October 31: the spookiest night of the year. Filled with ghosts, ghouls and full moons, as well as tricks and treats, a Halloween movie marathon is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. 

Whether it’s a cute and comical fan favorite, or a chilling horror movie that will make your skin crawl, everyone has a ‘spooky season’ go-to. So grab your popcorn (or your candy-corn!) and find your favorite film through the recommendations of other SJU students.

For those with a fondness for all-things-frightening, SJU students recommend films such as “Hereditary”, “Halloween” (1978) and “Scream” (1996). 

Sophomore Kevin Hoban watches a scary movie to get into the Halloween spirit. Photo by: Christian McCarry

Sophomore Kevin Hoban says his favorite Halloween movie is “Hereditary” because “[it’s a] slow burn, but at the same time you’re not waiting for stuff to happen.” Hoban credits his love of horror to the direction of the films, “I feel like now, since there have been so many good horror movies, directors need to push to always be improving, and make something unique so it tops the last.”

First-year student Ella Olsen says “The Conjuring” movies are her personal favorite: “They’re eerie, thrilling, and so horrifying that I definitely started believing in ghosts after that.” She said, “I’m definitely a full-on scary movie fan all the way. I love jump scares and the adrenaline as you’re waiting to see what happens next.” 

“I love jump scares and the adrenaline as you’re waiting to see what happens next.”

– Freshman Ella Olsen

For those who love ‘spooky season’ but don’t want to be super spooked, SJU students recommend films such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Halloweentown”, and “Girl vs. Monster”. 

Junior Jimmy Miller explains why he avoids horror films: “I’d rather celebrate the positive side of the holiday rather than the darkness.” 

Freshman Jay Buch shares a similar sentiment: “My favorite [Halloween movie] is “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. It’s the perfect transition between holidays. It’s a blend of keeping that Halloween spirit while still being jump-scare free and full of music.” Buch recalls how viewing the film has become a family tradition, “My family and I watch it every night before Halloween as a fun little tradition; I look forward to it every year.”

“It’s a blend of keeping that Halloween spirit while still being jump-scare free and full of music.”

– Freshman Jay Buch

So the question presents itself: do SJU students prefer a hair-raising horror film or a charming childhood favorite to get in the holiday spirit? 

While first-year student Gabriela González prefers Disney films like “Girl vs. Monster” for “the musical aspect”, junior Brendan Hanum explains his preference for a frightful film: “Horror movies have more substance than festive Halloween movies.” 

Essentially, it comes down to personal preference. Whether you’re an avid fan of ghosts, ghouls and spirits, or just want to cozy up and get into the Halloween spirit, there’s bound to be a perfect Halloween movie for every ‘spooky season’ enthusiast.