October is the perfect time to turn on a scary movie and then immediately regret doing so.
As Halloween creeps closer, it might be time to get into the spooky spirit by watching some seriously scary movies.
You know, those movies that make you lock the doors, turn on all the lights, and check under your bed. There is no criteria to be on this list except being downright frightening.
Whether that is Regan MacNeil’s head-turning around backward in The Exorcist all the way back 1973 (still horrifying) or Charlie appearing in the corner of Peter’s bedroom in the middle of the night in Hereditary (make it stop!), these movies should NOT be watched alone.
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Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Heck, even some of these trailers are scary enough.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts…
(Full disclosure, I couldn’t even finish the trailer.)
Ari Aster’s 2018 mystery/thriller/horror flick is enough to not want to leave the house for a few days.
The film follows a grieving family who is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences. Every shot of this movie is perfectly executed, it just looks scary. The music is spine-chilling, the acting is enticing, it’s just too much.
There’s a sense of realism throughout the movie that makes you feel it could actually happen to you.
I already have goosebumps.
A family’s home is haunted by demonic ghosts (MAYBE BECAUSE IT WAS BUILT ON A CEMETARY?)
There are scary toys, terrorizing ghosts, and oh yeah — a guy who tears his own face off.
Call it “desktop horror” or “digital scary” Host may be less well known, but it is seriously frightening.
The film follows six friends who hire a medium to host a séance over Zoom, and things quickly go wrong.
The film is shot in a claustrophobic way that makes you feel like you’re on the opposite side of the video call, making all the hauntings that much more realistic.
Sinister follows a true-crime writer who moves his family into the home where a gruesome murder took place.
Sure, it doesn’t sound like a great idea, but this flick features both jump scares and psychological scares that make diving into this 2012 horror film a great idea.
A family faces the reality that their son has fallen into a mysterious comatose where he becomes possessed by otherworldly spirits.
It’s one of those films that has scary stuff in the background, foreground, and musical score.
Ari Aster delivered another horror knockout film in 2019 with this seemingly cheery and colorfully-toned film.
The film takes place in Sweden during a midsummer festival where a couple arrives with their friends before things realllllyyy hit the fan.
There’s gore, jump scares, a bear suit, and background images that will stick in your nightmares for weeks.
This one is tough to handle.
The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring is truly scary, mostly because it’s based on true events. There’s a haunted house (guys, stop going to these!), demons, and an exorcism.
It’s not particularly full of gore/blood, which makes it all the scarier.
Child’s Play (1988)
A doll possessed by a serial killer, what more do you want?
You may never look at dolls the same way.
The Exorcist (1973)
Often regarded as the scariest movie ever made, The Exorcist still holds up nearly four decades later.
Regan MacNeil spider-crawling down the scares will give everyone goosebumps. It’s a must-watch for horror fans.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
The first entry to the Paranormal Activity franchise uses “real footage” that follows a couple being haunted in their own house.
There are half a dozen other Paranormal Activity films, but this is the only one you really need to see.
The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film will make you think. And when it comes to horror films, that’s not always a good idea.
The film, based on Stephen King’s novel, follows a family who moves to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence while his psychic son sees horrific events from both the past and future.
Even the musical score in the opening 15 seconds is scary. This is an absolute trip.
Speaking of Stephen King, the remake of It from 1990 is a frightening ride. Pennywise is a clown who preys on kids in a small Maine town, and boy, oh boy, is this one horrifying.
A Quiet Place (2018)
A Quiet Place is an innovative take on the horror genre. Usually, tactics in scary movies are so reliant on using sound to scare its audience. But not for this John Krasinksi flick. He neutralizes the film’s silence by making it seriously scary and uneasy.
The Ring (2002)
Samara climbing out of the TV might make you not walk into your living room for a few days.
The movie was made nearly 20 years ago, and it stands up remarkably well (literally unlike the crawling Samara).
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Freddy Krueger and your own nightmares.
That’s all you need to know.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Forget all the remakes, sequels, and prequels. The classic 1974 grindhouse movie about a hippie-hating family inside a house with giant meat hooks and human bones is all you need. It’s so scary because director Tobe Hooper does a great job of giving away so little and only striking when the time is right.
Oh boy, you’re in for a treat (but keep the lights on).
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary in this disturbing allegory for childbearing gone wrong. There’s a demonic and supernatural being that fuses with the everyday realism of having a baby that makes this movie so scary, even over fifty years later.