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Back to School Horror Movie Watchlist

10 Great Back to School Horror Movies

By Jacob PeytonPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Back to School Horror Movie Watchlist
Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

While I’m no longer in school, I still enjoy back to school movie marathons. When I was growing up many TV channels used to actually host them and I would stay up late trying to watch some cult movie that I hadn’t seen before. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find a TV channel doing something like that, maybe Comet. But, in the world of streaming, it’s never been easier to put together your own. That’s what my little brother did, he went back to school this week and asked for some movie recommendations, which is how this list originally came about. Mostly to remind him that school isn’t forever unless your in one of these movies, that is.

1) The Faculty

This is not only a great back to school movie, but honestly one of my all time favorite movies. It’s like a horror movie version of The Breakfast Club, at least in my opinion anyway. Basically, body snatching aliens take over the local highschool as an invasion point to take over the rest of Earth. Plus, it was directed by Robert Rodiguez and has a stacked cast including Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, and Josh Hartnett.

2) Detention

Detention is a classic slasher, horror, comedy. It follows a group of high school students trying to stay alive while being hunted by a killer known as Cinderhella. To me this film hits all the tropes I like in a slasher film while throwing in a couple of twists and at the same time remaining somewhat lighthearted and humorous. In a nutshell, I liked it a lot.

3) Disturbing Behavior

Featuring James Marsden and Katie Holmes, Disturbing Behavior follows the trope of the new kid in town falls in with town misfits and upheaves the social order. However, the social order here is a group called the “Blue Ribbons”, which literally manipulate the minds of the student body. As a kid who grew up during the time when everyone was giving their kids Ritalin this movie has always hit home for me and whether intential or not it’s easy to see the parallels.

4) Jennifers Body

I remember seeing in this in theaters with friends because we were teenagers and Megan Fox was in it. Critics at the time and a lot of my friends panned it initially, though over the years it seems like it’s talked about more and more and has become somewhat of a cult film. In it, Megan Fox gets sacrificed by an indie rock band and comes back as a murderous demon creature, from there all hell breaks loose and it’s up to her best friend to stop her. There’s a lot going on in this film and to me, the worst thing about it was always that it didn’t get a sequel.

5) Cooties

That’s right Elijah Wood makes the list twice. If you haven’t seen it you Cooties is hilarious. It follows a group of less than professional teachers as they try to survive against the student body that’s been turned into zombie-like creatures after eating contaminated chicken nuggets.

6) The Craft

I’d honestly be surprised if someone told me they hadn’t seen The Craft at this point. Growing up I think I watched it on almost every channel from TBS to USA at least once. If you haven’t seen it a troubled teenager moves to a new school and falls in with a group of misfits who believe that they are witches. Turns out they are and that’s when the shenanigans really begin.

7) Ginger Snaps

I love this movie, my friends and I first saw it on a grainy 23 inch RCA television in the back of one of their dad’s trailer, late night on the IFC network. We liked it so much that we stayed up until almost 2 AM just so we could watch it again. Because not only is Giner Snap’s a great horror movie, but it’s a great coming of age movie, and it’s an absolutely glorious werewolf movie. Which in my humble opinion there just isn’t enough out there. Luckily, Ginger Snap’s also had several really good sequels as well.

8) Dance of the Dead

As a kid who wore too much black and took themselves way too seriously, I hated school dances. However, I loved Dance of the Dead, mostly because of the whole idea of the school being overrun by zombies. But, also because the heroes of the film, for the most part, could have easily been my friends and me. It’s quirky, it’s funny, and at the same time is a great zombie movie. One that seamlessly borrows from some of the classics of the genre while delivering it a new and fresh way.

9) The Gallows

The Gallows is not funny or quirky, but it is scary. It follows a bunch of kids who come off as hard to like, maybe its because they wouldn’t have been my group in high school or because they’re asshats whose idea of fun is to break into the school and vandalize the sets. There’s a lot of twists in here and I recommend watching it at least once, I’m usually not a fan of the shaky camera found footage films, but this one is worth watching.

10) Jeepers Creepers 2

Picking up from where the first one left off, a bus full of teenagers traveling back from a sporting event find themselves being hunted by the Creeper. However, at the same time, a farmer with a harpoon launcher on his truck is also hunting the creature. Out of the three Jeepers Creepers movies this one is hands down my favorite. It’s action-packed and gory, while at the same time being able to still pull off some pulse poundingly scary scenes.

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Jacob Peyton

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