With Halloween right around the corner, you might want to find the ideal scary movie. Here are my top horror movie picks to make you scream and jump out of your chair.
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” - 2003 Remake
It centers around five friends on their way to a concert and opens with the narrator saying, “For them, an idyllic summer afternoon became a nightmare.” The dirty scenery and strange behaviors of the characters are what make this a notable horror movie. Beware: this is a very gory movie.
On their way to the concert, they pick up an unusual hitchhiker and things go from bad to weird to worse. The group separates while trying to get help and eventually run into Leatherface and from there their situations deteriorate. I thought the acting was pretty good - not great, but you kind of believe these characters are really running for their lives.
“The Strangers” - 2008
The movie opens claiming it was inspired by true events. Now, whether this is actually true or not, I do not know; believing that it is makes this thriller much better. What I really like about this movie is its creepiness and unpredictability. It’s very unsettling, which makes for an excellent horror movie.
A couple is heading back to a family cottage after a failed marriage proposal. James (Scott Speedman) and his girlfriend, Kristen (Liv Tyler) are despondent after things have not gone as planned. Shortly after they arrive home weird visitors and loud banging on the cottage walls make them fear for their lives. “The Strangers” features a lot of moments that will make your heart pound and may cause you to jump. It’s important to pay attention, because some of these moments are very subtle. An all-around fantastic thriller.
“The Conjuring” - 2013
I saw this in the theater and it is one of the few movies that made me jump while watching it. This movie also states it’s based on a true story, and it is. Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are real people who were involved in this case. They seek to educate others, while removing unwanted spirits.
A family moves into a new house and strange things start happening. I know that’s vague, but part of what makes this movie so good are the events that happen in and around the house. You never know when the next scare is coming. For maximum effect, watch with the lights out.
“The Exorcist” - 1973
Years ago, I tried to watch this for the first time. It was late at night and I had to turn it off part way through because I was scared. The scariest aspect of this movie is that it seems vaguely plausible. A little girl (Linda Blair) begins acting weird, then gets sick, then claims she is the Devil and strange things happen in her presence (doors and windows slamming automatically, floating furniture, mysterious cuts appearing on the child’s legs). From there, more weird and even more disturbing things happen around her. For 1973, this movie has amazing special effects and great movie makeup.
I think this is as close as you’ll get to a perfect horror movie. For maximum effect, watch this one with the lights out too . . . If you dare . . .