Four horror classics to revisit this Halloween

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Jacob Baker, Columnist

Halloween is a huge attraction and celebration in the month of October and with that comes cold weather, leaves changing color and trick or treating in costumes that represent ghouls, the dead and monsters. Horror is at its peak during this time of the year, and that makes the opportunity to watch or revisit some of the greatest horror films of all time even more enticing. 

‘An American Werewolf in London’ 

Often helmed as one of the greatest creature-features of all time, the 1981 film “An American Werewolf in London” lives up to that title because of its diverse direction in filmmaking. David Kessler played by David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as Jack Goodman, two american boys venture into the London wilderness only to get attacked by a mysterious animal leading Kessler to believing he’s a werewolf. 

Director and writer John Landis delivers a werewolf film that is equally brutal as it is hilarious. One moment the viewer is witnessing a horrific death, then boom, the film delivers some of the best comedy in a horror film to date. All of this is complimented nicely alongside remarkable performances by Naughton as David Kessler, Jenny Agutter as Nurse Alex Price and Griffin Dunne as Jack Goodman. 

‘Scream’ 

Within the horror genre the 1996 film “Scream,” stands alone. All films on this list can be considered special or groundbreaking, but “Scream” fits the definition of those words to a T. “Scream” follows a group of highschoolers as a masked killer is killing teens one by one.   

Legendary horror director, Wes Craven turns the serial killer genre of horror films on its head. The killer taunts their victims with horror trivia and the victims treat their possible deaths like horror films and try to subvert expectations. “Scream” is also responsible for having an iconic opening and ending sequence that doesn’t lose its impact to this day. 

‘The Thing’ 

The next two entries come from a director and writer that deserves his own spot on the Mount Rushmore of Horror, and that is John Carpenter. Carpenter is responsible for some of the greatest horror movies of all time and “The Thing” is arguably his best. 

Trapped in Antarctica inside a research station because of a blizzard with an alien that can replicate its victims will make the viewer as paranoid as the characters within the film. And that’s what Carpenter does with “The Thing.” The immense sense of paranoia is overwhelming. 

The creature design and use of prosthetics is terrifying; the score by Ennio Morricone is unsettling; the atmosphere Carpenter creates is bone-chilling, and the lead performance by Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady is a tour de force. 

‘Halloween’ 

Nothing quite compares to watching Carpenter’s slasher masterpiece “Halloween” on the holiday it’s based off of. The 1978 slasher spawned a continuously growing franchise of films but more impressive is the killer at the center of it, Michael Myers aka “The Shape.” The cold blooded, silent and menacing stalker who delivers memorable kill after memorable kill. 

After murdering his sister at a young age, Myers is put away for 15 years until he breaks out the day before Halloween to return back to his hometown to leave more dead bodies in his wake.  

The way Carpenter directs “The Shape” is brilliant. Carpenter treats “The Shape” often with point of view shots often placed over his shoulder or behind him as he stalks his victims. Those types of scenes make the film devoid of hope for the characters. With Carpenter’s eerie score, “Halloween” has the viewer on the edge of their seat from the opening scene.