50 Frighteningly Scary Movies To Watch This Halloween

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50 Best Horror Movies Of All Time — Scary Movies For Halloween
Entertainment And News

Horror movies shouldn't be appealing, but they are. Why do we put ourselves through the emotional rollercoaster? Because we thrive on the adrenaline caused by the sense of fear, alarm, dread, and panic that scary movies incite.

Scary movies are purposefully made to horrify the audience through recreating everyone's greatest nightmares and fears. Everything between the music and the action makes it easy for the directors to make us feel wound up to the point where, when the suspense climaxes, we are guaranteed to jump and scream.

And no matter your preference of horror sub-genre, these films will make you sleep with the lights on.

50 Best Horror Movies For Halloween

RELATED: 30 Best Horror Movies Based On True Stories

1. Annabelle

If you hate those creepy porcelain dolls, this is the movie that will scare the everloving crap out of you. Part of the Conjuring universe, Annabelle is based on the real-life experiences of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who claim a Raggedy Ann doll was possessed by a spirit and haunted two roommates in the 70s.

Where to watch: HBO Max, Hulu

2. The Shining

A classic Jack Nicholson movie, a writer and his family move to the Colorado Rockies to take care of a hotel. Jack’s young son, Danny, has psychic abilities that let him see the hotel’s past, but with a winter storm and Jack’s decline into madness, will they escape alive?

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

3. The Conjuring

The Warrens, paranormal investigators, attempt to help the Perron family who are being haunted by a dark spirit. Rated one of the scariest movies in the last decade, be sure to have a blanket handy to pull over your eyes. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

4. The Exorcist

One of the first horror movies focusing specifically on possession, this cult classic is as thrilling as it is terrifying. Some even say the set of the movie was haunted, and there have been nine deaths associated with the film, including deaths of family members and staff.

Where to watch: YouTube, HBO Max

5. Pet Sematary

While there is a 2019 film, the 1989 movie just doesn’t compare. Another film based on a Stephen King novel, this movie brings a supernatural element into the horror genre, and makes viewers question what lengths they would go to in order to bring back a loved one from the dead.

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Just in case you didn’t get enough evil from The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on Anneliese Michel, who was alleged to be possessed by a demon. This film adds in an element of murder, which is really just icing on the cake for this scary movie!

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

7. It

Whether it’s the two-part mini series from the 90s, or the 2017 movie, there’s nothing quite as scary as a clown that can transform into your deepest, darkest fear. And for a group of outcasts haunted by his presence, they vow to kill him once and for all.

Where to watch: YouTube (2017 film), Amazon Prime (1990 mini series)

8. Halloween

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut film, Halloween introduced us to one of the scariest villains of all time: Michael Myers. Complete with that haunting piano music, this classic is a must-see for the season.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

9. The Omen

What would you do if your child was the Antichrist? This supernatural-horror movie is about a child replaced at birth, and the violence surrounding that child as he grows older. Plus, it includes that spine-tingling music, “Ave Satani.”

Where to watch: Hulu, Starz

10. The Silence of the Lambs

Featuring Anthony Hopkins in one of his most terrifying roles, this unforgettable movie will have you switching between covering your eyes and glued to the edge of your seat. You’ll never look at fava beans or Chianti the same way again.

Where to watch: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube

11. Annihilation

Combining horror and sci-fi, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as part of a group of explorers trying to investigate a mysterious anomalous zone near a meteor, where Portman’s husband went missing. But what they find reveals horrors never seen before.

Where to watch: Hulu

12. The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project is set up as “recovered footage” that’s shaky but terrifying. With footage captured by three film students, the suspense will get to you before the climax does!

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

13. The Ring

You’ll never watch a VHS tape again after seeing this movie. Anyone who watches this video dies within seven days, and as a journalist (played by Naomi Watts) investigates this cursed tape, she gets deeper and deeper into the mystery of the otherworldly Samara Morgan.

Where to watch: Hulu

14. The Nun

A priest with a secret? A demonic nun? This movie has all that and more. Following the suicide of a nun, a priest and novice clergyman go to the Vatican to uncover the mystery. Fun fact: this is the same nun from The Conjuring 2!

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

15. Hostel

One of Eli Roth’s most terrifying films, the gore and horror is endless with this movie about people who pay to murder others in the most gruesome method of their choosing. Be warned: this movie is not for the faint of heart.

