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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

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Best movies to watch during the spooky season

With midterms finishing up, the scariest thing that students have experienced this month could be school. But now that midterm tests and projects are wrapping up, it’s time to sit back, relax and put on a good movie, a horror movie. It’s one of my favorite ways to get into the Halloween spirit. 


It’s the best time of the year to indulge in your favorite horror movies or watch some new ones. There are plenty of sub-genres in horror: comedy, psychological, supernatural, slasher and more, etc. With the many different kinds of genres, choosing may take a lot of work. There is a never-ending amount of scary movies.   


As an avid-fan of the horror movie genre, I have discovered many hidden gems, including horror movies dating back to the 1920s. 


With Halloween just around the corner, here are a few movie recommendations that may keep you up at night. 


 I’ve listed these movie recommendations based on increasing scariness level, so that anyone can enjoy watching some spooky films this October. Now, if you aren’t into intense , scary movies, I recommend a comedy horror, or a PG-13 Halloween movie may be best.


Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)


This movie goes back to the 80s, a film containing otherworldly creatures.  It is one of my personal favorites to watch around Halloween time.


This horror cult classic is less gore and more camp. The 1988 film is a science fiction horror comedy. A comet crashes down on a small town and alien Klowns invade, capture and kill civilians. This movie is not meant to be scary and more enjoyable. It has gotten wildly trendy in the past few years. 


Scare level: 1/5


Talk To Me (2023)

A group of friends become infatuated with an embalmed hand that can conjure spirits. The high-stake party game entices thrill until it goes too far. This movie is pretty great, although I may have seen way too many scary movies. This one brought on something different with the embalmed hand. Rather than your typical paranormal horror movie. There are plenty of twists and not a lot of jump scares. 


Scare level 2/5


The BoogeyMan (2023): 

It is based on a short story by Stephen King. Two sisters are still mourning the loss of their mother, and father, a therapist who isn’t very supportive due to lack of communication.  One afternoon, an unexpected person visits, leaving behind wretched and evil. That preys on children and leaves viewers unnerved. This movie was way better than expected. The fact that the monster feeds on the innocent makes it much darker, this modern take of the BoogeyMan doesn’t disappoint. 


Scare level: 3/5


Us (2019):

This Jordan Peele film is psychological and horror. A family takes a vacation to their family beach house, where the wife had suffered past trauma as a child. The  beach vacation turns deadly when their murderous doppelgangers terrorize them. The family must fight for their life, as they face danger every turn. A film that will keep you awake at night. I personally always a good Jordan Peele movie, my favorite is actually “Us”, I find that this is one of scariest movies. It makes you squirm and worry for the family on the big scream. 


Scare level: 4/5


Fresh (2022)

This film portrays the horrors of modern dating. A young girl begins dating a man she met at the grocery store. He has a significant appetite which forces her to battle for survival as she is never able to leave from his grasp. This movie was frightening, especially as young women that most likely go on dating apps or meet someone at a public place.  You never know someone’s true intentions. It also encourages you to trust your gut and be more aware of red flags. 

Scare level: 4/5


The Conjuring Universe (2013-2023)

Any of the “Conjuring” movies are sure to frighten viewers. The cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren continue to keep watchers at the edge of their street. 


It wouldn’t be Halloween without at least one “Conjuring” movie. The movies will leave you with spine-tingling chills and goosebumps. The series never fails to give me a good scare. 


The first “Conjuring” film  is what got me into horror at  13 years old. Every time a new movie comes out it’s highly anticipated in my household. I would start off with the first film and go from there. It truly terrifying. 

Scare level 5/5


Hereditary (2018)

Director Ari Aster always seems to satisfy viewers in this psychological supernatural horror movie. 


With themes of blood, maggots and death, this movie will make you want to hold onto your head. In the film, a family that tries to escape their terrible fate as a never ending pattern of unlucky death surrounds them. 


As a teenager watching this film it terrified me. It had me looking over my shoulder while walking back to my car. Aster is one of my favorite horror directors. He always knows how to get under people’s skin. It’s pure brilliance. 


Scare level: 5/5


The majority of the films are meant to scare the socks off viewers and are not recommended for children. I recommend watching these films on the darkest of nights with the lights turned off paired alongside a bowl of fresh popcorn.

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About the Contributor
Christiane Rios, Multimedia Reporter
Christiane Rios is a multimedia reporter for the University Times (UT). She has experience with poetry and concert photography. She's also feminist, vegan and musician. When she's not writing for the UT she's either playing her bass or working out. Christiane is also a punk singer and enjoys singing against the patriarchy.
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