When people think about Halloween, they usually think about dressing up in costumes, stuffing their face with candy, and watching scary movies. The only thing I think about is watching scary movies. This isn’t an ultimate list of scary movies to watch, just 10 that I think are well done, so pipe down if you don’t see the Exorcist on the list. They range from gory flicks, to psychological mind benders, to monster movies, and beyond. In addition, they’re in no particular order, so here it goes:
1. Seven (1995)
Seven stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives on the track of a heinous, precise, and disturbingly creative serial killer. The film will throw you in the investigation with them, having you guess at what the killer will do next. It’s also a grimly insightful film about the horrors of the world that we don’t notice anymore because they’re so common. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: There were no animatronics used for the role of Victor. Director David Fincher searched for an actor for the role of Victor that looked incredibly skinny, and found Michael Reid MacKay who weighed 90lbs.
2. The Mist (2007)
You might know Frank Darabont, the man responsible for amazing works like the Shawshank Redemption and the Walking Dead TV series. Well, he also did a gripping monster movie that’s gory and devastating in it’s depiction of the human condition. Based on a Stephen King novel, this film will floor you. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: While filming, the cast noticed an odd, slimy looking creature with multiple legs slugging its way across a branch. It was about three feet long, and no one had ever seen anything like it before. Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea on the Walking Dead, had gotten sick for 3 days straight after simply being near it. Also, none of this is true.
3. Inside (2007)
This french film is an eerie and furious horror flick about the love of a mother. The plot goes like this: a pregnant lady is tormented by a strange woman four months after her husband’s tragic death in car accident. It’s a breath of fresh air for those that love slasher films, as it doesn’t have a by-the-books story-line. The lesson of the film: women that want to be mothers are crazier than women. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: The house number of the main character is 666, the mark of the beast.
4. Near Dark (1987)
Before Kathryn Bigelow made it big with movies like the Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, she made a gritty vampire film called Near Dark. The film follows a young buck that joins a traveling family of vampires after finding out the girl he’s going after is one of them. The scary thing about this film is that the vampires could be killers even if they weren’t bloodsucking lapdogs of Satan. They’re amoral, predatory creatures, and they aren’t seductive or glamorous in any way. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: On a joy ride between takes, Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen were still in costume when they were stopped by a policeman. The cop was so unnerved, his hand was hovering over his pistol. He let them go on their way without a ticket.
5. Let the Right One In (2008)
This Swedish vampire film is pretty much a masterpiece. It tells the story of a young vampire named Eli who befriends a boy name Oskar that gets constantly bullied. Bullies really don’t stand a chance when you have a vampire on your side. Eli has plenty of secrets, and they unravel before your eyes in more ways then one. This beautiful, odd, and disturbing film should be watched by anyone who loves vampire flicks. None of them sparkle. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: The kids in the film use Morse code to communicate and they spell out P-U-S-S in the film, which of course means “small kiss” in Swedish.
6. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Although the plot resembles that of Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp is another beast of its own. When a shy and odd girl named Angela is sent to camp, everyone bullies her. One by one, they get picked off . You think you’ve seen this film before, but you’ll know that you haven’t when everything comes to a close. It appears to be typical old slasher-at-camp flick, and then becomes something else completely. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: The director, Rober Hiltzik, dedicated this creepy Horror film to his mother.
7. The Descent (2005)
A group of adventurous girls go spelunking, and run into a breed of killers that they can’t see coming. The protagonist of the bunch was involved in a car accident prior to her spelunking trip that took the lives of her husband and daughter; she uses the trip as an escape. The film is a great mix of the supernatural and the tangible unknown, filled with gore and scares that are unsettling to say the least. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: The title of the film doesn’t only refer to the spelunking adventure the girls take on, but also their descent into madness.
8. The Orphanage (2007)
This is quite an engaging horror film, and one that I can actually refer to as touching and beautiful, while still managing to be very haunting. It revolves around a mother and her child who has an invisible friend that likes to play games. One day the child goes missing, and the only way his mother can get him back is if she plays along. If you want a Horror film with heart, the emotional kind– not the bloody one, this film is for you. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: Belena Rueda watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Innocents to prepare for her role.
9. Event Horizon (1997)
A spaceship that’s come back from the depths of a black hole is boarded by a crew to find out what happened to the passengers, as they quickly find out that someone or something has turned the ship into a living nightmare for those on-board. Although it borrows from other Horror films, like Alien or Sphere, it’s still presents some fresh ideas and is scary enough to linger a bit. This is definitely a guilty pleasure. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: Footage of orgies and sadomasochistic killings were cut from this film so that the MPAA could give it an R rating instead of the original NC-17 rating.
10. Stir of Echoes (1999)
Kevin Bacon stars in this film as a blue-collar worker that’s hypnotized by his sister in law. He then starts to see visions of a dead girl that leads him spiraling down a mystery that he obsesses over. This film isn’t only scary in a supernatural sense, it also flirts with the fear of being a nobody. Watch the trailer.
Trivia: During the hypnosis sequence, the method used is actually genuine, so the scene does have the potential to put viewers under hypnosis. There’s a musical accent at the close of the sequence to wake viewers up if they are affected.
P.S. If you haven’t watched the Conjuring or You’re Next, I’d give those a shot too.
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