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Actually Scary Horror Movies for October Horror Movie Month 2014

Updated on November 6, 2014
Actually Scary Movies for October Horror Movie Month 2014
Actually Scary Movies for October Horror Movie Month 2014 | Source

All Time Scariest Horror Movies

This is my list of the 30 all-time, BEST horror movies and tv shows. Films that are ACTUALLY scary, mind you. I've got suggestions from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus, as well as a breakdown of the major horror sub-genres: supernatural horror, zombie movies, vampire flicks, creature features, monster movies, comedy horror, science fiction horror, psychological horror. Lets dig right in.

October Horror Movie Month

Start a new tradition!

Every year, for the past 8 years my husband and I (and some of our horror savvy friends) dedicate the month of October watching horror movies. I'm hoping that this little guide will get you pumped to watch some scary, suspenseful and gross-out flicks for this Halloween season. I also invite you, anonymous Internet readers, to join the tradition and watch as many horror movies and TV shows as you can from October 1st through Halloween.

I've got plenty of suggestions in this article to get you started, with options from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I hope to get you pumped to watch a truly scary horror movie regardless of what time of the year it is.

PS: If you're curious, this is what I watched for October Horror Movie Month 2014.

Classic Horror - Because where would we be without Alfred Hitchcock?

Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock | Source

I have to start with the grand daddy of horror. Because I'm not a Hitchcock buff myself, I'm putting a poll in here.

What is your favorite Hitchcock movie?

See results

Disclaimer!

Before I get started, I'll offer my disclaimer: This is a guide to MY favorite horror films. These are the films I think are the best done, most entertaining, and most importantly, most terrifying in the genre. It is not an all-inclusive list, and I'm certainly not meant to be a definitive guide. I left certain movies out because a) they weren't actually scary b) I thought other movies did it better -or- there is a chance that c) I haven't seen it yet. In which case, hash it out in the comments. I'm always up for new horror fare!

ps: for brevity's sake (as if I knew that word) sequels are not included on the list. If #1 is on the list, chances are I've seen #2, #3 and #10, and I probably enjoyed it to some extent. Except for the Tremors sequels. Which sucked.

OKAY. Here we go!

Lost Boys DVD cover (via Amazon)
Lost Boys DVD cover (via Amazon)

Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires and Slasher Flicks

These movies are the bread and butter of the horror genre, so we're starting here. Remember, for each gem here, there are at least 50 terrible films. I've picked one personal favorite from each category:

Zombies

28 Days Later - While zombies are scary, zombies that can RUN are scarier.

Werewolves

An American Werewolf in London - Werewolf movies are hard to pull off (see 2010s The Wolfman), but this is the best I've seen... so far. Until someone comes out with a better, legit werewolf movie, this one will hold the crown.

Vampires

Bram Stroker's Dracula - Like Werewolf movies, Vampire movies can easily devolve into molten bowl of velveeta cheese. But this is Gary Oldman guys. (note: I have seen "Let the Right One in" and "Let Me In" and while they were both very well done movies, neither did it for me. Sorry.)

Slasher

This is stuff horror empires are made of, but somehow, this is the category that I care the least about. Feel free to abuse me in the comments if you're feeling feisty. I'm going to go ahead and choose Halloween because chainsaws and finger claws are scary and everything, but a knife is much more organically terrifying. And also special guest: Friday the 13th. He's the guy with the machete, right? A machete is a kind of knife, right?

Teen Scream

Scream - It's a sub-genre of Slasher flicks. Arguably, the majority of slasher flicks are also "Teen Scream" movies, but Scream really brought the genre back to the forefront. Bravo Wes Craven. Bravo.

SciFi Horror and Psychological Thrillers

These movies are my absolute favorites. Some Psychological Thrillers toe the line of Horror and vice versa. Are some of the movies I've named here actually straight up psychological thrillers? Perhaps. I don't really care. They scare the crap out of me, regardless.

Before I start with these, I want to make a plea to Hollywood and filmmakers worldwide (and perhaps you, the reader). I feel as though there is a major lack of really good, actually scary horror movies that involve an actual trip to hell. So many people have a built in fear of hell, so why aren't there more movies that explore it in a truly, viscerally terrifying way? The closest I've seen to a horrifying hell is in What Dreams May Come. Not a horror movie per say, but the best portrayal of hell I've seen... which is pretty sad, Hollywood.

