Just when you thought October couldn’t get any better, genre fans now have a National holiday on 10/23 dedicated to horror movie magic.
National Day Calendar and Black Vortex Cinema announce the first-ever National Horror Movie Day on October 23, 2023. This new National Day is the perfect day to promote the beauty and cathartic thrills of being scared by great horror movies.
National Horror Movie Day
Scary stories have been told around campfires and gatherings since the dawn of humans. For over 100 years, horror films have been one of the most thrilling and popular forms of entertainment. Legendary filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, George Romero, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, and Dario Argento have created masterworks of art that will stand the test of time.
Horror films provide a cathartic experience, allowing the viewer to experience facing their fears and conquering them, providing a sense of euphoria without the actual dangers.
Watching horror movies can give you a profound appreciation of your life. By seeing characters in precarious situations, you learn to react to those situations, reminding yourself of your inherent primal knowledge of survival. Horror fans are some of the most gentle, loving, and accepting people in the world. They accept anyone who loves to be scared, especially those who see themselves as outsiders in their community.
Make the most of a day designed to celebrate horror fans
For many die-hard genre devotees, every day is horror movie day. And many of us have been feasting on frights nightly since the beginning of October. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about another great excuse to indulge our horror hearts. If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the first annual National Horror Movie Day in style, here are some killer ideas.
1. Plan a horror movie watch party with friends and family.
You’ll find a ton of great recommendations right here on this site, including some fun themed movie nights, triple features, and ideas for programming an incredible Hallowen movie marathon night. Not sure where to start or feeling overwhelmed by the options. Here are a couple of places we recommend starting:
If you’re not up for a movie marathon, you might also want to pick one movie to kick off a nightly horror movie night from October 23rd through Halloween.
2. Throw a costume party in celebration of the Halloween season.
While the kids have trick-or-treating, us grownups need any reason we can to play dress up and embrace the magic of the season.
Coming up with a great costume can be challenging. Why not embrace both Halloween and the inaugural National Horror Movie Day by encouraging guests to dress up as their favorite horror movie character? The options are limitless, and some great costumes can be thrown together easily and inexpensively.
Celebrate the success of Saw X and return of John Kramer by dressing up as Jigsaw’s avatar, Billy the Puppet (this works really well, especially if you already have a basic black suit). In honor of the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist and the release of The Exorcist: Believer, dressing as the possessed Regan MacNeil is always a hit and pretty easy to pull off.
Any iconic killer makes a perfect costume choice, and just about any party supply or costume store is bound to have a ready-to-go costume or some simple inexpensive pieces you can use to pull together your own look. You can’t go wrong with Freddy, Leatherface, Michael Myers, Ghostface, or, of course, Jason Voorhees.
For Jason, there’s a ton of variation you can do to make the costume unique. While most people will opt to embrace hockey-mask Jason, you can stand out from the crowd by opting for the underrepresented sackhead Jason instead, and it’s great for those who prefer to DIY their costumes.
While we’re on the subject, you might also consider the unsung hero of the Friday the 13th franchise, the original murder machine, Pamela Voorhees. Recreating the look of Jason dearly beloved mommy is incredibly easy, and you can very affordably thrift a couple of pieces if you don’t already have a good sweater that does the trick.
Finally, don’t forget classic horror icons like the Bride from Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Invisible Man. You can also slay with some modern horror icons like Jennifer Check (Jennifer’s Body), M3gan, and Thomasin from The Witch.
Don’t forget to prepare your food and drinks around horror movie inspiration, and keep some crowd-pleasing horror films playing on rotation for background ambience. You can also opt to spin some essential horror movie soundtracks.
3. Expand your horror horizons.
Even though it’s Horror Movie Day, that doesn’t mean the only way to celebrate is to watch movies. Consider visiting a haunted attraction and see how many of your favorite horror movie characters are there waiting to scare the jeepers out of you.
Read a horror book that has been adapted to the big screen. Authors like Stephen King are favorites among readers and horror movie buffs, and you can find several inspired recommendations by checking out our Top Ten Accurate Stephen King Adaptations list.
If you’re more of a gamer, there have been some seriously stellar video game adaptions of beloved horror films, and we recommend starting with the recently released game based on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Finally, if you are in the mood for a good ol’ fashioned horror film, you might want to consider supporting independent horror and checking out an indie film you may not have heard — something other than a big studio release — or even spending some time scoping out the bountiful world of short horror films. Independent horror often brings fresh and unique perspectives to the genre.
Socialize and Share
We invite you to celebrate National Horror Movie Day and share your love for horror movies by connecting with others who love horror, too. Watch your favorite films and share horror movie party ideas on social media using the hashtag #NationalHorrorMovieDay. Don’t forget to share photos of your creepy costumes, too!
About Black Vortex Cinema
Black Vortex Cinema is an alliance of creators passionate about finding beauty in the creepy. When making horror films like Night of the Bastard, Halloween events like Joe Bob’s Haunted Drive-In, or the revered trilogy of books like My Favorite Horror Movie, Black Vortex Cinema spreads the love of horror throughout the world so that it can be enjoyed by all!
Black Vortex Cinema chose October 23 in honor of the birthday of legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi, who went on to direct massive films like the Spiderman Trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Drag Me to Hell!