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10 Haunting Halloween Horror Movies

Oct 26 by Adam Thorp

10 Haunting Halloween Horror Movies

Pumpkin spice lattes, comfortable sweaters, leaves falling from trees and a slightly colder breeze. I think we all know what that means…

Fall is here!

And with fall comes (almost) everyone's favourite holiday...


I personally love Halloween and all the spooky stuff that comes along with it. Pumpkins, costumes, ghosts and ghouls, trick or treating, candy and the potential to be whoever or whatever you want to be for one night and one night only. It’s a time of year unlike any other, but would it really be Halloween if you didn’t watch a terrifying horror movie and afterwards kind of wish you didn’t when you have to walk up the stairs in the dark?

Yeah, the answer is no. It definitely would not feel like Halloween to me if my heart didn’t feel like it was going to violently beat out of my chest at least once due to the amount of adrenaline racing through my veins because of a spooky movie.

Good horror movies are tough to find though, and I think they’re actually becoming harder and harder to stumble across these days. So here is a list of 10 movies that I think have the potential to petrify you to the point that you’re positive you might pass out.

1. Halloween (1978)

“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.”

“Halloween” is a classic - and rightfully so in my opinion. It’s simple yet well done, the music is creepy as hell, Jamie Lee Curtis is a queen and Michael Myers is ruthless. Enough said.

Halloween movie poster for a Top 10 Halloween movie list

2. The Shining (1980)

“A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.”

There’s nothing quite like “The Shining”. From creepy kids and naked old ladies to an axe-wielding maniac in an isolated hotel, it kind of has it all. Stanley Kubrick absolutely nailed the tone of this film with his disturbingly beautiful cinematography and direction. I don’t think many people will forget about that blood in the elevator shot any time soon. I definitely won’t.

The Shining Top Halloween Horror Movies

3. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

“The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.”

Freddy Krueger has haunted kids dreams for over 30 years, and I don’t think him and his twisted ways (and knives) are going anywhere soon. Wes Craven made sure that the visual effects were done practically and it definitely paid off in the long run. This film is creepy and has young Johnny Depp in it, which I think is enough to give it at least a try.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

4. Saw (2004)

“Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.”

If you like insane mind games and (very) gory sequences, this is definitely the one for you. “Saw” is unimaginably twisted and very well written. It’s dark and unflinching and quite the psychological rollercoaster if you’re up for the ride.


Saw Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

5. Paranormal Activity (2007)

“After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.”

I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but “Paranormal Activity” scared the living daylights out of me when it was initially released. It was super simple and incredibly realistic, which I think is what led to countless sleepless nights of me preparing myself to get pulled down the hallway by my leg. Good times...


Paranormal Activity Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

6. The Strangers (2008)

“A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.”

Humans are the scariest monsters of all, and I think this film captures that idea perfectly. It’s well directed with haunting performances from Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, who basically carry the entire story. I found the use of sound and music in the film extremely effective in creating the tense atmosphere that makes the viewing experience so scary.

The Strangers Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

7. Insidious (2011)

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

I don’t think James Wan could have made this movie any more terrifying if he summoned the devil himself and asked him to make a cameo in the film. The way he used strings in the music is beyond creepy, the visuals are bold and shocking and the tone is extremely unsettling. I would definitely check this one out if you’re into creepy kids and like genuinely spooky paranormal horror films.

Insidious Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

8. The Conjuring (2013)

“Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.”

Yet another film from horror genius, James Wan. The guy seems to know what he’s doing in regards to scary movies. The story is pretty simple and uses a lot of old horror movie tropes, but somehow brings them back to life, making this modern day classic about a new family in an old house one to remember.

The Conjuring Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

9. It Follows (2014)

“A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.”

Tone might be one of the most effective aspects of horror movie making in my opinion, and “It Follows” creates a tone that’s unlike any other. The abstract writing, cinematography, music and great performances lead to a pretty unique perspective on the horror genre, which I found refreshing and chilling.

It Follows Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies

10. The Babadook (2014)

“A widowed 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.”

The Australian director, Jennifer Kent, creates an absolute nightmare out of what is supposed to be a children's book in the film. It’s not only incredibly intense and frightening, but also very thought provoking in the way that the film portrays mental illness. Essie Davis gives a stellar performance as a grieving single mother in the film and I would be genuinely shocked if anyone said they didn’t think about this film at least once after the credits rolled.

The Babadook Top 10 Halloween Horror Movies


Now get out there and scare yourself and/or your friends half to death with your pick of these horror films! I hope they keep you on the edge of your seat and awake at night when the monsters come out to play. Or at least have you running up the stairs in the dark with your heart beating faster than the monster chasing you.

Pumpkins, costumes, ghosts and ghouls, trick or treating, candy and the potential to be whoever or whatever you want to be for one night and one night only…

Happy Halloween!

- A