Space/Deep Sea

There are, however, tons of movies that use hell as a theme fantastically well. Case in point, quite possibly my favorite horror movie in this whole article: Event Horizon. It's sci-fi horror movie set in space and HOLY CRAP is this movie scary. FYI, I know this movie got terrible reviews and I don't care. The premise of the movie is super disturbing no matter how you slice it.

The fear of the unknown is a major horror theme in general, but I believe it's played out best in the places where you can be completely isolated from the rest of the world. Similar to movies set in space, there are deep sea movies such as The Abyss and Sphere (which is very similar to Event Horizon, but not nearly as good). And of course, like Event Horizon, there are all the horror movies set in spaceships, like Pandorum (because we suspected Ben Foster could pull off something like this, who knew Dennis Quaid could?) and Sunshine (because somehow, the thought of being super close to the sun scares me more than the thought of being in deep space).

Aliens

Then, of course there are a select few scifi horror movies that involve aliens. Like the movie that changed the genre: Alien. Don't even get me started on how I'd like to BE Sigourney Weaver. I'm also throwing in Fire In the Sky for good measure since it is so haunting.

Monster Movies and Creature Features

Monster movies and alien movies have a good amount of overlap. The Thing (1982 version, NOT the remake/reboot/prequel/whatever it was in 2011) wins in my book as the best monster horror movie. The Host is also a fantastic Korean horror film with a super disgusting monster. And Stephen King's The Mist really came out of left field for me - it was better than I thought it would be.

Of course, I can't leave out 1986's delightful Jeff Goldblum/Geena Davis romp, The Fly. No really, this is movie is so creepy and disgusting. It's probably best paired with Earth Girls are Easy just so you feel clean afterwards.

The Thing
The Thing

The original is so much better than the remake, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a film snob. (I'm not at all a film snob actually, I thought "Waterworld" was awesome).

 

Supernatural Horror

The Devil and Demons

And how about the ultimate monster? THE DEVIL. Rosemary's Baby is a classic for a reason - if you haven't seen it, educate yourself. There are also the demon possession movies such as The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, both of which are based on real life events. I know I will get reamed for this, but I don't care. I actually liked The Exorcism of Emily Rose more than the Exorcist. There. I said it.

Moving right along to all the other FANTASTIC supernatural horror movies such as:

  • Poltergeist - How do you make a horror movie creepier? Make the franchise CURSED.
  • The Shining - written by Stephen King
  • Carrie - written by Stephen King
  • Pet Semetery - written by Stephen King
  • IT (shudder) - Is everything on here written by Stephen King? YES. Tim Curry is the most terrifying man ever. Clown or no clown.

Stephen King's It (Double Sided Disc)
Stephen King's It (Double Sided Disc)

It was the first scary movie to scar me as a small child. It wouldn't be the last.

 

Oh, what? TV Horror? Yes please.

These are my favorites. Start with The Twilight Zone and you will understand so many pop culture and Simpson's references:

  1. The Twilight Zone - The Classic. To truly appreciate the horror genre, you should watch at least a few seasons.
  2. The Outer Limits - The Remake. I remember this vividly from my childhood. LOVE IT.
  3. The Walking Dead - The AMC series (based on a comic book series). It's more about the people, less about the zombies. People can be down right disgusting, let me tell you.
  4. American Horror Story - The FX series. Jessica Lange is perfection. Each season tells a different stand alone story. The first season was about a family that lived in a haunted house, the second was about an insane asylum, and the third is about witchcraft in New Orleans. Season 4 "Freak Show" premiers October 8th on FX.

Comedy Horror

Actually Scary Horror Movies that are Actually Funny

Let's not confuse camp horror with comedy horror. Campy horror movies are ridiculous and awful, and comedy horror movies are actually funny (sorry, it had to be said). The best offer a perfect balance: the engaging characters, comedic writing and pitch perfect acting that you'd expect in a good comedy with the grossness, suspense and creepiness you'd expect in a horror movie.

