5 scary good movies for your Halloween viewing pleasure

Josh VanDyke • Oct 21, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Halloween is usually a time when people let loose a little bit and allow themselves to go outside their comfort zone and be someone else.

Whether that means dressing up like your favorite movie character, decorating your home with fake spider webs and skeletons or going to haunted houses in the area, everyone enjoys taking a break from reality for a brief moment.

However, horror movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Personally, I think life is scary enough as it is, why go out of your way to make it even more frightening?

When I do work up the nerve to challenge myself to a scary movie, I usually enjoy the process so long as it’s during the Halloween season. Maybe it’s the festive spirit of All Hallow’s Eve or the childhood memory of watching “A Nightmare on Elm Street” with my grandma when I was younger, but my confidence to take on all things scary and horrible seems to grow when the calendar flips to October.

With Halloween night rapidly approaching, I decided to go through a list of scary movies that you might also enjoy. Most of them are well-known movies from various time periods, but some you might have to dig up at your local video story or on Netflix to find.

I think “jumpy” scary movies are kind of hacky and not really frightening as much as they are just startling. This is my list of five bonafide terrifying movies that are well worth your time this holiday season.

The Strangers (2008)

This movie is more disturbing than scary, as it feels like something that could happen to anyone who lives in a remote area.

The basic plot of the movie is centered around a young couple who are staying in an isolated vacation house. They return to the house from a wedding reception and are both irritable and going through their fair share of disagreements.

As the couple continues to argue, a knock comes to their door late at night. The rest of the film involves three strangers, donning masks to hide their faces. The strangers invade the house, motives unknown, and turn the couple’s vacation into a nightmare.

The young couple find themselves in a violent struggle that pushes them beyond what either of them thought capable of doing in order to survive.

The Shining (1980)

This is a classic horror movie starring Jack Nicholson.

Jack Torrance, played by Nicholson, is a writer and recovering alcoholic who takes a job as a winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.

He decides to bring his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions, along with him during his stay at the hotel. Jack's writing continues to struggle and his work goes nowhere. Meanwhile, Danny's visions become increasingly disturbing.

As Jack wanders around the hotel, he discovers its dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

Halloween (1978)

The perfect Halloween movie for all to enjoy, this 1978 horror film starring Jamie Lee Curtis is equal parts horrifying and brutal.

The movie centers around Michael Myers, who murdered his 17-year-old sister when he was 6-years-old. After he served his sentence for 15 years, Myers escapes while being transferred for a court date. He returns to his hometown in Illinois, and continues his murderous ways on unsuspecting victims.

Babadook (2014)

This movie was a Netflix hidden gem for me. It’s not a well-known movie locally, as it was produced and released in Australia, but it might be the most terrifying of the group.

The story is centered around Amelia, who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to Samuel, their only child, and her struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom.

Her son’s fear of monsters and his violent reactions to them push Amelia and Samuel into outsiders in their neighborhood. One night, the two read a strange book in their house about the 'Babadook' monster that hides in the dark areas of their house.

After Samuel continues to tell Amelia about the Babadook monster visiting him at night, even she seems to feel the effect of the monster’s presence and she desperately tries in vain to destroy the book. From there, things get more twisted and terrifying as the monster haunts the already tortured family.

Alien (1979)

This was one of the first movies I remember seeing as kid that truly made my skin crawl. While paranormal ghosts don’t scare me that much, scaly aliens with sharp tails and razor sharp teeth was more than enough to make me check under my bed before turning off the light.

The movie is set in the distant future, when a commercial spaceship intercepts a distress call from a distant moon. The seven-member crew are awakened from hypersleep and the spaceship subsequently descends on the moon. While exploring the moon, a three-member team of the crew discover a derelict spaceship and a huge chamber inside it containing thousands of eggs.

When a curious team member goes near the egg, the parasite inside the egg attacks him, rendering him unconscious. He is brought back aboard and the spaceship takes off. After a little while, the parasite dies and his host wakes up seemingly unruffled. That is when the truly terrifying events happen and the crew is faced with a murderous alien lifeform.

Honorable Mention

If you are looking for a movie marathon this Halloween, you might need a few more selections to round out your playlist. Here are a few more movies that should do the trick and be a real treat.

House of Wax (2005)

The Uninvited (2009)

The Ring (2002)

Saw (2004)

Oculus (2014)

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