If you’re not a big follower of horror, it may be tough to know what movies to have on when your friends come over Halloween night. Don’t worry, here are 25 horror movies that will guarantee everyone enjoys their night and gets the living hell scared out of them. Just to be clear, this isn’t the greatest horror movies ever made or a ranking, it’s fantastic movies that are fun to watch in groups, or alone if you’re brave enough.
1. Blair Witch Project – Scare Level: 8
If you really get into this movie and let yourself get lost in the story, it is absolutely terrifying. The focus on what you don’t see instead of parading CGI monsters in front of you allows your imagination to run wild and create the most horrid images possible.
2. Cabin Fever – Scare Level: 3
If you prefer more of a campy, fun movie, this is for you. The gore is plentiful, but things never get too scary. Plus, Ryder Strong is there along with a weird karate master child who obsesses over pancakes!
3. Creepshow – Scare Level: 1
I’m sure in 1982 Creepshow was a nightmare inducing terror fest, but the scares haven’t exactly held up over the years. Now, it’s an absolute blast to see an evil Leslie Nielsen and an young, dancing Ed Harris. It’s a great party movie.
4. Dead Silence – Scare Level: 7
If you or any of your friends have a fear of puppets and dolls, this is not going to help. The plot isn’t exactly a work of art, but it’s original and will leave you weeping every time you have to go to your aunt’s house and see all of the weird dolls in her sitting room.
5. Drag Me To Hell – Scare Level: 5
While there are plenty of jumps and quick scares throughout the movie, it’s always done in such a fun way that you’re never quite frightened. Think of it more like a haunted house at an amusement park. You jump, but then you’re immediately laughing.
6. Evil Dead 2 – Scare Level: 5
The Sam Raimi classic still has its moments, but it’s much more fun than scary. Any time evil taxidermy is involved you know you’re in for a good time. Plus, Bruce Campbell battling against his evil arm is a must for anyone’s Halloween, right?
7. Evil Dead (2013) – Scare Level: 7
If you just want to go full out super gore, you could do much worse than the Evil Dead remake from this year. Gone is any silliness or goofy antics, as they’ve been replaced with the most blood you can cram into an R rated film. It’s completely insane but in the best way possible.
8. Freddy vs Jason – Scare Level: 3
Can’t decide between a Freddy movie or a Jason movie? Take both! It’s not scary and teeters on “so bad it’s good” territory, but I swear I’ve seen this thing over a hundred times. It’s like cotton candy, but with murdering slashers.
9. Grave Encounters – Scare Level: 8
You know how nothing ever happens on those ghost hunting shows? Imagine if everything happened? Not just squeaky floors and lens flares, but the alleged ghosts showed up and went absolutely nuts. That’s what happens here and it’s insane.
10. Halloween (1978) – Scare Level: 9
There’s a reason it’s such a classic. The original has stuck around for so many years because it’s really good and really scary. Don’t settle for any of the sequels or remakes. If you’re going to do Halloween, do it right.
11. Hatchet Trilogy – Scare Level: 6
Hatchet gets back to the over the top blood and gore that made the slasher genre fun. It may not be perfect for the casual fan, but if you’re a horror enthusiast looking for something new worth your time, give it a shot. You know it has to be good because Kane Hodder, the original Jason, portrays the movie’s monster, Victor Crowley.
12. Inside – Scare Level: 9
This one definitely isn’t for your family party. The French thriller finds a single, pregnant woman trapped in her home while being hunted by an unknown woman who is trying to steal her baby from out of her body. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
13. Martyrs – Scare Level: 9
Martyrs is the most gruesome, unrelenting, and bleak movie I have ever seen in my entire life. If that sentence doesn’t deter you from wanting to watch it, then let me know what you think after it’s over. I guarantee that you won’t be ready for how this movie ends.
14. A Nightmare on Elm Street – Scare Level: 8
Before Freddy became a cartoon character spouting out puns, he was a dream-invading demon that gave me nightmares for most of my childhood. Don’t think it’s not scary because it’s a little dated. Freddy is definitely at his worst in the original.
15. Paranormal Activity – Scare Level: 8
If you’re a teen who spends 90% of a movie texting and tweeting, you probably hated Paranormal Activity. Just like Blair Witch Project, if you really get into the movie and watch it loud enough, it is scary as hell. This is a great one to watch in the dark with a bunch of friends who aren’t obnoxious.
16. Suspiria – Scare Level: 6
Maybe you want to dig a little deeper and watch an under-appreciated classic while avoiding trick or treaters. Suspiria may be nearly 40 years old but it still packs more of a punch than most of the movies being put out today.
17. The Ring – Scare Level: 9
If you’re not scared out of your pants (figuratively, I hope) through the first 90 minutes, just wait until that scene near the end with the television. If you didn’t think the idea of 3-D television was bad before, your opinion will be quickly changed.
18. The Strangers – Scare Level: 10
I’m not saying The Strangers is a better movie than anything else on the list, but the idea of a group of people psychologically and physically torturing for no other reason than you happened to be home is beyond terrifying. You’ll check the locks on your doors a dozen times before you go to bed.
19. The Descent – Scare Level: 7
I made my mom watch The Descent with me and she wouldn’t talk to me for two days. Not only does it go after your claustrophobia, but it also throws in a horde of cave dwelling creatures that can see in the dark and want to murder you into the mix. What else could you possibly need?
20. Trick ‘r Treat – Scare Level: 5
Somehow the ultimate Halloween anthology didn’t get a proper theater release and, as a result, has gone tragically unwatched by way too many people. It’s scary, it’s fun, and, most of all, it’s captivating. If you’ve seen it you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’ll thank me for the recommendation.