The following three movies are perfect examples of the sub-genre and are highly recommended:

  • Tremors - A creature feature of the highest order. It's one of my all time favorite movies.
  • Shaun of the Dead - A zombie movie by the unflappable British duo Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. It's easily the funniest movie on this list.
  • Slither - Another creature feature that is seriously the. grossest. movie. ever.

Slither (Widescreen Edition)
Slither (Widescreen Edition)

Slither features everyone's favorite space cowboy, Nathan Fillion, as well as Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, and a slew of others. As far as I'm concerned, it the scariest horror comedy ever made.

 
A Graboid with a beard, naturally.
A Graboid with a beard, naturally. | Source

Do you know what to do in the event of a Graboid Attack??

I love Tremors and my readers so much that I wrote something extra special. Graboids are at threat level orange right now, so I felt it pertinent to share this important information:

A Graboid Survival Guide

Family Friendly Horror

BeetleJuice

What, Beetlejuice isn't family friendly? Well tough, because horror films aren't for children. Actually, Beetlejuice isn't even a horror movie. Accept that either kids shouldn't be watching horror movies or that if they do watch them, it will scar them for life. Like my fear of clowns because of "IT". Or my husband's fear of alien proddings because of "Fire in the Sky".

80s Halloween Movies
80s Halloween Movies | Source

Okay, FINE.

I wrote you an article about family friendly horror movies...

80s Family Halloween Movies (aka Kid Friendly Horror)

These are my top 10 favorite 80s Halloween Movies that you can watch with your kids without losing your sanity. I've also included some family friendly picks from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus for your streaming convenience. A few 90s Halloween movies also made the cut because I can't help myself.

Horror Movies On Netflix, Hulu and Amazon - Recap!

Below you will find a summary of all of my actually scary horror movie picks. If it's in Bold it's a must see!

Netflix = Available on Netflix Live Streaming (free to Netflix Instant members)

Hulu = Available on Hulu Plus (free to Hulu Plus members)

Amazon Prime = Available on Amazon Prime (free to Prime members)

Amazon Instant = Available on Amazon Instant (paid instant rentals or downloads, no membership required)

  • 28 Days Later (2002) - Amazon Instant (28 Weeks Later available is as well)
  • Bram Stroker's Dracula (1992)
  • American Werewolf in London (1981) - Hulu / Amazon Prime / Amazon Instant
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Scream (1996) - Scream 1 / Scream 2 / Scream 3 - Netflix / Amazon Instant Scream 4 - Amazon Instant
  • The Fly (1986) - Amazon Instant
  • Event Horizon (1997) - Amazon Instant
  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Sphere (1998) - Amazon Instant
  • Pandorum (2009) - Amazon Instant
  • Sunshine (2007) - Amazon Instant
  • Alien (1979) - Amazon Instant
  • Fire in the Sky (1993) - Amazon Instant
  • The Thing (1982) - Amazon Instant
  • The Host (2006) - Netflix / Amazon Prime / Amazon Instant
  • The Mist (2007) - Amazon Instant
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Netflix / Amazon Instant
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) - Amazon Instant
  • Poltergeist (1982) - Amazon Instant, Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III - Amazon Instant
  • The Shining (1980) - Amazon Instant
  • Carrie (1976) - Netflix / Amazon Prime / Amazon Instant
  • Pet Sematary - Amazon Instant
  • IT (1990) - Amazon Instant
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) - Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime / Amazon Instant
  • The Outer Limits (1995) - Hulu / Amazon Instant
  • The Walking Dead (2010) - Netflix / Amazon Instant / Hulu (via amctv.com)
  • American Horror Story (2011) - Netflix / Amazon Prime / Amazon Instant
  • Tremors (1990) - Amazon Instant
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Amazon Instant
  • Slither (2006) - Amazon Instant

Horror Movie Favorites on Netflix Streaming, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime - More options! Just for YOU!

I'm including a list here of some horror favorites available on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon so you can queue it up for October Horror Movie Month 2014. These movies didn't make the cut for my scariest horror movie list, but are worth a watch, especially if you are already paying for a streaming service. Movies listed in bold are highly recommended.

