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The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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Looking to get into horror? Here are The B&W’s top five picks

Greer Vermilye

Screams and terror emerge from the screen as the pale light illuminates the audience’s hand-covered eyes. Hiding behind popcorn and jumping in one’s seat are the hallmarks of well-done horror movie.  Here’s a guide to exploring some of the most iconic, and accessible horror movies this Halloween season.


The trailblazing 1960 horror film “Psycho,” by Alfred Hitchcock, remains one of the most influential horror movies of all time due to its unexpected twists. “Psycho” follows a young woman, Marion Crane, who is on the run for embezzlement. Hitchcock employs a deliberate approach to the film’s cinematography using dolly zooms to emphasize the intense emotions of the characters, and manipulating lighting and camera work to reveal secrets throughout the story to shock the audience. The movie was nominated for 4 Oscars and won none — on one of the Oscar’s most controversial moments. This classic is available on many streaming platforms including Peacock.

Get Out

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In 2017, writer and director Jordan Peele debuted his first horror film “Get Out,” which tackled contemporary American racism. The film follows the protagonist, Chris, as he visits his white girlfriend’s family. Chris’s character starts subdued and reserved, constantly facing microaggressions by the family with no visible frustration, but Peele expertly builds both Chris’ character and the suspense, developing intricate allegories to criticize bigotry and racism. In 2018 Peele’s “Get Out” dominated the award ceremonies with 39 major nominations and 17 wins, including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. “Get Out” is available to stream on Netflix.



 Darren Aronofsky´s 2017 film ¨Mother!¨ took environmental issues and meshed them into an interesting and horrific film. Jennifer Lawrence plays the film’s protagonist, a young woman who sets off on her new life with her husband when unexpected visitors disturb their peaceful life. Aronofsky uses frequent bumpy close-up shots to force the viewer to devolve alongside Lawrence’s character. The movie continuously builds the viewer’s anxiety, and the horror of the film lies within its unapologetic focus on climate change with biblical undertones. “Mother!” is available to stream on Prime Video and Paramount Plus.


The 1978 hit “Halloween,” remains a slasher classic nearly 50 years after its release. The movie follows antagonist Michael Myers and his killing spree on Halloween night. Director John Carpenter shot “Halloween” with a low budget of 300,000 dollars, and the movie has since become one of the most profitable box office launches ever. Carpenter uses an ominous unfocused background to spark curiosity and paranoia within viewers without the typical over-the-top violence seen in other slashers.  By placing less emphasis on gore, Carpenter deepens the suspense of the film and gives way to an iconic killer allowing “Halloween” to become a beloved series. To begin the series binge, “Halloween” is free for streaming on Plex.


Conjuring 2

James Wan’s “The Conjuring 2” is an enthralling horror watch. “The Conjuring” series follows paranormal investigators as they investigate different paranormal activity cases. In this sequel, they’re called to London by a mother of four who believes there’s an evil presence in her house. Wan takes inspiration from John Carpenter by placing the antagonist in the background without highlighting them. The camera pans through the house as if the viewer were present in the action, forcing the audience to search for the shadow figure. The feeling that the antagonist could be at any corner keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, and the writing perfectly focuses on the suspense and chaos while thoroughly exploring the characters and family dynamics. The movie’s focus on the paranormal investigator’s relationship furthers the plot of the series, setting the franchise up for another movie while maintaining the success of “The Conjuring 2” as a movie itself. “The Conjuring 2” can be played through HBO Max.

Gripping plots, spooky visuals, and anxiety-inducing camera work send chills down the spine, perfect for getting in the Halloween energy. Often regarded as a fun scare, horror movies are also intricate and thought-provoking, perfect for the Halloween season.

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About the Contributors
Katelyn Leonard
Katelyn Leonard, Opinion Writer
Grade 11 Why did you join the Black and White? To express my opinions, research, and write about topics I am interested in. What is your favorite song of all time? Sound and Vision by David Bowie
Greer Vermilye
Greer Vermilye, Online Production Head
Grade 12 Why did you join the Black and White? To make aesthetic graphics to complement writers' stories online.  If you could see one movie for the first time again, what would it be? Now You See Me 2

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