With midterms upon us—but Halloween falling smack in the middle—we found the perfect way for you to celebrate. We have a horror movie recommendation for every CU major! So make yourself a pitcher of Devil’s Sangria and get ready to watch some truly terrifying movies tonight. You’re guaranteed to have a great Halloween but also maybe (but probably not) learn a little that relates to your major.
African-American Studies: Candyman: Can you really be an African-American studies major without knowing about the legend of “Candyman,” a murderous sole whose hand was severed and was then murdered? Plausibly, yes, but it’s still a movie worth watching.
American Studies: The Purge: This is your best opportunity to study a very important day in a very different America for 85 minutes—the annual Purge, a night during which all crime, even murder, is temporarily legal.
Ancient Studies: Island of Death: This movie is about a man and woman who pose as newlyweds and visit the Greek island of Mykonos where they start a rampage of murder. Fun fact, it’s one of the most widely banned films in the world!
Anthropology: Cannibal Holocaust: Think about this movie as a nice addition to your “Anthro 101” class. This documentary on local cannibal tribes is fascinating, educational, and probably one of the most disturbing horror movies out there.
Applied Mathematics: Saw: The evil Jigsaw builds elaborate puzzles to see how far his victims are willing to go. So sit down, relax, and get ready to study logic/puzzling while watching someone cut off their own foot!
Archaeology: The Mummy: While not TECHNICALLY a horror movie, this movie is scary AF. It’s about an American soldier who accidentally awakens a very dangerous mummy at an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra.
Architecture: The Shining: This is not only a great opportunity to watch an AMAZING horror movie about a family that heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence moves the father to violence, but also the perfect opportunity to start studying the architecture of hotels!
Art History: Bedlam: This movie features the notorious St. Mary’s of Bethlehem Asylum but also is clearly inspired by William Hogarth’s “A Rake’s Progress.” The film even opens with a series of engravings by Hogarth, and recreates the composition of “The Madhouse.”
Astronomy: Lifeforce: What is a common topic in Astronomy? Aliens. What does this movie feature? Space vampires!!!!
Astrophysics: Aliens: One of the most renowned horror movies of all time, this movie about a group of space marines encountering a hostile alien is the perfect opportunity to study the physics of fighting aliens in space.
Biology: 28 Days Later: Biohazards?!?! An incurable virus?!?! BIOLOGY!!
Biochemistry: Frankenstein: This movie shows the use of biochemistry in quite a scary light. A young scientist creates an unorthodox monster. However, the confused and scared monster escapes and begins to wreak havoc.
Biomedical Engineering: The Human Centipede: This truly disgusting movie is about a surgeon who has a lifelong fantasy to connect humans together via their gastric system, a feat that would definitely require some biomedical engineering expertise.
Biophysics: Flatliners: Five med students begin triggering near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. Biophysics? Flatlining your friends? Sounds like a good time to me.
Chemistry: Hereditary: After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences and begins to unravel dark secrets. How this relates to chemistry? Well, you should watch this truly terrifying movie to find out.
Chemical Physics: Prince of Darkness: Investigate a mysterious cylinder with swirling green liquid. Maybe you’ll figure out how to make this embodiment of Satan that appears sentient but then starts broadcasting increasingly complex streams of data that include differential equations.
Chemical Engineering: The Fly: Turning oneself into a fly takes some serious chemical engineering expertise and that is exactly what happens in this movie. Scientist Seth Brundle tests his teleportation device on himself. However, a housefly accidentally slips in during the process leading to a merger of man and insect.
Civil Engineering: High-Rise: The modern city is turned into horror fodder. It also stars Tom Hiddleston, and that’s reason enough to watch it.
Classics: Night of the Living Dead: As a classics major, you should definitely study this cult classic. While surely a different type of classic than you’re probably use to, this zombie-filled movie is definitely informative.
Comparative Literature and Society: The Exorcist and The Conjuring: Compare them. They’re both great movies.
Computer Engineering: Demon Seed: This movie is about maybe the most evil computer ever portrayed on screen: Proteus IV. Overall, the lesson to learn from this movie is don’t create a computer to find a cure for leukemia and then let it become sentient, imprison, and impregnate your wife.
Computer Science: The Ring: A videotape containing nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Maybe it will encourage all of you CompSci majors to take some time away from the screen or to avoid clicking on sketchy videos. It can be deadly.
Creative Writing: Scary Movie: A teen parody that isn’t actually scary. It is, however, a whole bunch of crazy events strung together. In case you need even more creativity, there’s a part two. And three. And four.
