Every year in October, we ask our faculty, staff, and members of our student-library advisory group SLATE to recommend their favorite scary movies. Enjoy these spine-tinglers!
Kira Stevens, 1L
My current favorite horror film is The Invisible Man from 2020 (I haven’t seen the original). The movie tells the story of a woman who was previously engaged to a wealthy, brilliant man who she insists has been stalking her by turning himself invisible. I loved it because the movie weaves together real life horrors and science fiction to make a truly terrifying situation. It allows for interesting dialogue on our social climate regarding interpersonal relationships and female survivors. But also I just love psychological thrillers.
Kim Edwards, Director of Technology Services
Because I AM a scardey cat, my all time fav is Beetlejuice. I recently watched Hubie Halloween on Netflix with Adam Sandler. If you like Adam Sandler movies when he does funny voices, you might enjoy this one.
Kaitlin Hutson, 1L
Midsommar of course, but I feel like there should be a trigger warning at the beginning. I always forget about the part at the beginning. I like it because it’s a psychological thriller without cheap jump scares, and there’s lots of pieces that don’t get put together until the very end.
Sara Tandy, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
Allll of the Halloween/Mike Meyers franchise
House of 1,000 Corpses
Hocus Pocus (for you scaredy cats)
Mei Kiu Lo, Catalog/Systems Librarian
The Ring (Japanese film). I haven’t watched it and never will.
Alex Clay Hutchings, Student Services Librarian
Raw, a French horror film directed by Julia Ducournau. A vegan veterinary student is forced to eat raw meat during a hazing ritual. Turns out she likes the taste of blood a bit too much.
Ana Luiza Ramos, 1L
Chucky: I cannot with Chucky. Toys coming to life freak me out (including Toy Story).
The Pope’s Exorcist: This is a new movie and it’s great! I really like Russell Crow and it was an amazing find, even though when I started watching it I didn’t know it was a horror movie. Couldn’t sleep afterwards.
Silence of the Lambs: This one is my favorite, and I don’t know why. I think it was the first scary movie I ever watched.
Sylvia Yanes, Faculty Services Librarian
Totally Killer. Not my all-time favorite, but the last one I saw. If you love Back to the Future or 80s horror movies and fashion, then you’ll be super entertained with this one.
Andy Spalding, Professor of Law
The funniest (quasi-) scary movie I’ve ever seen: Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.
Carl Tobias, Professor of Law
The Night of the Living Dead
Kristen Osenga, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law
I’ve always found Flash of Genius (Greg Kinnear) a little scary…but only because it’s about patent infringement. For a real recommendation – I’m terrified of the classic movie The Birds.
Kathy Greenier, Director of Emerging Careers
My pick is Practical Magic because who doesn’t love witches, magic, and ‘90’s fashion, all wrapped in a demon-slaying love story!
Janette Morgan, Acquisitions & Serials Manager
“House on Haunted Hill” So cheesy, so good!
Andrew Frank, Access Services Librarian
JAWS – People don’t think of it as a horror movie but that’s what it is.
Janice Craft, Professor of Law, Director of Professional Identity Formation
I haven’t seen the latest release, but I will never not love all the installments of the Evil Dead franchise, especially the earlier films directed by Sam Raimi. A man cuts off his demon-possessed hand with a chainsaw and later attaches said chainsaw to the amputated limb. Horror-comedy doesn’t get better than that.
A film that I haven’t yet watched but is on my list for this spooky season is “Talk to Me.” It’s received some decent buzz, with Esquire’s Sirena He calling it “one of the scariest films of the year.”
Carl Hamm, Multimedia Production and Technology Specialist
All time most scary movie for me is The Shining. I stayed up way past my bedtime when I was in 7th grade and watched it on Cable TV the night before a History test. Couldn’t sleep afterwards. Flunked the test. When I told the teacher why, he said he understood and let me make up the grade with an extra credit project. Write 100 times on the chalkboard: “All work and No Play Makes Carl a Dull Boy” (ok the last part isn’t true, but the rest of it is!).
Honorable mention for me is the 2018 re-make of Suspiria (soundtrack by Thom Yorke).
The original Italian version is really freaky too – they played it at the Byrd a few years ago with a simultaneous performance by the Italian Band Goblinwho composed the original soundtrack.
I also think the original 1970s Wickerman is a really dark and disturbing classic.
Other late night CableTV horror movies that I snuck downstairs late at night to watch:
Death Ship(1980), The Children (1980) (kids that hug you and then you burn into a piece of charcoal), the original Pet Semetary (which is actually a really lousy movie by the end of it, but starts off really good), and the 1990 Cable TV series of Stephen King’s IT.
And for a classic black and white haunted house movie, I love the 1963 original version of The Haunting.
A few Indian horror thrillers that I always love to recommend (which we included in this 2020 Blog Post on MuseNews)
Bhoot Bungla (Haunted House) , and Gumnaam– both Hindi films released in 1965. Two of the earlier Indian “horror” films ever made. Gumnaam is well known for giving us the wacky Indian rock tune, “Jaan Pahe Chaan Ho”, featured in Ghost World. The film is actually a sort of Hitchcock-style murder mystery, and is pretty slow at times, but the wacky cast, and early Bolly-rock music, make up for it. Bhoot Bungla is another Hindi ghost story film… it’s not a great plot, but the dancing skeleton music sequences make it worthwhile.
Oh gosh…. Another total favorite of mine is the creepy 1962 classic – Carnival of Souls!!! It’s so unique and wonderful and quite ahead of its time (and also laughably bad in some ways).
Chris Corts, Professor of Law
Carrieand Get Out would be my choices. Both vividly portray human beings as the most threatening, horrifying, horrible creatures imaginable. Both films unleash sheer terror on the audience by revealing mundane, familiar social interactions to be laced with venom, malevolence, and hate. We are all social creatures, so there really is no escape for any of us. Terrifying!
Jim Gibson, Professor of Law
Alien (like Jaws, it’s a horror movie disguised as something else)
The Ring (American version — rare instance of Hollywood improving on a J-horror original)
Blair Witch Project (the original found-footage flick, widely imitated but never surpassed)
Psycho (scared the living bejeezus out of me as a kid)
Marissa Jackson, Professor of Law
Not exactly scary, but is it even Halloween if you haven’t watched Hocus Pocus?!
Michael Dickerson, Law School Systems Admin
Circa 1987…The Monster Squad!
Meredith Harbach, Professor of Law
Poltergeist!!! Carol Anne, the creepy clown.
Jack Ellis, 2L
Warwick Davis’ personal favorite of all the Leprechaun films. This is the one where they finally realize the humor is more important to these movies than the horror. Plus, it’s set in Vegas and features a hilarious hack magician character. Oh, and the guy who wrote Kong: Skull Island starts speaking in limericks and eating potatoes when he gets infected by leprechaun blood.
This movie almost feels like an episode of Black Mirror, but it’s too good for that. A woman who suffers from nightmares of a dark figure joins a sleep study where it turns out all the participants suffer from a similar phantasmagorical stalker. The director wants watching the movie to feel like you’re in a dream yourself, and does a great job, especially with the help of an excellent soundtrack from Electric Youth. A movie that you can watch over and over and find new things to think about every time, while also making you want to keep the lights on at night.