Happy October! Fall is in the air and as Halloween approaches, there are many movies you can watch to get you in the Halloween spirit. Here are a few horror movies and classics surrounding the theme of Halloween:
- Halloween (and sequels) : Michael Myers, a serial killer who has been institutionalized for 15 years after stabbing his sister to death, escapes the prison he has been confined to on Halloween night. Chased by psychologist Sam Loomis, Myers stalks through Haddonfield, Illinois, looking for his next victim.
- Paranormal Activity: A found footage film, it follows a family who moves into a new home only to be tormented by a demon.
- The Conjuring: A pair of paranormal investigators take on a dilapidated farmhouse in Rhode Island where a dark past haunts the inhabitants.
- Blair Witch Project: Another found footage film takes us through the documentary of three students who visit a small town in search of a legendary murderer, the Blair Witch. Through interviews with locals and explorations in the town woods, the students run into terrifyingly real evidence.
- The Exorcist: A mother seeks, to no avail, medical help for her young daughter who has started to develop paranormal behavior. Religious officials instead take up the case, fearing a demonic presence may be at the root of the problem.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street: A grotesque midnight killer targets teenagers in their dreams, leading to their real life deaths. Investigation reveals that the mystery may be wrapped in dark secrets.
- Scream: High school students are stalked and killed by a masked murderer armed with a knife in this unpredictable, funny, classic slasher.
- Psycho: After stealing $40,000 from her employer, a secretary is forced to stay in a peculiar motel while on the run. While there, she meets the manager, who seems to have a mother with a dark and twisted mind.
- Friday the 13th: Young summer camp counselors decide to set up their new facilities in the woods of Crystal Lake, a location known by locals as a murder site. Ignoring the warnings of the locals, the counselors find themselves hunted by a ruthless, brutal killer.
- The Shining: Writer Jack Torrance agrees to be the winter caretaker of an isolated hotel in Colorado, bringing his wife and troubled child with him. As the winter gets deeper and interactions with other humans grow limited, Jack’s son becomes tormented by premonitions and Jack himself turns against his own family.
- Carrie: Carrie White, a teenager with an extreme helicopter mother and supernatural powers, has been harassed by bullies throughout her high school years. However, when those bullies push her too far in a twisted prank, Carrie’s secret in unleashed with wrath.
- The Cabin in the Woods: Five college students set off for a much needed break in an isolated cabin. Hunted by zombies, the students discover there’s more at work than just supernatural creatures.
- The Ring: Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller doesn’t believe the urban legend of a videotape that predicts your death seven days after you watch it, until it happened in her town — four times. Keller finds herself watching the video, leaving herself with only seven days to solve the mystery.
- Coraline: Coraline, a new girl in town, discovers a tunnel in her home that leads to an alternate dimension very similar to her world. At first, it seems almost like a better version of her life, but her adventure turns to a desperate escape mission when the inhabitants of the alternate world try to seal her in forever with a painful procedure.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Residents in Halloweentown are gearing up for Halloween, but pumkin king Jack Skellington isn’t in the spirit. While wandering about, Jack discovers a new world that makes him develop a plot to make it all his own.
- Hocus Pocus: When a couple of teenagers unleash a coven of evil witches from an abandoned house, they have to rely on the help of a magical cat to stop the witches from becoming immortal.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown’s younger sister, Sally, struggles between trick or treating and attending her friend’s Halloween party or pursuing her crush, Linus, as he waits for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. Meanwhile, Charlie and his friends celebrate Halloween together.
- Halloweentown: A child suddenly discovers that she comes from a family of witches. While in the process of finding out she herself is a witch, she also learns her family is up against a life-threatening evil force.
- The Addams Family: A man claiming to be the Addams’ long lost brother explores the home and fortune of the family, eventually getting them evicted and attempting to claim the fortune for himself. The Addams realize what is going on and go up against the man.
