With Halloween just around the corner, some students like to keep themselves on edge by either watching spooky films or reading horror novels.
Horror movies have been around since the days of silent film, and have made their way through every decade.
From the classics to modern times, each decade has brought out a different side of dreadfulness.
Fourth year student, Estefania Pantoja, prefers to watch modern films that keep her on her toes.
“I prefer modern ones. The special effects are more up-to-date and seem more realistic than they were back then,” shared Pantoja.
There is a diverse collection of different types of horror flicks that anyone can choose to watch.
Some depend on anticipation such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from the 1970s, while others are slasher films like A Nightmare on Elm Street.
For Pantoja, an excellent scary movie should always carry a balance of a unique but suspenseful plot elements.
“A good horror movie should also have characters that are very ugly and scary, pop ups, and horrifying background music,” said Pantoja.
For horror film lovers, she recommends people watch The Haunt, The Exorcist, and Insidious.
“Firstly, The Haunt was very creepy, with many hallucinations,” said Pantoja. “The Exorcist had many jump scares to a point where there’s one where you don’t see it coming. It becomes really graphic and extremely creepy.”
Films such as Paranormal Activity don’t include much blood, but do build up anticipation throughout the movie.
Pantoja believes that if a film is based on a true story, such as The Crucifixion, it gives more of a terrifying sensation.
But for those who prefer to be on the safe side with a splash of comedy, movies like Zombieland and It are recommended.
“It was a great film, but not too scary. It was more on the comedic side and it would be great for those who don’t like scary movies as much,” said Pantoja.
But for students who prefer a good scary story rather than a film, there is a selection of books to choose from.
English major Hector Perez believes that an excellent horror novel should be like riding a rollercoaster.
“You feel this sense of anticipation and wonder as to what is going to happen next, and that keeps you on the edge of your seat,” said Perez. “When that happens, you’re as invested in a story as you’re going to get.”
When it comes to making a notable impact in writing for the horror genre, Perez considers authors Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe to take the crown.
“The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are a few of 19th century author, Edgar Allan Poe’s notable mysterious works.
“I’ve always enjoyed Poe’s works for his words themselves. They’re so dark and so gritty. You can read Poe and immediately know you’re in for some dark stuff,” shared Perez.
For a more contemporary choice, author Stephen King is widely recognized for works such as It, The Shining, and Carrie.
“As a writer, I’ve always been so drawn to King’s ability to tell a story. The man can write a character and make them feel so alive,” shared Perez.
One of his favorite books is The Shining because of the author’s prowess in writing that draws readers into the plot.
“The reader can literally visualize the protagonist’s mindset. It’s such a great psychological thriller. What made it so terrifying is how realistic it seemed,” said Perez.
For students that watched It, Perez recommends them to read the novel.
“I recently revisited the original film because it terrified me as a child. So, I read the book and thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’” shared Perez.
The English major has been on a mission to read each of King’s novels and provides his reasoning as to why students should give the horror genre a chance.
“I think people should know that they are really magical. The words, the tone, and even the fears and expectations of the reader make up this whole experience. Horror is more than a genre, it’s an experience,” said Perez.