This is the season of all things spooky, scary, and spine-tingling. And what better way to celebrate the things that go bump in the night than to cower under our blankets and watch movies about monsters, ghosts, and murders?
But where to start? There are countless horror movies, far too many to name here. So I took a few polls and did a little bit of research and came up with this list.
The 13 Best Scary Movies to Watch This October
"Nosferatu": Filmed in 1922, this silent classic is the vampire movie that started it all. Eerie, menacing, and animalistic, Count Orlok is a monster you truly fear.
"28 Days Later": Danny Boyle's film is arguably one of the best post-apocalyptic films to come out in the past few decades. It's a nearly perfect zombie movie, even though the monsters aren't (according to Boyle) zombies.
"Psycho": Hitchcock is, of course, the master of suspense, and "Psycho" is undeniably his best-known film. The fact that the movie still holds up even after the Shower Scene and the twist ending have been referenced and satirized more than one can count speaks to its brilliance. It isn't a joke that many people prefer baths after seeing this film.
"The Thing": I'm going to be honest here; "The Thing" is one of my favorite movies, hands down. A group of scientists are isolated -- stranded -- in the Antarctic while a shape-shifting alien slowly kills them off one by one and takes their place. It's a fantastic study in paranoia and suspicion, and the pre-CG special effects still hold up after 31 years. Trust me; there will be a few scenes where you find yourself holding your breath.
"The Shining": Jack Nicholson gives an unsettling turn as tortured Jack Torrance stranded in an isolated hotel with his poor family. It is horrifying, claustrophobic, and, well, that scene with the twins may or may not keep you up at night.
"The Exorcist": I'm not going to joke. This movie terrified me when I first saw it -- to the point that I refuse to watch it again. Ever. It has been called the "scariest movie ever," and anyone who tells you differently is wrong. Plus, the production was reportedly cursed. This is true horror, folks.
"Carrie": The 2013 version of this movie is in theaters next week, so if you haven't seen the original, do it now. Carrie's overly religious psychotic mother and cruel, bullying classmates will make you cringe for the first two acts before the violence and terror explode all over your screen.
"Misery": There are quite a few Stephen King stories on this list, but this one is probably my favorite movie version of his work. Kathy Bates is terrifying as a writer's "number one" fan, and she is willing to do anything to keep him with her. And there is that one scene that still makes us all cringe -- no matter how long ago we saw it.
"Let the Right One In": Set against the bleakness of winter in Stockholm, this movie tells the heartwarming story of two children finding friendship. Except one is a vampire. And she eats people.
"Freaks": Director Tod Browning impressed everyone with "Dracula" -- and then horrified everyone with "Freaks." It tells the story of a cruel circus couple who plan to take advantage of one of the circus "freaks." It was banned in the U.K. for 30 years, so you know it doesn't play around. Watch it. Love it. One of us. One of us.
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?": Filmed in 1966, this haunting movie stars both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Two aging sisters live isolated in a decaying mansion, haunted by the past. One sister hates and envies the other, and may or may not be trying to kill her.
"American Werewolf in London": I love this movie -- what can I say? At times, it's more humorous than scary, but this one is worth the watch for the iconic werewolf transformation alone. It is the werewolf movie that all other werewolf movies are compared to.
"Rosemary's Baby": Even the idea of this movie is terrifying. A poor mother gives birth to Satan's son, and then really, really terrible things happen. This movie's production is also rumored to be cursed, so when you tell yourself "it's just a movie," know that it isn't.
I know I missed some great horror films here, so tell me: What are your favorite scary movies?
Posted by Emily Harrison