Arts & Entertainment Feature

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Written by Daffen Perez and Nick Marin

Daffen’s picks:

1. The Blackphone (2021)

Top on my list. I watched this movie over the summer, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. This film kept my attention with a couple of jump scares and an intriguing storyline. Finney, a shy but astute 13-year-old boy, is kidnapped and imprisoned in a soundproof basement where screaming is ineffective. Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims when a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring. They are determined to ensure that Finney does not suffer the same fate as them.

2. Halloween Kills (2021)

I watched this movie last year when it came out and was pleased with the ending. The movie had some humor to it along with the thriller. The town of Haddonfield is inspired to rise against Michael Myers. The Strode sisters join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage, who decide to take matters into their own hands. They form a vigilante mob to hunt Michael down once and for all. I’m looking forward to watching Halloween Ends, which came out in theaters October 14.

3. Smile (2022)

Just from the trailer, I could already tell there would be a few jump scares in this movie. To keep up with the plot, you may have to pay close attention. Dr. Rose Cotter begins experiencing frightening occurrences that she cannot explain after witnessing a strange, traumatic incident involving a patient. Rose must confront her troubling past to survive and escape her terrifying new reality as an overwhelming terror takes over her life.


My first TV series on this list. This show has been #1 on Netflix and I’ve watched it around 3 times (not by choice). Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the long-term preservation of body parts sometimes the whole skeleton and other times only a few body parts. People around me have been talking about this disturbing serial killer and are taken aback by how Dahmer was able to get away with these murders. Evan Peters did a great job of portraying the sickness of Jeffrey Dahmer.

5. Child’s Play (1988)

This movie is a throwback and a good one. This classic popularized the trope of possessed dolls, which could even murder people. After being shot by Detective Mike Norris, dying murderer, Charles Lee Ray, uses black magic to encase his soul inside a doll named Chucky, which Karen Barclay then purchases for her young son, Andy. When Chucky murders Andy’s babysitter, the boy realizes the doll is still alive and tries to warn others, but he is institutionalized. Karen must now persuade the detective of Chucky’s intentions, before he gets Andy next! (Chucky would also make an adorable Halloween costume for a younger family member or pet!)

Nick’s picks:

6. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

This adaptation depicts new renditions of four beloved Twilight Zone tales. Said tales range from themes of the holocaust, to youth, to family, to paranoia. I personally adore this film for its bold reworkings of the original stories, as well as outstanding use of lighting and symbolism. Puppetry is even used in the third section of the film, based on It’s A Good Life. This is a great movie to watch with friends on Halloween as it not only provides insightful commentary on the aforementioned topics, but is a visual delight.

7. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This film is without a doubt, a staple in the slasher genre. For the time, Nightmare on Elm Street was groundbreaking as it subverted the common trope of a cunning and silent murderer. Instead, audiences were presented with a slasher (Freddy Kreuger) who used slumber and surrealism to capture his victims’ souls. Admittedly, I do have a bias for this movie as it was my introduction to horror during my younger years- however, that is the exact reason I would recommend this. It is a horror milestone, as well as a true classic of its time. A re-watch of this film is practically a prerequisite for a successful Halloween binge.

8. Suspiria (1977)

Off the bat, one of the most visually appealing and colorful movies on this list. If anything, that is what Suspiria is known for- its dramatic lighting and aesthetic choices. Its lighting is daring, purposeful, and evocative- a major inspiration for my own photography. This film is a treat, optically and structurally. It revolves around Suzy, who travels to Germany for dance school. All is well until girls start missing, and a witching scheme begins to unveil itself. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants an introduction to the horror genre, or any filmmaker that is seeking stylistic inspiration.

9. As Above, So Below (2014)

This deep dive into the catacombs offers an intriguing take on Dante’s Inferno. This film follows Scarlett, an archaeologist who is set on uncovering a sacred stone. As she and her team descend past France’s catacombs, they grow increasingly aware of their stakes, and must face their demons upon each circle of hell. Admittedly, I did not think much of this film upon first watch, but on a recent re-watch, I developed a newfound respect for it. There are many hidden symbols that originally went over my head, and the notion of Dante’s Inferno only became clear to me upon it being pointed out. I recommend As Above, So Below for the bizarre events that occur within it, as well its thoughtful take on the found footage genre.

10. Man Behind the Sun (1989)

Probably the most intense watch out of this list, Man Behind the Sun exposes the real life horror of human testing in Japan during World War II. The movie goes to extreme lengths to showcase the kinds of experiments done during this era, including the dissection of a living human body, as well as the peeling of limbs during temperature tests. This movie is visceral, bluntly put, but a truly educative and eye-opening recount of the true horrors many Chinese prisoners experienced themselves. Though I recommend this film for its petrifying recounts, it is not for those with a weak stomach and emotional sensitivity. Proceed with caution.