Do you like scary movies?
Don’t you think it is strange that humans like to be scared and regularly consume different types of entertainment that frightens them?
The middle of October is here and Halloween is quickly approaching. Before we had children, my husband and I would watch scary movies all the time. On Halloween night we would pick several and watch them all night long.
That’s all changed since we had kids. We are just now getting back to where we can watch a whole TV program or a movie at night without one of the kids waking up a billion times or having to stop and breastfeed.
We haven’t watched any scary movies lately but I am in the mood to see a good one.
I don’t care for gory movies that are gory just for the fun of it, like the Saw franchise. I don’t understand why it is supposed to be entertaining to watch someone cut themselves open to get a key they were forced to swallow, in order for them to be freed from the ticking countdown to certain death?
I like vampires and zombies, but they have to be believable. Don’t give me any Twilight sparkly vampires, give me a badass Dracula.
To me, the scariest movies are the ones that get inside your brain and don’t let go… the ones that make you say ‘what if?’… and the ones that make you check the closet, the shower, and all of the locks before going to bed.
Below is a list of my favorite horror movies, some good, some bad, some very scary stuff, but each of the movies is of a different style.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
I will begin by saying this movie is just awful. It is corny, the acting isn’t very good, the story is definitely not plausible, and the special effects aren’t that great. The budget for this film couldn’t have been very large. I put it on my list because this movie scared my younger sister and me when we were kids. Like paralyzingly scared.
I don’t know why, but we watched it several times, maybe just because it played on HBO so often and we were bored. Who knows.
Aliens that look like clowns come from outer space (as if regular clowns weren’t scary enough) and set up a big top tent, which is more like a house of horrors. They have mouthfuls of sharp, piranha-like teeth and hunt down the town’s unsuspecting humans, who they encase in hanging pink cotton candy cocoons inside the big top.
When I told my husband about the movie he didn’t believe that it would be scary. We watched it together, which lead me to swear that I am never going to watch it again. He thinks I am silly; I think creepy clowns with razor-sharp teeth are nothing I want to think about again.
The Strangers (2008)
My husband and I watched this in the theater. I didn’t think most of it was too scary- there was a lot of, “Why are you going into the dark basement all alone and unarmed?!” type moments, but the thought of being in an isolated area, no way to get help, with an unknown number of people hidden outside in the dark and hunting you down, for no reason just freaked me out. There are several times I jumped out of my seat during the movie and of course, my husband the joker had to make lots of creepy sounds when we arrived home in the dark after the movie.
My mom apparently didn’t censor what I watched as a kid because I remember this mini-series scaring the shit out of me. I had so many nightmares about it, all featuring Pennywise the clown. I think this is where my fear of clowns and definitely a fear of sewer drains came from.
Now, I think it is a classic. Most of the film adaptations of Stephen King novels stink- King is a master of horror and almost no movie could ever match the story as it plays out in your mind while you are reading his work- but as cheesy as some of this movie can be, it still makes my stomach churn as I watch it.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
I remember watching this movie as a sophomore in high school while babysitting my best friend’s little brother. He was around 2 years old at the time and the cutest little thing.
Our parents had gone out for the evening and he and I had watched Winnie the Pooh until he fell asleep on my lap, adorable in his little footie pajamas. I placed him on the couch to sleep and I sat on the floor with my back to the couch. I had never seen Rosemary’s Baby before and I quickly got swept up into the story.
A young couple, Rosemary and her husband move into a New York apartment and make friends with the somewhat kooky but seemingly well-meaning neighbors. When she becomes pregnant, her little old neighbor lady gives her a strange smelling amulet and brings her strange drinks daily. Although Rosemary thinks it is all strange, she goes along with it, quite unaware that her husband and the building’s inhabitants are gaslighting her for their evil purposes.
At the very climax of the movie, the boy I was babysitting rolled off of the sofa while sleeping, and landed on the floor with a scream. That just about made me jump right out of my skin and made it a very memorable movie experience.
By the way, he was fine, with a few cuddles he fell back asleep, while I, on the other hand, was stuck thinking about the movie all night long.
28 Days Later (2002)
Imagine waking up in a deserted hospital, hungry, thirsty, weak, and all alone. (This isn’t The Walking Dead, I promise.) Obviously something major happened because the whole city is quiet and seems abandoned.
Then you see them and are literally running for your life- running because a virus has spread, infecting humanity and creating zombies. These aren’t just any zombies though, these zombies are fast and incredibly deadly.
28 Days Later is my favorite zombie movie of all time and its sequel, 28 Weeks Later is great too. The story is believable, the quality of the plot, acting, and the nature of the zombies are all of great quality, something that is rare with most zombie movies.
The Shining (1980)
Again, my mom obviously didn’t censor movies and television when I was a kid, because I remember having so many nightmares about this movie. The scene where Jack Nicholson chops into the wooden door with an ax and says, Here’s Johnny!” in particular gave me terrible dreams.
Perhaps one of the most iconic horror movies of all time and certainly a movie that is heavily ingrained into pop culture, Stephen King’s story, as told by Stanley Kubrick, is a perfect classic. The movie doesn’t get as in-depth as the novel, but the imagery of the deserted, snow-clad Overlook Hotel and its permanent guests will never be forgotten, even with a little cheese factor thrown in.
The House of the Devil (2009)
I will just say it, this movie scared the f#$% out of me. Partly because my husband insisted on watching it in the dark, but mostly because it has all the ingredients for the quintessential horror movie (young attractive girl babysits for a weird family all alone in a big house) and a heavy splash of f$^ked up thrown in.
We watched this movie at home and after it ended I needed to use the restroom. I walked through the kitchen from the living room in the dark and screamed at the top of my lungs because from the corner of my eye I saw my own moving reflection in the long mirror hanging on the back of my bedroom door. The movie honestly scared me enough that I thought someone hiding in the room was going to get me. My husband will never let me live down the fact that I was frightened by my own reflection.
The VVitch (2015)
The VVitch is the latest film that has truly scared me. The story centers around a family of New England Pilgrims who is expelled from their church and home. They must leave behind everyone they know and the relative security of their village, to settle in a lonely unoccupied area.
The fact that the family is all alone, living on the edge of a vast and unexplored wilderness is scary to me. I can’t imagine how frightening it must have been for early settlers to be surrounded by the unknown, with a shelter they must create themselves, with only food able to be gathered or grown, no medicine, primitive weapons, and little to no knowledge of the indigenous people, animals, or anything else that may be waiting and watching in the wilderness. They had only themselves, their will to survive, their faith to live on.
The eldest daughter entertains and frightens her younger siblings with scary stories and then the youngest child goes missing. A series of strange and unexplainable things begin happening, which leads one of the children to claim that the oldest girl is a witch. Is she? Isn’t she? Can she be? She can’t be. What happens next only gets weirder as the story goes on.
What are your favorite scary movies? Are you planning on watching any on Halloween night?