15 Horror Movies to Get You Into the Halloween Spirit
Let me start off by saying that fall and horror movies are two of my favorite things. Put them together and it's my absolute favorite time of year. As a child, horror movies would terrify me, but now I actually thoroughly enjoy them. Not much scares me anymore and I have no problem watching a horror movie or two, even before bed, especially during this glorious time of year. After you have seen as many of them as I have, there's not much left to fear. If you love to get scared and want to have a blast doing it, check out my personal horror movie recommendations below.
1. The Exorcist (1973)- I don't believe any list of horror movies is complete without this classic gem. I'm not usually into older horror movies, but this one is an exception. It's got everything you're looking for in a scary movie: demonic possession, exorcism, celebrity, and just plain in-your-face horror. It's the first movie of its kind and it's actually based on a true story so if that's not scary I don't know what is. The fact that it could actually happen and does is pretty terrifying. The basic plot summary is that the daughter of an actress starts acting weird and her mom decides to bring over a priest after she exhausts all other options like medical help. Turns out the daughter is possessed and has a demon inside her because she's been playing with the Ouija board in the attic. Nothing good comes of those things I tell you. Long story short: the priest who is an exorcist tries to get the demon out. Does he succeed? Watch the movie to find out.
2. Bride of Chucky (1998)- This is the fourth movie of the Chucky series and my favorite of them all. I find the Chucky movies more entertaining than actually fear inducing. It's just about the soul of a serial killer that goes into a doll and starts to kill people. Not a big deal in my option. I think the fact that Chucky looks like a Cabbage Patch doll is what removes any sort of fear out of these movies for me. I think Bride of Chucky is the best Chucky movie because that's where his girlfriend's soul is also transferred into a doll and they get together. It's just a fun movie that you'll find a blast to watch. And if you want to go ahead and watch all the other Chucky movies to get the whole story, go ahead. There's actually a brand new Chucky movie on Netflix right now. It's called Cult of Chucky and I'm looking forward to watching it as soon as I can.
3. Scream (1996)- The Scream movie franchise was a big deal back in the way. These movies were all the rage and everyone wanted to see them. They were created by the Master of Horror Wes Craven so it's no wonder they're the most popular slasher series in history. I think that's why a new Scream movie was released in 2011; for the younger generation. I certainly didn't watch these movies when they first came out in the mid 90s because they would have scared me to no end. I actually only watched them a few years ago around Halloween and loved them. They're your typical teen slasher movies. Nothing too scary about that. There's a killer in town who calls people before he kills them and wears that "scary" Ghostface mask. The Scream franchise is the origin point for all teen slasher movies so definitely check it out and see how it all began back in the day.
4. The Ring (2002)- The Ring is now a series of four movies, but it all began with the first (and the best in my opinion) in 2002. The first Ring movie came out when I was in the eighth grade. I was actually brave enough (actually talked into by a friend) to go see this film in theaters. Big mistake. I was so scared I actually left 20 minutes into the movie. Something about a creepy ghost girl coming out of the TV and killing you makes you a little scared when you're 13. I didn't even know how this movie finished until years later when I was brave enough to watch it all the way through. And all the other ones in the Ring series too. The basic plot is that all these people end up dying after watching a videotape. A videotape is so retro right? Now this journalist has to find out why and she only has seven days because she's also watched this videotape. This is one of my favorite horror movies now. I think the first one is the best and the most recent one titled Rings which came out in 2017 is very very good as well. It definitely takes the series full circle (no pun intended). I would definitely recommend for you to watch this series if you're looking for a very entertaining and interesting plot and some scares as well.
5. The Grudge (2004)- The Grudge "never forgives and never forgets" and neither will you after seeing this film. The Grudge is based on a series of Japanese films remade for American audiences. The basic plot is that a woman (Sarah Michelle Geller) moves to Japan to study nursing with her boyfriend. She starts taking care of an elderly woman and feels right away that there's something wrong in her house. The whole mystery is why people keep dying after going to that house. It's a great horror movie that will stay with you long after you've finished it. I'm not exaggerating, it's pretty creepy. This is one you definitely shouldn't watch before bed. When you're in bed and you start to think about the grudge woman who climbs all over the ceiling and walls is terrifying. The series is a total of three films. The first one is the best one no question. The second is okay. The third is not great but you might want to see it just so you have some closure.
6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)- This is the remake with Jessica Biel and my personal favorite of all the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. (The Beginning one doesn't do much for me). This is very much a slasher film through and through. There's lots of gore and guts no way around that. If you're not into that you might want to skip this one. Even I get a little disturbed at how much blood this film shows. The plot is great though and keeps you interested whether it's your first time watching or rewatching after a few years. Underneath it all, it's ultimately a survival story. A group of friends ends up lost in the middle of nowhere in a tiny Texas town. One by one they are all being killed. Who, if anyone, will survive to the end? The blood and violence of this film is not what will give you nightmares though. It's the fact that's it's based on a true story. Something similar happened, only it wasn't in Texas, it was in Wisconsin. Sweet dreams.
7. The Omen (2006)- This is the remake of the original Omen with Gregory Peck in 1976. This one came out on June 6, 2006. This is a clever time to release the film since it's the only time every hundred years it will be three sixes in a row. This is the story of the original demon child. He doesn't get sick. He doesn't like churches. He wants to murder his mother. Who is he and where did he come from? And why do people keep dying around him? Those are all questions that will get answered during the course of the film. An entertaining movie with a great plot. One of my favorites for sure.
