As far as scary movies go, we all have our own tastes. It might be teen slasher flicks, paranormal horrors, zombies movies, or monster movies. I compiled a list not just of my favorite scary movies, but films I consider to be horror classics. Read the list and be sure to tell me your favorite scary movies in the comments section.
Just for fun (to get in the “mood”)
10) Urban Legend (1998)—As a kid this movie creeped me out, but now I enjoy it during the Halloween season on days I get to curl up on the couch with a gloomy sky to match the vibe. It’s almost the same as reading your favorite scary story collection, except you get to watch wild-haired Rebecca Gayheart play the crazed bad guy in each scenario. I still get squeamish during the scene when she re-enacts the kidney heist legend with character Natalie (there was a scalpel involved). Also, a hidden gem in this film is Jared Leto, which I never remember until I watch the movie.
9) Hocus Pocus (1993) —Yes, this is a Disney movie, but it makes my list because even as a 25 year old I still thoroughly enjoy this movie. Sarah Jessica Parker, Billy the Zombie (“GO TO HELL!”), and the dated 90s look of the film are just a few of the things that make Hocus Pocus amazing. Plus, there are tons of sexual undertones that I missed as a child. In my opinion, Hocus Pocus can be enjoyed any time of year, not just during Halloween.
8) Predator (1987)—For those of you that haven’t seen this movie, I understand your confusion at me for putting it under the “fun” category. Predator, the dread-headed alien who could turn invisible, used to terrify me as a kid. For real, I used to have nightmares about him. When I was growing up, I used to make myself think Predator was lurking through the trees by my house in his clear skin. Now that I am over the idea of aliens, I can thoroughly enjoy Arnold Schwarzenegger as a meathead military man.
Reserved for when I want to be especially scared
7) The Ring (2002)—Dead children. Psych wards. Crawling out of televisions (after being strangled and dropped in a well), Amber Tamblyn mangled in the closet—to this day this scene still terrifies me to the point I need to pull up a blanket to block my view of vision. Samara is the queen of scary children in my book; she’s been replicated in many films since then, but none match her terror. You barely see the girl’s actual face in the movie, but the way her long ebony hair hangs over her eyes, I would be avoiding eye contact at every turn. The drab filter and disturbing images make me feel heavy when I watch the movie, which is why I save it for rare occasions. If your phone happens to ring after watching it, maybe you should just let it to voicemail.
6) IT (1990)— 192 minutes of an evil clown terrorizing children. I can barely handle movies longer than two hours these days, but this Stephen King film will keep you entranced so you barely notice three hours have passed. Admittedly there are some slow moving parts, but they all build up to the bone chilling scenes that make this movie one of the scariest I’ve seen. IT’s bloodshot eyes, fangs, and hands that turn into monster claws have successfully ruined my vision of clowns forever. I can’t even stare at Ronald McDonald for more than a few seconds. This movie has also convinced me climbing into a sewer system would be a very, very bad idea.
5) The Strangers (2008)—A couple staying in an isolated cabin while being terrorized by strangers in masks are the typical ingredients for a cliché scary movie. However, this film shook me to my bones with the graphic nature and level of reality it was taken to. With a “based on a true story” disclosure at the beginning and the completely random acts of violence against the couple, it’s hard not to feel terrified. The scenario the director set up makes it seem like it could happen to anyone. The explicit final scene was enough to leave me so scared that my eighteen year-old self called my house to make sure the hallway light was on. I was not walking into a dark house after that nightmare.
My classics (A.K.A. favorite teenage slasher films)
4) Carrie (1976)— “They’re all going to laugh at you!” This is the only film in this list that is truly considered a classic and isn’t a teenage slasher film. While Carrie can get boring if you’ve seen it more than a few times, it’s still the ultimate teenage revenge story. A black sheep can only be beaten down so many times before they snap, and unfortunately Carrie had to burn alive her high school class to prove that point. She is probably the only one who gives Samara (The Ring) a run for her money. No matter how much I try to prepare for it, the last scene still makes me jump.
3) I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)—The dreamiest cast brings to life a worst fear for many teens who have wild nights with their friends in the summer time. I’ve probably watched this movie more times than necessary, but I can’t resist turning it on whenever I see it on the T.V. guide. Despite the amount of times I’ve watched it, I always get nervous that this time around Sarah Michelle Gellar is going to catch the stalker fisherman in her closet.
2) Halloween (1978)—This film fought to be my top spot for #1, but second place still shows my appreciation for it. The background music has the ability to give me goosebumps although it sounds like it was put together with a few sounds from a music machine. Michael Myers remains a mass murderer even though he does not run (his average speed looks about 2.5 mph). He’s basically immortal: surviving multiple gun-shot wounds, being stabbed in the eye, and hung from a rope. Yet, he always makes it out alive, and he always finds who he’s looking for, even if you’re locked up “safely” in a psych ward. Rob Zombie takes this film to a gut wrenching level, but I prefer the classic. John Carpenter knew how to make a scary film before technology did all the work.
1) Scream (1996)—Neve Campbell is my scream queen, and I fell in love with her as Sidney Prescott in the first installment of four. Kids have a tendency to become weirdly obsessed with movies, and I chose this as one of mine. Scream for me was the first film that started my love for scary movies. The morphed voice over the phone, the screaming ghost mask, and the bad boy, boyfriend were the perfect ingredients to make me jump and keep me entertained. When I get asked, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” my answer still remains, Scream.