The Ultimate Halloween Movie Marathon: 6 Types of Horror and Thriller Films to Enjoy During the Undas Holidays

All Hallows’ Eve usually means three things: kids on a trick-or-treat parade, crazy costumes, and horror movie marathons. Indeed, the dark and chilly atmosphere of the ‘ber months is the perfect time to catch up on the latest horror hits, or to go back in time a decade or two for films whose scares have stood the test of time.

Let Poundit walk you through a variety of horror and thriller films, taking you from the netherrealm to the more internal horrors of the human heart. In this guide, we present you with our list of horror film categories that you can choose from, with teasers on each film’s premise. We’ll also share with you some tips on which electronic gear to get so you can maximize the experience of being scared out of your wits!

Ready to be unsettled or to go all-out in a screamfest? Read on if you dare. We promise: no big spoilers, so you can get to the big, big scares yourself!


The Supernatural Spine-Tinglers

Of course, one of the first things we associate with horror is the presence of the supernatural. One classic example is The Exorcist (1973), in which a demon possesses the young Regan MacNeil (played by Linda Blair) and engages in absolute grotesquerie. If you’re looking for the granddaddy of films depicting demonic spider-crawls, this is the movie for you!

Another supernatural film that should be on your playlist is It (2017), a big screen adaptation of the famous horror book written by Stephen King. Certainly, this film will make you remember why you found clowns so scary as a kid! Case in point: the scene in which Georgie makes a beeline for the sewer in what has got to be one of the most infamous scenes in horror film history.

Finally, how can we talk about supernatural chillers if we don’t mention The Conjuring film series? Now on its fifth film, The Conjuring franchise will take through the origin story of the creepy doll Annabelle and the misadventures of exorcist couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. Also believe us when we tell you that Valak is one of the most effective demons ever to grace the silver screen!

Poundit Tip: Play your supernatural horror film of choice on Netflix, iFlix, or any another service and then cast it to your TV from your smartphone using a streaming device like Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.


The Monster Movies and Creature Features

Horror in the flesh comes in the form of monsters, be they zombies, vampires, big bad aliens, or giant lizards wreaking havoc in the metropolis—the list goes on and on. The movie that pretty much invented this genre is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), which unfortunately scared a bunch of very young American kids when it was first shown in the cinemas. Who knew chocolate syrup could look so much like blood?

Nowadays we’ve got imaginary basement lurkers like the eponymous creature in The Babadook (2014), post-apocalyptic predator aliens in A Quiet Place (2018), and sharp-toothed cave dwellers in the girl-driven, claustrophobic thriller The Descent (2005).

Poundit Tip: Take our word for it: you’ll really want to amp the surround-sound for these movies, and it’ll be best to do so with a complete home theater system. The more you hear the details indicating the arrival of the big bad monsters, the more your horror will build up for what’s to come!


The Found Footage Flicks

The “found footage” genre of films has also enjoyed a considerable amount of success in recent years, as the raw, shaky aesthetic of such movies brings to mind the horror of “what if the same thing happens to me?”

Some famous examples of found footage films are the ominous Blair Witch Project (1999), which follows the moves of three college students filming while lost in a haunted forest; the Spanish film REC (2007) and its English counterpart Quarantine (2008), where a camera films the outbreak of a zombie virus in close quarters; and Cloverfield (2008), which chronicles the movements of six New Yorkers fleeing the city after it was attacked by an enormous creature that emerged from the sea.

Poundit Tip: Above all else, you’ll want to enjoy the visual elements of these films the most. As such, consider outfitting your home theater with a TV monitor that will brilliantly project every shocking frame down to the last pixel.


The Scary Sci-Fi Motion Pictures

Many horror films play on our anxieties about the future and the unpleasant scientific discoveries that might eventually ruin our lives. Richard Fleischer’s Soylent Green (1973), for example, climaxes with a horrifying revelation about how people live in a time of environmental destruction and resource shortage. On the other hand, the squicky Canadian-French sci-fi horror film Splice (2009) is about the genetic engineering of human-animal hybrids—leaving questions about how far we should go against nature with our emergent technologies.

Poundit Tip: Take any of these insights (and any big gasps you’ll make along the way) with you by watching the sci-fi horror film of your choice on a portable screen. A tablet will help you zero in on the details of each of the dystopian possibilities presented without you having to squint!


The Drama Thrillers

Sometimes horror films elicit more than just screams and jump scares. Some lead us to heartbreaking revelations about the human psyche and explore themes like true love, community, trauma, and abandonment—all while lining the road with a little blood and a few horrific obstacles.

Some examples of films that will leave you sad as well as scared to death are the Spanish orphanage thriller El Orfanato (2007), the murder mystery and gothic romance film Crimson Peak (2015) and the gory, but highly emotional Korean zombie flick Train to Busan (2016).

Poundit Tip: Enjoy these scream-machines-slash-tearjerkers with your friends in your home theater or watch them quietly—in your own time—on a smartphone with a big display, ample storage capacity, and good battery life. Just remember to pack some tissue, and not to scream way too loud!


The Certified “Bloody Hell That’s Disgusting!” Horror Movies

For those who are truly fearless and don’t mind all types of body horror, there are films that will truly drive you to your limit. These include big-budget slasher films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Saw (2004), grindhouse “gorno” flicks like the Hostel film series, cannibal horror flicks like The Green Inferno (2013), and highly disturbing films like The Human Centipede (2009), whose stomach-churning premise deserves a category all unto its own.

Poundit Tip: Whether you’re into chains, blood, human leather masks, or the stitching together of human parts that you wouldn’t think of otherwise, you can choose among these films to build up your endurance and tolerance for the absurd-but-scary and the flat-out gross. Maybe it’s wise, however, to minimize aspects of these films that make other people squeamish. You can comfortably listen to your scary film of choice with a good set of wireless headphones.

From all of us here at Poundit—happy Halloween, and have yourself an out-of-this-world horror movie marathon!