Graphic by Michelle Nelson
Graphic by Michelle Nelson

Halloween is this weekend, and in addition to the pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and various other ghoulish activities that we find ourselves enjoying at this time of year, watching horror movies has become a favorite pastime for many. Here is a list of five scary movies that may be less-known but are still as terrifying as the persistently popular movies such as “The Exorcist” and “Paranormal Activity.”
First on the list is “Session 9.” Released in 2001, this psychological horror movie runs a mere 1 hour 42 minutes but contains a chilling story. The story is about an asbestos crew who is going into an abandoned mental hospital to clean it up. They find a box of tapes, one of which entailed interviews with a former patient, Mary Hobbes, who had a dissociative identity disorder that left her with three personalities in addition to her own. The crew finds tunnels beneath the hospital and chaos breaks out from there as supernatural things start happening to the six-man crew. If you’re afraid of mental hospitals, this movie will reinforce that fear.
“Session 9” received 63% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.5 out of 10 on IMDB.
Second is “Oculus.” After watching this movie, which was released in 2013 and runs 1 hour 45 minutes, you’ll never see a mirror the same way again. Classified as a psychological-supernatural horror, it contains two timelines. These can be difficult to keep straight the when viewing this film for the first time but become clearer during a second viewing. The children of a family that experienced a series of terrible events return to their childhood home. The daughter (played by “Dr. Who’s” Karen Gillian) is convinced that the antique mirror her father used to decorate his study is the reason for all of their misfortune. It has a satisfying yet unexpected ending that will leave the viewer shocked.
“Oculus” received 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.5 out of 10 on IMDB.
Third on the list is “Trick ‘r Treat.” Released near the end of 2007, this slasher/drama clocks in at 1 hour 40 minutes. Along with “Session 9,” it was listed on Buzzfeed’s list of “19 Underrated Movies You Need to See ASAP.”  It contains four stories that take place on Halloween night. In 2013, it was announced that this movie will have a sequel, though no release date was given. There is quite a bit of gore in this movie and the storylines take a while to come together coherently.
“Trick ‘r Treat” received 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8 out of 10 on IMDB.
Fourth is “Babadook.” Pulled as a suggestion from Buzzfeed’s list of “31 Terrifying Horror Films to Stream this October,” “Babadook” is a drama/thriller that was released in 2014. This movie was shown at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was the third most-praised film of the year, according to its rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is about a child’s pop-up book containing a supernatural creature called “Mister Babadook.” The child in the movie, Sam, becomes convinced that the Babadook is following them. Although it’s a little shorter than the other films in this list at only 1 hour 34 minutes, it’s a satisfying scare that will leave you jumpy.
“Babadook” received 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.9 out of 10 on IMDB.
Last on the list is a movie for people who would rather not be scared out of their minds this Halloween. “Beetlejuice,” released in 1988, is a Tim Burton movie that, while not truly a horror film, does have Halloween aspects to it that make it fun to watch. For those few who have not seen this classic, it revolves around the journey of a couple who have recently died and have started to haunt their former home. It has some laughs, some mild scares and some strange stuff that will leave you both confused and satisfied at the end.
“Beetlejuice” received 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5 out of 10 on IMDB.

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