Best Halloween horror flicks: ‘The Innocents,’ ‘Sissy,’ ‘Jennifer’s Body’

Written by Amy Ta, produced by Angie Perrin

“The Innocents” is an eerie Norwegian film about a group of children with mysterious powers. Credit: YouTube.

Whether you’re passing out candy tonight or just looking for a good scary movie to watch, here are recommendations from Jacqueline Coley, an editor at Rotten Tomatoes. 

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“The Innocents” 

This is an eerie Norwegian film about a group of children with mysterious powers. 

“They maybe get enlisted with powers. You remember ‘Chronicle’ from a few years ago — you age those kids down by like six years, you’re right alongside what ‘The Innocents’ does. But it is even more terrifying because this is very ‘Lord of the Flies,’ kids doing what they shouldn't do, but also having to fight back,” says Coley. 


This one follows a mother and daughter who are in a heavy metal band together, and they learn about their deep roots with the occult and witches.

“On top of the fact that it harkens back to these … metal, worship-the-devil bands of the 80s and 90s, it also really has an interesting dark familial twist to it. It's got a lot of dark comedy. But at the heart of it is mother and daughter getting into the family business, as it were.”


This is about two girls who are fighting online bullying, and one of them embraces the darker side. 

“In addition to the fact that it has this jaw-dropping visual imagery of this young girl doing her best zombie impersonation as she's terrorizing the town, it's a really interesting take on the evils of modern-day teens. They're not afraid of Freddy [Krueger]. They're more afraid of the girl on the other side of the keyboard. And so I think it's a great subversion of what terrifies young adults.”

Old favorites

“Jennifer’s Body” 

This slasher comedy is about an attractive high school girl who gets possessed by a demon, then goes after boys who never had a chance with her. 

“This was, at the time, dismissed as this just laughable teen sex horror comedy. And it has grown in the estimation of so many folks in recent years — to the point where I just saw an online fan campaign to get new posters for it. But yeah, it's Megan Fox in the ultimate height of her powers post-‘Transformers’ … who is out to eat the boys of the neighborhood. … It’s such a chaotic and fun thing.”

Coley adds, “And what's really great is the filmmaker behind it. Karyn Kusama is absolutely the perfect person to helm this because it subverts classic horror, which she showed she has such an aptitude for.”

“The Strangers” 

This is about a couple who’s spending time at a secluded summer house when unstable people show up at the door with masks.

“It plays into something that a lot of people have been terrified about since the 1960s, and that is home invasions. And just this idea of something coming into your home to terrorize you has become essentially something that no one can walk away from. This one was not a hit in theaters, but it became a sleeper hit that folks told their friends about.”

“Tales From the Hood” 

This 1995 cult classic is executive produced by Spike Lee, about a mortician who tells scary stories to a teenage drug dealer.

“‘Tales from the Hood’ is … the urban take on ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ It has its cryptkeeper showman who's playing these interstitial horror films within the narrative, that are stitched together by both horrific things but more particularly … racism that plagues the Black community. And so the comedy of this rich yuppie being terrorized around his house by a little Black plaything is this ultimate bit of comedic subversion. There's also several scenes that play out the way they do in action films with the racist cop or the guy in the midst of a robbery, and then they take this strange, sometimes hilarious … turn.”