Every year sees a new wave of ill-advised remakes and uninspired sequels churned out by Hollywood studies.
Horror films seem to be particularly prone to never-ending franchises of progressively poor quality.
However, there are a few scary movies out there that provide genuine frights.
This Halloween, avoid freezing to death in your costume and instead stay in for one of the top 10 scary movies.
This 1977 film from legendary director Dario Argento is a classic of the Italian “giallo” horror film genre. “Suspiria” tells the story of an American ballet dancer who travels to Germany to study at a prestigious dance academy. However, she slowly discovers that the academy is actually run by a coven of witches.
“Suspiria” is full of blood and violence, providing numerous scares. But it’s also a gorgeous movie with beautiful colors and delicate sequencing. It deserves a spot on any scary movie list for the sheer amount of blood.
9. 28 Days Later
“28 Days Later” stars Cillian Murphy as a man who wakes up from a coma in an abandoned hospital in London, only to discover that there has been a complete societal collapse as the result of a highly infectious virus that turns people into rage-filled monsters. This was the first movie to feature “fast zombies,” a terrifying departure from the tradition of slow, stumbling zombies.
8. Night of the Living Dead
From 1968, “Night of the Living Dead” is the original zombie movie. Legendary director George A. Romero’s story focuses on a group of survivors barricaded in a farmhouse, trying to fight off a horde of living dead. These might have been the slow zombies, but they are still absolutely terrifying. This film spawned several sequels and inspired horror filmmakers for decades after.
7. Evil Dead
“Evil Dead” has a simple premise: five college students camping in a cabin in the woods accidentally release demons and spirits from a cursed, ancient book. One by one, they are hunted down by the demonic spirits and brutally killed. “Evil Dead” was the first feature film from director Sam Raimi and set a high standard for bloody gore in horror films.
The first slasher film to be a huge box office hit, “Halloween” has had an indelible mark on Hollywood horror movies since its release in 1978. There are numerous sequels, each seemingly more ridiculous than the last, which makes it easy to forget how genuinely scary the original “Halloween” is. The film introduced audiences to the character Michael Myers and launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis.
“They’re here” has to be one of the scariest phrases ever uttered in a horror movie. “Poltergeist” is the story of a family whose home is infected by evil spirits that abduct the youngest daughter. The movie might have less violence or gore than most horror movies, but it is nonetheless terrifying. The rumor of a curse on the film after the premature death of a few people associated with the movie only adds to its scare factor.
4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
One of numerous stories inspired by real-life murderer Ed Gein, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” tells the story of a group of friends set upon by murderous cannibals. The character "Leatherface" is now instantly recognized and feared.
Thanks to truly impressive amount of violence in the film, it was often censored or banned outright upon release – making it an excellent choice for those wanting a brutal slasher film.
3. The Exorcist
After watching “The Exorcist” you’ll never look at pea soup or a crucifix the same way. Linda Blair stars as Regan, a young girl who becomes possessed by an ancient demonic spirit. The film is truly horrifying — it's more than just cheap scares (although the frights are numerous), but deeply unsettling.
2. The Conjuring
The most recent film on the list, “The Conjuring” was released earlier this year to great critical acclaim. Based on real-life events of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren — the same case that inspired “The Amityville Horror” — this film is full of scares from start to finish. When a family moves into an isolated new home, they begin to experience strange occurrences, which soon escalate into violent terror.