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Scary Movies For Halloween

Updated on April 29, 2012

Halloween is lurking just around the corner. It’s a night filled with mystery and lore when ghosts and goblins and creatures of all description and size come out to taunt and haunt. A tradition of celebration dating back more than 2000 years, it’s time for trick or treat!

The best Halloween nights are clear, with just a sliver of moonlight to guide you through an enveloping low hung mist. It’s a night when one has to look cautiously over a shoulder, peering into the darkness, squinting in an effort to catch a glimpse of what’s coming from behind. Imagine the footsteps of Frankenstein heavily stomping down the darkened street, the swish of Dracula as he descends to partake of your warm, succulent blood. Listen as the werewolves howl to the night sky, reluctantly relenting to their unwanted personas and watch out for headless horsemen galloping through the silent, still of the night on midnight black steeds. All sounds become suspicious on this Hallows Eve. Black cats are no longer cute kittens, but dreaded omens of bad luck, witches cast spells, and every imaginable evil lurks in the shadows, waiting for the unsuspecting.

The words ‘trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat’ resound through neighbourhoods far and wide. But as the night draws to an end the echoes of trick or treat fades, the costumes are removed and its time for little goblins to go to bed.

The children are frightened all curled up in bed with visions of villains alive in their heads.

They’re so high on sugar they can’t get to sleep, but you tell them don’t even utter a peep.

You check in the closet and under the bed assuring there’s really no ‘Dawn of the Dead’.

Scary movies are synonymous with All Hallows Eve and what better way to end the evening than by sitting in an eerie, candle lit room curled up with a frightening, hair raising, toe curling, make-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-stand-up flick. This is the time to separate the men from the women, the boys from the girls, the faint of heart from the ridiculously blood thirsty rest of the population. But there is something for everyone.

Here are some of my top picks for must-see scary Halloween movies, in no particular order. Start a weak or so (pun intended) ahead and work up to the scariest one. Trick or treat! Don’t lose your head, your nerve or the contents of your stomach. As I said this is where we separate the men from whomever!

 

DAWN OF THE DEAD II (2004)

Zombies, zombies and more zombies describe what this flick is all about. A mysterious epidemic warning is missed by two unsuspecting characters, one of whom falls victim to a neighbours’ zombified daughter who kills the husband who immediately turns into a zombie… who would have guessed? The wife manages to escape and is rescued by a black cop (Ving Rhames) and they find shelter, along with another group of survivors, in a local mall. While they’re busy breaking and entering to find weapons the flesh eating zombies are taking over the world and the mall group is becoming restless. They’re running out of food and the zombies are closing in. Some of the group cant’ be trusted anymore… hmmm… they turn a couple of mall shuttle buses into armoured vehicles (they’re still buses, but it’s a movie) to try to escape the onslaught of zombies, the living dead, and you’ll have to watch the movie to find out if they manage to get away. Rumour has it a zombie has to be shot in the head. Do you think the cop had enough bullets?  

 

ARACHNOPHOBIA (1990)

Here spider, spider. If spiders make your skin crawl then this is definitely the scary movie for you. It begins in the jungles of Venezuela when a dead researcher, victim of a spider’s bite, is transported back to his home town in California for burial with the lethal spider hitching a ride in the coffin. Somehow the lethal arachnid finds its way to property owned by the newly hired Doc to town, Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels), who is, yep, deathly afraid of spiders. The spider takes up residence in the also newly acquired barn of said Doc and mates with a local spider producing an army of lethal offspring that proceed to reek havoc on the community. I guess spiders aren’t terribly fussy about who they take up with. Jennings enlists the help of exterminator extraordinaire, Delbert Mclintock (John Goodman) to investigate and finally identify the species. The supposed retired old Doc, Sam Metcalf (Henry Jones), kicks up a fuss when Jennings suspects foul play after a few elderly residents die and professes that the new, younger Doc doesn’t know shit from shinola. When the old Doc falls victim to a bite from the dreaded new breed of arachnid the terrified-of spiders new Doc has to deal with the problem to save his family and the community! What a web they weave.

UNTRACEABLE (2008)

Horror has found new meaning in this modern, high-tech, sadistic spine-chiller that will leave you haunted by its nightmarish imagery. This movie is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach as it contains very graphic and gruesome scenes.

Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) is a Special agent within a division of the FBI investigating and prosecuting internet criminals. She’s shares her cybercrime front line seat with Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks) and between them believe they’ve seen just about everything. Until an anonymous tip leads them to a virtually untraceable site called killwithme.com. A live streaming video shows a kitten being tortured and killed. The site quickly draws attention when the webmaster (Joseph Cross) begins torturing and murdering human victims. It’s initially thought the cyber killer is choosing victims randomly, but eventually concluded not to be the case as evidence points to cold blooded methodology. It soon becomes obvious that the cyber serial killer has found the perfect accomplice, you.