Netflix = Available on Netflix Live Streaming (free to Netflix Instant members)

Hulu = Available on Hulu Plus (free to Hulu Plus members)

Amazon Prime = Available on Amazon Prime (free to Prime members)

  • The Cabin in the Woods (2011) - Netflix / Amazon Prime - The Cabin in the Woods is one of the best horror movies to have come out in recent memory. I turns the whole genre on it's head. If you have Netflix or Amazon Prime, go watch it right now.
  • Nosferatu (1929) - Netflix / Amazon Prime (horror movie buffs should watch this at least once - it's one of the first horror movies)
  • Troll Hunter (2010, English Subtitled) - Netflix / Amazon Prime / Hulu - A "found footage" film along the same lines as "Cloverfield" (but much better).
  • The Evil Dead (1981) - Hulu
  • The Langoliers (1995, Steven King) - Netflix
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime
  • Eraserhead (1977) - Hulu
  • Hellraiser (1987) - Hulu / Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • Children of the Corn (1984) - Hulu / Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • Addams Family Values (1991) - Amazon Prime (not horror, but still a Halloween favorite)
  • Ghostbusters (1984) / Ghostbusters 2 (1989) - Netflix, Hulu (not horror, but still a Halloween favorite)
  • Let the Right One In (2008, English Subtitled) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • Oldboy - (2003, English Subtitled) Netflix / Hulu; (2013) Netflix (you'll understand why I consider this horror after you finish watching it)
  • Jeepers Creepers (2001) - Amazon Prime
  • Donnie Darko (2001) - Netflix - More science fiction than horror, but it's dark and mysterious and has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time.
  • The Fly 2 (1989) - Netflix
  • House on Haunted Hill (1959) - Netflix / Amazon Prime / Hulu (it's Vincent Price y'all)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1965) - Hulu / Netflix
  • The Frighteners (1996) - Netflix (a Peter Jackson comedy horror flick starring Michael J. Fox)
  • The Awakening (2011) - Netflix
  • The People Under the Stairs (1991) - Netflix
  • The Blob (1958) - Hulu (a horror classic)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Netflix / Amazon Prime (more of a Thriller, but some consider it Horror)
  • The Ninth Gate (1999) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • World War Z (2013) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • The Craft (1996) - Netflix
  • Fright Night (1985) - Netflix / Hulu
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • V/H/S (2012) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • Cujo (1983) - Netflix / Amazon Prime
  • Candyman (1992) - Netflix / Hulu
  • Single White Female (1992) - Netflix / Hulu (suspense/thriller)
  • Halloween (2007) - Amazon Prime

© 2012 Shay Marie

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    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      As a lover of all things bonechilling and bloodcurdling, I deeply enjoy most "flavors" of horror, truly scary or not. That being said, each is suitable for its own sort of mood, and it's a real bummer to pick out something that looks like a real bowel-loosener and discover it's actually more campy or suspensful than frightening. And I'm with you on The Exorcist... not that it's a bad movie, but not scary!!! I agree with you about most of these, and am looking forward to checking out the movies you recommend that I haven't seen. Lastly, I *love* what you have to say about BeetleJuice. Not to sound unsympathetic (though I know it does) but I cackled aloud at your husband's "fear of proddings from the sky"!

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

      @hntrssthmpsn: Heck, I'M unsympathetic to my husband's fear of alien proddings. I think it freaks him out so much because he saw it when he was young. I saw it for the first time a few years ago and while it was pretty scary, it didn't freak me out as much as it freaked him out. He actually had to get up and leave the room!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome. I've read thru tons of blog posts that have the same subject as this one, and man do most of them blow. So many of these recommendations are spot on!! Got a couple I must watch from this list. From one huge horror fan/blogger to the next, good work!

    • profile image

      MissMalaprop 4 years ago

      I'm not a big horror movie (I don't like being scared!), but I've still seen plenty of these. Great list!!

      P.S. The What Dreams May Come IMDB link goes to 28 Days Later instead.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Excellent choices. I've seen many of these and I really like your list.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks for stopping by!

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

      @MissMalaprop: Fixed! Thank you!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago

      Some brilliant choices here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Meh. All the mainstream trash, nothing original or daring about this list..