Dance: Black Swan: While not technically a horror movie, this movie is pretty disturbing. So get ready to watch a mentally disturbed Natalie Portman while observing Sarah Lane’s exquisite technique.
Data Science: Unfriended: It’s data-ey. It’s slightly (not really) sciencey. It’s about a group of online chat room friends who find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.
Drama and Theatre Arts: The Gallows: Since this movie is about a play, it’s perfect for any drama and theatre arts major. Twenty years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in an attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy. However, they soon discover that some things are better left alone...
Earth Science: The Long Weekend: Your Earth knowledge will be useful while you watch this horrifically terrible, yet great, movie that shows exactly what happens when nature strikes back.
Earth and Environmental Engineering: 2012: The Earth is being destroyed! Earth and environmental engineers: Help!!
East Asian Studies: Audition: This disturbing Japanese thriller is about a widower, Aoyama, who uses auditions for a fake production to function as a dating service. He meets Asami and the two begin to date until her dark past begins to affect their relationship.
Economics: The Night of the Hunter: This is why you don’t steal money. Yes I’m looking at all you future wall street workers. $$$
Electrical Engineering: Pulse: It’s the ultimate shocker!!
Engineering Mechanics: Christine: This movie is all about an evil car named Christine. When this 1958 Plymouth Fury begins killing, Dennis Guilder and Leigh Cabot, determined to stop the deaths, decide to destroy Christine.
English: The Babadook: It all went down with a book… Be careful the next time you receive a book as a gift; you never know what the pages will reveal.
Environmental Biology: Prophecy: Waste produces bear mutant. Environmental agents investigate. Shit happens. It’s just like real life.
Environmental Chemistry: Toxic Zombies: This movie combines chemistry and the environment into the perfect package. The federal government sprays a forest, turning marijuana farmers into cannibals.
Environmental Science: The Last Winter: NATURE TURNS AGAINST MANKIND!!! STUPID OIL SEEKING HUMANS HAVE RESURRECTED THE GHOSTS OF THE FOSSIL FUELS!!! So all you environmental science majors, watch this movie and help mankind figure out a way to prevent this catastrophe from happening in reality!!!
Ethnicity and Race Studies: Get Out: Horror or reality? Thriller or satire? The lines are starting to blur here...
Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species: The Silence of the Lambs: This movie is one of the most critically acclaimed horror movies in history. It even won five Oscars! It shows the human species at it’s craziest featuring the psychotic Dr. Hannibal Lecter and the serial killer, Buffalo Bill.
Film and Media Studies: The Blair Witch Project: Three film students record footage in a small town to find the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Just some inspiration in case you hadn’t decided what your thesis was about yet.
Financial Economics: American Psycho: We know all you financial econ majors might want to be just like Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) after watching American Psycho: successful by day and serial killers by night. Who told you to go into econ anyway?
Financial Engineering: The Belko Experiment: This movie takes place at Belko Industries in Bogotá, Colombia. An ordinary day at the office turns into a horrific quest for survival when the 80 employees trapped inside the building are given ultimatums such as two workers having to be killed within 30 minutes.
French and Francophone Studies: Martyrs: This French psychological horror film is about two young women who were both victims of abuse as children. The two embark on a bloody quest for revenge only to find themselves plunged into a living hell.
German Literature and Cultural History: M: This German thriller is about a serial killer named Hans Beckert who preys on children. He becomes the focus of a massive Berlin police manhunt which sends him into a tense and panicked attempt to escape.
Hispanic Studies: REC: This Spanish found footage horror film is about a late-night TV host and her cinematographer covering a fire service on a call to an apartment building. However, the Spanish police seal off the building after an old woman is infected by a virus which gives her inhuman strength, trapping them inside.
History: Freaks: This pre-code horror film is not necessarily about a historical event or anything. However, the history of the movie is crazy!! The original 90-minute movie was cut down to 64 minutes after terrible test screenings and one woman threatened to sue MGM claiming that the film caused her to suffer a miscarriage. It is the only MGM film ever to be pulled from release before completing its domestic engagements. It was even banned in the UK for 30 years because it was overly exploitative.
History and Theory of Architecture: Grave Encounters: This movie takes place in an abandoned psychiatric hospital and therefore is perfect for those majoring in history and theory of architecture. The crew of a ghost hunting TV show hole up in an abandoned psychiatric hospital hoping to catch some spooks on camera. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t end well.
Human Rights: Village of the Damned: What are the rights of children? What are the rights of aliens? What are the rights of alien children?
