Talon staff recommends: Halloween!

In the spirit of the upcoming, beloved holiday Halloween, we asked some of our Talonistas about Halloween films and their preferences.


“What makes a classic Halloween movie?”

Luis Wolfrid: The fact that everybody has seen it multiple times, but still wants to see it again.

Julia Marangoni: Personally, a classic Halloween movie is either one I’ve seen since I was little or a movie that scares me every time I watch it.

Michael Borger: There are certain Halloween elements that movies for Halloween must follow: a darker color scheme, an oblivious protagonist, some type of classic monster (i.e. Frankenstein, vampire, werewolf, etc.), and foreboding music in the background to heighten the suspense.

Yoji Watanabe: A classic Halloween movie needs to be bloodcurdlingly horrifying, all the while being memorable and not just another Hollywood horror show. Also, monsters. Or zombies? Take your pick.

Matthew Kim: Circumstances, atmosphere, etc. At first it is quiet… and then BOOM!

Gabriel Civita: Any movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock or those oldies from the 20’s and 30’s.  Side note: I think The Shining should be considered an American classic horror movie, not necessarily one for Halloween, though.

Ms. Pfeiffer: A sense of threat from “The Other.” Unfortunately, I think the Halloween-movie trope has run its course.

Mr.Berg: Creepiness. It should make your skin crawl.

Anoushka Gandhi: A classic Halloween movie doesn’t rely on the typical character tropes and is actually scary, not just a ton of blood!


Horror or Suspense?

Sam Fertig: I am more attuned to movies using suspense rather than pure horror. I feel like suspense requires better movie-making skill and can be also be used for more depth.

Luis Wolfrid: Comedy above all. I’d much rather chuckle than scream, but then again, poorly made horror movies are laughable.

Michael: Suspense—some horror movies are great, but usually, they just freak me out. I’d prefer sitting there excitedly anticipating the next scene over curling up in the fetal position. No thank you.

Fe Sayão: Definitely suspense! It literally keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Thomas: Suspense. Most “horror” films rely on violence and gore to instill fear in the audience, which isn’t truly scary since it has more to do with  the shock value.

Faria: I have no idea, since I’ve never seen a horror movie.

Yoji: Horror! It’s Halloween, it’s expected that you and your friends, all in full costume, cram in your basement and scar yourselves for the rest of your lives.

Gabriel: Suspense… never really been a fan of horror movies since I get scared quite easily when I watch them. Suspense movies are awesome, though. Silence of the Lambs? I dig it.

MC Otani: Suspense. I love those films that have you cringing even after you leave the movie theatre.

Ms. Pfeiffer: Usually horror and suspense are well married. I prefer horror that is more spiritual and intellectual, that reveals soul’s dark depths.

Julia Lee: Suspense. That moment of suspense IS the true horror.

Mr.Berg: I generally prefer suspense, but suspense isn’t Halloweeny enough in itself.

Anoushka: Suspense is the best—what would horror be without a little nail-biting??



What are your top Halloween movie recommendations?

Sam: Halloween (the 1978 one). Very good.

Luis: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Julia: Hocus Pocus

Michael: Mean Girls (they have a great Halloween scene). I know this has nothing to do with suspense or horror.

Fe Sayão: Hocus Pocus

Thomas: Silence of the Lambs

Faria: I couldn’t have a less of a clue.

Yoji: Ghost Shark. It has ghosts and sharks. It’s horrifyingly bad.

Matthew: Friday the 13th or something like this. This is the classic, I suppose.

Gabriel: The Shining. Simply love that movie, even though it’s not really related to Halloween.

MC: Jurassic Park 3 for the first time, pretty terrifying. Or maybe it’s because I was 8.

Ms. Pfeiffer: My choice is a movie that I found horrifying: Peter Haneke’s The White Ribbon (2009). It is replete with tension, though not with hackneyed suspense. It won lots of prestigious awards. Set in a German village before World War I, the film comments on authority, violence, and the origins and nature of evil. Terrible, mysterious things happen in the village, and we begin to suspect that the children are the cause. They are incredibly creepy. The movie’s monochromatic cinematography really adds to the eeriness. I found it deeply unsettling.

Julia Lee: Corpse Bride by Tim Burton. It’s a classic halloween animation for kids and adults. For those who are afraid of horror like me, this classic animation is great.

Bella Shim: Off the top of my head, Nightmare on Elm Street.

Paula Schulman: Watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, although it’s not scary, is a Halloween tradition that always brings me back to my childhood.

Mr.Berg: The Exorcist.

Anoushka: Cabin in the Woods. If you’re someone who gets frustrated with characters for shouting into the darkness or doing other stupid things that are sure to get them killed (dramatic irony), you should watch this movie.