The REAL Top 5 Scary Halloween Movies
The intense feelings from watching scary movies can be surprising – crawling skin, hair standing on end, and a growing anxiety where screaming seems to be the only option. Scary movies are enjoyable any time of year, but there is one time when they are even better: Halloween.
Halloween movies do not necessarily have to be about Halloween, but they should be about terrifying the audience. What people really want is to be scared, to be surprised, and to walk away from a movie with a sense that they can’t believe what they just saw. If creepy feelings or anxious dreams follow for a few days, that’s even better.
When reviewing movies in the horror genre, it is important to remember how they were received at the time they were first introduced. What was once unique and shocking tends to be remade, but when done first, when done the best, there is no comparison. Here is an homage and a tip of the hat to some of the top Halloween movies and movie series. Grab the popcorn and turn down the lights. Or, maybe, consider leaving the lights on…
1. Halloween - Few movie series are as recognizable as those with the name Halloween in them. There are currently ten films in the series centered around the villain Michael Myers, a vicious psychopath who kills his sister as a child and, after escaping a mental institution as an adult, continues coming back for others. The first movie was released in 1978 and the series has continued through 2009, with a release planned for late 2012. It is the fourth highest grossing franchise in history for a reason – Myers is unpredictable, almost super-human unstoppable, and the suspense is perfectly frightening.
2. Friday the 13th -Similar to the Halloween movies, the Friday the 13th series is recognizable to any fan of the horror genre. Jason, a child who drowns at a summer camp and repeatedly turns up in his hockey mask to seek revenge, is the stuff of nightmares. The movies started in 1980, after the success of the first Halloween movie. Brimming with suspense, any of the twelve thrillers in this franchise, the highest-grossing of all horror movie sagas, is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street - Freddy Krueger, the knife-taloned man with disfiguring burns in a striped shirt, is also recognizable to most fans of horror films. His ability to invade dreams and take them over is terrifying, mostly because everyone has to sleep at some point. That sort of intense fear lingers with the audience, often for days. Interestingly, the eighth movie of this series is titled Freddy vs. Jason, and it combines the best of both the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series. It is sure not to disappoint.
4. The Exorcist - This one perfectly mixes horror with religion, and the outcome is fascinating. Though there are other installments that share the name, this 1973 movie is stand-alone material. This movie was really the first mainstream introduction of the idea of a demonic child and an attempted exorcism to vanquish her demons. It still invades popular culture today, and is a sure requirement for anyone who wishes to call themselves a fan of this movie genre. As recently as 2006, this movie was still voted as the scariest movie of all time by fans.
5. The Shining - Red rum, anyone? There is just no way to have a list of horror movies without giving The Shining its due. Released in 1980, this movie starring Jack Nicholson is terrifying to watch, likely because it makes the audience realize anyone can be one step away from the unthinkable, given the right influence. Without giving the plot away, this classic is a necessary component of any horror fan’s arsenal of movies. Seriously consider locking the doors before viewing.
The horror movie genre is often overlooked in the grand scheme of movie appreciation. There are so many that deserve mention, such as: Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Omen, Carrie, The Hills Have Eyes, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, Saw, and The Descent. And let’s not forget the zombie sub-genre: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, and 28 Days Later, to name a few.
No Halloween is complete without at least one scary movie, however, it is also important to remember that scary movies are not just meant for Halloween; they can be, and should be, appreciated any time of year. Why not throw one on now?
Assuming, of course…
… you aren’t at home alone… *queue evil laughter*