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17 October 2012

Favorite Scary Movies

October is probably one of my favorite months because it has the best holiday - Halloween. I love everything about Halloween from the cooler weather, miniature candies, and of course, scary movies!  I don't know what it is but I just love scaring myself. I love psychological thrillers, slasher flicks, ghost stories, bad B movies; I like them all.  So just for fun I am listing some of my favorite scary movies. This is by no means an all inclusive list and just includes some of the movies that scared me as a kid and some recent faves. I'd love to know what your favorite scary movie is, too, so leave a note in the comments. (and these are in no particular order)

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Dudes, you don't know how much this movie traumatized me as a child. For one thing, Freddy is freaky looking. And this is one of the only movies I can think of where the bad guy gets to come back for revenge. Sure, he died a terrible death, but he was child molester for goodness sake. But what really terrified me about this movie was the idea that someone or something could come and kill you in your dreams. I mean, how scary is it to think that you'll die if you fall asleep? Seriously this movie kept me up many a night as a teen. Plus, Johnny Depp.

Slither (2006)
Slither is a super campy horror film starring Nathan Fillion (yay!) and Elizabeth Banks about an alien creature that takes over a small town, turning everyone into zombie with worm-y mind control. This one is just really fun movie that's very clever and embraces all of the tropes of horror movies.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
I know, I know, this remake doesn't compare to the classic George Romero flicks but I have to say that I kind of love Zach Snyder's update of Romero's classic. A group of people take refuge in a mall after a zombie plague. This is one of those films that's really about people, not zombies. I just thought that the human drama was really tense and realistic and the zombies were freakin' scary. 

Poltergeist (1982)
This is another one from my childhood that totally traumatized me. For years I had nightmares involving scenes from this movie. Seriously, nightmares through my teens and college. I finally mustered up the courage to watch the movie again when I was an adult and it was surprisingly tame. Though it didn't have the same impact years later, I still think fondly of it.  The real life legend of the Poltergeist curse makes the whole franchise that much creepier.

28 Days Later (2002)
Yessss, I love a good zombie (sorry, K) and this really was one of the first modern movies to bring zombies back in a big way. Danny Boyle's version of the future with zombies who don't stumble aimlessly and are freakin' fast is terrifying. And like any good zombie movie, it's really about humanity. The idea of a military takeover and the crazy lengths they will go to in order to maintain the human race is very plausible to me and very scary. 28 Days Later also introduced the world to Cillian Murphy, for which I am forever grateful. 

Silence of the Lambs (1991)
What can I really say about this movie that hasn't been said already? It's pretty brilliant and I am only sad that I never got to see it in the theaters. Serial killers will always be the scariest thing to me because they actually exist. I've personally never seen any proof of zombies, aliens, or ghosts so they don't scare me as much. But serial killers. They're very, very real. 

The Devil's Backbone (2001)
I haven't seen this one in a long time but I remember it being very creepy. It was probably the first Guillermo del Toro movie I ever saw.  A boy's orphanage is haunted by a ghost. But is the ghost good or bad and what's really going on at the orphanage. Really well done and made me a fan of del Toro. 

Halloween (1978)
Another classic. Horror movies today have to rely on a lot of gore and effects for their scares but this one doesn't need those tricks. I remember that scene where stabs a kid and leaves him hanging in the door. You don't see much, but it's totally effective. Plus, great score.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
A mix of comedy, horror, and buddy flick, Shaun of the Dead is one of my more recent faves. Gotta love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two hapless dudes trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. This movie is just brilliant and there are so many memorable moments from it. One of my faves is the zombie walk practice. Man, I think I am going to go watch this right now.

The Walking Dead (2010)
I am just getting back into The Walking Dead after getting rid of cable last year. Thank goodness for Netflix. Even though zombies have been popular for awhile, I think this show really brought them out to the masses. Limbs are being chopped off and brains are being eaten on TV, people. The characters on the show are really complex and diverse. Each episode is fraught with tension. I also love that the production value is so high and all of the makeup and effects are just awesome. It's my weekly zombie fix.

So that's my really long, drawn out list of favorite scary movies/shows. I am sure there is stuff missing that I'll remember two minutes after I post this. What's our favorite scary movie? I'd love to know so I can add them to the Netflix queue. Happy October, everyone!

all images are copyright their respective film/production companies. 


  1. Great list. Poltergeist and Silence of the Lambs figure big on my list of scary movies. Have you seen Manhunter? It's the first Lechter film before Silence of the Lambs that came out sometime in the '80s. The Tooth Fairy in that film freaked me out. Oh, and the Exorcist!

    1. Sorry, that was from Lee @shewolfreads :) (add the Shining to that too!)

    2. i always know it's you, lee, because of that weird number is always gives you. :)

      yes i have seen manhunter though it's been a really long time. i remember it being creepy though. can you believe that i've never seen the exorcist? i know, bad horror movie lover. i need to put it to the top of my queue now.

  2. Fun list! I've seen several of these titles, but have never heard of Slither. Will have to check that one out sometime. Poltergeist scared me too, and I remember being creeped out by the clown doll.

    I totally agree with you about Freddy, he scared me so much! We just netflix'd Nightmare on Elm Street so I'm interested to see how it holds up!

    The Exorcist is still scary to me - I am a big scaredy cat of all of these movies now. Though I do like funny/scary movies like The Lost Boys and Fright Night (original and remake),and Scream. The Walking Dead is a nicely done show but it is just too gross for me. Glad you're enjoying it and hope you find some new favorite movies this Halloween!

  3. This is an awesome list! You definitely included a few of my personal favorites, along with some that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages now. I’ve been trying to compile a great spooky movie list for Halloween with a few friends from our office at DISH, but I think we’ll just use yours instead! I appreciate you posting it! I’ve already ordered Poltergeist to rent from the Blockbuster@Home service through DISH, so it should be en route to my mail box ASAP! I can’t wait to get scared! Happy Halloween! BOO! ;)

  4. The original Don't Be Afraid of the Dark with Kim Darby is my all-time scariest movie. I watched it once when I was about 14 years old and I won't watch it again. I'm not sure if I have just built it up to such epic frightful proportions or if it is truly a frightening movie, but it gave me nightmares for years. I'd like to think my adult self would think it's silly but I have a pretty active imagination!


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