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: Vince - I'd love to hear some horror movie recommendations from you!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      Not sure it counts as a horror movie, but the only movie I've ever seen that truly scared the heck out of me was The Ghost and the Darkness. Probably because it's a true story.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @TanoCalvenoa: ooo. I've never heard of it! Even if it's not horror, I still love thrillers. I've already added it to my Netflix queue. Thank you for the hot tip!

    • Aminaguirre profile image

      Aminaguirre 3 years ago

      Kinda cheesy, but I loved the Puppet Master series. More creepy than scary, especially with all those freaky little dolls, but its still a favorite of mine to this day

    • cwilson360 profile image

      cwilson360 3 years ago

      Great list...Going to watch one tonight, still have not decided which one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      The devils rejects(house of 1k corpses was good too) and the NEW halloween movies- I thought rob zombie did a great job with those! Can't wait to see the lords of salem too! Thanks for the list! Ive got the ones available queued up and ready to scare! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      One of the best Horror/Comedy movies I have ever enjoyed is "Tucker and Dale vs Evil"

      Available on Netflix, check it out.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I went to add it to my netflix queue and it was already in there! I'll be sure to watch it soon!

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @anonymous: I do enjoy the Rob Zombie stuff. I just added The Lords of Salem to my netflix queue!

    • profile image

      VinnieD 3 years ago

      @VinnieD: Sorry the first one is called The Collection 1&2.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @VinnieD: Thanks for the tip. I've got it locked and loaded in my queue!

    • profile image

      BuyingRite 3 years ago

      Very Nice!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      My daughter and I spend the month of October watching horror movies too - she's sixteen. I've introduced her to some of my favorites from when I was her age (The Brood, It) but they look so cheesy now compared to all the special effects modern horror movies have.

    • Joebeducci profile image

      Joebeducci 3 years ago

      Awesome list of horrors! I saw a good one yesterday, The Skeleton Key (2005), have you heard of it? Greets, Joebeducci

    • profile image

      orlan90 3 years ago

      I'm a big fan of horror,suspense and thriller movies and it gives me such great feeling if I can see a much scarier one.

      Well if I have my own list (in no particular order) then I would rather put "INSIDIOUS", "THE HILLS HAVE EYES", "TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE", "EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE", "THE CONJURING", "THE BLACK CHRISTMAS", "THE SIXTH SENSE", "PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1", "WRONG TURN 1", "FINAL DESTINATION 3", "THE UNINVITED", "SCREAM". .

      I just wish that I'll be filming my own horror movie someday :)

    • profile image

      Fajing 3 years ago

      I love horror films. Especially the creepy ones; not the gory ones.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 2 years ago

      I scare myself silly with horror movies. Love your selection.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Frankly horror is not my thing as I am aware it is all faked. The only such film that ever moved me at all was the Exorcist, but probably because I saw its premier in Newcastle at midnight and we were already half cut and well fed. It nearly brought it all back up, but not quite. It was amazingly well done for the time it was released. Almost believable, but not quite. The movie that scared me most was Silence of the Lambs as Anthony Hopkins was so believable in his role as the psychopath!

      Well done on the LOTD though.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Wow, what a lens Shay Marie. Congratulations of Lens of the Day! You are clearly a specialist in the field here and totally deserve the recognition as such! I've only seen a few of the movies, read several of the books, but you have definitely intrigued me, especially with Event Horizon. I love Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King (though couldn't read "It." BTW, it was very thoughtful for you to include the lists of streaming choices. That makes it so much easier to find! Ok, comment has gone on long enough. Really marvelous lens!

    • revolutionbjj profile image

      Andrew Smith 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I love horror, and this is a good list. I suggested "Session 9" for a genuinely creepy flick. What did you think of "Insidious"? It was terrifying, and "Sinister" is in the same vein.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 2 years ago from Southern California

      @revolutionbjj: I haven't seen any of those movies. I've added them to my Netflix queue!

    • SherlockRuns profile image

      SherlockRuns 2 years ago

      A kind of funny/horror/musical movie I saw was The Devil's Carnival (I saw it on Netflix). I've watched it three times now and I love it a little more each time.

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