13 Horror Movies to Watch If You Really Want a Good Scare

Halloween just might be the most fun holiday of them all. Sure Christmas has presents, but it also has emotionally exhausting family time and crippling guilt. You might love the 4th of July BBQs, but don't forget about the heinous mosquito bites. Yes, Halloween just may be the best of the whole lot. When you’re a kid it’s all about the candy, but when you’re an “adult,” it’s all about the candy AND watching scary movies. So, whiiiiich horror movie to watch. Decisions, decisions.

When Halloween rolls around, I'm willing to hide my face under a blanket during a few of my favorite thrillers just to get in the spirit. Whether you like 'em a little funny, full of ghosts, or a total gory mess, here are the best horror films to get you ready for October 31. Scream on, screamers.

Image: Dimension Films

by Rachel Semigran


Scream was the film that rang in a new generation of horror movies: the teen slasher. From Drew Barrymore’s iconic telephone scene to the horrific series of murders, Scream will still have you sleeping with the lights on… and never answering the phone when you’re home alone.

Image: Dimension Films

'I Know What You Did Last Summer'

Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar AND Jennifer Love Hewitt, you don’t get any dreamier-yet-also-terrifying than this. A lesser known title for the film, Hey Remember That Time We Killed a Guy and Now it Haunts us FOREVER? and Watch Out for the Guy in the Trench Coat With the Hook!

Image: Columbia Pictures

'Cabin Fever'

What do you mean a group of college friends taking a camping trip in the woods could go horribly HORRIBLY wrong? Add in Rider Strong, a flesh eating virus and one of the strangest scenes in cinematic history (I’m simply going to call it “pancakes”) and you’ve got the making for a modern horror flick that is also disturbingly funny. Watch the bonus feature “Rotten Fruit” for extra weirdness.

Image: Tonic Films

'Shaun of the Dead'

If you need a little respite from the standard horror movie, why not take in a horror comedy? Simon Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead is as hilarious as it is gory. It’s like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead, except you can actually laugh and not lie awake at night fearing the zombie apocalypse… because you know all you have to do is PRETEND to be a zombie and the zombies won’t eat you. Duuuuuh.

Image: Universal Pictures

'The Evil Dead'

Welcome to the world of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, y’all. In this classic low-budget horror film, Campbell, the king of B-Movies, and his friends set off for a cabin in the woods (wait where have I heard this before) and they unknowingly release ancient demons after finding an audiotape of their possessed souls. Asses are kicked and gratuitous gore ensues.

Image: Renaissance Pictures


Granted, I’m not fond of the whole torture horror genre that the Saw franchise helped to establish, but the original is still quite the feat of terror. Not only does it have some seriously disturbing imagery, it’ll have you questioning, “What would I do?” The answers are probably just as gruesome as watching the movie.

Image: Evolution Entertainment

'Paranormal Activity'

Oh do you never want to sleep in your own home safely again? THEN THIS ONE’S FOR YOU! The low-budget horror takes you inside a quiet suburban home that is haunted by demons in the middle of the night. The home movie feel will make you feel even more uneasy as you watch. Ugh. Good luck.

Image: Solana Films

'The Blair Witch Project'

It’s the granddaddy of hand-held horror. Again, a few young people go off into the woods, but this time they actually are doing it to investigate the hauntings of the Blair Witch. The fear doesn’t come from grisly images nor in-your-face terror, rather the horror is quieter: It’s the rustling in the dark and the look in the character’s faces about what they are seeing. The Blair Witch Project made stick figurines terrifying way before True Detective ever did.

Image: Haxan Films

'The Sixth Sense'

Sure, we all know the twist ending now, but it doesn’t make it any less of a haunting film. Watch it again, see the clues, and still find it as chilling as when it was released 15 years ago.

Image: Spyglass Entertainment

'The Ring'


Image: DreamWorks


You have to watch Halloween on Halloween! C’mon, it’s science. Jamie Lee Curtis also gives a stunning performance.

Image: Compass International Pictures


None of these fancy new remakes, I want the Sissy Spacek original. Perfect for Halloween or anytime you still need to work out some issues from high school with telekenetic powers.

Image: United Artists

'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

If not for the nightmares, then at least for young Johnny Depp. Hubba hubba.

Image: New Line Cinema