13 Terrifying Movies To Watch This Halloweekend

by S. Atkinson
Warner Bros. Pictures

Reboots don't get much scarier than the 2017 Stephen King adaptation — just ask the $117 million the movie took in during its opening weekend. So, if you're looking for movies as terrifying as the It remake, this list has got you covered. Below, there are a range of films that place as much emphasis on psychological terror as gore or jump scares — with a few foreign films thrown into the mix, too. But don't be fooled. Despite the variety in genre and age, all of these movies are uniformly terrifying.

The great thing about horror movies is that they offer such a broad range of things to add to your list of phobias It doesn't matter whether you find ghost kids, ventriloquist dolls, Tinder, or Elijah Wood not playing a hobbit scary — by the end of a good horror movie, you will. So be warned: whether you recruit your lover, roomie, or family to keep you company, these aren't films to be consumed alone (or with anyone you think is likely to give in to temptation and jump out at you when you swing by the kitchen for a glass of water). Line them up for Halloween or just when you're next in need of a sweaty palm inducing filmic adventure.


'The Orphanage'

What's creepier than Pennywise? This sack-headed ghost orphan definitely gives the clown a run for his money. The movie centers on Laura, Carlos, and their adopted son Simón as they return to the orphanage Laura grew up in. But when Simón mysteriously goes missing, it triggers a set of terrifying events eventually culminating in the revelation of one seriously dark secret.



Mannequin restoration business. Doesn't the very idea of this company give you the heebie jeebies? Add to that several other chilling factors. Your favorite former hobbit as a serial killer. Mommy issues. Heck, the fact that online dating plays a part will give the concept of Tinder a new kind of awfulness for you after watching this movie. If It is scary about the trauma of childhood, Maniac makes a perfect counterpoint because it's scary about the potential eeriness of isolated, urban, 20something life.


'The Evil Dead'

A gaggle of students decide to take a vacation in a cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere. After all, what could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything after an evil audiotape leads to members of the group being possessed by demons. Not for the faint hearted: it's very gory.


'Deep Red'

There are shades of Hitchcock in Italian director Dario Argento's work: his use of color is striking enough that some of the most awful scenes in this movie will stay tattooed onto the undersides of your eyelids forever. It focuses on a man investigating a series of murders. Even the prog rock soundtrack by Goblin can't take the sting out of this horrifying movie.



After Michael Myers murders his sister one Halloween, he's put in an insane asylum. Fast forward 15 years and he escapes from the sanatorium on the day before Halloween, with his psychiatrist in hot pursuit. His intentions are crystal clear: he means to strike again and, this time, it's local teen Laurie Strode who's in danger.



Because who says only quote unquote horror movies are scary? The sci-fi classic is nightmare- and claustrophobia-inducing thanks to its genius pacing. Bear with the movie's slow start; it isn't long until the film, which centers on the crew of a spaceship being attacked by an alien, descends into chaos.


'Dead Silence'

Sure, clowns are creepy. But ventriloquist dolls are even worse, right? When couple Jamie and Lisa get gifted a ventriloquist doll, Billy, as a gift, instead of promptly giving it away to a charity shop, they actually use it. Shortly after, Lisa is mysteriously killed and has her tongue ripped out. Her death leaves Jamie seeking answers in from all of the scariest quarters of their community.


'Wolf Creek'

This Australian indie movie, centering on a serial killer who picks off tourists in Wolf Creek National Park, is no less terrifying for the fact that Wolf Creek is inspired by true events. Give it a miss if you're about to head down under for a spot of backpacking; it won't be worth the nightmares.


'The Shining'

Because, if you loved It, why not try another Stephen King adaptation on for size? In the words of Roger Ebert, The Shining, which centers on a writer and his family taking a care-taking role at an isolated hotel, "is not about ghosts, but about madness and the energies it sets loose in an isolated situation primed to magnify them."



Him and Mother live in an isolated house together. Him is a struggling poet, while Mother is his partner, a committed homemaker. But when a stranger turns up at their house, asking for shelter, more and more unexpected visitors begin showing up with increasingly dark consequences.


'It Follows'

Incredibly disturbing premise: if you bump uglies with the wrong person, then you'll be pursued by a creature who could take any form, either a person you know or a stranger (kind of like It's shapeshifting villain) who will kill you. What's your out? Having sex with someone new. The entity will then stalk your latest sexual victim — though, whoops, if it manages to kill them, it's going to hunt you again. No wonder millennials are having less sex than any generation in 60 years — we've all clearly seen this movie.



This iconic slasher movie covers all the things: weird Freudian issues, creepy motels, and plot twists. Showering alone will be challenging for a while afterwards.


'The Human Centipede'

When a crazed German doctor gets his hands on three tourists, he decides to stitch them together — but he gets into difficulties when two detectives stop by to investigate the missing tourists.

What works for one person might leave another yawning — but, with so much ground covered, you're sure to find at least one film above that has you just as scared as you were exiting the theater post-It. Enjoy.