Top 10 scary movies to watch on Halloween

As of this year’s Halloween, your childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean all the fun of Halloween has to be! Here are some ways to make your Halloween night fun with our top 10 horror movies:

10. “Psycho” (1960): Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


Based on the true story of serial killer Ed Gein, and adapted from the 1959 novel of the same name, “Psycho” tells the story of Norman Bates, a lonely man who still lives with his mother, Norma. They run a motel that is practically in the middle of no where. When Marion Crane, a troubled woman running from the law, checks in to the Bates Motel, Norman becomes infatuated with her. But Norma sees it differently. “Psycho” is a film that helped define the horror genre. For its time, it was one of the most graphic films you could pay to see, and that by itself shows how far we have come today, and the legacy Alfred Hitchcock left behind.

9. “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968): Directed by Roman Polanksy


Released eight years after Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” “Rosemary’s Baby” was (and still is) guaranteed to make grown adults tremble in fear. Adapted from the 1967 novel, “Rosemary’s Baby” proves to be one of the most disturbing stories of its decade. It starts off with a young couple, a woman named Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling-actor husband, Guy. The pair move into a new, luxurious apartment and like all other movies, everything is seemingly safe until one of their neighbors’ kills themselves. Soon after, the young couple meets the Castevets, an elderly and spiritual couple that Guy suspiciously befriends. Strangely, Guy’s career starts to pick up while Rosemary’s life takes a turn for the worse. She discovers that she is pregnant and doesn’t remember how or why. All she suspects is that it may have had to do with the Castevets.

8. Scream (1996): Directed by Wes Craven


One night, Sydney Prescott gets a phone call from a stranger. They flirt with each other and make small talk about scary movies. Everything is innocent until she finds out that he is in her house, wearing a mask and swinging a knife. “Scream” is the classic story of a young heroine and her group friends being picked off by a masked killer. While it’s a common formula used by Hollywood, it is able to stand out from all the others by addressing all of the cliches that almost every horror movie has. If the characters are in high school and there’s sex, drugs/alcohol, and a shy virgin involved, it’s a horror movie! This is the movie to see when trying to avoid cliche storytelling.

7. The Thing (1982): Directed by John Carpenter


In the silent icy wastelands of Antarctica, a group of scientists encounter a Norwegian man frantically chasing and shooting at a sled dog. When the group takes in the dog, it brutally attacks everybody in the camp. This beast is not what it appears to be. The group is terrorized by the mysterious “Thing” as it takes each of their lives and consumes their bodies. The helicopter pilot, R.J Macready tries to lead the crew in a battle to stop the Thing, but it may already be too late.

6. The Shining (1980): Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Writer Jack Torrance and his family take a winter trip to the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. He hopes that caretaking a hotel could cure his writer’s block. However, he is constantly distracted by his marriage with his wife and his son Danny’s disturbing visions. The longer they all stay at the Overlook Hotel, the closer he and his family get to losing their minds.

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): Directed by Tobe Hooper

In 1974, a group of five close friends are heading through the back roads of Texas headed to their grandfather’s potentially vandalized grave. Among them are Sally Hardesty, and her disabled brother Franklin. They encounter an unpleasant hitchhiker, who slashes both himself and Franklin with a wicked-looking knife. The others manage to throw the hitchhiker from the vehicle, but shortly afterwards, they are forced to stop and wander over to a small, sinister house nearby in hopes for gas. What none of them realize is that this house is the home of the ghoulish Leatherface and his evil, demented family of cannibalistic psychopaths. One at a time, the teens are murdered by Leatherface in horrifying ways. Sally soon finds herself an involuntary guest at Leatherface’s home, and flees into the night to escape the demented cannibal and his loudly-buzzing chainsaw. Can she escape the grim fate that befell her friends and brother? Based on the terrifying true story of Ed Gein. Leatherface is one of the most iconic figures in horror of all time, spawning many copy cats and remakes.

4. The Exorcist (1973): Directed by William Friedkin

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When a young girl named Regan starts acting odd (levitating, speaking in tongues) her worried mother seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest, however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert to help with the difficult job. This filma marks the beginning of a now redundant and overly used type of horror, the possession/demon genre.

3. Evil Dead II (1987): Directed by Sam Raimi


The second of three films in the “Evil Dead” series, it is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash’s girlfriend Linda becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978): DIrected by George A. Romero

When her young daughter is turned into a zombie and attacks her father, Ana just barely manages to escape, only to realize her entire Milwaukee neighborhood has been overrun by the walking dead. After being questioned by cautious policeman Kenneth, Ana joins him and a small group of survivors that gravitate to the local shopping mall as a bastion of safety. Once they convince suspicious security guards that they are not contaminated, the group bands together to fight the undead hordes.

1. Halloween: The Original (1978): Directed by John Carpenter


In 1963, Michael Myers stabbed his 15 year-old sister to death. He was institutionalized and according to his doctor, Sam Loomis, is the personification of evil. On the day before Halloween, 15 years later, Myers manages to escape and heads for his home town. On Halloween night, he goes on a rampage while Loomis and the local sheriff search for him. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode, a serious student who rarely goes out on dates, is babysitting a neighbor’s child. Little does she know the danger she is in. Michael Myers is, in my opinion, the most iconic figure in horror films. The simplicity in his plain white mask, and choice of murder weapon, a sharp home kitchen knife, is so chilling it makes him unforgettable. He has some of the most iconic murder scenes and not to mention some catchy theme music. He is hands down the most notorious serial killer in the horror genre.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  2. Saw 1
  3. Child’s Play
  4. Insidious
  5. It
  6. The Poltergeist
  7. Friday the 13th
  8. Sinister