Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get into the spooky spirit than with a countdown of horror movies? From new creepers to the classics, here are the top 10 scariest movies of all time (feel free to disagree, but all the movies on this list freak me out like nothing else).
10. “The Ring” (2002)
I don’t care what anyone says, but a creepy girl with nasty hair crawling out of a TV to suck the life out of you and completely messing up your face in the process is enough to scare anyone. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) doesn’t find out how truly horrifying it is until it’s too late. Trying to save the life of her son, Rachel discovers the origin of the tape that kills anyone who watches it after seven days and solves the gruesome mystery behind it. Totally terrifying when it first came out, this movie still gives you chills after watching it for the 10th time.
9. “Psycho” (1960)
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is a classic and will remain frightening for years to come. Iconic Norman Bates and his shower slashing/dressing like his mother craziness is something that can never be rivaled. It’s been over 50 years after its release, and “Psycho” has been remade, but nothing compares to the original slasher film that captured the imagination of millions.
8. “Alien” (1979)
A mining ship responds to an SOS, lands on a distant planet and finds more than they bargain for. Sigourney Weaver is the hero of the universe against a hardcore evil alien that attaches itself to one of the crew members and it never gets old. The alien never gets less gross, and Ripley (Weaver) never stops kicking major alien butt. This is a movie that makes you hope we never have to live in space.
7. “Halloween” (1978)
Yet another classic (which should have never been remade in my opinion) that everyone can appreciate for its simple plot and terrifyingly silent killer. Masked Michael Myers chasing after everyone’s favorite babysitter, Jamie Lee Curtis, is still a favorite of horror movie buffs everywhere. Even with what we all now think of as a quintessential horror movie storyline, this movie still has an affect and has easily worked its way into people’s nightmares for decades.
6. “Dawn of the Dead” (1978)
This movie is zombie grossness at its best. While “28 Days Later” could be said to trump its predecessor, this is the one that started the mall zombie madness. Groundbreaking in 1978, this film has the rewatchability that most movies don’t have. The blood and carnage is frightening, until you notice the color of the blood is a little off. Then, it’s just a good time. Trying to hide out in a shopping mall, a group of people do whatever they can to survive the zombie apocalypse. That never turns out well, but at least for us it turned into a great movie.
5. “The Orphanage” (2007) and “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)
I put these two together because they’re both foreign films with similar storylines. “The Orphanage” follows a woman who opens an orphanage for handicapped children in her childhood home and her son, who is HIV positive, makes an invisible friend and then vanishes. “The Devil’s Backbone” follows Carlos, who is brought to an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War where he finds Santi, a ghostly boy with a grudge. If you don’t mind subtitles, these films are wonderfully creepy and actually carry a storyline that isn’t just cold bloodshed for no reason. Both are artfully done and in my top favorites.
4. “Audition” (1999)
The Japanese have a special gift when it comes to creepiness. A man looking for a new wife finds the craziest in the bunch (we’re talking tie you up in a bag, amputate your limbs and make you eat … I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it). This is another film to watch if you don’t mind subtitles. If you don’t like subtitles and enjoy a shock factor, find a dubbed version and prepare for grossness. I’ve only made it through this movie once, and it scarred me for life. I will never try to make a date with a failed auditioner thanks to this movie. Ever.
3. “The Shining” (1980)
This is one of my favorite movies of all time and with good reason. Poor Danny can’t seem to get away from the evil past tenants of the hotel he and his family are trapped in for the winter. Cabin fever and the appearance of ghosts drives Danny’s father, Jack (Jack Nicholson), completely out of his mind, and he tries to “correct” his family. From the lady in the bathtub, to the twins, to “Johnny” busting through the door, this is a classic horror film that can’t be missed.
2. “Event Horizon” (1997)
This choice may raise some eyebrows (either you’ve never seen it or you have seen it and think it’s dumb), but the fact is this movie is just plain weird. We’ve seen movies like this in the last few years, and some people might think it’s something like “Alien,” but no. The Event Horizon is a spaceship that traveled into a different, crueler, painful dimension and brings those nasty things back with it, killing the entire crew and the rescuers that find the ship after it randomly shows up after many years. The scientist that built the ship becomes possessed by the horrible things inside and then, literally, all hell breaks loose. It’s gross, nasty, creepy and even sad. I can watch this movie time and time again and still get nervous and jumpy.
1. “The Exorcist” (1973)
For some this is the ultimate horror movie. No matter how many times you watch Regan’s (Linda Blair’s) head spin around and spit bright green nastiness on priests, this movie has the ability to mess with your head and freak you out. Poor little Regan becomes possessed, leading to out of control actions. An exorcism is needed, and the two priests that take on the challenge find her and her demonic parasite hard to handle. This film was beyond shocking when it first came out and the reactions haven’t changed much in almost 40 years. This is honestly one of the scariest (if not the scariest) movie ever.
So ends my top 10 list of horror movies. If you’re looking for something to watch to get in the Halloween spirit, this is a good start. Just sleep with the lights on!