Five Movies to Watch this Halloween

by Sam Acosta

The Halloween season is upon us and with cities around the world canceling trick-or-treating, it’s time to find another way to get into the holiday mood. What better way to celebrate the day of spooky, scary skeletons than to sit down on the couch and watch a spine-chilling Halloween movie? Here are five great movies to watch during this socially distanced Halloween.

1. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

There is no better way to enjoy the holiday than with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. 

This family-friendly (and decidedly non-spooky) classic will nonetheless keep you engaged as you watch the Peanuts deal with the inevitable struggles that come with Halloween: getting rocks instead of candy when trick-or-treating, accidentally kissing a dog when bobbing for apples, and getting your friends to believe in the mysterious Great Pumpkin. 

In what is easily one of the best Charlie Brown specials of all time, you will get to see all of your favorite Peanuts characters face a world of traditions and make-believe in a way that will leave you smiling. If you are looking for a movie that will warm you up as the days get colder, there is no better choice than to curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket and watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

2. “A Quiet Place”

No film can create a suspenseful atmosphere without a well-written script, but this award-winning film from early 2018 manages to keep you on the edge of your seat with a lean 90 lines of dialogue. 

When our story begins, mysterious creatures have wiped out most of humanity, and there is only one way for those who remain to survive: stay silent. A small family living on a secluded farm must learn how to live as they face this new harsh reality. Yet with the family expecting a new child, things can only become more difficult in such a dangerous world. 

Starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, this thriller will keep you enthralled with every silent twist and turn that it offers. If you are looking for a scary film that provides visceral suspense and well-crafted thrills rather than cheap jump scares or gratuitous gore, this is the Halloween film for you. 

3. “The Sixth Sense”

This classic drama-thriller from 1999 is an absolute must-see for any movie-lover, especially during Halloween. 

This movie follows a young Cole Sear as he struggles with a horrifying secret. Unable to handle the situation but not knowing who to turn to, Cole finds himself meeting with Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child psychologist. 

As Cole struggles to control his new abilities and finds himself overwhelmed, Dr. Malcolm must uncover the truth behind his supernatural connection. Yet as he digs to find the solution to Cole’s problem, he starts to get dangerously close to a dark secret of his own. 

Written and directed by the prestigious M. Night Shyamalan, this is a must-see classic that will leave you questioning everything.

4. “Coraline”

Of any “family-friendly” movie, this is most likely the one that scarred us all as children. 

This 2009 stop-motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s children’s novel tells the story of Coraline (Dakota Fanning), a young girl whose family has just moved into a new house. Displeased by the move, Coraline goes about exploring her new home, where she discovers a portal to an alternate universe. 

There she meets Other-Mother, a more loving and attentive version of her real mother who night after night entertains her and fulfills her every wish. She meets Other-versions of her father and neighbors, all of whom are better versions than in the real world. 

She begins to fall in love with the Other-World, as her parents and friends become more disappointing in comparison. This wonderful new place, however, is not what it seems. 

This movie, while made for kids, will give even adults the creeps as they discover the true nature of this alternate reality and its inhabitants. Let’s just say you might want to watch this one with the lights on if you have a wild imagination. 

5. “Contagion”

This might not be your typical scary movie, but under the current circumstances, it is flat-out terrifying. This 2011 movie about a disease that unleashes itself on the world will keep you compulsively sanitizing your hands throughout its entirety.  

Follow the outbreak from the unique perspectives of multiple different characters: a single father trying to keep his daughter safe, a CDC agent trying to find a cure and a blogger who believes that it’s all a hoax, among others. 

You will find yourself on the edge of your seat all the way to the film’s ending, and you’ll walk away preoccupied with the film’s perceptive commentary on society’s reactions to outbreaks and how it prophetically parallels our world today. 

This film also features an all-star cast: Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow come together to bring this story to life. Don’t be surprised if you start walking around in a hazmat suit after watching this thriller.

Sam Acosta is a Sophomore Theatre Comprehensive Major and an A&E writer for Cedars. He likes spending his time watching movies, drinking Dr. Pepper, and writing plays.

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