Fearsome flicks for a great fright night

From one movie buff to the next, check out the best flicks to distract you from the Frankenstorm’s aftermath.

Lou Chaney, Jr.

The following movies are the horror classics, the should-be classics, and the ones that make us think, “How do people come up with this stuff?!” If you don’t want to (or can’t bring yourself to) watch them, at least appreciate their horrific cinematic value.

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Amityville Horror (original)

I’m not the biggest fan of the remake–I can’t take Ryan Reynolds seriously. But the original is terrifying because the house actually exists.

The Bad Seed

A crazy little blonde girl wreaks havoc on her hometown. What could be worse? She sets a man on FIRE! It’s in black and white which gives it more of a classic appeal. It’ll also make you think twice before letting angelic girls with pigtails in your house.

The Blair Witch Project

This was the first of its kind: a low-budget film that started the whole “found footage” scenario that a lot of copycats attempt (and fail). It makes you terrified of the things you DON’T see.

Dawn of the Dead (old and new)

I haven’t seen the original, but the newest is great. An instant bloody classic, and it’s the titular inspiration for Shaun of the Dead!

The Descent

Caving sounds like something left to experienced people taking me around a cave where the opening is in sight at all times. This movie features ladies not scared of claustrophobia, or anything really, that end up fighting scary goblin creatures underground. If you have the choice, watch the original ending.

Event Horizon

I saw this at a very young age; it terrified me for years. Watching it now, I can handle the few bloody bits, but there’s still a plenty of shock-value in there. Being stuck in a spaceship that went through hell doesn’t sound like the best way to spend the week. Also, be prepared to never see Sam Neill the same way again.

The Exorcist

This was one of the first of the kid-gone-demonic films that seem so popular among movies nowadays. It was also the first horror movie nominated for Best Picture. There’s some seriously disturbing (and NSFW) stuff in this one.

Final Destination

Don’t worry about sequels two through 10 (or however many there are), the first is scary enough. Cheating death? Pretty hard, unless you know patterns and somehow dream about the future. Regardless, it’s a dark movie, and it’ll make you think that death is around every corner!

Fire in the Sky

Like a lot of scary movies, this was based on true events. It’s about a guy trying to recollect his story after being abducted by aliens. Watch it, especially the abduction scene (or don’t if you have a thing about eyeballs).

The Fly (1958)

Jeff Goldblum peeling off his fingernails–enough said. I haven’t seen the original, but the 1986 remake was terrifying. There’s nothing worse than a guy losing all he has and turning into a freak.

Freaks

This movie was made way back in the 1930s and is about circus freaks that are in a cult. Wrong their kind, and they’ll come after you. It was made before special effects existed…so why do you think it’s called Freaks? Think about it, go see it, and let me know how it goes (hint: there are no special effects).

Friday the 13th

One of the greats! This caused a decided decline in summer camp admissions (that’s just a guess).

Halloween

Michael Myers’ mask alone is terrifying, and on top of that he creeps around teenage babysitters. A classic that needs to be seen by everyone.

Hitchcock anything

The guy created Psycho, The Birds, and so many other movies that top the “most scary lists.” Just go see one (or all of them)!

The Kill List

This is the only movie that I’ve seen made in the last couple of years that actually freaked me out. It’s about a hitman trying to get over a botched job, a secret cult that has people hang themselves, and disturbing fight scenes. It also features one of the girls from The Descent, if that matters.

The Mothman Prophecies

This is the one of the (few?) great Richard Gere film, and the most underrated one I’ve seen. It’s based on a writer’s actual encounters while studying the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It’s got suspense, spooky entities, and everything needed to make a scary movie.

Nightmare on Elm Street (original)

OK, so, everyone knows the theory that if you die in your dreams you die in real life…but these tormented kids are actually murdered in their sleep by some perverted old wrinkly guy in a gross sweater?! Eek! And (spoiler alert) Johnny Depp dies, clearly they didn’t know who he was in real life

Paranormal Activity

Although a lot like The Blair Witch, with the found footage and not seeing the monster, it’s still spooky. Plus, there are three sequels. Yeah, cults!

Poltergeist

Again with the little kids being victimized. It’s one thing to have a haunted house, but it’s another (worse) thing to have evil spirits moving things around, kidnapping your kid, and forcing you to witness a lot of monstrous events.

Scream

Another first of its kind: the meta horror movie. Everyone’s a suspect! But it’s obvious that it’s Skeet Ulrich!

The Shining

No question as to why this one makes the list. There are so many disturbing scenes and images that stay with us years later. REDRUM.

Sleepy Hollow

Yes I went there. Putting aside my weakness for Johnny Depp, this is a great fall movie. There are some scary parts, like…there’s some fog?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)

This is just plain disgusting, disturbing, and downright scary. There’s nothing like the scene at the dinner table with the creepy cannibal family.

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Got any favorites to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

photo by twm1340

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Scotti Cutlip

Scotti is an aspiring stunt driver, trophy cat mom, and stand-up comedian. But for now she writes and drinks a lot of coffee.

11 comments on Fearsome flicks for a great fright night

  1. Ross Catrow on said:

    Two that come to mind:

    * Last House on the Left
    * Funny Games

    I’ve only seen the English-language remake of Funny Games, and that’s because I’m not sure I could bring myself to sit through the movie again (a good thing). LHotL is Wes Craven’s directorial debut, btw.

  2. Ross Catrow on said:

    I just realized the German-language original Funny Games is on Watch Instantly. Sounds like a perfect Halloween night!

  3. Marge on said:

    Guys, guys! Don’t forget about this classic starring a young Stephen Dorff: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=ZOX6-Rw5PWc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DZOX6-Rw5PWc

  4. The scariest movies I’ve ever seen was the first Alien. After that little critter ripped the guy’s chest open, I spend the rest of the movie hiding hiding under my seat. All the sequels and prequels that came later were just copycats and imitations. That’s going on my Amazon Wish List tonight.

    Same with The Exorcist. Pea soup will never be the same. All the Dameon and other devil inspired movies were just Satan porn.

    Another scary movie, Dead Calm, is on the TV Guide channel tomorrow night.

    For sheer fun, I agree, anything from Hitchcock is fun to watch.

  5. mayra on said:

    my favorite horror movie is “may”.

  6. Blood Simple http://letterboxd.com/film/blood-simple/
    Suspense presented like a comedy of errors, except it’s definitely not funny.
    A fabulous, early film from the Coen brothers.

  7. I love the Unrated Director’s cut The Grudge Starring:Sarah Michelle Gellar, It’s a awesome remake!

  8. Andy Brown on said:

    Phantasm and Blue Velvet!

  9. Chairman Brando on said:

    If you’re looking for a totally effed-up French horror film, try Martyrs. This one’s all kinds of crazy but still compelling. In the version I saw the director had a preface where he more or less apologized for the movie being insane.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1029234/

  10. downtownwatch on said:

    Two more scary french films- cache and swimming pool . . .

  11. There is an Alfred Hitchcock Presents (b&w 60’s tv show) marathon tonight on Channel 6-2, the CBS6 secondary feed.

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