Halloween is here and there are few things better than staying in and watching a scary movie when it’s officially hibernating weather. But so many to choose from, where should you start?
10: Alien (1979)
Director Ridley Scott’s dramatic dark lighting and claustrophobic setting create a grungy realism that suck you into this re-imagination of the Sci-Fi genre. You know its coming, but you don’t know when…
9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The best of the Hannibal Lecter movies still chills the spine 18 years on from its release. Anthony Hopkin’s epic Oscar-winning performance sets the perfect tone, but the comedy of the bumbling ‘Buffalo Bill’ and the psychotic Lecter does sometimes detract from the fear factor.
8. The Invisible Man (1933)
H.G. Wells’ classic tale of scientific mystery and madness was beautifully shot in this introspective story. Oh, and just to keep you on the edge of the seat, the final monstrous act is one of the best movie twists ever.
7. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Often cited as one of the best of the creepy horror genre, ‘The Sixth Sense’ still ticks all the boxes for a pitch-perfect Halloween flick. The creepy and tense atmosphere primes you to jump out of your skin, and if you’ve managed not to find out the ending before watching, you’re in for a treat.
6. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The use of the clever home movie device in ‘The Blair Witch Project’ challenged everything we thought we knew about scary movies. For the first time the audience felt like voyeurs on the camping trip from hell. That and the great ending make this a must for Halloween.
5. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s film should make any scary movie list. More thoughtful and human than most other scary movies and essential viewing for nothing more than Jack Nicholson’s manic mad man performance and the legendary line: ‘Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!’
4. Poltergeist (1982)
The Poltergeist franchise is said to be cursed as several of the people associated with it, including stars Dominique Dunne and Heather O’Rourke, have died prematurely. This slightly spooky aside makes this movie all the more frightening.
3. Psycho (1960)
This psychological thriller is clever and evenly paced, making it a perfect slow-burning start to an evening of horror. The plotline keeps you guessing while Hitchcock works his visual mesmerising magic. Brilliant.
2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Some might argue that any of the films in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise would not look out of place on this list, but the original is always the best. The character of Leatherface, one of the most frightening characters in cinematic history, and the almost unwatchable gore guarantees a night full of bad dreams.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
The argument over whether this film is actually any good will no doubt rage on forever, but it is definitely scary. The religious elements and its unfair association with the so-called ‘video nasties’ earned it a ban in the UK. Scary and forbidden… What more do you want?