The 50 Best Scary Halloween Movies
We’re heading into the scariest time of the year, fall, when a cold breeze picks up in the air, all the vegetation around you withers and the days get shorter while the nights get longer. this season creates the perfect environment to curl up at home in front of your TV and watch some movies that are sure to give you the shivers.
Horror movies are entering an era of renaissance and there couldn’t be a better time to start watching and re-watching some of the best movies in the genre. As the world around us seems to manifest more things to fear, horror movies are becoming a more essential form of media for digesting the horrors around us and experiencing some form of catharsis.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of awesome horror movies to satisfy any moviegoer’s appetite. there are movies for the hypochondriacs in us, the conspiracy theorists, doomsday thinkers, and superstitious ghost hunters. Let these movies give you a nightmarish alternate reality where you can vicariously experience your worst fears and then return to the comfort of your own home. so get ready to settle in and get scared.
TI West’s A24 feature was billed as a tribute to ’70s exploitation films, but it turned out to be so much more. In X, we follow a group of young actors who are making a bachelor party movie in the barn behind an elderly couple’s remote home in Texas. Between scenes of choreographed sex and brutal violence, x conducts introspective explorations into the fleeting nature of youth, the horror of old age, and unfulfilled desires.
The fifth installment of the iconic ’90s horror film that revolutionized the genre didn’t hold back. while it may be a sequel (or a sequel?), it turns horror movie tropes upside down in delightful ways, just like the original. the new cast, the exciting return of several cast members, and a plot that completely takes your breath away cement this screaming addition as an instant classic.
james wan might be recognized for his essential additions to the horror genre with movies like saw, insidious, and the conjuring, but this standalone feature really unleashed wan’s storytelling chops. This wild story of a young woman haunted by dreams of a mysterious man committing horrific murders takes you through stunning revelations, complete with nightmare-inducing visuals.
ready or not
As if marriage didn’t induce enough fear in some people, prepared or not, up the ante with the in-laws whose tradition is to hunt down the new bride, with all manner of weapons, from dusk till dawn. After surviving the wedding, the bride, Grace, has struggled if she wants to enjoy her new life. and, you know, stay alive.
Ever thought the predator needed an origin story? well, now you have one. Prey is set 300 years ago on the Great Plains of Northern North America, where a young woman from the Comanche tribe must confront the alien predator to protect the ones she loves. It’s a showdown of epic and terrifying proportions.
the hunt was one of the last movies to be released in theaters, traditionally speaking, before the pandemic hit in 2020, which means if you don’t remember it, it’s because there was a lot of real-life horror coming soon in the path. . political satire blends the essence of the hunger games with liberal elitism and far-right extremism for a somewhat messy and downright unsettling depiction of our current times. it’s also genuinely terrifying, with a side full of blood and violence.
It would be hard to think of a movie with such a playful color palette, but as menacing a tone as Midsommar. From the twisted minds at A24, the film takes place in Sweden at a small town midsommar festival. and when a couple (who shouldn’t be together) arrives with their friends (who honestly aren’t much better), shit goes down the drain. Let’s just say there’s gore, a bear suit, and a really ravishing spread that would be appetizing if everyone didn’t keep dying.
his brilliantly designed and remarkably original house subverts expected horror movie tropes and presents a film unlike any that has come before. The film follows a South Sudanese couple who manage to escape the throes of war in their home country of South Sudan, only to arrive in England to discover that they are dealing with a new threat…of the supernatural variation.
train to busan
South Korean action-horror film Train to Busan puts the typical zombie apocalypse genre into a new container as it follows a father and daughter’s journey across the country by train as they learn that the country is being invaded by a plague.
Jordan Peele’s sophomore director introduces Lupita Nyong’o as the mother of a family who finds herself under attack by a mysterious group of strangers who are her exact doppelgangers.
patrick wilson, rose byrne and barbara hershey star in the first installment of the insidious series, in which a family faces the reality that their son has fallen into a mysterious coma in which he is possessed by spirits of another world.
The first partnership of lighthouse director robert eggers and beloved production company a24, the witch is set in 17th century new england and follows a puritanical family who are quick to blame their daughter for the disappearance of their family. son. Suspecting her to be a witch, they struggle between her familial bond and dark forces that might prove more powerful.
Sometimes the scariest movies don’t need to venture into the supernatural or the grandiose to strike fear. put a deepwood guy on a bridge and give him a banjo and that’s all you need to send a shiver down a lot of people. Starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, this 1972 film about a foursome who decide to venture down a rural Georgia river likes to be labeled “an adventure drama,” but the phrase “squeals like a pig !” starts to differ.
