BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
I love films in general. In particular, I’ve grown to love horror movies; for anyone who has known me for a long time, this wasn’t always the case. I used to scare easily, but over the years, I’ve learned to embrace feeling frightened. As such, I rounded up some of my favorite scary movies to watch this Halloween season. Many of these are iconic, and some are what I would consider “new classics.”
The Wicker Man
The original 1973 folk horror film is a classic with Christopher Lee. It is set in a small town on an island where the townspeople follow a religion all their own. This film clearly has inspired many folk horror films after (besides its remake) like Midsommar.
The 1967 Russian film is based on the Nikolai Gogol story of the same name. It is set in a remote Russian village where a young new priest is sent. Let’s just say, things don’t quite go the way he imagines.
This is probably John Carpenter’s most revered film, and it’s for a reason. This space horror alien film is still creepy - and speaks to our fears of the unknown, of not being able to control our own bodies. It may not be 1982 anymore, but we still fear many of the same things. Plus, who doesn’t love Kurt Russell?
This 2015 film is the newest of the bunch, but it is breathtaking, beautiful, and strange. It captures not only demonic horror, but the political issues and oppressions of the day when it came to religion, class, sexuality, and gender. This isn’t just a scary film because of its spookiness, but because of how society itself functions.
Cat in the Brain
The 1990 slasher film made by none other than Italian director Fulci is comically strange. If you don’t like slasher films, this isn’t for you. I typically am not a huge fan of flasher/B-horror films, however this just downright bizarre - and an example of how women are violently treated and cast aside in horror films.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Marys of the Sea, Sexting Ghosts, Xenos, No(body), #Survivor, (forthcoming, The Operating System), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault. They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes Poetry and the senior managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Them, Brooklyn Magazine, BUST, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalente / FB: joannacvalente