Fun or scary movies?

Connor Drobny and Ela Jain

Rocky Horror Picture Show

A cult classic film, Rocky Horror Picture Show. is a camp musical comedy that has become famous for its interactive audience live showings. It follows the story of Brad (Barry Botswick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), a newlywed couple visiting a friend, when they find themselves stuck in a haunted house run by Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a stylish mad scientist who creates life and stirs up trouble. Rocky Horror Picture Show experiments with the rules of cinema with its loud fashion, energetic musical numbers, and above all, the character of Frank-N-Furter, a bisexual androgynous seducer who creates a web of tricks and games in order to entertain himself. This movie brought a host of homages, anywhere from The Simpsons to Glee, and inspired movies like Hedwig and the Angry Inch and House of 1000 Corpses. Not only was Rocky Horror ahead of its time in the 1970s, it’s ahead of its time now, and there is really nothing else like it. 


What We Do In The Shadows

What We Do In The Shadows is a horror comedy about three roommates living life, with the added twist that they are all vampires. It is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and though it’s slow paced, each scene is a laugh. Viago (Taika Waititi), Vladislav (Jermaine Clements), and Deacon (Jonny Brugh) all add a comedic performance to a well written script. This movie masters the mockumentary format and allows the characters to acknowledge and have fun with the cameras throughout the film. While the gory nature and crass humor might not be for everyone, What We Do In The Shadows is delightfully funny and well made. 


Muppets: Haunted Mansion

Muppets: Haunted Mansion is a film that perfectly captures the halloween spirit while bringing the lovable muppets into a comedy story. The story follows Gonzo trying to live through his idol, the Great Macguffin’s (Will Arnett), by staying in the haunted mansion where the Great Macguffin died. This movie perfectly encapsulates halloween drama and mystery with a brilliant cast, complete with an ensemble of ghosts. On top of that, this movie is a musical, and each song brought intrigue to the haunted house. I greatly enjoyed Muppets: Haunted Mansion, and it brought a halloween whimsy perfect for the season.



Labyrinth follows a young girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who in a fit of rage wishes for her baby brother to be taken away by the Goblin King (David Bowie), and must retrieve him when her wish comes true. The movie stars goblins as it’s main halloween monster, but Sarah encounters many interesting monsters on her way. While David Bowie’s electric performance brought this movie its popularity, director Jim Henson brought the artistry of the movie to a new level by creating incredibly detailed puppets as the stars of the show. The puppets are so beautifully made and lifelike, it is impossible not to be impressed by them. While the dialogue is awkward, it’s written in an unintentionally funny way. The wonderfully charming film is a must-watch for any and all halloween fans. 


Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School

Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School follows the story of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and Scrappy-Doo after being hired as gym teachers at an all-girls boarding school to be halloween monsters. This movie has every kind of halloween monster that a person could dream of: mummies, vampires, zombies, phantoms, and more. The designs provide a chilling ambience, and the design of each student at the boarding school is very unique, with each of the main girls having a different style representing what halloween creature they are. The pacing is incredibly strange, which may not be up everyone’s alley, but it makes the movie all the funnier. The plot, at one point, stops entirely for an extended volleyball sequence, but speeds through an important halloween party. Overall, Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School is a must watch when it comes to Halloween movies.



Arguably, It (2018) sits as the only horror film better than the book it was based on. The drowsy town of Derry is an incredibly meta setting for a horror movie, and all 7 main characters exude realistic depth. Bill Skarsgård, accompanied by the makeup and visual effects team, perfect the look and personality of the sadistic antagonist, Pennywise. However, the unexpected sense of realism is what separates this movie from other horror films. One might think that a movie about an interdimensional shape-shifter would be totally unrelatable, but the display of sexual and physical abuse, self-harm, and the loss of innocence all resonate on a deeper note.


The Shining

Similar to other older horror films, there are no jumpscares or traditionally horrifying monsters inThe Shining. The strengths of the movie lie in its original setting and plot, complemented by even better acting. Jack Nicholson plays the antagonizing Jack Torrance to perfection, displaying violent cabin fever. Some criticize Shelly Duvall’s portrayal of Wendy Torrence, arguing that she was annoying to a fault. However, I believe this was intentional, as it adds another layer of depth to Jack’s eventual insanity and almost makes the viewer pity him. Sadly, the characters do not retain the same depth that they have in the book, which is a shame given it was one of the book’s strong suits. 


The Exorcist

The Exorcist is one of the movies your dad tells you not to watch, and rightfully so. It is not as scary as It and not as tense as The Shining, but retains possibly the greatest plot and cinematography of all the movies on this list and possibly all horror movies of all time. Because of the depth of the plot, the movie can be hard to follow at times, as the viewer is tasked with keeping track of many character names, and a slew of quiet conversations. Unfortunately, this movie has not aged as well as others on this list, as some of the scenes can be almost comical with how dramatic they are. 


The Thing

A story about a violent alien stalking isolated humans was not unheard of when The Thing came out in 1982, as the generational Alien came out only three years before. Yet, the antagonistic “thing” in the film of the same name is much more original than that of Alien. Although the movie suffers from a lack of character depth, it keeps the viewer entangled within the story due to its puzzle of a plot. The Thing has the watcher question who is actually human and who is not, even through the end credits. The original plot and visual effects that rival those of modern times made the movie age perfectly. The characters and chronology of events can be found to be a little corny and predictable, but the movie is still a great watch if one is not too afraid of blood and gore.


28 days later

The zombie film is an infamous subgenre of horror, and, even with all the competitors, 28 Days Later might do the zombie film best. The movie is intense, with scenes being more heart pounding than scary at times. The realism of this movie is what truly brings it home. The actions of the characters are even scarier than the zombies (if you can truly call them that) themselves. The fact that the movie has multiple dimensions makes it more interesting and allows the movie to have a deeper meaning. However, the movie can be slow at times and some scenes feel unnecessary, particularly at the beginning and the end.