Top Horror Movies on Netflix

Jenna Olson, Staff Writer

All year I countdown the days until October. It is socially acceptable to wear sweaters everyday, the weather cools down, and most of all, it is the perfect time of year to hide in a dark basement and watch horror movies.

Personally, I have not seen very many horror movies. I find a good movie and I rewatch it religiously, but this time I decided to switch it up.

I asked four different people what their favorite horror movies are, and decided to watch them. The responses I got were: The Shining, The Babadook, The Sixth Sense, and The Children of the Corn.

The Shining

The Shining, released in 1980, follows Jack Torrance, a Winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. He moves in with his wife, Becky, and his son, Danny, who has psychic premonitions. As Danny’s visions become more alarming, Jack learns the dark secrets of the hotel’s past and slowly becomes a homicidal maniac determined on terrorizing his family.

People consider The Shining a “cinematic masterpiece” but I was left disappointed. Scariest movie of all time? No, not really. It was not even particularly scary.

Admittedly, a lot of it was well done. The little girls were the best part. They were great. The camera shots through the hallways were pretty cool. There was a good sense of ‘What horrors could be lurking around the corner?’ as the camera follows Danny through the halls.

But aside from those things, much of the movie did not work so well. Jack Torrance was more hilarious than menacing. His witty dialogue provided many laughs, but watching him slowly stumbling around holding an axe was hardly what I would call horror.

The story was completely nonsensical. There is no explanation for almost everything that happens in the movie! Here is where I will probably get ridiculed by the movie’s fans for not “getting it,” but I am convinced this is really a case where the movie-makers themselves had no clue what it all meant. They just threw all this random imagery at us just to confuse us and convince us that it’s actually brilliant.

Though this movie did not make perfect sense, I can not deny that it was well made. The actors were amazing at portraying their roles and the camera work was done amazingly as well. All in all, The Shining earned a 5/10.

The Babadook

The Babadook, released in 2014, is about Amelia, a single mother struggling to cope with the recent loss of her husband due to a car crash, and her son, Sam. Sam’s constant fear of monsters and violent reactions are making it harder to move on which causes her friends to become more distant. One night, Sam wants Amelia to read a book to him that she has never seen before, ‘The Babadook’, which is about a monster who lives in the dark areas of their house. After Sam becomes paranoid of the Babadook, Amelia begins to feel the effects of the creature and tries to get rid of it before she morphs into a monster with no control.

You do not need violence and gore to make a horror movie. And Babadook is a fine example.

Even though the idea itself is nothing new, I found this movie interesting. Mostly because of the actors who did a really amazing job and greatly contributed to the overall impression of a dark and bleak atmosphere, with their frustration and agony very well depicted. It is a psychological horror story, but only mildly frightening.

Along with The Shining, the camera work was great. The occasional shakiness of the camera added uneasiness to as simple of a scene as running downstairs. A few objections are due to the very slow pace of the movie, and due to the fact that some quite important story-related things are left unexplained. I think The Babadook deserves a 7/10.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense, released in 1999, is about a child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, who is working with a nine year old boy, Cole Sear, who claims to be able to see dead people. Because of this, he is considered a freak among his peers. At first, Malcolm believed that Cole was just seeing things. But when he started spending more time with him, he discovers that Cole may be seeing dead people after all.

This film is good, but it is all about atmosphere. You need to get into the feel of it to enjoy it. If you do not like the atmosphere you do not like the film, it is as simple as that. I personally found it quite boring in places due to me not getting invested. They took ages to say things or do things.

The acting of course is brilliant, you can not help but love the strange boy. He seems so innocent yet all the time he is seeing these horrible things that come across quite scarily when you do not understand what is going on initially. Bruce Willis is good but I feel sometimes all he does is whisper and look depressed. I suppose that is his role but he could have put a bit more presence into it.

As for the plot, it is great but takes a while to get going. The huge twist at the end I never saw coming because of the way they carefully have interwoven Malcolm into scenes. I never suspected it for one moment. The Sixth Sense took me a while to grasp but once I did, it was a solid 8/10.

Children of the Corn

Children of the Corn, released in 1984, is about a couple, Vicky and Burt, who are driving cross country for Burt’s new job. They pass through many corn fields but come across an obstacle when they hit a little boy who ran out of the fields. Burt and Vicky drive through Gatlin, Nebraska trying to find a phone to report the accident when they realize they can not leave the town. The city of Gatlin is populated of a group of children who have created a cult-like religion to “he who walks behind the rows.” They then try to capture Vicky and Burt for a sacrifice for their god.

This movie is low budget, the cast is made up of amateurs, and the script is terrible. The music is satisfyingly creepy.

This is one of those movies with a very exciting title and a great poster. The name is full of promise, the mayhem and creepiness are pretty much guaranteed, yet the end product is incredibly dull.

There are only a few memorable moments, and they have to do with Linda Hamilton, the only professional actor in the cast, apparently. There is a scene where she sings “School is out” and it is pretty much the only bit of this movie that is worth watching.

The script is not worth mentioning, the conflict is impossible, but the idea of what children might do if left to their own devices – or worse, in the hands of a religious fanatic – is interesting. Not very believable but interesting, nonetheless. Definitely my least favorite of the four, 2/10.