Information Science: Paranormal Activity: After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence. They then set up a camera to gather INFORMATION about what is haunting them.
Industrial Engineering: Final Destination: The seven survivors of a plane crash die one by one. Seems like you industrial engineering majors aren’t doing such a great job…
Italian: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom: This Italian-French horror art film is about a group of fascists who round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to 120 days of physical, mental, and sexual torture.
Latin American and Caribbean Studies: In the Blood: Husband goes mysteriously missing during a Caribbean vacation, and the vacation was turned into a disaster. Watch out!
Materials Science and Engineering: Doom: A security breach at a science facility on Mars leads to the discovery of an escaped mass murderer injected with Alien DNA who is now killing people.
Mathematics: Cube: Not only is this the perfect opportunity to brush up on your geometry skills by observing the industrialized cube-shaped rooms, but also review prime numbers, as any room marked with a prime number is a trap.
Mechanical Engineering: Jaws: This infamous movie is about a dangerous shark that wanders close to the beaches of the New England tourist town of Amity Island. Now where does mechanical engineering come into play? You can use this opportunity to study the mechanical engineering of the shark.
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies: Raat: This Indian horror film is about evil kitty spirits. Yup. That’s right. Evil kitty spirits. Enough said. Definitely a must for MESAAS majors.
Music: A Quiet Place: To have a little contrast in your life, this movie features a family facing struggles in a post-apocalyptic world. No speaking occurs in this movie as the dangerous monsters have ultra-sensitive hearing.
Neuroscience and Behavior: A Nightmare on Elm Street: Honestly, this movie is entirely a mind game which is why it’s perfect for any neuro majors. In this movie, the monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his death. He kills them in their dreams and, therefore, also kills them in reality.
Operations Research: The Cabin in the Woods: The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin where they fall victim to zombies and the two technicians who manipulate events from an underground facility.
Philosophy: It Follows: Fatal curse passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse? Why does this curse exist? Why do the victims exist? Do the victim’s even exist at all? Inquiring minds want to know!! Philosophy majors help!!!!
Physics: Coherence: It’s your chance to study the multiverse and how your doppelganger, for all you know, may want to kill you.
Political Science: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This movie is about a group of friends who, after an unexpected detour, encounter the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin. While this movie might not seem related to political science, it has a political message embedded in it. See if you can find it.
Portuguese Studies: Blood Curse: This Portuguese supernatural horror film is about a family that finds that the country home they’ve just inherited comes with a curse.
Psychology: Psycho: It’s literally half of the major’s name. Pretty well matched, if we may say so ourselves. A secretary is on the run after she steals $40,000 from her employer.
Religion: Rosemary’s Baby: Take a break from Christianity 101, Judaism 101, Hinduism 101, and everything else you are studying and watch this movie so you can begin your Satanism 101 studies.
Russian Language and Culture: The Bride: This Russian psychological thriller is about a new bride who travels with her husband to his ancestral home where she is subjected to a mysterious wedding ceremony.
Russian Literature: Green Elephant Calf: This Russian psychedelic exploitation horror film focuses on two Russian prisoners who are mentally and physically abused.
Slavic Language and Culture: Viy: It’s a mashup of Eastern European legends and horror. What movie could be better to watch on Halloween but also use to learn a little more about Slavic culture?
Slavic Studies: Haunted Poland: This American supernatural horror film shows a tape of a couple who travels to Poland but finds themselves disturbed by an evil force when the girl returns to her hometown where she once played a Ouija board.
Sociology: It: A movie combining the elements of balloons, clowns, and children… A sociologist’s perspective would sure invoke some thoughts regarding the way our family and upbringing dictate where our imaginations go.
Statistics: Would You Rather: When you break this movie down, it’s really all about statistics. What are the chances that a person will stab someone with an ice pick versus whipping someone. Eight desperate people become trapped in a mansion owned by Shepard, who forces them to play a sadistic game for a large sum of money. However the dilemmas become increasingly deadly.
Sustainable Development: The Day After Tomorrow: What is more horrifying for an sus-dev major than environmental apocalypse? Better hold on to mother earth now...
Urban Studies: The Wicker Man: Think of this as an opportunity to compare city life with life in a small Scottish town that practices Celtic paganism.
Visual Arts: Suspiria: Not only does it contain brutal horrific murders, but this cult classic known for its visual and stylistic flair is right up any visual arts majors’ alley.
Women’s and Gender Studies: Jennifer’s Body: Watch Megan Fox get possessed by a demon and satisfy her hunger by eating the flesh of the school’s male population. We love women!!