Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA’s favorite horror films

Genevieve Vega

This past Thursday, The Paisano’s multimedia team went out to ask the UTSA student body some questions about their favorite horror films in honor of the Halloween season. We asked a few simple questions: “What is your favorite horror movie?” “Who is the best horror movie villain?” “What kind of horror movies do you like best?” And “What Halloween specials from TV shows or cartoons do you like to watch around the Halloween season?” We received many answers, both on and off camera, and would like to cover some of those here. So, if you are curious about the preferences of our student body, then read on and tune into The Paisano YouTube channel to see the interviews themselves.

“What is your favorite horror movie?”

The overwhelming answer was “Halloween” (1978), the John Carpenter classic that almost single-handedly kickstarted the slasher movie craze that took over cinemas in the 80s. Without Halloween, we would not have the “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” or “Scream” franchises, the latter of which was the runner-up for most popular choice. It is fitting that the two most popular options were the genre’s humble beginning and the irreverent deconstruction of its most famous tropes. Some other films mentioned were “Coraline,” “Talk to Me” and “The Shining.” Some horror movies we would recommend include Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” trilogy, John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and Andrzej Żuławski’s “Possession” if you want something really out there.

“Who is the best horror movie villain?”

While the first question had an overwhelming majority answer, the responses to this question were actually fairly diverse. Of course, Michael Myers was mentioned several times. Personally, the dead eyes and emotionless husk of Michael Myers are interesting enough to create tension in the original film. I do not particularly enjoy him in any other entry in the franchise, and I find myself revisiting the entry that he does not appear in at all, “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” far more than the ones he is in. The second most popular choice was Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” franchise. The more gory and creative kills that Jason perpetuates appeal to all who enjoy seeing a good old 90-minute splatterfest rather than the atmospheric dread that the “Halloween” franchise offers when it is at its best. The killer who was not mentioned much, but may be my personal favorite, is Freddy Krueger of the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. The psychedelic nightmares that Freddy torments his victims with are an absolute joy to watch, especially in some of the middle entries of the franchise, which tend to be the least interesting in the genre’s contemporaries. The mix of surrealism and over-the-top cruelty and violence is just so much fun to watch during the Halloween season.

“What kind of horror movies do you like the best?”

The winner was undoubtedly psychological horror films, and it makes perfect sense. Psychological horror opens up avenues of film that all kinds of audiences can enjoy, from character-centric films such as “American Psycho” and “Midsommar” to phantasmagorical nightmares such as “Mandy” and the works of David Lynch, both favorites of mine. It also happens to be the genre with the most critically acclaimed films, such as “The Shining,” which many, including myself, consider to be one of the best films ever made, horror or otherwise.

“What Halloween specials from TV shows or cartoons do you watch around the Halloween season?”

The most-championed pseudo-Halloween special is the critically acclaimed cartoon miniseries “Over the Garden Wall.” If you have not seen this before, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. It is one of the best cartoons of all time and an excellent combination of fall atmosphere and emotional storytelling. The other classic cartoon mentioned was “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” which needs no introduction. Another special mentioned was “The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror” episodes. The yearly Simpsons Halloween specials feature delightful parodies of classic horror films and horror tropes. Many films discussed in this article are hilariously recreated by the residents of Springfield, and my personal favorite segment is “The Shining,” which you can probably guess the film that it parodies. Check some of these episodes out if you want a more light-hearted Halloween treat. Another wonderfully hysterical horror special is the British mini-series Garth Marenghi’s “Darkplace.” Watching this every Halloween is a tradition that cannot be forgotten.

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About the Contributor
Genevieve Vega
Genevieve Vega, Staff Writer

Genevieve (she/her) is a second-year Biomedical Engineering student. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school for Biomedical Engineering. She joined The Paisano in Fall 2022. In her free time she enjoys being with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, reading and watching TV.

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