By Brad Dress

With Halloween looming around the corner, most college students aren’t thinking about scoring pillow bags of bite-sized candy, but wondering how in God’s name can they finish that paper due next week?

While consuming nearly a pound of Hershey’s chocolate until you’re bloated like Jabba The Hut, may not be on everyone’s list for the upcoming holiday, the following movies definitely should be, regardless of a ten-page paper or not:

  1.      Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” revolutionized horror when it premiered in 1974, and paved the way for slashers such as Halloween and Friday the 13th, which would launch just years later.

The original is the best installment in the series (we shouldn’t even mention the 21st century editions) and works as a creepy and fun horror-slasher film. A group of college kids takes a leisurely road trip up to an isolated house in the country, but a demented family of psychos is lying up there … try to piece together the rest. And just as a heads up, you might want to skip the ending, which is, well, interesting.

  1. Psycho (1960)

There’s not much of a classic Halloween binge without “Psycho” and the infamous Norman Bates thrown in there somewhere. This is one of the earliest thriller-horrors out there, but its uncanny characters and plot are one of a kind.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch (also a great read if you have the time), this classic tells the psychological and twisted story of a motel manager and his mother. When a woman hides at the motel after snatching bucket loads of cash from her job, she’ll be in for a surprising treat. The twist ending is one of the best, by the way.

  1.   Don’t Breathe (2016)

This is one you can’t miss, and one of the best horror movies to make it to the screen in recent years. “Don’t Breathe” is a unique movie that tells a suspenseful story like no other; It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end, when you finally let out your last breath.

Three “professional” house robbers have found their best stake yet—an old and blind army veteran’s house, the owner of whom is sitting on a gold mine after a recent lawsuit involving a young woman who accidentally killed his daughter in a traffic accident. However, when the three protagonists break in, he might not be so blind … and breathing might just be their worst enemy (not to mention the ravaging dog).

  1.  IT

If we’re going to talk about the best horror movie in recent years, ding ding—this is it. This is one of the best Stephen King adaptations to hit the screens since The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and it tells a coming-of-age story as well as a mystery, thriller and horror all mixed into one. That’s an impressive feat.

While not on DVD until December, it cannot be stressed enough to try to stream this online for Halloween. The movie does well to grab the main points from the nearly 1200-page novel released by King in the 80s.

As said above, it tells the coming-of-age story of a group of middle school children who are plagued by an arcane, child-eating monster in the small town of Derry, Maine. “Pennywise” is an eponymous villain, one who often resembles a clown before he devours his next meal, but “IT” also preys on childhood fears. You will laugh, cry, shout, cower in fear and shake like a wet dog. Prepare thyself.

  1.      It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

There is no other movie that represents the definitive Halloween movie such as this one. A classic cartoon tale that has stuck around for ages, this is a cute but humorous story that anyone can enjoy.

The Peanuts gang are back and celebrating Halloween, but Linus wants to meet nothing else but The Great Pumpkin, and he will wait for him until he does. It’s a short movie, but perfect for a wind down before bed to stave off those nightmares from the horror movies, and one that is relaxing, comedic and fun.

Other mentions: Scary Movie (2000) for a great laugh, Alien (1979) for a definitive Sci-fi horror, and, of course, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), for a classic tale that works great for Halloween and Christmas, and one you should most definitely watch for both holidays.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of It Movie’s Facebook Page.

Brad Dress is a junior journalism major and can be reached at

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