Horror movies to watch on Halloween night

Design: Syeda Afrin Tarannum

If you're on the lookout for something to watch on occasion of Halloween night, look no further. Starting from popular horror titles to found-footage movies and even a Marathi horror-comedy classic, this list has you covered for a night of terror and/or laughs. 

Hereditary (2018)

Ari Aster's Hereditary follows the life of the Graham family in the aftermath of the matriarch's death and the strange events that followed. The family soon begin to unravel the secrets of their ancestry as tragedy continues to plague them in horrific ways.

Apart from the horror elements, the movie paints a harrowing picture of familial dynamics when dealing with tragedy, which in turn become one of the most memorable aspects. Furthermore, the marketing around the movie contributed to its biggest plot twist, which sets the tone for the entire movie. 

Since its release, the movie has gained the reputation for being Aster's best work and arguably thrust A24 into the mainstream spotlight. Ari Aster followed up with Midsommar in the following year which has its own charms, but Hereditary rightfully takes the throne for being his best work.

Audition (1999) 

Shigeharu Aoyama is a widower who agrees to sit in on his friend's mock audition's to find a potential new wife. The young and beautiful Yamazaki Asami catches his eye and the two soon begin a courtship. At the height of their relationship, Shigeharu starts to discover extremely troubling facets of Asami's life, which paves the way for the horrors that follow.

In Audition, director Takashi Miike's signature themes of sadism and pain intertwined with complex emotions shines through, with Asami and Shingeharu's blossoming relationship juxtaposed with body horror. 

If you're in the mood for some psychological thriller combined with gore, Audition may be a good pick. However, if body horror makes you queasy, look away. 

[REC] (2007)

For the found-footage enthusiasts, [REC] may be a strong contender for your movie of  the night. Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, the movie chronicles the events of one night when a television reporter and her camera crew shadow the local firefighters and eventually become trapped inside an apartment building. The film is shot entirely in the found-footage style, as the camera crew try to uncover the horrific situation they are stuck in while simultaneously doing their best to survive.

As with most found-footage movies, the adrenaline is amped to a maximum as the finesse from traditional filmmaking is replaced with shaky camera work. [REC] exemplifies what makes found-footage so great through its fast-paced plot, highly tense atmosphere, and stellar performances. The immersive atmosphere of the movie further allows viewers to get an up close and personal look at how we all might react in such terrifying circumstances. 

The Wailing (2016) 

Na Hong-jin's The Wailing follows the events of a small village where strange happenings begin to take place when a mysterious stranger arrives. The film focuses on an all-too-human policeman who is desperately trying to save his daughter from the mysterious illness which has struck the village, while leading up to the disturbing conclusion.

The runtime of two and a half hours may be daunting, but for horror fans who appreciate slow burners, this may be it for you. Na Hong-jin's filmmaking skills often makes the movie fly by as the viewers become immersed in trying to figure out what exactly is going on in this strange village with its strange residents. The movie relies entirely on implementing horror elements building tension, as traditional horror elements like jumpscares or direct violence are kept to the bare minimum. 

Makdee (2002)

Many of us will probably remember this iconic movie from our childhood through brief flashes of an absolutely terrifying witch who has an affinity for chickens. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Makdee follows the troubles a little girl named Chunni has to go through after her twin sister, Munni, is turned into a hen by the witch Makdee, who is said to haunt the abandoned mansion in their village. 

The film has become a cult classic and has managed to stick with most of us even after 20 years since its release. Shabhana Azmi gives a stellar performance as the titular Makdee, striking fear into our hearts with chicken blood.

If you want childhood nostalgia to reawaken your fear of being turned into a hen by the local witch, Makdee is the movie for you. 

Zapatlela (1993)

Last but certainly not the least, Zapatlela is here to serve your horror comedy needs for the night. The Marathi horror comedy directed by Mahesh Kothare is an adaptation of the infamous Child's Play, replacing Chucky with the iconic Tatya Bichoo, a ventriloquist doll serving as the host body for a wanted criminal's spirit.

Zapatlela is perfect for a night of horror and laughs if you're not in the mood for something actually scary. If the photo of Tatya Bichoo alone isn't enough to pique your interests, the phrase "Marathi Child's Play" hopefully did the trick.