Scary Movies to Watch this Fall

Isabel Brandt, News Editor

While it may be a little late for Halloween, it’s always a good time to get your adrenaline flowing with a scary movie. As a self-proclaimed horror aficionado, I’ve seen quite a few films that are a little more off the beaten path. While the spooky classics are amazing, it’s also great to branch out and see what the industry has to offer. 

Train to Busan (2016):

This Korean film follows the passengers of a train, including protagonist Seok-Wu and his daughter, as they become trapped during a zombie outbreak. The breakout hit has been a favorite of critics, and it’s not hard to see why. The movie is packed with intense action, nail-biting suspense, and, of course, zombies. Its danger-in-a-confined-area plot can lend to it having a similar feel to action classics like Die Hard, but Train to Busan’s stellar effects and fresh take on the trope makes it stand out.

Photo courtesy of IMDB.



It Follows (2014): 

It Follows is one of the best psychological horror projects of the last decade, and was released to great critical acclaim. The story follows a teenage girl named Jay, who is pinned with a curse that results in her being followed by a monster that can take the form of any person it desires. The only way to save yourself is to pass the curse on to someone else. An instant classic, It Follows feels like Friday the 13th for a new generation, staying true to the teens vs. monsters spirit of old slasher flicks, while adding more complex plot layers. One of the most alluring aspects of the film is its visuals. Director of Photography Mike Gioulakis created gorgeous, eerie shots that really set the tone of the film. 


The Babadook (2014):

2014 was a great year for horror movies. However, The Babadook is arguably scarier than It Follows. I can’t stress enough how firmly I believe in the tactic of leaving the true horror up to the viewer’s imagination rather than just going all-in on the gore, and The Babadook absolutely nails this concept. The entire film leaves you uneasy, and it’s amazingly well crafted. The psychological thriller is about a single mother raising her son Sam, who exhibits odd and erratic behavior and becomes obsessed with a monster from a children’s book called the babadook. Aside from the fights, the movie really does tell a poignant story about grief and depression It’s definitely a great movie for even those who don’t like scary stories, as long as you leave the lights on while watching it.  

Photo courtesy of IMDB.



Marble Hornets (2009):

Marble Hornets isn’t really a movie, it’s a YouTube web series and quite a lengthy one at that. The series features 87 entries, ranging from under a minute to around 20 minutes long. There are also 39 accompanying videos if you really want to dig deeper into the story. The series is a found-footage style production a la The Blair Witch Project, and it uses the idea that what we can’t see is much scarier than what we can. The show is fairly light on gore, but the expertly timed shadows, movement of background figures, and video camera malfunctions make for a chilling experience. The story begins with a man named Jay who discovers his friend Alex’s tapes from an abandoned student film and decides to investigate why the production was stopped by uploading the videos online. Upon realizing that Alex was being stalked by a mysterious creature, Jay eventually sets out to discover the truth while filming everything. It’s based on the ever-popular Slenderman internet myth, and it’s excellent (even legendary film critic Roger Ebert has stated that it’s “remarkably well done”). 


Saw (2004):

To be perfectly honest, Saw isn’t a great movie. It’s not really that scary either. The plot is barely there, and there’s no character development whatsoever. But it’s on this list because it’s the exact opposite of the previous three movies. Saw is pretty much all violence and blood. It’s about men trapped by a sadistic serial killer who uses a creepy puppet to communicate and forced to play his “games”. However, I don’t think that movies have to be necessarily good to be entertaining, and Saw is a great example. It’s completely outrageous, but sometimes you just need a creepy movie without a complex plot. That being said, I’d only advise watching it if you’ve got a strong stomach. 


Coraline (2009):

If you’re looking for a cute film that delivers creeps without intense scares, then Coraline is a great choice. The first feature film made by the American film studio Laika, this stop-motion movie was adapted from the 2002 novel by Neil Gaiman. Coraline was directed and written by Henry Selick, who also wrote and directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, so you can expect a similar style of animation and storytelling in this film.

Photo courtesy of IMDB.