- Beetlejuice: After a couple dies in a car accident, they realize they are stuck haunting their old home. In an attempt to help themselves out of the situation after a new family moves into their house, they summon a powerful spirit that tries to scare the new family away.
- Ghostbusters: A team of ghostbusters battles supernatural forces for money after losing their jobs. After they accidentally open a gateway to another dimension, the team must save New York City from the evil that pours out of the gateway.
- Monster House: A trio of young kids tries unsuccessfully to convince adults in their neighborhood that one of the houses on their block is alive and evil. While Halloween approaches fast, the trio tries to solve the problem themselves so that trick-or-treaters can be safe.
- Disturbia: A troubled teen who is placed on house arrest becomes convinced his neighbor is a serial killer, and uses his domestic confinement to spy on his neighbor to confirm his theory.
- Edward Scissorhands: Edward, a scientific creation with a gentle personality and scissors for hands, is discovered by a saleswoman and taken to her home, where he falls in love with her daughter.
- Twitches: A pair of twin sisters, separated at birth, are forced to meet each other on their 21st birthday. The twins must use their magical powers to save their kingdom from a powerful force of darkness.
- Mostly Ghostly (all of them): When an aspiring magician stumbles across two lost ghosts, he makes an agreement to help them acquire eternal rest in return for help winning the heart of the most popular girl in school. However, their adventures land them in hot water with an evil apparition.
- My Babysitter’s a Vampire: When middle schooler Ethan is left to babysit his little sister, ending up almost getting her killed, so his parents punish him by getting him a babysitter. But is the new babysitter harboring a dark secret?
- Scary Movie (all of them): This series makes fun of classic horror movies, loosely following their plots while accentuating the poor decisions of characters and other aspects of the films.
- Silence of the Lambs: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant and violent psychopath, has been jailed for life due to murder and cannibalism. A young FBI trainee is sent in to try to get Lecter’s help solving a high profile case.
If you enjoyed these movies, a new Halloween remake is coming out in theaters October 19… Happy Halloween!
If you’re a senior, you know all too well the question, “So, where are you applying?” For seniors, their year has already been dominated by college applications, and more frequently, questions about those applications. Students, teachers, parents, friends, and family all want to know exactly where you’re applying. More often than not, there’s judgment behind these questions and the answers that come with them.
The “brand name” issue that I refer to in the title of this piece is a broad topic. What I mean when I say this is that there is a lot of scrutiny surrounding the name of the college you attend. Typically, a brand name college is a highly-ranked university with a name everyone knows. Some classic Lake Forest examples include Vanderbilt, University of Southern California, Northwestern, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. All of these colleges are the typical “brand name” colleges that Lake Forest students apply to or dream of. If you apply or go there, people tend to think more highly of you, deeming you smart and dedicated. On the flip side, if you’re going to a college that everyone perceives as less academically rigorous, people have a tendency to look down on you.
We’ve all had experiences that match this description. People nod along and smile when you mention well-known colleges that are difficult to get in to, but lose interest when you talk about schools that don’t fit into that category. If it’s a “safety” school, they develop a pretentious air. If they haven’t heard of the colleges you’re applying to, they’ll make it clear that it’s not on their prestigious radar.
We’re guilty of this stereotyping too. Colleges usually have both academic and social misunderstandings associated with them. If someone goes to an Ivy League or an academically outstanding university, we think of that student as impressive, hard working, and highly intelligent. On the other hand, colleges with high acceptance rates are looked down upon. For example, College of Lake County is widely thought of as a joke to most students at Lake Forest High School. The unwarranted stereotype attached to people who attend CLC is far from respectful. Whether you admit it to yourself or not, the name of a college and the things you know about it influence your view of a person going there.
The seldom acknowledged truth is that there are many factors that go into a college decision. Many people fail to realize that ulterior motives that defer from your own interests can play a big part in which college you go to. For example, some students might choose a college because they need to be close to home, or based on their financial situation, or because of legacy or pressure from parents. They could even be searching for superior academic opportunities (such as honors colleges) at universities that on the surface seem easy to get into or academically mediocre.
