10 movies to watch 10 days before Halloween

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The movie “Pearl,” came out this year, receiving praise from both critics and audiences.

Jackson McCoy, Editor-in-Chief, Staff Writer

Halloween is just around the corner, and while some people (like me) have been celebrating since September 1st, most are probably just now carving their pumpkins. So as I set out to write this list, I wanted to make a compilation of movies that would satisfy the cravings of die-hard Halloween-heads, as well as give burgeoning All-Hallow’s-Eve enthusiasts some new movies to explore. 

First, a few disclaimers. To start, there are not a ton of classic horror movies on this list. If you were looking for some basic listicle that only has 80s slashers and “Hereditary,” this one isn’t for you. Second, this list is not exclusively horror movies. It is a Halloween movie list, not a horror movie list. I tried to balance campy, messy, and deeply horrifying, despite my personal preference for the scarier features.

Now, without further ado, here is your Halloween viewing guide for the next 10 days. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

October 21st: “Interview With the Vampire” (1994)

To start off your 10 days of amazing movie recommendations, this pillar of gothic cinema adapted from Anne Rice’s classic novel of the same name is the epitome of a Halloween movie. While not intensely scary, “Interview With the Vampire” is a great movie to watch on a stormy October night.

Starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, this film tells the story of Louis, a former 18th century southern aristocrat, who is deeply depressed following the death of his family. Before he can kill himself, he meets the vampire Lestat, who convinces Louis to choose immortality over death. Louis is not pleased with the violent nature of vampirism, though, and conflict grows as Lestat changes a young girl into a vampire. If you didn’t read that and think “What an intriguing mix of scares and drama!” then go watch “Twilight.” 

With vampires, drama, and pre-2000s Cruise, “Interview With the Vampire” meets all the criteria for a great movie. It may not be the scariest movie you watch in the next 10 days, but it is a masterclass in spookiness. 

October 22nd: “His House” (2020)

I tried to come up with a joke or funny one-liner, but this movie is just too good for one. “His House” is one of the best recent horror movies made, and grabs you by the heart and keeps squeezing.

This Netflix original did not originally pull my attention; it was only after my dad asked if I wanted to watch it with him that I gave it a chance. This movie absolutely blew me away. It isn’t just a haunted house story–it is a story of desperation, pain, and fear of change. 

Telling the story of a refugee couple who flee Sudan to England to escape war, “His House,” pulls no punches as it shows the pain of war, the hardships of immigration, and fear of the evil lurking beneath you.

I’ve never seen a movie quite like this. It has one of the best, most gut-churning twists I’ve ever seen in a movie, and the special effects are stunningly realistic. If you want to be both scared and emotionally devastated, you can’t skip this day. It has creepy visuals, fully fleshed out characters, and a story that will keep you guessing at every turn. This is a perfect feature for an October night.

October 23rd: “Event Horizon” (1997)

Probably one of the scarier movies on this list, this cult classic originally bombed in theaters. Overtime, however, people have begun to appreciate it for what it is: the horrifying crossroads of “Hellraiser” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

“Event Horizon” follows Captain Miller, played by Laurence Fishburne, and scientist William Weir, played by Sam Neill, as they investigate the sudden reappearance of the formerly lost spacecraft Event Horizon. As Weir, Miller, and their fellow crew members explore the seemingly abandoned ship, they start to find out what happened to the previous Event Horizon crew–and that they’re not alone.

An incredibly intense movie, “Event Horizon” is a lot to take in: incredible special effects, likable characters, and incredible actors all come together in this beast of sci-fi horror. This film is also the most violent up to this point, so be ready for blood and guts galore.

While this one may have been blasted by critics when it came back, “Event Horizon” is a perfect installment in this Halloween marathon.

October 24th: “Ready or Not” (2019)

If you’re in the mood to laugh at something and then feel like a terrible person for laughing at that something, then this movie is for you. “Ready or Not,” directed by Tyler Gillet and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, made waves with its perfect balance of humor, horror, and action.

This film features modern-day scream queen Samara Weaving as Grace, a young bride marrying her dream guy at his family’s massive estate. Seems perfectly pleasant, right? Except everything goes south when her new in-laws try to hunt her through their mansion until dawn. Grace has to survive the night until the morning, or die trying.

Now that description doesn’t sound funny, but I swear this movie is. It’s very sarcastic, often poking fun at the luxurious lifestyles and the dysfunction of the incredibly rich and sadistic family. This is a film that makes you root for the main character, not just because of her likability but also because of the unlikability of the antagonists. 

If horror movies were people, this one would be the most clever. It manages to keep your stomach churning with anxiety and laughs. It’s one of my favorite movies on this list, and I couldn’t recommend it more as the fourth part of your countdown to Halloween.

October 25th: “Cabin in the Woods” (2012)

What if I told you that there was a movie that was part classic zombie film, part conspiracy thriller, and had Sigourney Weaver? If you aren’t immediately hooked, then I think you should see a therapist, because “Cabin in the Woods” has all three and is absolutely incredible.

