Halloween is the time to refamiliarize ourselves with all our cultural signifiers of extreme horror: aging and decay, malicious supernatural entities, clowns, celebrity cultural appropriation, "Sexy minion" costumes.
But while it's the season to stream perfect, campy horror or high-concept psychological terror, too many films go overlooked. As Rachel Handler recently opined for Vulture, "the scariest horror movie of all time is Revolutionary Road." She praises any movie that is "so perfectly terrifying that it low-key destroys my life and completely ravages my worldview." For some, that film was The Strangers or The Hills Have Eyes. For me, it was 2005's new The Descent. For my co-worker, it was Planet of the Apes (1968) when she was eight.
These films may be best known in niche circles, but they all tap into a visceral sense of disgust and repulsion that seriously make us question whether or not we were better off not watching them at all. So in true Halloween tradition, make some questionably bad choices and fill your mind with more nightmares and regrets. Enjoy!