What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie(s)?: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin Edition

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Matt Bettinelli-Olpin is one of the founders of Radio Silence. He is also a filmmaker who has casually co-directed some of my favorite films. Because I was late to the party, I showed up in 2019 when Ready Or Not hit theaters and became my new favorite thing. Since then, the crew has been consistently churning out fun blood baths with loveable ensembles to die for. Abigail is the latest film in this streak of decadently violent dark comedies Matt is partially responsible for. Seeing as my favorite ballerina is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, I felt it was finally time to make this column Matt’s problem.

As most of you have probably realized, I use these articles to bother people who make cool stuff. Even before Radio Silence won many of us over in 2019, they were putting out content that fit the bill. From the earlier days of Chad, Matt & Rob to group projects like V/H/S and Southbound, they have kept the genre kids happy. So, it was only a matter of time before I asked the good folks behind the beloved production company the most important question. I chose Matt Bettinelli-Olpin to go first, and he returned with a pretty fantastic list. I am happy to report that our streak of unimpeachable horror recommendations continues. Check it out for yourself below! 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Where You Can Watch: VOD

A teen has to figure out why a serial killer is picking her friends off in their dreams. I love Petty Freddy, and I am a Wes Craven girl. Most of us grew up on this franchise, but the first film is why we are the way we are today. It is iconic and is one of the movies thrown around when people try to pick a favorite from Wes’ resume. So, off the bat, we know Matt has taste. We probably also see where this love of bloody chaos, which has become part of the Radio Silence aesthetic, stems from.

Joy Ride (2001)

Where You Can Watch: Paramount+ and Pluto TV

College kids get on the wrong side of a trucker who turns out to be a killer. This deadly road trip is fun and escalates quickly. It also stars Steve Zahn and the late Paul Walker. One of the things that sticks out to me is how we never see the trucker, but we get his disembodied voice over the CB radio. It is an old trick that really works on me, a When A Stranger Calls (1979) stan account. This is an unsettling little gem that we do not appreciate enough. Ironically, the last time I rewatched it was because it auto-played after Southbound. It was an unintentional double feature that proves road trips are hell.

Scream (1996)

Where You Can Watch: Max

A teen is terrorized by a masked killer on the anniversary of her mother’s murder. This is the only movie I expected to see here because Radio Silence made two of my favorite entries in this franchise. There is a reason why so many Scream fans are living their best life with this production company’s most recent hits. It is not hard to see that the later Wes Craven films heavily influenced this squad. If Matt Bettinelli-Olpin had not listed this cinematic masterpiece, I would have had many questions, comments, and concerns. You do not get Scream (2022) and Scream VI without spending serious time with this game-changing slasher. Also, I am here for Matt not being able to choose between this and A Nightmare On Elm Street, so just listing both. That is really the only correct answer when forced to choose your favorite Wes Craven movie.

Aliens (1986)

Where You Can Watch: Hulu

Ellen Ripley is sent back into space and forced into a heated battle with the Alien Queen and her offspring. Many of us sleep on this one, but Ripley leveled up in badassery in this sequel. This is where Sigourney Weaver became an action hero, in addition to being a final lady. Seeing it on Matt’s list makes so much sense because part of the Radio Silence ensemble guarantee is that the women must be badasses. From Ready Or Not to Abigail, the girls are fighting, and we love to see it. This team does not seem to know what a damsel in distress is. They have also taught us that we should be a little afraid of our favorite final girls. I support this message. 


Where You Can Watch: VOD

A family is attacked by their mysterious doppelgangers. I love this selection because so many people cannot understand how great this film is. Jordan Peele fully snapped and gave us cinema. Also, Lupita Nyong’o should have gotten an Oscar for each character she bodied in this movie. This selection makes me extra giddy because Monkeypaw Productions is the other company making most of my favorite things. So, not only does Matt have taste, but he also understands what a moment Us was for film. He has also chosen his favorite Jordan Peele movie, which is something I am not metal enough to do. 

Clearly, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin has taste! My favorites continue turning out stellar lists of horror movies. This is the only math that makes sense in my brain. It should be noted that while I was making Matt answer this difficult question, I mentioned some people sneak a show into their top 5. He immediately said The Twilight Zone would have been his cheat, and I am squeezing that in for obvious reasons. Many of us grew up watching reruns and are probably the weirdos we are today because of Rod Serling. We love a lot of anthologies, but none of them can compete with the legacy of this show.

You can keep up with Matt on Instagram and via Radio Silence Productions. While on the website, you should check out all of this team’s body of work because this trajectory is just as weird and fun as you expect it to be. You can also dance home with a physical copy of Abigail today! Or buy her on VOD if digital is your thing. For those who do not enjoy owning stuff, she is twirling her way onto Peacock on July 19.