Best Horror Movies

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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

Sinister

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

Lights Out

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

Crimson Peak

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

The Babadook

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

The Skeleton Key

A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house’s dark past.

  • Director: Iain Softley
  • Writer: Ehren Kruger
  • Stars: Kate Hudson, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Bryant
  • Released: August 12th, 2005

Insidious

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

  • Director: James Wan
  • Writer: Leigh Whannell
  • Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
  • Released: April 1st, 2011

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

The Exorcist

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Writers: William Peter Blatty
  • Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
  • Released: December 26th, 1973

Poltergeist

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

The Ring

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

The Grudge

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

The Mummy

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

Stay Alive

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

Halloween

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

Carrie

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

Orphan

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

Van Helsing

The notorious monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein’s research and a werewolf for some sinister purpose.

  • Director: Stephen Sommers
  • Writer: Stephen Sommers
  • Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh 
  • Released: May 7th, 2004

The Queen of the Damned

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.

  • Director: Michael Rymer
  • Writers: Anne Rice (novels), Scott Abbott (screenplay) 
  • Stars: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau
  • Released: February 22nd, 2002

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

The Last Witch Hunter

The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.

  • Director: Breck Eisner
  • Writers: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama 
  • Stars: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
  • Released: October 23rd, 2015
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