The Daily Gamecock

Reel Talk: Celebrate Halloween all month with these classic horror flicks

While Halloween is still a few weeks away, it’s never too early to begin gearing up for the spookiest day of the year. This list of October classics will satisfy any cult horror appetite, and access to these flicks should be easy for students -- all are available for free on one or more of the top three streaming platforms. 

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (Amazon Prime)
There’s no better way to kick off a month-long Halloween celebration than with Tobe Hooper’s
terrifying 1974 horror classic. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” follows Sally, a young girl who
visits a bygone family farmhouse only to find a band of savage murderers living nearby, led by
Leatherface, a villain in a mask of human skin who is terrifyingly based on real-life killer Ed
Gein. This film was the first in a long line horror flicks that used power tools as killing
instruments, and will most definitely leave you shivering.

“Young Frankenstein” (Netflix)
Although this film is less horror and more satire, it would have been a crime to neglect to include this Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder-written parody of 1930’s monster movies in a Halloween watchlist. This tale of Dr. Frankenstein's grandson and a monster of his own is chock-full of one-liners and is always a good choice for a not-so-horrific way to celebrate October.

“Carrie” (Hulu)
Arguably no film is more quintessentially horror-esque than Brian De Palma’s 1976 rendition of
Stephen King’s first novel. Complete with telekinesis, a crazed overbearing mother played
flawlessly by Piper Laurie and a blood-stained prom queen, the surest way to satisfy a campy horror film craving is by streaming this classic.

“Hellraiser” (Netflix)
Clive Barker’s Pinhead is one of the most frightening antagonists ever seen onscreen, making
“Hellraiser” a bone-chilling ninety minutes of gruesome demons and startling jump scares. Telling the story of a dead man who terrorizes his living brother and sister-in- law by seeking innocent flesh to feed upon in order to regain his full life, this film is best for those looking for something truly unsettling.

“Pet Sematary” (Hulu & Amazon Prime)
“Pet Sematary” has been ranked several times as one of Stephen King’s top ten most terrifying tales, and this interpretation of King’s novel from director Mary Lambert provides just as many horrific happenings as the novel. Beginning when Louis Creed, a doctor living in rural Maine, is shown a mysterious cemetery that resurrects its buried and ending with tragic zombie mayhem, the film has a more emotional storyline that does not disappoint, as well as a cameo from the book’s author that’s an added bonus for viewers.

“Twin Peaks” (Netflix & Amazon Prime)
Combining the satisfaction of an old-fashioned whodunit with the suspense of a supernatural thriller and the oversized sweaters of fall and winter in the Pacific Northwest, nothing screams October like David Lynch’s original two seasons of “Twin Peaks.” While viewing the newest season of “Twin Peaks” will cost viewers who do not a Showtime subscription, the first two seasons of the show is more than enough to watch before Halloween.

“Stephen King’s Children of the Corn” (Netflix & Hulu)
Proving that Stephen King is truly “the King of horror,” this third and final filmic interpretation of a King novel might be the most uniquely frightening of its kind, mainly due to its demonic child villains. When a traveling couple stumbles upon a cult of possessed children that believes in killing those who reach adulthood, horrifying consequences ensue. Watch this film as the perfect preparation for Halloween, or to develop a petrifying fear of autumnal corn mazes.