This 2012 picture follows five college friends as they–you guessed it–take a vacation in a cabin in the woods. What starts out as a fun trip quickly jolts into a nightmare, as zombies start to take out the travelers. However, zombies are the least of the group’s worries, as a plan far greater is in motion.

This movie pays homage to the stepping stones of the horror genre, while also satirizing all the tropes most scary movies have taken advantage of throughout the genre’s history. This is a really fun movie to watch, and it has enough monsters to satisfy you until next Halloween.

October 26th: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)

This science fiction double feature is the cult classic. It defined camp, inspired a very loyal following, and ruined Matthew Morrison’s character on “Glee.” This film is truly a musical masterpiece.

Following young couple Brad and Janet as they attempt to find a phone to call for help with their broken car, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” takes the viewer on a journey spanning just 24 hours that somehow feels like a full week. As mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter uses his alien technology and intelligence to cause mischief and murder, Brad and Janet face monstrosities and their own marriage. 

With an absolute banger-filled soundtrack, stacked cast, and insane plot, there isn’t much to say about this movie other than “WATCH IT!” It’s a super fun time, and a good break from scary movies as we continue towards the best holiday.

October 27th: “Constantine” (2005)

If you were watching the Dark Knight trilogy and thinking to yourself, “Wow, this is a great movie, but I wish it was more like ‘The Exorcist,’” then you’re in luck. This 2005 action-horror flick features Keanu Reeves as a renegade demon hunter, so obviously it’s going to be good. 

Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comic series, “Constantine” shows us the story of John Constantine–a man who has literally been to Hell and back. As Constantine becomes involved in the investigation of a woman’s suicide, it becomes clear that there is something more powerful and malevolent at play, and he’s got to figure out how to stop it.

While some hardcore horror fans may see this movie as a little too mainstream, or too similar to the recent superhero blockbusters, I can assure you that it is way cooler than those. It’s a gritty epic displaying the conflict between demons, angels, and Hell itself.

Also, it has Keanu Reeves! How could you not want to see this movie after hearing that? He delivers a great performance, and even if he didn’t, it’s literally Keanu Reeves. Just watch this movie; it’s entertaining, intense, and has Halloween vibes through the roof.

October 28th: “X” and “Pearl” (2022)

I know I said one movie every day for the next ten days, but October 28th is a Friday and you have nothing better to do on a Friday night. “X” and “Pearl” are both slashers directed by Ti West and star Mia Goth. 

“X” is about a group of amateur actors and filmmakers who set out to make a movie that can’t be described in more detail because this is a school newspaper. After getting caught red-handed, the group suffers the wrath of their hosts, and a brutal killing spree ensues.

But wait, that’s not all! That first toe-curling tour de force has a sequel following the main antagonist from “X.” “Pearl” shows us the origins of Pearl, the Airbnb host from hell and how she got to the vengeful state we see her in in “X.”

You need to watch both movies, starting with “X” and then “Pearl.” Both of these films are fantastic, and put new twists on classic horror tropes without losing the brutal charm that comes with a true slasher flick. As you get closer to Halloween, these two are great feature films to watch. 

October 29th: “Terrifier” (2016)

With a sequel that is reportedly making people throw up and pass out in movie theaters, this slasher couldn’t be more timely. “Terrifier” is one of the most brutal movies I have ever seen, so definitely go into this movie expecting a gut punch of violence and gore.

“Terrifier” is largely centered around the now iconic antagonist Art the Clown, a deranged and sadistic circus freak who targets a young woman named Tara for a night of wicked “fun.”

This movie is bursting with scares; I honestly can’t watch this one anymore without taking breaks every now and then. It is a rough ride, and it will chill you to the bone. What’s more Halloween than that?

October 30th: “Night of the Demons” (1988)

After three nauseating slashers in a row, you might be thinking “Please, all I want is a nice Halloween movie!” Good thing the 80s was a breeding ground for cheesy and low budget horror flicks. It was honestly hard to choose just one, but I ultimately decided on “Night of the Demons.” 

In “Night of the Demons,” a group of teenagers has a party in an abandoned funeral on Halloween night (a truly genius idea). As strange things start to happen, the group starts to realize that maybe this party was a bad idea.

This movie is very silly, in case you couldn’t already tell. It’s more funny than scary, even when  it’s trying to be scary. Additionally, every single character is so stupid it almost hurts your brain. And while this may not sound appealing, it’s actually very fun.

A Halloween movie marathon wouldn’t be complete without a cheesy 80s film, so I had to pick the one that I personally enjoyed. This is a good one to watch right after several spooky slashers.

October 31st: “Halloween” (1978)

How could I not put this movie on October 31st? I know I said I was shooting for movies people might not have heard of, but this is just too good. 

This pillar of scary cinema follows Lori Strode as she becomes the obsession of Michael Myers, a man who is pure evil. As Myers goes on a rampage, Strode and her friends continue with their high school lives–unaware of the rampage that they are about to fall victim to.

“Halloween” speaks for itself. Everybody can recognize the white mask and blue jumpsuit worn by the vicious Michael Myers, and Jamie Lee Curtis became the scream queen after its release. The product of legendary director John Carpenter, this movie is the best way to end this marathon with a bang, and I simply couldn’t not include this film.