This Halloween, Florida Poly senior Robert White will be spending his night watching horror movies and hoping they scare the wits out of him. As something of a connoisseur of scary movies and movies in general, the films have a high bar to clear.
“Ari Aster directed ‘Hereditary,’ which is supposed to be one of the best horror movies to come out in like 20 years and I haven’t seen it yet,” said White, a computer science major with a concentration in software engineering. “My expectations are high, and I’ll probably be disappointed because it’s too much to say ‘best movie of the decade’ or ‘best horror movie.’”
He’ll be rounding out his night with “The Witch,” a 2015 supernatural horror film.
“Movies have the ability to manipulate people, whether it’s making people sad because it’s a sad movie or happy because it’s a happy movie – horror is really fun because it’s really easy to scare people,” White said. “It’s fun watching bad horror movies and also fun watching master-class movies that don’t use any of the tropes.”
His love of all things film started early when he fell in love with the action-packed pirate movie “Swashbuckler” when he was around 4 years old.
“This guy was the hero; he was the coolest guy,” White said. “Pirates were by no means good people, but the lives they lived were fun, so if you get the audience to believe for some reason that your main character is a good guy, you can have lots of fun watching someone like Jack Sparrow run around, and that’s what this movie was.”
In the following years, he’d learn about the science of filmmaking and often visit the theater to watch movies by himself. These days, White spends time between studying for classes engaging with the Media Club and Music Club, watching new and classic movies, and devouring the film catalogs of directors such as Denis Villeneuve, Sam Raimi, and David Fincher.
Here are White’s top movie picks in his own words for others looking for a great scary movie to watch this Halloween.
- “Evil Dead” – This is a movie I love beyond being a horror movie. It’s just so much fun. The first one is a genuine horror movie while the second one is like a half and half goofball-horror movie and the third one is the funniest thing in the world.
- “Halloween” (1978 and 2018 releases) – If you haven’t seen the “Halloween” movies, watch the first one and the most recent. The first “Halloween” was the first slasher movie of all time. It’s so original and you know what’s going to happen but it’s still fun to watch it happen. And coming back 40 years later and seeing the 2018 sequel, which now has to stand up to all the different slashers that came during that time and being able to stand on its own is really impressive.
- “The Thing” – There’s lots of gore and violence, but it’s a master class of horror. It’s an actual thriller that does not rely on a lot of cheap scares that will scare the tar out of you in a fair way where you don’t feel cheated by the movie. “The Thing” is terrifying because it follows a dozen scientists who make consistently good decisions and still end up dead.
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