“No one could. No one lives any nearer than the town. No one else will come any nearer than that. In the night,” Mrs. Dudley said, and smiled outright. “In the dark,” she said, and closed the door behind her. - "The Haunting of Hill House"
I honestly do not like slasher films. I don’t need to see some mad person running around with a mask on, wielding some non-descript weapon hacking up people. That is not scary to me. That is just unimaginative. I know I am making a lot of friends right now, especially during the Halloween season. But hear me out. The type of horror films I watch are the psychological thrillers. Our imaginations are so much more twisted than what a movie could conjure up. Why not use that to our advantage? Sometimes what is unseen is the scariest. Try some of these movies out. They are always on rotation during this time of year for me.
1. The Haunting (1963)
Based on Shirley Jackson’s book “The Haunting of Hill House”. This is the original version, not the remake done in 1999. That version is not worth watching. In the book as well as the movie they mention a house being “born bad” and that Hill House when built was off on all its angels by a slight amount. So that if you added them up as a whole, it was a giant mistake. The house even from the moment it was finished knew nothing but death and as such took in that horrible evil and let it seep into the walls. An amazing set of actors that bring home the madness that a haunting such as this, can cause.
2. The Changeling (1980)
George C. Scott stars as a father who loses his family in a horrible car accident. When he moves, he hopes to find peace and delve into his composing. However, the house he rents out has other plans for him. Awesome story telling and overall great thriller to add to the spooky collection.
3. The Conjuring (2013)
Even though this movie uses visuals to jump scare you, there is enough ambience and build up to count as a psychological thriller. The use of true stories, sound, and cinematography lead to an amazing experience. I am not a huge fan of Lili Taylor; in fact, she was in the crappy version of “The Haunting” I mentioned. Putting that aside, Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga as Ed & Lorraine Warren are phenomenal.
4. The Uninvited (1944)
This may seem dated, and the acting of the old Hollywood can be a little hokey, but there is no denying that the story is awesome. The use of music, lighting, and that good ole Hollywood special effects. A brother and sister find a beautiful old house close to a cliff. They decide to buy it but find out there is a deeper story and a reason why the house was so easily attainable. Give it a chance, I think you’ll like it.
5. The Lady in White (1988)
This movie is also considered a mystery thriller. The beginning starts with a narration from the main character recalling his life in the small town. One particular year is what stood out to him. It is set around some murders that happened decades before and a disappearance of a little girl. We follow the main character on a journey of ghosts and solving a years old cold case. Loosely based off the legend of the woman in white. Awesome story telling.
These are but a few movies I could have mentioned. I felt that these were a good selection for a top five. These stuck out to me, and I enjoy watching them during the Halloween season. So, instead of limbs being cut off, some weirdo in a mask with a vendetta, try out some of these psychological thrillers. Change it up a bit. It is the perfect time to expand your horizons.