After her estranged mother dies, Annie (toni collette) begins to notice unusual activity in her home. After another shocking tragedy, Annie begins to lose control. Is there a supernatural force trying to manipulate her family, or is it all in her head?
a quiet place
A family (led by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) silently navigates a post-apocalyptic world, stalked at every turn by monsters hunting their prey with a supercharged sense of hearing. Although the surviving family has so far managed to avoid the alien hunters, fractures within their own relationships may lead to their downfall. will spend this entire movie on the edge of his seat.
in jennifer kent’s australian gothic thriller, a young widow is burdened with her troubled six-year-old son. But it only gets worse for the beleaguered mother when the titular character in her son’s picture book, the tall, top-hatted specter called the Babadook, begins to creep past the pages of her book and wreaks havoc on mother and son. son.
Six adventurous women venture into the murky depths of an unmapped cave in North Carolina, hoping for a fun ride through the dark. But their mountain vacation is cut short when they discover they’re not the only ones in the cave, which is also full of carnivorous humanoid monsters that hunt the women.
annie thinks she’s found someone trustworthy in her new boyfriend, but after they have sex, he reveals that he’s being stalked by an unnamed evil, which will now haunt her until she can pass it on to the next person she loves. let him sleep with. The moody, retro-inspired horror film is a modern classic with a haunting, unimaginable monster for our heroine to outwit.
A young black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) joins his girlfriend (Allison Williams) to visit the home of her suspiciously overzealous Obama-supporting parents and discovers they can’t be trusted on the job. oscar-winning modern teacher of jordan peele. In Esquire, Stephen Thrasher called the film “the best movie ever made about American slavery.”
In the very literally titled French art horror classic, a famous and deranged surgeon kidnaps beautiful women and attempts to transplant their faces onto his daughter, who, yes, is missing a face.
last house on the left
Wes Craven was one of the few horror masters to plumb the depths of America’s vietnam war-era cultural divides in this gritty, artsy thriller about two teenagers who encounter ruthless escaped prisoners, and how things are violently changed.
In the most haunting allegory of motherhood gone wrong, Rosemary, played by Mia Farrow, grows increasingly panicked by her painful pregnancy and the mysterious neighbors in a building with a history of Satanism. the great ruth gordon won an oscar for her role as rosemary’s fiendishly quirky neighbor, who isn’t as sweet as she seems.
the house of the devil
Samantha, a broke college student struggling to pay her rent, gets a job babysitting an odd couple called the Ulmans. things get even stranger when samantha finds out that her charge is not a boy, but mr. Ulman’s sick mother. Foolishly ignoring her intuition, Samantha’s concert turns into a night from hell when she realizes the Ulmans have some particularly devious plans for her.
Nearly four decades after its release, The Exorcist remains the scariest film ever made and introduces one of the most terrifying cinematic villains in Regan Macneil, an innocent 12-year-old girl possessed by demonic force. William Friedkin’s Oscar-nominated film was pretty much the first prestige horror film with incredible performances, heavy thematic material, and game-changing jump scares.
Giving us a taste of just how cool (and weird) Jake Gyllenhall could be, Donnie Darko follows Donnie as his clichéd teenage social outcast issues somehow stack interdimensional stakes. It’s a perfect combination of a scary movie: a troubled teenager, a memorable monster, all set during the Halloween season.
night of the living dead
created the modern zombie genre and its penchant for sociopolitical echoes. But even more than that legacy, George A. Rosemary’s low-budget black-and-white original proved that you don’t need money to create a horror classic; you just need brainiacs.
john carpenter’s boogeyman slasher nightmare spawned a legion of lesser sequels that couldn’t diminish the ominous power of its original, about a psychopath who returns to his hometown years later to don a misshapen william shatner mask and stalk jamie lee curtis.
Arguably the most terrifying movie of all time, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller generates terror due to its meticulous execution. And, courtesy of Jack Nicholson’s role as a murderous family man, it also features the most memorable horror movie performance in decades.
a nightmare on elm street
The story of a child molester who returns from the dead to hunt down the children of his dream killers, Wes Craven’s shocking seminal acknowledges that you are never more vulnerable than when you sleep, a fact that naturally generates countless scares for one of the biggest horror franchises in movie history
Its sequel may boast more grandiose man vs. beast action, but Ridley Scott’s beautiful 1979 outer space saga about a group of astronauts battling a malevolent alien remains the scariest installment in the franchise.
the texas chainsaw massacre
Ignore all the remakes, remakes of remakes, and remakes of prequels, and stick with tobe hooper’s original 1974 grindhouser, about a slightly deranged, hippie-hating family with a house noted for its giant meat hooks. , furniture made of human bones and clothing made of human skin. giant who loves to kill turns his chainsaw.
a cautionary tale about the dangers of stealing from your boss and also about staying in roadside motels run by mom’s kids. Alfred Hitchcock originated the star’s surprise first-act murder with the story of a woman (Janet Leigh) on the run who is too accepting of the generosity of a dark-haired stranger (Anthony Perkins).
