The first of 2019’s only two Friday the 13ths is already underway, and while the day is seen as an ominous sign of bad luck, horror fans have embraced the occasion.
For most people who consider Friday 13th unlucky, it is more a question of what they avoid doing, rather than what they do on this day.
Fun BUZZ fact: the fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.
In true BUZZ fashion, here is a list of must-see horror films to get you in the right (or wrong) mood for the weekend:
The Grudge (2004)
The Grudge describes a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. The curse is an entity created where the person died. Those who encounter this supernatural force die, and the curse is reborn repeatedly, passing from victim to victim in an endless, growing chain of horror.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, try the Japanese original, Ju On: The Grudge by Takashi Shimizu!
Haunted by the violent demise of their parents 10 years earlier, adult siblings Kaylie and Tim are now struggling to rebuild their relationship. Kaylie suspects that their antique mirror, known as the Lasser Glass, is behind the tragedy. The seemingly harmless reflections contain a malevolent, supernatural force that infects the mind of anyone who gazes into it. As Kaylie gets closer to the truth, the siblings become caught in the mirror’s evil spell.
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Who says horror can’t be a little comedic? Take dive into the twisted Child’s Play franchise with 4th installment.
After being cut apart by the police, killer doll Chucky is resurrected by Tiffany, an ex-girlfriend of the serial murderer whose soul is inside the toy. Following an argument, Chucky kills Tiffany and transfers her soul into a bride doll. To find the magical amulet that can restore them both to human form, Chucky and Tiffany arrange to be driven to New Jersey by a rag-tag duo, who are unaware that their cargo is alive.
The Ring (2002)
It sounds like just another urban legend – a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller is sceptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.
True horror junkies know that the 1998 original by Hiroshi Takahashi is far superior. And heart pounding!
The Mist (2007)
Based on the heart-breaking novella by master horror writer Stephen King, The Mist twists religion, tough choices and sacrifices into a jarring movie experience.
After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton and his young son head into town to gather food and supplies. Soon afterward, a thick fog rolls in and engulfs the town, trapping the Draytons and others in the grocery store. Terror mounts as deadly creatures reveal themselves outside, but that may be nothing compared to the threat within, where a zealot calls for a sacrifice.
Final Destination (2000)
The 2000s were definitely a new frontier for horror and Final Destination was a breath of fresh air for movie-goers.
Alex Browning is embarking on a trip to Paris. Alex experiences a premonition – he sees the plane explode moments after leaving the ground. Alex insists that everyone get off the plane and 7 people including Alex, are forced to disembark. All watch in horror and disbelief as the plane actually explodes in a fireball. He and the other survivors have briefly cheated death but will not be able to evade their fate for very long. One by one, these fugitives from fate fall victim to the grim reaper.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
May Wes Craven, and his visionary genius rest in peace…
The classic slasher film, the nightmare starts for several Midwestern teenagers who fall prey to Freddy Krueger, a disfigured midnight mangler that preys on the teenagers in their dreams – which, in turn, kills them in reality.
After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy Thompson begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unravelling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen solve the puzzle before it’s too late?
Get Out (2017)
More of a slow-burning psychological trip than an outright scare-fest, Get Out marks Jordan Peele’s impressive debut to the silver screen!
Now that Chris and his girlfriend Rose have reached the ‘meet-the-parents’ milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean.
At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behaviour as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Sometimes, the sequel can outperform the source material and Annabelle: Creation is a frightening testament to that!
Former toy maker Sam Mullins and his wife, Esther, are happy to welcome a nun and six orphaned girls into their California farmhouse. Years earlier, the couple’s 7-year-old daughter Annabelle died in a tragic car accident. Terror soon strikes when one child sneaks into a forbidden room and finds a seemingly innocent doll that appears to have a life of its own.
The Shining (1980)
From the darkest depths of Stanley Kubrik’s mind, comes a cinematographically haunting take on the classic Stephen King novel (even if King still hates the film).
Jack Torrance becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block.
He settles in along with his wife Wendy and his son Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions.
As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
Children of the Corn (1984)
Stephen King is the greatest horror storyteller and this film is a reason why the American novelist’s place in the genre is uncontested.
As physician Burt Stanton and his girlfriend Vicky drive across the Midwest to his new job, their trip comes to a sudden halt when they encounter the body of a murdered boy in the road.
In trying to contact the authorities, Burt and Vicky wander into a small town populated only by children, followers of sinister young preacher Isaac Chroner. Soon the couple is fleeing the youthful fanatics, who want to sacrifice them to their demonic deity.
The Fly (1986)
Not. For. The. Faint. Of. Heart!!! You’ve been warned, BUZZ fam.
When scientist Seth Brundle completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to him, a housefly slips in during the process, leading to a merger of man and insect. Initially, Brundle appears to have undergone a successful teleportation, but the fly’s cells begin to take over his body. As he becomes increasingly fly-like, Brundle’s girlfriend is horrified as the person she once loved deteriorates into a monster.
The Exorcist (1973)
We know you didn’t expect us to leave off ONE. OF. THE. CLASSICS!??!
One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan starts acting odd – levitating, speaking in tongues, swearing and multiple bouts of self-harm – her worried mother seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end.
A local priest, however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert to help with the difficult job.
In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Now, this listicle could only be BUZZ-worthy if we paid homage to the film that turned the day into a cult phenomenon!
Crystal Lake’s history of murder doesn’t deter counsellors from setting up a summer camp in the woodsy area. Superstitious locals warn against it, but the fresh-faced young people – Jack, Alice, Bill, Marcie and Ned – pay little heed to the old-timers. Then they find themselves stalked by a brutal killer. As they’re slashed, shot and stabbed, the counsellors struggle to stay alive against a merciless opponent.
Mike Enslin is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena – right before he checks into the Dolphin Hotel, that is. Ignoring the warnings of the hotel manager, he learns the meaning of real terror when he spends the night in a reputedly haunted room.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Still grieving over the accidental death of their daughter, Christine, John and Laura Baxter head to Venice, Italy, where John’s been commissioned to restore a church.
There Laura meets two sisters who claim to be in touch with the spirit of the Baxters’ daughter. Laura takes them seriously, but John scoffs until he himself catches a glimpse of what looks like Christine running through the streets of Venice.
BUZZ fam, seeing as you’ve made it to the end of our list, how many of these horror films have you seen?
Which are your favourites? Have any scarred you to the point you’ve quit the horror genre altogether?
Sound off in the comment section!