8. Halloween (2007)- This is the remake or more accurately continuation of the original Halloween movies of the 1970s and early 1980s. I have to admit I have never seen them, but I did enjoy this one. The film focuses on Michael Myers. He is a child who is exhibiting all the early signs of a serial killer in the making; killing animals and slowly progressing to people. After he kills a kid in the woods and then his sister, her boyfriend, and his mother's boyfriend, he placed in a psychiatric facility. He only spares the life of his baby sister Angel. Fast forward fifteen years and Michael escapes the psychiatric facility on Halloween and goes to his hometown. There he starts a murder spree while looking for his baby sister who is now a teenager. Long story short, many teens get murdered and he does eventually find his sister. It's a teen slasher movie no doubt, but it does have a great plot and well developed characters. It's typical in the sense that all teen slasher movies are. Teens are having sex and then they die one by one. Lots of action and gore, but enough plot to keep you interested. Definitely a must see for this season.
9. Friday the 13th (2009)- Again, this is a remake of the original movies made in the 1980s. I have never seen them so I have nothing to compare them to. But this film stands alone great on its own. Having known nothing about the previous movies, I still enjoyed this one. It's basically about a group of teens partying in the woods next to Camp Crystal Lake where twenty years ago other teens got murdered. Then the same happens to them. And then yet another group of teens go to a friend's cabin in the woods to party and let loose. And they start to get killed one by one. Who's doing it? Well it can't be Jason since he died all those years ago right? Watch this till the end to find out.
10. A Haunting in Connecticut (2009)- This is probably one of my favorite horror movies of all time. I have rewatched it many times over the years and still manage to see it through new eyes every time. Basic plot summary is that a family with a sick son is desperate to find a house to rent so they can be closer to his hospital and not have to travel hours each way. When they come across a house in their price range, it all seems too good to be true but they are thrilled so they don't ask too many questions. It turns out the house used to be a funeral home and all these strange things start to happen, especially to Matt who has cancer. It turns out because he's right on the brink between life and death he is more able to feel the many presences in the house. Without giving anything away, it turns out the house has a far darker history then just being a funeral home. Will they survive to find out what it is? This is a masterpiece of a film with everything you need from a horror movie. It even manages to leave you with the uneasiness that is only the aftermath of the best horror movies.
11. The Last Exorcism (2010)- This is one of those movies that are supposed to be like documentaries, but are actually not. It's not my favorite type of film, but this one I like because of the story and characters. There are no special effects meant to give jump scares, it's just really raw and real. It's supposed to be about a Reverend who travels to a family farm after receiving a letter from the father about his daughter being possessed by the devil. The Reverend is skeptical, but soon sees that this is the real deal. This is supposed to be his last exorcism, because he truly doesn't believe in them himself, but after what happens at the farm, he is a true believer. Everything that goes on is captured on film by his crew of three people. The big question is, will they survive to show the evidence to the outside world? There is also a second film in this series, but the first one takes most of the praise.
12. Insidious (2010)- A family starts experiencing strange occurrences in their house which soon leads to their son falling into a coma. They decide to move blaming everything on the house and hoping for a new beginning in their new home. Unfortunately, they find out that whatever was bothering them before has followed them once again. With the help of a demonologist named Elise, they find out that what is happening to them is not coming from their house, but rather a demon that is trying to use their son's body as a vessel to live again. This is a thoroughly interesting horror film and definitely one of its kind. There are two other films in this franchise and a fourth that is supposed to be coming out in 2018. Like with most film series, the quality seems to go down with each one, but the first and second I would definitely recommend regardless. The third is just okay. I hope the fourth will not disappoint.
13. Sinister (2012)- As much as I like to think that horror movies don't scare me, the rules don't apply to this one. Sinister definitely made me feel some fear after watching it. It's about a family that moves to a new house so the father who is a true crime writer can write a book after the murder that took place in the town. Turns out the murder took place in the actual house and now something is starting to torment the children in the family. This is a new take on the typical horror movie. It's like one of those curses that are passed down from one family to another. I won't give anything away because there is a great twist in the plot. Highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a well developed story and a good scare. There is a second Sinister film that came out a few years after this one but it doesn't come close to the original.
14. The Conjuring (2013)- This film is not for the faint of heart. It takes a hold of you and doesn't let go. It's about demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren who travel around the country helping people who believe to have demons or other evil entities in their homes. They travel to a farm in Rhode Island after receiving a letter from a troubled family. The family has paranormal events happening all the time to their five daughters and want help performing an exorcism on the house. Ed and Lorraine arrive and feel the uneasiness of the place right away. As they dig deeper they find out more and more about the twisted and disturbing history of the land the house was built on. The film is supposed to be based on the real life cases of Ed and Lorraine who are real life demonologists. This is a genuinely good horror movie in every aspect. There is a second film in the series which is fairly decent. A third film is also in the works in the future.
15. Annabelle (2014)- This is another film that is based on the real life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren. This time it involves a doll that is seemingly possessed by the spirit of a woman named Annabelle who was involved in a Satanic cult. It's a doll that leaves death and destruction in each family that finds her in their possession. Ed and Lorraine must find a way to stop the spirit possessing the doll from further ruining the lives of its owners. You might think this is like the Chucky movies, but Annabelle is no child's play. She's the real deal and she's creepy as hell. After watching this movie, you will probably want to remove all dolls frin your home. You know, so they don't come alive at night. Just in case.
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