Furthermore, even when it is completely up to the student, there is more to take into account than just a college’s academics. Size, location, sports, clubs, atmosphere, school spirit, and other opportunities are all factors that can make a school appeal to someone. Sometimes, it’s not even one specific aspect. When you visit a college, you can tell whether you love it or not. Maybe it’s not because it’s one of the best universities in the country — maybe it’s just because you feel in your heart that you belong at that school. Whatever it is, a school’s academic reputation isn’t the whole school, it is just one part of many.
You may also be applying to schools that don’t necessarily fit what people think of you. If they know you as an academically dedicated student, they probably expect you to apply to selective universities and pursue a difficult major. If they know you as someone who values social interaction, they may see you to attending a large college with lots of social opportunities. If they know you as someone who’s into the arts, they might expect you to apply to famous art schools; however, you don’t have to apply to places just because people think you would fit there. More importantly, you don’t have to refrain from applying to schools that others “can’t see you at.” You might really love a school, but people claim that it goes against the vision they have of you.
The fact is, ultimately you know yourself better than anyone else. If you are drawn to a school and really feel that you would belong there, it doesn’t matter what other people think. You know where you’re going to have the best college experience. Nobody should have a say in that decision except you. Apply for your reasons, not others’ opinions. Set aside the brand names and choose the school at which you will be happiest.
We’ve all heard of the Plastic Straw Movement. People everywhere in the United States have started boycotting using plastic straws in their drinks due to the environmental effects that occur. Plastic straws have started to be regarded as a detrimental device that can easily be replaced or not used at all. People have begun to think they are heroes, or very environmentally conscious, because of their participation in the Plastic Straw Movement. They feel as though declining to use a plastic straw in their Starbucks drink makes them a pioneer of a safer and cleaner planet. People will go out of their way to make sure others are boycotting straws as well, scolding them or trying to change their mind. Some are even converting to metal straws so they can use them indefinitely. But if you’re truly participating in the Plastic Straw Movement for environmental reasons, consider this.
The truth is that the Plastic Straw Movement is the least that we can do. Plastic straws only account for a small percentage of the waste that causes problems in both the ocean and in a general environmental sense. Plastic bags, recyclable water bottles, plastic packaging, soda cans or bottles, plastic utensils, and takeout containers are all examples of common items that are harmful to the environment. Most of you who refuse to use a straw still probably use all of these items, or many of them, every day. Sometimes, we don’t even think about the fact that our daily products might have better alternatives. Many of these items end up chucked on the side of the road, floating in the ocean, or sitting in a landfill.
Although takeout and soda containers can be unavoidable in everyday use, most of the debris listed above can be easily switched out for more environmentally friendly options. Instead of choosing a plastic water bottle at school, concerts, or stores, buy a reusable water bottle. You can bring these with you anywhere you go, and it’ll even help you to hydrate more regularly. Swap out plastic shopping bags for a reusable shopping bag and produce bags. Use fabric snack bags or tupperware to hold your snacks rather than plastic bags. Trade your paper bag lunch for a reusable lunch box and your plastic utensils for metal ones. Start a compost pile at your house. As tacky as it sounds, use a metal straw. If you are unable to use these alternatives, make sure you are recycling. Some people fall into habits of tossing recyclable items into the trash without really giving it a second thought. Try to keep it in your mind to recycle whenever you are given the chance. All of these things are simple switches that, if taken up by the amount of people who participate in the Plastic Straw Movement, could make major environmental improvements. They don’t have to be high tech, or fancy, or expensive. The only requirement these products should fill is that they are reusable and eco-friendly.
If you support the Plastic Straw Movement for trendy reasons, you might not consider making these changes. However, if the straw movement has actually stirred your concern for the earth, maybe it is time for you to advocate for more than just reduced plastic straw usage. Hopefully, in light of the recently popular environmental movement, you will be open to the potential of increasing your environmental awareness and showing it in your daily choices.