The only thing scarier than facing a hideous intergalactic monster is facing one that has the ability to shapeshift into human form: a who-is-the-creature scenario that director john carpenter employs for the intense suspense (with some big nasty special effects).
Japanese director Takeshi Miike is infamous for pushing the boundaries of good taste, though rarely has he displayed such extreme tension as in this 1999 film about a man who discovers dating can be a deadly adventure.
let the right one in
A young outcast meets and falls in love with an immortal young bloodsucker in this superb 1980s Swedish romance novel by Tomas Alfredson, culminating in an unforgettable pool scene.
Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 film is Spielberg’s fantasy story about a South Korean family besieged by an extraordinary enemy: a giant sea monster created from toxic waste.
henry: portrait of a serial killer
Michael Rooker is a serial killer whose crimes don’t deserve much attention from the powers that be in John McNaughton’s cold, clinical and harrowing character study (based in part on true events).
Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is an unbearably disturbing portrait of youthful alienation and rage, with one of the genre’s most unforgettable fire and brimstone endings.
don’t look now
A couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) grieving the death of their daughter become convinced that she is trying to reach them from beyond the grave in Nicolas Roeg’s deeply unnerving thriller. You will never look at girls in red coats the same way again.
the movie that, for a brief period of time, made everyone afraid of their television. Naomi Watts stars as a journalist investigating why people keep dying watching a certain videotape. and just like all the best scary movies, she has a creepy kid.
the blair witch project
When the blair with project originally came out in 1999, people didn’t know if it was fact or fiction. billed as “found video footage”, it tells the story of three students who travel to a small town to investigate a murder and are eventually terrorized in the woods.
drag me to hell
Sam Raimi’s 2009 horror film is the perfect example of unspeakable horror and crude humor. Alison Lohman plays a bank loan officer who turns down an elderly woman’s request for an extension on her mortgage payment. The woman magically retaliates, casting a curse on her new enemy and promising an untimely death.
A nine-year-old Russian girl adopted by a kind American couple (played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard), Esther begins behaving in dangerous ways: bullying her new brother and the boys at school, murdering a nun, and trying to seduce his new adoptive father. It doesn’t take long for one to realize that perhaps this girl is not all that she seems. This year she released a new prequel, Orphan: First Kill, which would be an exciting double feature.
if you call me by your name director luca guadagino, how do you follow one of the most memorable love stories of the 2010s? making one of his best horror movies. His remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic casts Dakota Johnson in the title role as an American dancer who auditions at a world-famous dance academy in Berlin (where, spoiler, dance instructors aren’t just instructors!) dance!).
before james gunn made it big with marvel and guardians of the galaxy, he was making really weird genre movies, like slither starring michael rooker and elizabeth banks. yes, there is a comedic slant to the film, taking place in a small town that an alien organism begins to terrorize, but its body horror elements will leave a slug-sized stamp on your brain.
In Robert Eggers’ directorial debut, a Puritan family from Colonial New England moves to a farm outside their Plymouth Colony, where they encounter all manner of supernatural wackiness in the surrounding forest. come for the vintage colonial throwback, stay for the scary goats.
If you’re not familiar with the story, which is based on a novel by Stephen King, it follows a group of kids battling an ancient supernatural clown named Pennywise. Of course, the 1990 Tim Curry-directed miniseries will always be a classic, but Pennywise was just begging for the big-budget CGI effects of the 21st century. the giant clown in that spotlight scene? tentacles swinging out of pennywise’s mouth? good luck sleeping.
Even though this world of horror is nearly 100 (!) years old, this story of Earl Orlok’s hosting of Thomas Hutter still delivers. Yeah, old horror movies like this one tend to look a little cheesy in modern times, but the creepy mug of noseferatu, somber photography, and a timely message about xenophobia hold up today.
I imagine it’s hard to make a cannibal movie, let alone one that isn’t a gross mess or a cheesy cancellation. raw, which follows a vegetarian beginning her first semester of vet school, where she, boy, does she like meat. It sounds simple, but raw’s built-in suspense (how far is she willing to go?) and the art house vibe make it worth watching.
To see 90 Breathless Minutes of Stephen Lang in top form, check out Don’t Breath: Fede Alvarez’s breathless horror thriller. The film follows three thieves who attempt to steal $300,000 in cash from a house in an abandoned Detroit neighborhood, which turns out to be owned by blind Gulf War veteran Norman Nordtrom (Lang).