10 Scary Movies To Haunt Your Halloween

10 Scary Movies to Haunt Your Halloween
10 Scary Movies to Haunt Your Halloween

For some people, Halloween is all about candy and costumes—a fun, colourful night of treats. But there’s plenty to be said for tricks, too. When the kids have stopped ringing the doorbell, the best way to spend your Halloween is curled up with some movies that’ll scare you half to death. Here are some of the most frightening films of all time:

The Exorcist (1973)

This ‘70s classic was the stuff of nightmares for a generation, not to mention a genuinely good movie. The freakout moments are perfectly balanced with slow, aching tension throughout, and Linda Blair’s performance as Regan is terrifying. Watch this if you dare, you’ll never look at pea soup the same way again.

Scariest Line: “You’re going to die up there.”

The Sixth Sense (1999)

There aren’t many Oscar nominees that can be considered horror movies, but Haley Joel Osment’s performance as a young boy who can communicate with the dead is positively chilling. The twist ending might be one of the best of all time, but it’s just the cherry on top of a very scary sundae.

Scariest Line: “I see dead people.”

The Ring (2002)

It begins with an urban legend—there’s a videotape that, if you watch it, you die mysteriously a week later—but the movie unspools in a way that makes it entirely believable. It has a sweet sadness to it, but the sense of dread will linger long after you’ve turned the lights back on. If your phone rings when the movie ends, maybe don’t answer the call.

Scariest Line: “Everyone will suffer.”

Jaws (1975)

Forget Sharknado, this is the film that turned galeophobia—the fear of sharks—into an outright epidemic. Before it was released, people weren’t terribly concerned about being eaten alive when they went to the beach. We don’t see much of the movie’s man-eating monster, just enough to question our place at the top of the food chain.

Scariest Line: “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”

Paranormal Activity (2007)

The documentary-style horror flick was pioneered in The Blair Witch Project, but it was near-perfected by Paranormal Activity. The subtle buildup of eerie moments throughout the story culminates in absolute terror by the end. Forget about falling asleep afterwards, you’ll be lying in bed waiting for something to tug at your sheets.

Scariest Line: “You cannot run from this—it will follow you.”

The Shining (1980)

Stephen King’s classic novel became Stanley Kubrick’s obsession—the detail in the pacing, the cinematography, the slow burn towards madness is masterful. Jack Nicholson is a scary guy on his best day, but in this claustrophobic, supernatural thriller he’s the stuff of nightmares.

Scariest Line: “I wish we could stay here forever… and ever… and ever.”

28 Days Later (2002)

Oscar winner Danny Boyle revived the zombie genre, taking it to new places by reinventing his monsters as sprinting, bloodthirsty creatures rather than the shuffling ghouls we were used to. If the paranoia doesn’t get you, the bleak, no-future vibe will have you worrying about the psychological impact of a zombie apocalypse.

Scariest Line: “Staying alive’s as good as it gets.”

The Strangers (2008)

There are scary movies that seem plausible and there are movies that are scary because they really could happen. There’s nothing supernatural at work in The Strangers, just everyday anonymous psychopaths bent on killing people for no reason.

Scariest Line: “Why are you doing this to us?”

“Because you were home.”

One Hour Photo (2002)

Sometimes the scariest thing is watching one lonely, isolated person’s mind unravel. Robin Williams is perfectly menacing as a photo developer-turned stalker mostly because a tiny part of us could see Williams’ own racing mind taking a dark turn.

Scariest Line: “All I did was take pictures.”

Cabin in the Woods (2012)

This film from Joss Whedon takes the Saw idea to a whole new level. The curtain is pulled back early on and we get to see exactly what’s haunting the isolated cabin, but the reveal just cranks the scares and suspense up to 11.

Scariest Line: “There is a greater good, and for that you must be sacrificed.”

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Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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