For many, Halloween is spooky season. For a lot of people, October rituals include not only apple picking and pumpkin spice tacos but also watching scary movies. A bunch of lists out there claim to tell you which scary movies are the best. So your old pal Monster Er-ICK Li-SCARE-ian figured: why not saddle the world with just one more?
Now, everyone’s tastes are different. If you love high-octane fast-zombie action movies you might not seek out a gloomy picture about gloomy people trying to evict a gloomy monster from their gloomy lives. (This synopsis applies to roughly 90% of all recent horror movies.) Meanwhile, if you prefer atmospheric ghost stories, you probably won’t enjoy watching two hours of a sadistic flight attendant meticulously eviscerating a stranger with a melon baller.
So it’s safe to say not every movie mentioned below will appeal to you. Truth be told, some of them aren’t even scary. But this is my guarantee to you: they’re movies, and they’re on a list.
Try getting yourself a better guarantee than that in this topsy-turvy world.
Rick Baker won an Oscar for his werewolf transformation makeup but the real stars of the show are the film’s mordant sense of humor and the main character’s mounting sense of dread as he realizes night life will never be the same.
One of the few movies on this list that’s suitable for hardy children (spoiler alert: nobody dies who isn’t already dead), Poltergeist embeds its savvy scares in a skeptical portrait of 1980s suburbia.
Though it has the requisite explosions of vampire violence – more artfully rendered than is the norm – this terrific movie resonates for the humane and empathetic depictions of its characters, as well as its pragmatic treatment of the logistical challenges inherent in being a twelve-year-old immortal.
Anyone who watches Sam Raimi’s pulpy tale of a loan officer punished for her selfishness with a supernatural curse will themselves also be cursed – cursed with a nasty and rollicking good time, that is. (See what I did there?)