Arts & Life

The ultimate guide to horror recommendations

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to prepare with movies, shows and books to get in the spooky spirit.

Here are some great horror recommendations to check out this October if you’re brave enough.

Movies

1. “The Thing” (1982) directed by John Carpenter

The creature that torments the characters throughout "The Thing" (1982) is pictured in a publicity still for the film.
The creature that torments the characters throughout “The Thing” (1982) is pictured in a publicity still for the film. Photo credit: Universal Pictures & Wikimedia Commons

Director John Carpenter’s cult-classic hit movie “Halloween” (1978) isn’t his only horror masterpiece.

“The Thing” follows a relatively simple plot: a group of researchers in Antarctica end up finding a strange and deadly creature in their isolated research station. The creature is able to take the form of anything – or anyone – that it kills.

The constant feeling of isolation, aided by the Antarctic setting, and the inability to trust if anyone has been taken over by the ‘thing’ allows Carpenter to bring science fiction together with horror elements.

2. “Possession” (1981) directed by Andrzej Żuławski

 

Truthfully, there’s no simple way to describe this film. Without spoiling too much, the plot revolves around Anna and Mark, a married couple looking to get a divorce.

Their marriage drama alone is truly enough nightmare fuel to make this a horror movie, but the truth behind Anna’s erratic and seemingly unhinged behavior takes it to another level.

Isabelle Adjani‘s performance as Anna is one of the most impressive in horror movies and a huge factor in what makes this one-of-a-kind film a must-watch.

“Possession” (1981) is a bizarre watch, but undoubtedly a great one.

Television

1. “Twin Peaks” (1990) created by Mark Frost and David Lynch

The CD for the soundtrack from "Twin Peaks" (1990), which was composed by Angelo Badalamenti for the show.
The CD for the iconic soundtrack from “Twin Peaks” (1990). It was composed by Angelo Badalamenti for the show and is widely regarded as one of the best soundtracks of all time. Photo credit: Sofia Cuevas

“Twin Peaks” explores a different approach to the popular murder-mystery genre. It blends the crime genre with campy characters, surreal dream sequences and overall mind-boggling scenes.

Many popular shows, such as “The X-Files” (1993), “Stranger Things” (2016) and “Black Mirror” (2011) are heavily inspired by “Twin Peaks.”

The show’s small-town murder mystery plot combined with director David Lynch‘s signature of unsettling surrealism makes it one of the most influential and unique in the horror genre.

2. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997) created by Joss Whedon

Although not as nightmare-inducing as other titles on this list, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is still a great horror show at its core. Don’t get too comfortable though, as it still has its fair share of episodes that will keep you up at night.

“Hush” is one of the show’s highest-rated episodes on IMDB and it is arguably the most terrifying one. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a perfect blend of teen drama, horror and comedy.

For every episode that deals with killing a monster that wants to eradicate the human race, there’s another focused on Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) getting to prom on time and sorting out her complicated teenage love life.

Books

1. “Carmilla” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

A copy of "Carmilla" by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, which was first published in 1871. This edition includes an introduction and notes by Carmen Maria Machado, author of "In the Dream House", "Her Body and Other Parties" and more.
A copy of “Carmilla” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, which was first published in 1871. This edition includes an introduction and notes by Carmen Maria Machado, author of “In the Dream House,””Her Body and Other Parties” and more. Photo credit: Sofia Cuevas

When people think of classic vampire novels, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is often the first that comes to mind. “Carmilla” tends to be overlooked in this conversation, even though it precedes “Dracula” by 26 years and served as a major inspiration for it.

It’s a quick read that unravels the story of a female vampire, Carmilla, who seduces a young woman by the name of Laura. The novel was one of the first to incorporate seductive and sensual vampire trope.

The gothic atmosphere, vibrant world-building and excellent storytelling make “Carmilla” a book you won’t be able to put down.

2. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

A copy of Mary Shelley&squot;s "Frankenstein", which was first published in 1818. "Frankenstein" has become one of the most famous and influential horror novels of all time.
A copy of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” which was first published in 1818. “Frankenstein” has become one of the most famous and influential horror novels of all time. Photo credit: Sofia Cuevas

With “Frankenstein” everyone knows about the monster and the mad scientist. Many people still think that Frankenstein is the name of the creature, so it’s not absurd to assume that there’s a huge group of people who aren’t familiar with the original novel.

“Frankenstein” is a relatively short and easy classic to get into, making it accessible for beginners that aren’t used to reading them. The novel tells the fascinating tale of a man, Victor Frankenstein, who is haunted by his own creation, the creature.

“Frankenstein” is a story that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime, especially if they are fans of the horror genre.

With so many horror recommendations now at hand, there’s no reason to be lacking in spirit for this upcoming Halloween.

 

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