From ghosts to demons and man-eating monsters, these horror movies give some of the scariest and most suspenseful experiences the horror genre has to offer.
Even though we may not be able to go trick-or-treating, have a Halloween costume party, or go to a haunted house, that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the Halloween spirit. Horror movies are a great alternative to bring in that Halloween spirit and can be enjoyed alone for that solo terrifying experience, or with friends and family to share the scares.
The unique thing about horror movies is that it can turn any topic and scenario into something scary and visceral which plays on our fears and emotions.
Bring the scares indoors with these 9 horror movies so scary, they just might keep you up all night.
If you can’t go to a haunted house this year, relive the tense experience in this gory flick from the writers of A Quiet Place. The movie follows a group of teenagers on Halloween night who go to an “extreme” haunted house and discover some dark and deadly secrets behind its creepy walls.
The film succeeds most in how it plays with the audience’s expectation of what to expect in a haunted house. In every tight corner, hallway, or claustrophobic tunnel the characters pass through, the movie heightens up the tension making the audience wait in anticipation that something is going to happen. The movie is also quite violent and doesn’t shy away from
showing the blood and guts of the characters as they get picked off one by one.
If you like gore in horror movies and can handle it, then this movie is right up your alley. This tense movie delivers on the gore and scares and even manages to give some subtle commentary on confronting one’s past. Haunt envisions the haunted house from hell and turns it into a place where your nightmares come true, which makes this a solid horror movie.
The pandemic has pushed most of us to meet virtually with Zoom being one of the more popular services. With people meeting mostly virtually, this gives horror movies a chance to try something new and this inventive horror movie takes the demonic haunting trope and gives it a virtual twist.
Shot entirely on Zoom, Host follows a group of friends as they hold a séance during lockdown over Zoom. Their intent of summoning a friendly spirit goes awry though and end up summing a spirit with less than good intentions. While the demonic haunting idea has been done multiple times before, what the movie does, it does extremely well. The movie is incredibly
scary and knows just how to build tension.
At just under an hour in length, the film uses its short run time effectively and once the action starts going, it goes full-on. The entire movie is set
during a Zoom call so all you get to see is the screens of the participants, which gives the movie a bit of a found-footage feel. To top it all off, the movie features one of the best jump scares in recent movie history.
Its inventive premise alone might make you watch but the scares will keep
you until the end. This is one of the best horror movies of the year and is a must-watch for any horror movie fan.
I See You (2019)
If demons and dark creatures aren’t your thing, then maybe I See You could be the movie that gets under your skin. The film centers on a family of three, Greg Harper (Jon Tenney), the father and a detective, Jackie Harper (Helen Hunt), the mother and a psychiatrist, and Connor Harper (Judah Lewis), their son. The family is going through a rough patch as it was revealed that Jackie cheated on Greg with another man which brings tension to the family. Things start to get eerie though as during an investigation into the disappearance of a little boy, creepy occurrences start happening in the Harper household.
The movie shines best in its meticulous story pacing and well-crafted plot. It
has a strong narrative that keeps you hooked through its loops and twists that makes the movie even more unexpected. It is also aided by a suspenseful tone that is perverse throughout the entire movie and a sense that something isn’t right at home. The film manages to make things
feel creepy like knowing that something is wrong, but unsure of what it is. I See You is a smart suspense-thriller that might make you think one thing, but cleverly reveals its secrets to make it so much better. After watching this movie, you might think twice whenever you hear a squeak at home.
It Follows (2014)
One of 2014’s most talked about movies, It Follows was scary then, and is still scary now. After Jay (Maika Monroe) has a sexual encounter, she is followed by a supernatural force intent on harming her, and the only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else. The movie employs dead space really well, which means that since the supernatural force can take any shape it wants, the audience anxiously scans the corners of the scene to see where the presence may be coming from. You’re constantly on edge of when the supernatural force will appear and when it does, it’s usually without warning which makes the scare even better.
The feeling of dread of not knowing what happens next is palpable. While the presence may or may not be a metaphor for unsafe sex, the movie is a dark one all the way until the end and makes for a great viewing experience for Halloween.
