With Halloween coming up, I’ve been looking for new scary films to watch. Like most years, the pickings in this genre are pretty slim and I tend to fall back on classics to fulfill my horror requirements. Here are my Top 5 Scariest Horror Films.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This film is just not good, it’s dated and half the cast can’t act for shit. Just ignore Part 2, forget it exists and focus entirely on Part 1.
Children are being murdered by a spectre that can take the shape of the things that scare them most. I first watched this when I was 6 years old (big mistake), and honestly, some of the scenes still horrify me to this day. Just googling images for this post was anxiety-inducing enough. I couldn’t look at Tim Curry the same for years.
I’ve got my fingers crossed the remake will be do the book a better justice, though.
A husband murders his wife and son (and cat, aw), after wrongly believing she has had an affair, before killing himself in their Tokyo home. Their spirits curse anyone who enters the house to die. When a young nurse enters the house to care for its elderly resident, she incurs their wrath.
Jesus christ, do not watch this film alone!
The Japanese do long-haired-spoopy-girl-horror-films like no other, and Ju-on is the pinnacle of their success. Forget the American remakes, they’re good but not that good. This makes The Ring look like a kids story. There is one scene involving bed sheets that scared the absolute crap out of me. Good luck sleeping after this.
Jim wakes up from a coma, 4 weeks after an incurable virus has swept the UK. He and a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.
Okay, okay, so this isn’t exactly a high-calibre classic horror film. However, since watching this, zombies now fucking terrify me. I had nightmares on and off for years, I kid you not. Growing up, zombies had been dumb, slow-moving mouth breathers. Danny Boyle fucked shit up by making them rage-fuelled machines. The second scariest thing about this film: Christopher Eccleston.
A word of advice, don’t bother with the sequel.
2. The Shining
Here we get to the predictable films. They’re obvious for a reason – they’re classics and amazing. The Shining was based loosely on Stephen King’s book of a the same name, interpreted by director Stanley Kubrick.
A young family are caretakers for the prestigious Overlook Hotel for the winter, where things aren’t as they seem. Husband, Jack, is influenced by dark forces and son Danny is haunted by visions of the past and future.
The scariest things aren’t necessarily what you see; they’re what you don’t. However, this film does both perfectly. It also gave us the most horrifying twins the world has ever seen. I still can’t look at twin girls without remembering The Shining.
Michael Myers murdered his sister in a Halloween mask and was locked away in a sanitarium. 15 years later, he returns to his home town to kill…
Halloween was the film that started my obsession. I watched it when I was a kid, probably too young, when it was on late night Channel Five (before the blue movies). It’s the reason that I still can’t bring myself to go out – unless 100% necessary – on Halloween night. Michael Myers is scary beyond belief. The worst part was that no matter how fast they ran, he was right behind them. He got lethally maimed and got back up again to carry on his rampage. That’s dedication, folks.
Honorary Mention: The Babadook
A woman finds a kids book on her doorstep that lets in an evil force, bent on possessing her to kill her son.
This film is genuinely fucked up. Not only is it scary, it’s also a painfully honest insight into mental health and its acknowledgement in society. Watch it if you dare!
Not into horror films, but still want something Halloween appropriate?
What We Do In The Shadows is a mockumentary about a group of vampires in a flat share. I’ve honestly never laughed so much at a film in my entire life. It’s absolutely hilarious and written by the brilliant minds behind Flight of the Concords. It’s on Netflix at the moment, give it whirl!