These Netflix chillers will be knocking your socks off

A look into the personal best picks for the spookiest horror movies to watch during the fall season.

Sienna Stock, Staff Writer

With the selection of well over 100 horror movies on Netflix, it can be hard to choose which ones are worth watching this year. Under the “Netflix and Chills” tag, the genres can range between traditional horror movies such as Children of the Corn or Hellraiser, to the more silly and family-friendly movies like Ghostbusters. Keeping this in mind, here are 10 top picks ranging from family-friendly to rated R.

Before we get into these selections, it’s important to figure out how exactly to watch a horror movie. The formula is practically cut and paste, but it’s a little more complicated than just grabbing some popcorn. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your two-hour experience:

Turn the lights off and shut your doors and windows: The lights being off is essential to any horror movie, as you don’t want any outside distractions to prevent you from being pulled into the story. It allows paranoia to set in. We want complete darkness for the complete movie experience! Put yourself in the place of the victim.

Get snacks: Get as many snacks as possible so you don’t have to leave during the movie. You may not get as spooked if you have to head to your bright kitchen to grab some pretzels.

Have someone else with you: Don’t be afraid to have company! Sometimes horror movies are best with an extra person, and the company will help you sleep easy knowing someone else has your back.

Keep the volume up: Regardless of how scary the movie may be, don’t lower the volume! It’s important to get the full effect of any jumpscares or suspenseful moments that come your way.

Now that you are on the right path to appreciating horror movies, here is my top picks for 2018 (in no particular order):

The Shining (R) The Shining seems almost too popular to put on this list, but It’s absolutely one of my favorite Halloween movies to date. Jack Nicholson does an amazing job at portraying a man’s turn to insanity while stuck inside the walls of an isolated hotel for winter. Overall, it’s a must-see movie for anyone who wants a good scare.

The Lost Boys (PG-13)  If there is one thing I’d have to say about The Lost Boys, it would be that the soundtrack is amazing. Though it’s repeated a couple of times, “Cry Little Sister” is still one of my favorite songs to listen to. Moreover, the movie is an extremely fun horror comedy that mostly features vampires. It has its freaky moments for sure, but it’s still very mild on the “fright” spectrum.  It starts with two teenage brothers moving to northern California with their mother. On their journey of fitting in, things take a weird turn. I know people have lots of love for classics – including me – which is one of the reasons I included it on my list.

The Sixth Sense (PG-13) This properly can be seen as M Night Shyamalan’s best movie. The Sixth Sense drags you through a world from the eyes of a therapist into something much more twisted. Personally, I see Haley Joel Osment as an amazing child actor, which is particularly rare with older horror movies. This has one of the craziest plot twists that is beneficial to the story, and continues to freak me out to this day. The Sixth Sense properly introduces suspense and uses it to obtain genuine anxiety. This movie really does it in the scare factor, and is another must-watch for Halloween.

The Conjuring (R) I can’t say I am a big fan of modern horror, but the Conjuring will leave you with chills. The setting starts in a farmhouse, and we watch as a family begins to sense something peculiar. This eventually escalates into something much, much worse. In terms of scariness, I’d put it pretty high on the list. It’s fun for those who are willing to watch it.

The Babadook (R) I absolutely love this movie. It plays with your imagination and what you perceive, so when you actually see the thing scaring you, it’s a little strange. I adore how the story implements a children’s book as its main source. This could’ve gone down a completely different direction, but it turns out to be an absolute masterpiece. It can best be described as a mother’s depression taking a turn as she has to deal with her increasingly difficult child. Another fantastic movie to watch with friends, or even alone.

Train to Busan (R) I don’t speak or read Korean, but I think the movie did a good job overall. I wanted to include international movies, because I feel they are underrepresented in the horror genre. Is this movie a little over the top? Yes. There’s a lot of gore and demonic faces that are used to scare you, but it’s extremely effective. The movie takes place when a businessman turned divorced father has to take his child to Busan to go see her mother. During which, a viral outbreak affects everything as they know it. What’s Halloween without a zombie movie? I definitely think it’s worth a watch with the right audience.

Coraline (G) Coraline can still be considered a scary movie, despite being marketed for kids. The concept of having buttons for eyes is what really freaks me out.It all starts when a girl named Coraline finds a secret door in her house that leads her to another world similar to her own. The world is in many ways better, until the people try to keep her there. Its use of stop motion makes me think of Tim Burton, but he had nothing to do with the project. It’s refreshing to see someone with this style and producing more one of a kind pieces.

Veronica (R) Veronica is the main reason I wanted to include some international horror movies. It’s absolutely beautiful, and very unnerving too. During a solar eclipse, a young girl named Veronica tries to summon her father from the dead using a Ouija board. As the days progress, things only begin to get worse.  Both the beginning and end of the story tell you that it was based on true fact, which is the main reason you go into the movie feeling so anxious. The progression is so subtle that you find yourself jumping when the smallest of things happen. Overall Veronica is another must watch. It’s up at the top in terms of cinematography and use of suspense, similar to The Sixth Sense.

Van Helsing (R) I find Van Helsing to be a fun little romp. Hugh Jackman (Portraying the character Van Helsing) has his hands full hunting down monsters, but when vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein all show up, things get a little complicated. It has a few jumpscares, but it overall relies on the use of colorful CGI, which really stakes it as an action/horror flick. The CGI also holds up a bit better than I originally expected. It’s a good movie to watch during or after Halloween with some friends. Not too scary, but it has an interesting story.

Oculus (R)  A little bit of distortion goes a long way. That’s the overall theme of Oculus, and like The Conjuring, it’s been pretty well received with critics. It doesn’t rely on funny jumpscares to put you in the mood, which is commonplace for most modern movies. The plot is Kaylie and Tim, both haunted by their parent’s deaths ten years earlier, are trying to mend their relationship. Overtime, they begin to suspect the strange happenings are caused by a mirror called the Lasser Glass. Things begin to unfold once they think their parents died as a result of it. Oculus is a psychological horror that relies on the person thinking about jumpscares rather than the unknown. Overall, I think this is also pretty high up in scary movies and another essential watch for 2018.

This concludes my list of the best horror movies to watch on Netflix this year. Though some tough choices had to be made, I narrowed it down to the most important. I tried to include a lot of diverse themes, so you can have a variety of scares to choose from.  Remember to change your pants and Happy Halloween!