Halloween night comes with its terrors and joys — but what happens when staying in and cozying up in front of the TV becomes the best plan? From fantastical horror to classic zombie films, this marathon is perfect for the spookiest holiday.
This classic Stephen King tale follows teenage Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) who suffers from constant bullying at school and religious trauma from her overbearing mother. Unbeknownst to her tormentors, Carrie develops telekinetic powers that become her tool for revenge on the carnage-filled prom night. After a bucket of pig’s blood is poured onto the young girl, Carrie releases the agonizing anger that has haunted her for years. The film’s unsettling soundtrack, red-hued lighting and Spacek’s sinister, almost emotionless expression during Carrie’s revenge make for a skin-crawling watch.
“Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
Based on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, the story depicts a small town suffering the gruesome beheadings of some of its townspeople. Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), a police constable, is sent to investigate the mysterious killings after many Sleepy Hollow residents claim that the murders were done by none other than the Headless Horseman. Ichabod remains dismissive of these claims until he witnesses a beheading himself, pushing him to uncover the malicious curse behind the monstrous being, all while dealing with his childhood trauma. “Sleepy Hollow” features dark noir and a mystifying atmosphere that are perfect for a ghostly night.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)
Arguably one of Guillermo Del Toro’s most creepy works, “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a dark fantasy mixed with elements of horror. Set during World War II, 11-year-old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) moves into a new home with her mother and cruel stepfather. Desiring to escape her stepfather’s merciless heart, Ofelia discovers the mythical world of Pan’s Labyrinth. She meets strange and frightening creatures in this world, with the film’s most terrifying character, The Pale Man — a grotesque creature that devours children. The story’s magical realism creates an intrinsic world of fairytales, but its grounding elements of human evil certainly make the film unsettling and perfect for Halloween.
“Train to Busan” (2020)
Zombie movies have been repetitively done for years, but director Yeon Sang-ho created a new genre of zombie horror with his ingenious “Train to Busan.” Set in modern times, the film follows Gong Yoo (Seok-Woo) as he travels on a train with his estranged daughter. When a virus outbreak contaminates the vehicle’s passengers, turning them into the living dead, Gong Yoo fights to protect his daughter. Running zombies and grisly deaths will make you hide behind your pillow, but the film’s saddest scenes are gut-wrenching and emotional. “Train to Busan” is a zombie masterpiece that will live in the horror genre for years to come.