It’s Halloween round the corner, and let’s be honest, we cannot be assed with all that fancy dress crap this year.
We just wanna stay in and scare our socks off. And you know what? it’s dead easy to do.
These movies are all bloody terrifying…
Aaron answers an online ad and drives to a stranger’s house to film him for the day. The man wants to make a movie for his unborn child, but his requests become more bizarre as the day goes along.
The words ‘Peach Fuzz’ will forever terrify after this one.
There’s a sequel on its way, too.
After a serious car crash, novelist Paul Sheldon is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, who claims to be his biggest fan – but her obsession takes a dark turn.
Kathy Bates is fabulous and unnerving in this chiller.
Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, when ghosts commune with them through the television set.
It was remade in 2015, but the 1982 original is what you want.
There are loads of real-life horror stories from this one, too – the Poltergeist curse.
27. The Strangers
Kristen and James are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful as three masked strangers come to the door.
Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are perfectly frantic in this home invasion horror.
26. The Babadook
A troubled widow discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children’s book.
Essie Davis is perfect as the tragically tormented single mum.
25. Cabin In the Woods
When five college friends arrive at a remote forest cabin for a little vacation, little do they expect the horrors that await them.
This is a post-modern take in the style of Scream, but for the Netflix age – love it.
24. House of Wax
A gang of college friends are en route to a school football game when they wind up with a flat tire in a ghost town. They are forced to seek help in the only place that’s open: the local creepy AF wax museum…
The 2005 remake is trashier than the 1953 original, and you get to see Paris Hilton bite it. Win.
23. The Wicker Man
Sergeant Howie arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. He’s a conservative Christian, and the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals have him on edge from the off…
The 1973 classic is immense, particularly because of Christopher Lee. The Nichoilas Cage 2006 remake is shite.
22. The Fog
Strange things begin to occurs as a tiny California coastal town prepares to commemorate its centenary. Then a mysterious iridescent fog descends upon the village, and people start to die.
The 2005 remake with Tom ‘Smallville’ Welling is a bad choice. Stick to John Carpenter’s original from 1980.
21. Get Out
Chris’ girlfriend Rose invites him to meet her parents but their overly accommodating behaviour soon shifts into a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries about the truth.
This is brand new and a great effort.
20. The Conjuring
In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine and Ed Warren were summoned to a secluded farmhouse, where a supernatural presence has made itself known. Then the Warrens discover the house’s macabre history.
The first Conjuring is pretty great – gripping with lots of jumps.
19. The Blair Witch Project
Found video footage tells the tale of three film students who’ve travelled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.
Often mocked, but this found footage hit reinvented the horror we watch when it came out – and the marketing campaign was amazing.
In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo awaken from cryo-sleep halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship.
The first one in the franchise does the chilling, creeping dread to a T.
17. Rosemary’s Baby
Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse And her struggling actor husband Guy move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbours. When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth.
Mia Farrow’s wan complexion and dark circles under her eyes are absolutely nailed on – she looks like a person in torment throughout.
Phoenix secretary Marion Crane goes on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer to run away with her boyfriend. But when she pulls into a motel to escape the bad weather, she meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates – and nothing will ever be the same again.
Still stands up to this day – a definite classic.
15. Drag Me To Hell
Christine Brown’s heavenly life becomes hellish when, in an effort to impress her banker boss, she denies an old woman’s request for an extension on her home loan. In retaliation, the crone places a curse on Christine, threatening her soul with eternal damnation.
Romany curses are pretty lame movie fodder, but this has enough quirks to make it work.
14. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
In Santa Mira, California, Dr Miles Bennell is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors. He soon finds that an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town.
The 1956 version beats the 1978 one for us, but the later one is still a good watch.
13. It Follows
Carefree teenager Jay sleeps with her new boyfriend – only for him to tell her she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sex. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger.
Th electro soundtrack just adds to the creeping dread in this modern classic.
12. Nightmare on Elm Street
In Wes Craven’s classic slasher, teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger, a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on them in their dreams – which, in turn, kills them in reality.
You will find it hard to sleep after this one – just in case…
American Suzy travels to Germany to attend ballet school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.
Stylised and with a striking soundtrack by Italian rock band Goblin, this is very 1970s and very cool.
10. Night of the Living Dead
A disparate group of individuals takes refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. As the zombies start to find ways inside, one by one, the living humans become the prey of the deceased ones.
Black and white but no less scary than George A Romero’s more modern zombie flicks.
9. The Fly
When scientist Seth Brundle completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself – but unbeknownst to him, a housefly slips in during the process, leading to a merger of man and insect. As the fly’s cells begin to take over his body, he becomes increasingly fly-like and monstrous.
Jeff Goldblum makes this creepy 1986 body horror come alive – but there are other versions.
8. The Omen
American diplomat Robert adopts Damien when his wife delivers a stillborn child. But as the bodycount of people around Damien grows, Robert investigates – and realises his adopted son may be the Antichrist.
This has just been added to Netflix, so it’s an easy one to track down.
7. Paranormal Activity
Set in 2006, a young couple who have recently moved to a new house are terrorized by a demon that the woman believes has been following her all her life.
There are loads of them now, but the first one is still good – a slowburn of chilling inevitability.
6. The Others
Grace moves her family to the English coast during World War II and awaits word on her missing husband while protecting her children from a rare photosensitivity disease that causes the sun to harm them. Grace thinks the servants are playing tricks but chilling events and visions make her believe something supernatural has occurred.
This is a good twisty one that keeps you guessing.
5. The Thing
In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog – but when they take in the dog, it brutally attacks everyone, and they discover beast can assume the shape of its victims before picking them off, one by one.
John Carpenter’s 1982 one is the one you want – Kurt Russell’s a legend in it.
4. The Exorcist
Young Regan starts levitating and speaking in tongues, so her worried mother seeks help. Doctors are useless, but a local priest thinks the girl may be possessed by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert to help.
The projectile vomiting and head-spinning are the headline grabbers, but the movie’s a lot more considered than you might think.
The sleepy little town of Woodsboro has a killer in its midst who’s seen a few too many scary movies. Nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds.
This changed everything about horror when it came out in 1996 – self-aware, post-modern and very sexy.
On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his teenage sister. Locked away for 15 years, on October 30, 1978, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.
Another John Carpenter, this made Jamie Lee Curtis a star and is far and away the queen of all slasher flicks.
1. The Shining
Writer Jack Torrance becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel hoping to cure his block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorising his family.
The top of the lot, Jack Nicholson is excellent as the alcoholic losing his mind.