Where to watch: YouTube

16. A Nightmare on Elm Street

This 1984 film is a horror cult classic, with Johnny Depp in his debut acting role! When teens are terrorized in their dreams by a disfigured man, Freddy Krueger, they attempt to drag him into the real world and end his invasion.

Where to watch: YouTube

17. The Curse of La Llorona

Taking place in the 1970s and based off the folklore of La Llorona (a woman who drowned her children and continues to mourn them), a mother is forced to save her kids from a demonic presence trying to kidnap them.

Where to watch: Hulu, HBO Max

18. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

While this is an oldie, it’s still a goodie. When alien plants fall to earth, citizens in a California town begin to suspect that some people are not who they seem. Can a local doctor stop the invasion before it’s too late?

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

19. Poltergeist

If you’ve never seen this ominous movie, you’re certainly familiar with the image of a little girl sitting in front of the television and saying, “They’re here..." A family’s home is turned upside down while trying to get back their daughter who has been abducted by otherworldly forces.

Where to watch: Netflix

20. Scream

A mix of mystery and slasher, a group of high schoolers terrorized by an unknown killer, wearing the classic “ghost face” mask. When Drew Barrymore is asked, “Do you like scary movies? What’s your favorite scary movie?” you can now say it's this one. 

Where to watch: Tubi, Amazon Prime

RELATED: 25 Best Scary Documentaries & Paranormal Movies To Watch (& Where To Find Them)

21. The Thing

There’s really nothing scarier than the thought of aliens infiltrating earth while you’re trapped in Antarctica. That’s what happens in this movie with a research team when they’re faced with aliens who can mimic their surroundings, including people.

Where to watch: Hulu

22. Insidious

While at first it may just be a film about a haunted house, a family quickly learns that it wasn’t the house... it was their child! With their son in a coma state that’s actually an astral plane, the family attempts to stop him from being inhabited by evil forces.

Where to watch: Netflix

23. Child’s Play

You might want to put away all your dolls before watching this movie! A serial killer uses a spell to transfer his soul into a doll, hell-bent on continuing his spree in mortal form. And that could mean inhabiting the body of his new owner, a young boy.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Vudu

24. The Fly

This sci-fi/body horror blended film stars a young Jeff Goldblum as a scientist whose experiment to change himself into a fly goes awry. The amount of body parts that fall off Goldblum in this film is probably the most grotesque thing you’ll ever see.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

25. Hereditary

After the matriarch of the family dies, her daughter and grandkids begin to discover her hidden secrets tied to their ancestry. The miniatures in Hereditary alone are enough to have you cowering, but the film itself also offers a sinister twist you didn’t expect.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

26. Paranormal Activity

If continuous footage of someone standing over you while you sleep is spooky, you’ve hit the jackpot with Paranormal Activity. That’s what a young couple finds, and more, when they suspect their house is haunted and set up a video camera to see for sure.

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Where to watch: Netflix

27. A Quiet Place

Starring real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, a family is forced to live in silence to evade extraterrestrial creatures with insanely acute hearing. The dialogue is sparse, but the action and suspense are endless.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

28. Psycho

One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most well known films, we’re all familiar with that infamous shower scene. It’s the story of Norman Bates, whose character was allegedly inspired by Ed Gein, and includes plenty of sudden shocks throughout.

Where to watch: YouTube

29. The Babadook

The Babadook is a psychological thriller that delves deep into our innermost fears. With a children’s book come to life, and a mother and son falling deep into paranoia, this movie is overwhelmed with sinister forces.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

30. The Witch

Set in the 1600s in New England, a Puritan family is confronted with forces of evil when their newborn son is abducted. Soon, the crops begin dying the family unravels, making them vulnerable to the evil they fear most.

Where to watch: Hulu

31. Silent Hill

A mother must save her daughter after she is consumed by darkness. Unknowingly traveling through a portal to the possessed town of Silent Hill, the mother becomes trapped in a parallel world attempting to investigate the town’s past.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

32. Sinister

What if you moved into a new home, only to find a box of videotapes with brutal murders that took place in the home you now reside? Starring Ethan Hawke, he soon becomes obsessed with the movies, leading to an incredibly terrifying fate.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime

33. Audition

A widowed television producer creates a dating service to find himself a new wife, but becomes the victim of unprecedented horror. This Japanese film has everything you want in a scary movie: gore, suspense, and unsettling, unspeakable horror.

