All Hallows’ Eve is nearly upon us. A night when spirits, sorcerers, vampires, werewolves, and other monsters rule the land by their own rules — at least some might say. As Halloween approaches we find ourselves following old traditions as well as creating our own. You may enjoy the decorating, the sweets, the costumes, the mazes, the scary stories, the haunted houses, the weather, or just a quiet (maybe too quiet…) night at home with a blanket and a scary movie. If you ask me, I love it all. In this list I share with you a passion of mine: horror movies. It is my personal favorite genre, and I make it a goal of mine to watch all of the latest releases, along with the classics. I will not name all of the films you’ve probably heard repeated many times, but instead I’ve composed a collection of what I consider to be some of the best horror movies (and other related films) to date. However, be warned: these titles may contain some terrifying and disturbing scenes, so prepare yourself for a fright.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.
- Director: Mike Flanagan
- Writers: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
- Stars: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso
- Released: October 21st, 2016
The Conjuring 2
Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit.
- Director: James Wan
- Writers: Carey Hayes (screenplay), Chad Hayes (screenplay)
- Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe
- Released: June 10th, 2016
Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
A young family moves into a historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house’s only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.
- Director: Tom Elkins
- Writer: David Coggeshall
- Stars: Abigail Spencer, Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff
- Released: March 14th, 2013
Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.
- Director: Scott Derrickson
- Writers: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
- Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
- Released: October 12th, 2012
When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.
- Director: David F. Sandberg
- Writers: Eric Heisserer (screenplay), David F. Sandberg
- Stars: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello
- Released: July 22nd, 2016
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.
- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
- Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
- Released: October 16th, 2015
A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
- Director: Jennifer Kent
- Writer: Jennifer Kent
- Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall
- Released: November 28th, 2014
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
- Director: Wes Craven
- Writer: Wes Craven
- Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
- Released: November 16th, 1984
A family’s home is haunted by a host of ghosts.
The first film was released in 1982, was made into a trilogy, and even has a 2015 remake. I recommend starting with the series from the 80’s.
- Director: Tobe Hooper
- Writers: Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Michael Grais (screenplay)
- Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
- Released: June 4th, 1982
A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.
- Director: Gore Verbinski
- Writers: Ehren Kruger (screenplay), Kôji Suzuki (novel) (as Koji Suzuki)
- Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
- Released: October 18th, 2002
An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.
- Director: Takashi Shimizu
- Writers: Stephen Susco (screenplay), Takashi Shimizu (film “Ju-On: The Grudge”)
- Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Clea DuVall
- Released: October 22nd, 2004
An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a mummy.
- Director: Stephen Sommers
- Writers: Stephen Sommers (screen story), Lloyd Fonvielle (screen story)
- Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah
- Released: May 7th, 1999
For a group of teens, the answer to the mysterious death of their old friend lies within the world of an online video game based on the true story of an ancient noblewoman known as the Blood Countess.
- Director: William Brent Bell
- Writers: William Brent Bell, Matthew Peterman
- Stars: Jon Foster, Samaire Armstrong, Frankie Muniz
- Released: March 24th, 2006
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.
- Director: John Carpenter
- Writers: John Carpenter (screenplay), Debra Hill (screenplay)
- Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
- Released: October 25th, 1978
Friday the 13th
A group of camp counselors is stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning.
- Director: Sean S. Cunningham
- Writers: Victor Miller, Sean S. Cunningham (story)
- Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
- Released: May 9th, 1980
A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
- Director: Kimberly Peirce
- Writers: Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (screenplay)
- Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde
- Released: October 18th, 2013
A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a nine-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.
- Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
- Writers: David Leslie Johnson (screenplay), Alex Mace (story)
- Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
- Released: July 24th, 2009
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Master sorcerer Balthazar Blake must find and train Merlin’s descendant to defeat dark sorceress Morgana la Fée.
- Director: Jon Turteltaub
- Writers: Lawrence Konner (screen story), Mark Rosenthal (screen story)
- Stars: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina
- Released: July 14th, 2010