With the world gearing up to celebrate Halloween, it’s the perfect season to grab some popcorn, huddle with all of your friends or family and get prepared to scream off your head by watching some of the scariest horror films of all time. Trick and treat are for the kids but the adults need a healthy dose of spookiness to usher in Halloween. There has been a horde of horror films over the years and it might be a tad difficult to zero on the best ones, but rest assured because we have you covered.
Here’s a list of the best horror films to watch this Halloween.
The Nightmare on Elm Street
The story of a child molester who returns from the dead to prey upon his killers’ children in their dreams is enough to give anyone sleepless nights. The film is a shocker and will definitely give goosebumps to any who watches it home alone. Directed by Wes Craven the film showcases that we are extremely vulnerable when asleep- a fact that spawned several horror franchises.
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, The Shining is probably one of the scariest films out there directed by Stanley Kubrick. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd, the psychological horror drama takes place at the remote Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains. Nicholson steals the show as a murderous paterfamilias and sends chills down one’s spine with his portrayal. A sequel titled Doctor Sleep is up for release on November 8 this year starring Ewan McGregor as the grown-up Danny Torrance from The Shining.
The Exorcist is probably the first film that comes to mind when you think of horror films. It is a 1973 film directed by William Friedkin and produced and written for the screen by William Peter Blatty. The film is based on the 1971 novel of the same name by Blatty. The film follows the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempt to rescue her through an exorcism performed by two priests. The film was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was nominated for a total of ten awards out of which it won the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing. The film was one of the first prestigious horror films to be made with incredible performances, the edge of the seat scares and heavy thematic material.
Starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox and Daveigh Chase The Ring for a brief period of time made everyone fear their TV and phones. The film was a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, based on the novel of the same name by Kozi Suzuki. Watts plays a journalist who investigates a cursed videotape that seemingly kills the viewer seven days after watching it. The film was pretty successful and gave rise to two sequels as well The Ring Two, and Rings.
Written and directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian, Clay Tanner, and, in his feature film debut, Charles Grodin, the film is devoid of ghosts and supernatural activities but is horrific in its subject and treatment. Rosemary’s Baby deals with paranoia, occult, Christianity (Catholicism) and women’s liberation. The film chronicles the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult wants to take her baby for use in its rituals. Probably the most frightening scene of the film is its closing scene where Rosemary actually takes her child in her arms with a loving smile on her face.
A nine-year-old Russian girl adopted by a kind American couple played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard does not seem to be what she portrays to be. The girl Esther begins to act in strange ways bullying her new brother as well as kids at school, murdering a nun and trying to seduce her new father and wreaking havoc in the family. It doesn’t take long to realize that the kid is not what she claims to be.
The Blair Witch Project
When The Blair Witch Project came out in 1999 it left people confused whether it was real or fiction as it was advertised as "found video footage.” It tells the fictional story of three student filmmakers who hike in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. They disappear but their equipment and footage are found a year later. The ‘recovered footage’ is the film that the viewer sees.
The Grudge is described as a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. The curse is an entity that is created when the person dies and haunts and kills anyone who comes in contact with it. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar the film will definitely send a shiver down your spine.
Brian De Palma’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name is one of the most disturbing tales of isolation and alienation. The film stars Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a 16-year-old shy teenager who is consistently mocked and bullied at her school. Her peers are unaware that she possesses telekinetic powers and after a nasty prank at the prom night unleashes it with utmost fury to kill everyone in the school.
Psycho is a psychological horror film devoid of any ghosts, zombies or evil spirits because the mortal men are far more dangerous than the dead. Directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Joseph Stefano the film is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film deals with the perils of stealing from one’s employer and staying at secluded and remote motels.
The Conjuring is a 2013 supernatural film directed by James Wan and written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. It is the first film in the Conjuring film franchise. The film is based on apparently real-life reports of the haunting that paranormal investigators Ed Lorraine Warren played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga investigated. The film is based on the haunting experienced by the Perron family at their farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971.
After watching It we’re sure you’ll never look at clowns the same way ever again. Once again the film is based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. The film tells the story of seven children in Derry, Maine who are terrorized by an eponymous being that makes them face their own personal demons. Bill Skarsgard features as Pennywise The Dancing Clown who preys on children’s fears and is the entity that terrorizes the children of the town before hibernating for 27 years.
We hope with this exhaustive list you’re covered for Halloween 2019 and will have a spooky and thrilling evening.