9 Scary Movies Without All the Gore That You Should Watch For Halloween
If there's ever a better time to sit down and watch a bone-chilling movie, you better believe it's Halloween. At this point in time, the hunger for gross-outs, blood, guts, and ultimately anything gory becomes bigger and more serious than ever. That is, unless you hate watching gross-outs, blood, guts, and ultimately anything gory. And if you’re like me you fall into that latter category, so these non-gory horror films are as perfect for you as they were for me.
Blood and gore are almost synonymous with terrifying, at least for the horror film genre anyway, and I get it. I understand why that's part of the appeal, why that adds to the genre's essential elements, etc. It's just not particularly my thing. And I know I can't be the only one out there who feels this way, but still wants to indulge in a good scare fest. Right? Good thing there are plenty of well crafted non-gory horror films that move beyond bloody over share, but still manage to tell blood-curdling stories. The thrills without the spills, if you know what I mean.
So if you’re like me, sit down, grab some popcorn/all of the candy in your house, and prepare to be scared, not grossed out by the following truly petrifying films.
Is any list of horror films to watch without Rosemary's Baby really an accurate list at all? Of course not, because that was a rhetorical question. Standing as one of the most iconic horror films to date, Rosemary's Baby is electric with performance, plot line, and scares, but the best part is that it's easy to watch, even for the squeamish.
2. It Follows
A small film that hit the indie sphere with a big presence. It Follows takes the usual sex and violence motifs present within horror films and turns them on their heads. Don't miss this one, especially for the visually stunning cinematography.
Responsible for the majority of my nightmares as a child (and, um, maybe even now), The Blair Witch Project was not only a massive hit, it was massively scary, compelling, and without unnecessary gore.
4. Rear Window
Really anything by OG horror legend Hitchcock could be on this list (and I suggest all of them), but there's something incredibly special about Rear Window. Maybe it’s the chemistry between Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, or maybe it’s the innovative voyeurism present in both the story and the direction. Either way, it's simple, classic, and completely deserving of its status as one of the greatest films of all time.
The Swedish horror film (there’s an American one by the same name, but this one’s better, trust), is, in essence, a “vampire film,” but don’t write it off as just that. It’s wrought with tension, despair, and ultimately will stay with you long after you’ve watched it. (Necessary note: this one's a bit more violent than others on the list, but still watchable if you're of the sensitive variety.)
6. The Others
The Others has all the makings of a horror classic: supernatural beings, ghosts, paranoia. But it’s the final twist at the end that makes it stand out.
7. The Ring
The Ring does nothing if not remind us that fear comes in all shapes and sizes. The dark and twisted premise doesn't need a ton of violence to be scary (just some creepy jump cuts, and a young girl with dark, long hair).
Similar to its predecessor The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity’s “found footage” aesthetic provides viewers with a landscape that’s so stripped of typical horror film grandiosity, it’s realness is haunting.
Daniel Radcliffe (in his first role since the Harry Potter series) plays the part of a Victorian-era lawyer with just the right amount of fear and curiosity. The premise of a haunted house seems simple and perhaps tediously overdone, but The Woman in Black executes the ominousness without much redundancy.
With these films, you can finally indulge in the October tradition of scare. It's about to get real spooky this year. I can feel it.