Where to watch: Tubi, Amazon Prime

34. Us

If you’ve ever been haunted by the thought of a doppelgänger, this Jordan Peele film follows a family attacked by a group of people... who look just like them. 

Where to watch: Hulu

35. Open Water

Open Water is based on the real life story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were accidentally left behind on a scuba dive expedition. The sheer terror of being stranded in the middle of a shark-infested ocean gives you everything you’d never want to experience for real.

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

RELATED: 20 Scary Games From Your Childhood That Will Still Freak You Out Today

36. REC

Set in an apartment building in Barcelona, a television reporter and her cameraman experience evil first hand. Things escalate when the virus is found to create murderous behavior in its victims, as the two find themselves trapped inside the building.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

37. 28 Days Later

After releasing monkeys contagious with a virus, a disease spreads throughout the UK. Four weeks later (AKA 28 days), a man wakes from his coma to find that London is deserted. But his attempt to find other survivors proves that he isn’t quite alone.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube

38. It Follows

Haunted by an evil entity after a casual sexual encounter, a young woman must either defeat it, or pass the curse along to rid herself of it. The worst part? The curse can manifest as someone she loves.

Where to watch: Tubi, YouTube

39. Doctor Sleep

A sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep takes place decades after the events of the first movie. Danny, now an adult, struggles with his psychic abilities and childhood trauma, but must protect a young girl with the same powers as him.

Where to watch: Hulu, HBO Max

40. Friday the 13th

Just like classic villain Michael Myers, Friday the 13th introduces us to Jason Voorhees. But just when you think he’s the murderer killing teens at a sleepaway camp, well... the truth is stranger than fiction.

Where to watch: Hulu

41. Cloverfield

On the eve of his farewell party, a man and his friends are blindsided by a gigantic monster terrorizing New York City. Pieced together with “footage” from a camera, the group try to rescue their friend before the military destroys the area. Be warned: if you have motion sickness, you may not want to put this on.

Where to watch: Hulu

42. The Amityville Horror

A remake of the 1979 film, based on mass murderer Ronald DeFeo Jr., a family moves into a new home on Long Island, unaware of the gruesome events that took place. Soon, they begin seeing things, with one family member becoming dangerously affected.

Where to watch: YouTube, Hulu, Vudu

43. Devil

If you’re terrified of getting stuck in an elevator, it’s time to face your fears. With five strangers trapped in an elevator, they start to die one by one. It’s almost like one of them is actually the Devil... 

Where to watch: Hulu, HBO Max

44. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A group of friends are traveling through Texas and end up victims to a cannibalistic family! If you don’t have nightmares, you will after seeing Leatherface and his evil clan. You’ll never forget what you watch in this gore-filled movie.

Where to watch: Tubi, Amazon Prime

45. Midsommar

Dani travels with her boyfriend and his friends to a festival celebrating an event that happens every 90 years. And then things take a dark turn. But for a horror movie, the cinematography is beautiful, compared to other movies where you have to max out your brightness. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

46. The Hills Have Eyes

This 2006 movie is a remake of the 1977 movie, but both are great. The film follows a family whose car breaks down in the desert, and soon become prey for cannibalistic mutants. Leave it to Wes Craven to create horror at an extreme level.

Where to watch: Hulu

47. Saw

The first in a series of Saw movies, the original 2004 film brings fear to real life when two men wake up in a room, a corpse between them, tasked with killing the other to survive. What follows is a story full of horrific twists and turns.

Where to watch: Hulu

48. Let Me In

A bullied young boy finds friendship and solace with his new friend, his next door neighbor. The problem? His friend is actually an ancient vampire, and things get more complicated as the young boy starts to become emotionally attached.

Where to watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime

49. I Know What You Did Last Summer

After accidentally running over a man, four friends are haunted when, one year later, they begin receiving notes saying — you guessed it — “I know what you did last summer.” Will they be able to survive this unknown person who is out for revenge?

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

50. Rosemary’s Baby

After a young couple moves into their new apartment, the wife, Rosemary (played by Mia Farrow), becomes pregnant. Soon, she begins experiencing strange events, and becomes convinced that the neighbors have sinister intentions for her unborn child.

Where to watch: Hulu

RELATED: The Horror Movie Each Zodiac Sign Belongs In

Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.

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