Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Scary movies everyone should see

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Itís that time of the year again, when ghosts and ghouls adorn front porches and Samís Club sells pumpkins the size of Kim K.ís backside. October means celebrating all things spooky, whether youíre into telling ghost stories around the campfire or streaming a classic horror film like Halloween or Friday the 13th.

Regular readers of this column know I am obsessed with horror movies. Every year in October, I give horror movie recommendations. In the past, the list has included old horror, new horror and the occasional anthology series. This year, Iím narrowing it down to five of my favorite new horror films, all released sometime in the past 10 years.

It Follows (2014)

I watched It Follows after everyone and their mother raved about it, and I regretted not seeing it sooner. The film centers around Jay, who has an unfortunate date that follows her long after itís over. Itís got truly terrifying monsters, lovable characters and an anachronistic set design that makes you wonder when, where and how these crazy events are happening. Slow and fast at the same time, the film keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Ready or Not (2019)

Ready or Not is one of those movies I raved about before I even saw it ó†the trailer was fantastic and promised well-crafted characters, an interesting story and the wildest bloodbath Iíve ever seen in a movie theater. Starring the wonderful Samara Weaving as a woman who plays a deadly game of Hide and Seek on her wedding night, the film is hilarious, visceral and satisfying. If you donít like your in-laws, youíve got to give this one a try!

Mayhem (2017)

What could have been another zombie movie twists the expected formula every which way, giving us an underdog hero, lots of death by office supplies and, surprisingly, an earnest love story. Weaving stars with Steven Yeun, known best for portraying Glenn in The Walking Dead, as a couple of strangers locked in an office building where a virus causes everyone to act out their wildest impulses. Once again, Weaving turns in a fantastic performance. She is this generationís scream queen and I will watch anything she stars in.

Midsommar (2019)

Director Ari Asterís work isnít for everyone, but he makes one heck of a movie. Midsommar finds Dani and her friends taking a trip to Scandinavia for a Swedish mid-summer festival. As college students in horror movies do, the friends take lots of drugs, unaware the festival will soon take a violent turn. The film takes place in painfully bright daylight, and itís highly unsettling. Again, itís not for everyone. But if itís for you, it will become one of your favorite movies of all time.

Candyman (2021)

We waited until this movie was available to rent on demand, and Iím glad we did because it meant we could watch it multiple times in a 48-hour period. Candyman is beautifully designed, featuring cameos from original actors Vanessa Williams, Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen. The new characters feel like friends, and the themes are evocative and heart-wrenching. Watch it once for the story, then again for the crazy good cinematography. And if your husband tries to say Candymanís name five times when the credits roll, remind him that divorce is an option.

There you have it ó†five of the best horror movies Iíve seen over the past 10 years. If you find yourself wanting more, I suggest the entire Scream series. The fifth Scream film is being released in January, and itís always good to research before going in. Other honorary mentions include Hereditary, Slasher: Flesh and Blood, the Fear Street series on Netflix, VHS: 1994, Malignant and the most recent Creepshow series on Shudder.

And now I have to ask the burning question. What are your favorite horror movies to watch in October? Are you into killers like Michael Myers or supernatural entities like La Llorona? Got any scary TV series youíd recommend? Shoot me an email with your recommendations, and I sure hope you enjoy mine!