Getting ready for Halloween is one of my cherished times of the year. I start hoarding skull travel cups from the drug stores, I blueprint what costumes I can make for my kitties, and finally, it’s considered “normal” to binge watch a lot of my favorite films. Instead of making a list of the best horror films to watch this season (I hope we all have seen the Shining, Halloween, and the Exorcist by now), I ruminated over a different kind of list… Most of these could be considered sci-fi or psychological thrillers, and even “tame” in the eyes of many horror cinephiles, but I prefer creepier— more imaginative— horror plots. Here are my own recommendations for everyone who’s in the mood for something spine-tingling, sinister, disturbing, shocking, but nonetheless— human (even when they are monsters).
8. Altered States (1980), directed by Ken Russell.
This one is for the sci-fi lovers out there— A doctor who experiments on himself with hallucinatory drugs and isolation chambers, this movie comments on creation and the power of the human ego. It’s packed with visceral visuals, accompanied by bits of pseudo-intellectual gab.