The Blair Witch Project may have invented the found footage horror movie sub-genre and Paranormal Activity brought it into the mainstream, but [Rec] may be one of the few movies to have truly excelled in the use of found footage and shaky cam. This Spanish horror movie follows Angela (Manuela Velasco), a television reporter and her cameraman as they follow
emergency workers into an apartment building where they get locked inside and discover something dark within its walls.
This movie is a scare-fest through and through. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride full of frights that are aided by the first-person nature of the camera. A movie so good it spawned 3 sequels (to varying degrees of quality), [Rec] is non-stop horror and an edge-of-you-seat experience that provides some of the most heart-pounding scares in recent memory. This is a superior horror movie that doesn’t back down with its frights and shows just how effective the found footage style can be.
Asian horror movies have been known throughout the world as some of the best horror movies out there and Shutter is no exception. After fleeing the scene of an accident, young photographer Tun and his girlfriend, Jane, discover mysterious shadows in the photos they process.
Soon, they discover that those shadows relate to Tun’s past and that his checkered past is coming back to haunt him. This Thai horror movie is very creepy with its use of photography to hide and reveal the ghost and it’s also scary with well-placed jump scares that are effective.
At the heart of the film is quite a compelling story of love, betrayal, and lies which gives emotional depth to the movie. Shutter oozes atmosphere with its dark and foreboding nature with a sense that bad things are going to happen, and you aren’t sure when it will happen. Vastly better than the 2008 US remake, Shutter is a haunting ghost story that can send shivers down your spine.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
Working at a morgue maybe one of the scariest jobs out there. Constantly being in the presence of dead bodies is not for everybody and can be a stressful situation for some people. In The Autopsy of Jane Doe, working at the morgue is taken to new and terrifying heights. The movie follows Tommy (Briand Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch), a father and son who are both coroners. One night, the local sheriff brings in a body found buried in the basement of a crime scene that doesn’t match with what happened in the crime and he requests the coroners to identify the body.
As the night goes on, mysterious things start to happen, and they soon discover that all is not right with the mysterious Jane Doe. While not one of the more ambitious horror movies out there, the film’s strength lies in its ability to build a tense atmosphere and a sense of dread. The movie is mostly set in a morgue, but the movie manages to make most of the space to deliver tense scares without relying too much on special effects. The flickering of lights and bumps in the dark are just some ways the movie shows that things are about to go down.
The father/son relationship between Tommy and Austin is also believable, which makes their plight easier to sympathize with. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a low-budget thriller that delivers on the scares and an intriguing mystery that will keep you hooked all the way until the end.
The Descent (2005)
Considered as one of the best horror movies of the 2000s, The Descent is a tour de force of intensity and violence about spelunking gone wrong. A group of women goes cave exploring when they suddenly get trapped in the cave. They soon realize though that they aren’t alone and now they must struggle to survive against a group of bloodthirsty creatures. This movie is no slow burner as once the action starts, it’s tense scene after tense scene.
As most of the movie is set underground, the movie excels in using the tight corridors, dark spaces, and narrows tunnels to its advantage to build the suspense. The fear of not knowing what’s in the dark or getting stuck
in one of the cave’s many tunnels is very much present here. Things can and will get bloody and grotesque which brings out the viscera feeling that The Descent so effortlessly gives.
This is one of the scariest movies ever made featuring a female protagonist and also has one of the best endings ever seen in a horror movie. The Descent is a brutal battle for survival and one of the best monster movies that know how to sustain the intensity all the way until the credits roll.
The Exorcist (1973)
There is a reason why The Exorcist is widely regarded as one of, if not the, best movies of all time. At nearly 50 years old, the movie is still very scary with Regan’s possession still inducing fear to this day. This film features a jolting tale of a 12-year-old girl being possessed by the devil, a desperate mother, and two priests called in to exorcise the demon that is still just as
tense now as it was in 1973. Regan’s slow turn into the dark side is so compelling with iconic scenes like her crawling down the stairs and turning her head 180-degrees that it manages to draw in the audience and keep them invested in the story.
Another thing that makes this movie so good is its use of inserts of a black-and-white demon face in some scenes. These inserts occur within an eighth of a second and are so fast that you might think you’re seeing things. An excellent film from start to finish, The Exorcist is a classic you can’t go wrong with.