Best Horror Films To Watch On Halloween 2021

There are many horror films that come out every year and they take most of the box office revenue along with superhero and comedy films. These are the best horror films to watch this Halloween 2021.

10. Psycho (1960)

original 1960 film poster

Director Alfred Hitchcock is no stranger to suspenseful films but many consider this to be his masterpiece. This film is great to watch on Halloween because it is one of those horror films that has emphasis on thrilling the audience thanks to the direction of Alfred Hitchcock and the very convincing performances particularly of Anthony Perkins. It is known to some for the infamous shower scene which is accompanied by its just as iconic score. Another thing with this film is that it was shot in black and white by cinematographer John L. Russel which just makes the film even creepier. Psycho was such a hit that it grossed 50 million dollars on a budget of 806,947 dollars, and garnered 4 Academy Award nominations (Best Director for Hitchcock, Best Supporting Actress for Janet Leigh, Best Art Direction for Joseph Hurley, Robert Clatworthy, and George Milo, and Best Cinematography in black and white for John L. Russel.) The film also spawned several sequels and remakes. Bong Joon-Ho(director of South Korean film Parasite) cites the film as one of his favorites. The film is now even considered one of the greatest of all time. 

9. The Invisible man (2020)

2020 poster

You may know the writer and director of this film Leigh Whannell as Adam in the first Saw film, for which he also wrote. This remake of the classic 1933 universal monster film is a great adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel and with a much more science fiction feel is even considered by many as better than the original adaptation. The film was made independently by Blumhouse Productions on a 7 million dollar budget and distributed by Universal Pictures who released the 1933 film. The film was a major commercial success grossing 143.2 million dollars before it was pulled out of theaters due to Covid-19. It was also a major critical success with critics singling out Elizebeth Moss’ performance, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote that Moss’s performance “gives the movie its emotional stakes,” adding, “while her agony can be unnerving, it is even more shivery when her weeping stops and this horror-movie damsel in distress becomes a threat.”

8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

original 1968 poster

I am sure you have heard the name of this film at least once before. The late George A. Romero created an independent cinematic masterpiece with this film that he directed, co-wrote with John Russo, photographed, and edited. This film helped to popularize the modern zombie which (similarly to Psycho) led to several sequels, spin offs, and remakes, several of which were also unofficial. The film also helped to popularize exploitation films that had just started to come out around that time. It is extremely relevant in pop culture being that zombie films are everywhere now and that everyone knows the title of this film. It also grossed more than 250 times its original budget of 114,000 dollars ultimately grossing 30 million dollars which made it one of the most profitable films at the time of its release.

7. The Thing (1982)

1982 poster

Director John Carpenter has become a legend in the horror and science fiction genres since he created the “Halloween” franchise in 1978 with Debra Hill. The film is an adaptation of the 1951 film “The Thing from Another World” which was an adaptation of the 1938 novel “Who Goes There?” by  John W. Campbell Jr. This film encapsulates some of the best things from horror, science fiction, mystery, and thriller. It is also one of those types of films where you know that no one is safe because the thing could kill someone and they could be the thing without anyone knowing. It has a truly suspenseful scene toward the middle of the film to see who is the thing by poking some people’s blood to see if it will react with a hot wire. The film also has a brilliant score composed by Ennio Morricone who also scored films like “The Hateful Eight” and “The Good,The Bad, and The Ugly” but his score was not very well received when it was released. The film received negative reviews at the time of its release and did horrible at the box office. Since its release it has been re-evaluates and has garnered critical acclaim and has even garnered a cult following.

6. Midsommar (2019)

2019 poster

Many people were anticipating the second film from Ari Aster after his 2018 directorial debut, A24’s “Hereditary”. Hereditary was dark and gritty and Midsommar is the complete opposite. It is full of color and Ari Aster’s attention to detail on this film is absolutely incredible. It was shot in Budapest, Hungary where they constructed several sets. The film can be disturbing to watch with the way horror combines with color in this film. It falls under the folk horror genre which has classics such as the original “Wicker man” film. It also has very personal situations to some at the beginning with that issue resolving by the end. The film garnered almost universal acclaim from critics praising Aster’s direction, and Florence Pugh’s performance. 

5. The Witch (2016)

2016 poster

The Witch is the directorial debut of Robert Eggers. The film is a period horror film that takes place in the 1600s but the film is also somewhat of a folk horror film. The film was released by A24  and premiered at the Sundance film festival, and garnered positive reviews particularly praising the performance of Anya Taylor-Joy. It was the first film by A24 to garner major critical acclaim and led the to pick up distribution rights to a lot more films and even led director Robert Eggers to win 2 film independent spirit awards(Best first feature, Best first screenplay). 

4. Lights out (2016)

2016 poster

Lights out is a 2016 independent horror film directed by David F. Sandberg in his directorial debut. The film was based on the 2013 short film of the same name that was written, produced, photographed, edited, and directed by Sandberg. In fact the first 7 minutes of the feature film could be a short film in itself. It is a very thrilling film with a great cast of actors. It uses silence to its advantage to build suspense to give a more thrilling experience in a great way. The film has even been regarded as one of the best horror films to come out since 2010. 

3. Saw (2004)

2004 poster

I am sure you have seen this film as many times as I have. But you can’t deny the impact that this film had when it was released in 2004. The film’s idea was created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell that they adapted into a short film. The feature script was written by Whannell and the film was directed by Wan. Whannel also stars in the film as the character Adam. The film has become notorious for its traps and excessive gore that many dismissed when the film was released. The film has since become a classic with many calling it one of the best horror films of all time.

2. From Dusk Till Dawn

1996 poster

From Dusk Till Dawn is an action horror film directed and edited by Robert Rodriguez, and written by Quentin Tarantino who also stars in the film. The film stars George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino as 2 criminal brothers on the run who take a family hostage and try to get across the border with them, only to stop at a club where they encounter vampires. The film did well at the box office but garnered mixed reactions at the time of its release. It has garnered some acclaim and has since been considered a cult classic.

  1. Rec
2007 poster

Rec is a 2007 Spanish found footage horror film co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. The film follows a reporter and her cameraman as they accompany a group of firefighters on an emergency call to an apartment building where a virus starts to rapidly spread. The situation quickly escalates after an infection begins spreading inside, with the building being sealed up and all occupants ordered to follow a strict quarantine. It spawned a series of remakes, 3 in spanish and 1 english remake of the original film but none of them generated the same acclaim as the original film. Today the film is seen as one of the best Spanish horror films and one of the best found footage horror films.

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