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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Four movie thrills to finish off spooky season


Coming off of the thrills of your Halloween night and still in the mood for something spooky? Here are four horror staples of various fright levels for continued movie nights as the leaves fade from red to brown and the days grow even darker.

“Five Nights at Freddy’s” (2023)

Released Oct. 27, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” reimagines the popular video game franchise in which a security guard must survive his night shifts in a pizzeria filled with haunted animatronics.

“The movie was a big deal for me because it culminated my childhood in a sense,” Caitlin Tully ’25 said after seeing the movie on its premiere night.

Like many of the most beloved films in the horror genre, it makes excellent use of practical effects instead of the typical overuse of computer generated imaging (CGI) that many modern films garner criticism for.

“The animatronics are just insanely impressive,” said Tully. “They did great work with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.”

For those interested in a recent entry ready to deliver a compelling story and colorful characters, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” offers a blockbuster with plenty of mystery and frights for the season.

“The Thing” (1982)

A John Carpenter masterpiece, “The Thing” is regarded by many as the greatest horror movie of all time. Featuring practical effects that hold up 40 years later and elements of psychological horror, this film has secured its place on the “best of ” rankings, extending well beyond the horror genre.

A story that has seen many adaptations over the years, this movie centers around researchers in Antarctica hunted by a shapeshifting alien that takes the form of its victims.

SJU Film Club chose “The Thing” as the club’s Oct. 30 film showing in Forum Theater.

“The special effects are incredible,” said Cole Johnston ’25, who attended the event. “They hold up to this day, and are better than some stuff you see in modern movies.”

The film’s masterful execution of body horror and in-your-head terror is one to remember.

“Eraserhead” (1977)

For those in the mood for something on the stranger side, “Eraserhead” is a thriller which dives into an intellectual and absurd brand of fear.

Eerie and upsetting, the story revolves around a young couple after their surprise pregnancy, who are plagued by supernatural oddities that cause increasingly erratic behavior as the story progresses.

David Lynch’s directorial debut uses careful dialogue, a black-and-white palette and a thought-provoking ending to evoke the feel of Universal-era horror films. With a far more nuanced look into who is the villain versus the victim than the traditional monster movie, this genre of horror requires some post-watch analysis but delivers amazing cinematography to compensate.

“Hereditary” (2018)

Directed by renowned auteur Ari Aster, “Hereditary” has a supreme sense of tension, unorthodox scares and an intricate look at the family dynamic.

John Cawley ’24 describes it as his favorite horror pick and one of the first movies that got him seriously interested in film as a medium.

“I am always a fan of campy slashers and creepy horror movies, but I think ones that really stick out to me, and end up being my favorite ones, have to do with more psychological aspects,” Cawley said.

Following the death of her mother, the main protagonist, Annie, and her household must work to uncover the truth of their family history as those secrets curse them in turn.

Produced by A24, Aster’s first of three partnerships with the studio serves as an example of how cinematography continues to innovate. With heavy drama and intense scenes, “Hereditary” is a gripping watch for those ready to take it head-on.

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Gavin Kuebler
Gavin Kuebler, Assistant Features Editor
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