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31 days of horror: ‘Psych!’

Peek through the third week of spooky month with psychological laughs including “Christine” and “Scream”
Created by Ariana Powell on Oct. 14.

It’s a dark and stormy night somewhere! In preparation for Halloween, get scared with 31 days of horror. Each week will have seven films that align with a specific theme.

This week’s theme: psych!

With a few laughs and some true scares, get your mind wrapped around the twisted world of psychological horror that still leaves you laughing. 

As usual, modern masterpieces are interwoven with vintage films to satisfy the most discerning of critics. Prepare to be disturbed and amused with this week’s round of horror movies. 

Day 15, Sunday

“Zombieland,” 2009

Surviving in a zombie apocalypse requires discipline, at least according to Columbus — played by Jesse Eisenberg. He has survived the zombie apocalypse thanks to his rules, but when he finds himself teamed up with other humans, some of them go out the window.

This comedic take on a bloody zombie apocalypse includes off-beat humor and gore for weeks. I just hope you’re not scared of zombie clowns.

“Zombieland” can currently be streamed on Bravo Now, E! Now, NBC, Peacock, Syfy Now and Telemundo Now. It can also be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 16, Monday

“Talk to Me,” 2022

From the very beginning, “Talk to Me” is a relentless and fast-paced psychological horror made down under. When a spiritually possessed ceramic hand makes its rounds on social media, teens Jade — played by Alexandra Jensen, her brother Riley — played by Joe Bird and best friend Mia — played by Sophie Wilde — decide to try their hand and experience the other side. 

The film was directed by twin brothers Danny and Michael Philippou who amassed a following from their YouTube channel “RackaRacka.” “Talk to Me” was their debut film and it made the most of its comparatively small budget of $4.5 million. 

The viewer is left guessing as this film winds up and characters are pulled into the dark world of the demonic hand. Parties, popular kids and peer pressure are traditional tropes all handled with refreshing nuance and tact. 

Intense and realistic gore, smart visual effects, strong writing, stellar pacing and a satisfying ending all make “Talk to Me” a terrifying movie perfect for the Halloween season.

“Talk to Me” can currently be rented from Prime Video, YouTube and Apple TV.

Day 17, Tuesday

“Ready or Not,” 2019

Marrying into a rich, tight knit family is already nerve-wracking, but combine that with Satan-worshiping in-laws, and you’ll have a wedding night to remember.

Grace — played by Samara Weaving — gets her pretty white wedding dress dirty as she runs around her in-law’s mansion trying to stay alive.

The entire concept of the film is ludicrous yet still sucks you in. The dark humor and stereotypically rich characters add some laughter right alongside the horror.

“Ready or Not” can currently be streamed on FXNow and can be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 18, Wednesday 

“Hereditary,” 2018

“Hereditary” has quickly become a staple of the psychological horror genre. The director — Ari Aster — is well-known for creating captivating atmospheres with complex narratives and striking visuals. 

This story follows the lives and grief of the Graham family in the wake of death. Their deceased grandmother’s affiliation with the occult becomes ever-present and haunting for the surviving Grahams. 

“Hereditary” is a truly terrifying masterpiece that sticks with the viewer long after the movie ends. The film is renowned for its strong performances and gripping horror that crescendo in a spiral of death, grief and the occult.

“Hereditary” can currently be streamed on Max.

Day 19, Thursday

“Scream,” 1996

“Do you like scary movies?”

In normal everyday conversations — especially during spooky month — this is a perfectly normal question. But when you pair it with a creepy voice modulator, ‘90s landlines and a Ghostface mask, then you’ve got a horror movie.

“Scream’s” meta humor brings the perfect amount of self-awareness as a horror movie while still giving you satisfying slasher scenes. Though campy at times — purely by design — it’s no wonder this original film has sparked an entire franchise, all making fun of being a part of a franchise.

“Scream” can currently be streamed on Max and Paramount+. It can be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 20, Friday

Christine,” 1983

A demonically possessed red 1958 Plymouth Fury takes over the life of nerdy teenager Arnie — played by Keith Gordon. As Arnie grows closer to his car named Christine, his relationships with friends and family strain. 

Directed by John Carpenter and based on a Stephen King novel, this is an ‘80s cult classic. Though some elements are dated, the fascinating practical effects and soundtrack hold the movie together. 

The viewer — and the movie’s characters — are left to wonder if the horrific acts are the possessed car alone or really Arnie behind the wheel. A story of revenge, tragedy and our love of the automobile, “Christine” delivers on blockbuster ‘80s scares. 

“Christine” can currently be streamed on AMC+ and Philo.

Day 21, Saturday

“The Menu,” 2022

This 2022 horror comedy takes you through the experience of dining at a five-star, richie-rich restaurant alongside the uber rich in a post-COVID world.

Tyler — played by Nicholas Hoult — brings Margot — played by Anya Taylor-Joy — as his plus one to this unforgettable dinner. However, she’s pinpointed as different from the rest, something that could save her from the fate of the rest.

Get some interesting recipe ideas from the achingly slow, disturbing film that could leave you with the best, bad taste.

“The Menu” can currently be streamed on Hulu and Max. It can be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Callum Standish can be reached at [email protected].

Ariana Powell can also be reached at [email protected], as well as [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.
Callum Standish
Callum Standish, Opinion and Features Editor
Callum Standish is a third year journalism and news major from Castro Valley, California. Standish is in his second semester on The Orion and now serves as the arts and entertainment editor. He has broad interests in cars, music and the environment. Standish enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of Chico on his bicycle and wasting time with friends. His goal is to get everyone involved in the community on-and-off campus. 

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