Halloween movie round-up

Mariana Oliva – Copy Editor | “Halloween” (1978)

Each October, Halloween movies are played non-stop. Hot just movies like “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown” or “The Addams Family.” Yes, those movies are all great, but so many people look forward to another favorite type of Halloween movie: horror.

Horror buffs are not interested in seeing a movie about witches or haunted houses. People want to see teenagers running from kitchen knives, turn-anything-into-a-weapon masked killers.

A special film in particular is “Halloween.” Not the new ones, which do not get me wrong, theyare all awesome, but by far the best is the 1978 original.

Just imagine being Laurie Strode and not knowing your own brother is masked-killer Michael Myers. One night you are babysitting, and a couple hours later you are running for your life.

The suspense of not knowing what is coming next gives fans a reason to be on the edge of their seats. Or when the camera focuses on the main character, only to see a shadow lurking in the background as a person walks across the room

Myers does not make a sound as he stalks his victims, which is surprising for someone who stands at 6-feet-9-inches. Then again, it is a horror movie, what were we expecting? His victims are running and he manages to catch up just by walking.

Not only is the cinematography great for its time, but the score is a masterpiece itself. John Carpenter was responsible for both directing the film and creating the score.

There are 13 Halloween movies in total for viewers to check out this Halloween, each one exceptional in its own way.

 

Caryl Anne Francia – Business Editor | “Bell, Book and Candle” (1958)

Contrary to most of these recommendations, “Bell, Book and Candle” is not a horror movie. Given its “Christmas in New York” vibe, it may not even be considered a Halloween movie, but it was released on Oct. 26, 1958.

However, if you want to feel the magic of the season without the scares, this light romantic comedy is for you.

Adapted from a Broadway play of the same name, the movie has Kim Novak portraying a freespirited witch looking for change in her life. Witches cannot fall in love in her world, so on a whim, she casts a love spell on James Stewart’s book publisher character. The story follows Novak’s character grappling with revealing her identity and confronting her own feelings.

Novak and Stewart build on their strong romantic chemistry from Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller “Vertigo” from the same year. Jack Lemmon plays Novak’s warlock brother and provides the comic relief for the movie.

The film’s witchy ambience is supported by Novak’s Siamese cat, the decor and an enchanting score that features bongo drums. Hermoine Gingold adds her delightfully mischievous mother witch character, who predates Endora from “Bewitched” and Winifred Sanderson from “Hocus Pocus.”

Additionally, the story is set in the Murray Hill and the Flatiron District areas, so the magic is not far from Baruch College.

This Academy Award-nominated film is best enjoyed as the weather cools and the daylight shortens. Although not on any major streaming platforms, it is available on the Criterion Channel.

 

Melani Bonilla – Multimedia Editor | “Coraline” (2009)

My favorite horror movie would probably have to be “Coraline.” I know it’s technically classified as a children’s movie but I am a scaredy-cat so it’s easy for me to get spooked. The superb stop-motion animation only helps to enhance the films creepy vibe.

For those who do not know, it is a story about a young girl who moves into a new home called the Pink Palace. Bored with her life there, she finds a secret portal into a world where her every desire is met. Here she meets versions of her parents, most significantly the Other Mother, who has button eyes. The Other Mother, later in the movie, is actually revealed to be a beldam, a witch who feeds on children’s souls.

Many people still have nightmares about the Other Mother to this day.

Overall, “Coraline” is the perfect mix of intriguing, funny, and scary all in one. It’s also controversial and speculated amongst many of the film’s fans as to what really happened at the end. There have been theories that Coraline never escaped the other world, and is still living in it. This is because she never goes through the door to go back, but she needs it to go in. Some even say that she might become the next beldam. There’s a lot out there to investigate.

 

Lauren Mehta – Contributing Writer | Psycho (1960)

What is the perfect horror film? Is it a slow, burning psycho-thriller like “Gone Girl” and “American Psycho,” or a gory, violence-packed film like “Reservoir Dogs”?

To me, the perfect horror flick is the classic 1960 film “Psycho” directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This movie stars Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, a young woman whose misfortune with money and love has ultimately brought her to the Bates Motel. Here, she meets the hotel owner, Norman Bates, who only causes more trouble for Leigh’s character.

This film is so interesting because it can be analyzed from many different perspectives. First, the audience sees a classic thriller filled with suspense, horror and violence through the death of Marion and the P.I. Secondly, the audience sees a romantic tragedy, as Marion only achieves the love she longed for after her death. Thirdly, “Psycho” can be viewed as a landmark of the progression of mental health awareness through the character Norman.

In the 1960s, there was no discussion of mental issues, especially the severity portrayed byNorman. Hitchcock brought the term dissociative identity disorder, at the time called MPD, to Hollywood. Unfortunately, by exaggerating the symptoms to fit Hitchcock’s version of the perfect villain, he poked fun at the idea of mental illness. Today, with the knowledge of mental illness that we have now, we can see Norman in a completely different light.

These different layers make this film one of my favorites of all time, not just of its genre. Hitchcock ultimately created an award-winning thriller that gripped his audience for decades after.