It’s officially October, and you know what that means: it’s time to binge a whole bunch of horror films. While Halloween is still a few weeks away, it’s never too early to start getting your spook on. With that said, here are my top four picks for the best horror films to watch before Halloween.

1. “The Shining”

If you’re looking for a classic horror experience, you can’t go wrong with Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” This 1980 horror film based on a Stephen King novel is a psychological thriller and mystery that is soaked in suspense. Everything from its hauntingly bizarre tone to Jack Nicholson’s creepy and entrancing performance, “The Shining” will keep you enthralled and entertained throughout. Plus, it has the added bonus of featuring creepy, twin children who speak in unison.

2. “It” (2017)

Another film based on a Stephen King novel, “It” wonderfully combines comedy and horror to create a truly entertaining experience. This film does something that many horror films forget to do: have fun. You’ll love getting to know the cast of young characters as they confront their fears and try to get rid of the freaky, sinister and menacing clown, Pennywise. One moment you’ll be laughing, the next you’ll be jumping out of your seat with fear. You might find yourself irrationally afraid of clowns after this one, but it’s definitely worth it if you love a good spook.

3. “Zodiac”

Okay, so this one is technically not a horror film, but if you like learning about crime and murder – I’m looking at you, Murderinos – then you need to check out “Zodiac.” No, this film is not about Ted Cruz. This film is all about the investigation into a real 1960s serial killer – known as the Zodiac Killer – who sent cryptic messages to San Francisco newspapers. While it isn’t a horror film, “Zodiac” does include characteristics of any quintessential horror flick: mystery, suspense and murder. Plus, you get some pretty stellar performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo.

4. “Hereditary”

If you’re looking for a genuinely shocking horror experience, you’re in luck. “Hereditary” triumphs in its ability to catch you off guard all throughout its strange and disturbing narrative. Every actor is so perfectly cast in this one, especially Toni Collette, who gives a remarkably complex and devastating performance. I can honestly say that “Hereditary” utilizes some horror devices I’ve never seen before. This makes it a must-see for the Halloween season.

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