it.

Article originally appeared in “The Epic,” Issue 2.