Detective Eric Box (Billy Burke) joins forces with Marsh and Dowd as they scramble to track down this seemingly untraceable perpetrator. The hunt takes on more urgency as hits on the site increase at an alarming rate. Each hit hurls the victim towards a painful and ultimate death.

As every step brings them closer to the cyber killer it also draws the killer nearer to home.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

Now here’s a classic in three awesome versions. Originally broadcast on-air live by Orson Welles, October 30, 1938, this adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds (1898), was depicted as an actual Martian invasion as part of a simulated news bulletin. If you ever have the chance to listen to Welles’ performance take advantage, you’ll understand why it reportedly caused mass panic.

Considered to be one of the great sci-fi films of its time, it won an Oscar for Best Effects and Special Effects. This ‘53 Technicolor film begins with Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s voice telling the audience that greedy eyes are watching the blue planet. They envy our water, clean air and resources. The voice goes on to say that there has been a WWI and a WWII, but that there is going to be another kind of war, The War of the Worlds.

While on a fishing vacation a physicist, Forrester, witnesses a giant meteorite land in the hills above the town of Linda Rosa. The good doctor, along with folks from town, goes to investigate, but the meteor being too hot to handle most head back to town, doc included. The meteorite opens to reveal, you got it, a Martian spaceship! One guy that stayed behind wanders over to say howdy, big mistake, the Martian kills him dead in his tracks. Of course when Forrester and the sheriff return for a look see they’re attacked, but survive. So begins the battle between Martians and man with meteors landing world wide. Enter the Marines who surround the craft, but are quickly taken down by heat and disintegrator rays. What ensues is an action-packed, bomb dropping race to outwit the Martians and survive. All seems hopeless until… the surprise ending is true to the book.

Spielberg’s 2005 rendition didn’t win an Oscar for special effects, but competition these days is horrific! It’s a sci-fi adventure thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as the battle for the future of mankind unfolds. Seen through the eyes of an estranged, American family the movie begins when a strange lightning storm strikes and the Martians launch their invasion. The main character, Ferrier, has to travel from New Jersey to Boston with his two kids in tow to reunite with his estranged wife and her new husband. The mayhem that takes place along the way makes for a wild movie ride.

Jaws Trailer 1975

JAWS

Everyone should see Jaws at least once in their life, just don’t watch it before going on a boat trip. Seriously, this movie will make you think twice about taking a dunk in the sea. The tale takes place in the seaside, fishing community of Amity which relies on the tourist trade each summer to make ends meet.

A late night skinny dip after a beach party ends in terror. While one drunken partygoer lies on the beach his companion, Chrissie, decides to take a plunge in the semi moonlit waters. She's attacked from beneath by something unknown and screams in agony and terror while she’s dragged back and forth through the water in an eerie ballet and finally disappears below the surface.

After her body is discovered the new Chief of Police, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), determines her death was a result of a shark attack and sets about posting signs to warn people the beach is closed because of a shark’s presence.

Well, in sight of the expected influx of mainlanders any day this doesn’t sit well with Amity’s Mayor Vaughn and local business owners. They band together and strong arm Brody who eventually, albeit reluctantly, gives in to their demands.

Still certain of a shark in the waters surrounding the island and after a second death Brody calls in the experts. Enter Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), from the Oceanographic Institute who convinces a partially soused Brody to break into the boathouse where the body of a shark, thought by townspeople, to be the culprit in the deaths. When they cut the shark open all that’s revealed is a license plate, this is not the shark responsible. Both men feel the real culprit is a Great White!

With a great deal of banter between Hooper, Brody and Vaughn it is finally decided to hire a quirky local fisherman, Quint (Robert Shaw) to aid in hunting and killing the predator.

What ensues is one of the best ever, thrilling, terrifying and awesome chases in the history of film.

THE FORGOTTEN (2004)

Julianne Moore portrays Telly Paretta in this unearthly, mind twisting film focusing on a mother’s agonizing grief after losing her nine year old son in a plane crash. As the movie progresses Telly’s husband, Jim (Anthony Edwards), swears they never had a child and her psychiatrist, Dr. Munce (Gary Sinise), insists she’s delusional after experiencing a miscarriage.Telling her that memories are imagined because of the trauma she experienced. Evidence that her son was real and not imagined can’t be found, yet she knows in her gut and heart that she’s right. Determined to find the truth and prove her sanity she’s propelled into a dark world of conspiracy and unknown terror. This flick should definitely make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

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    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      I'll have to check that one out, I've never heard of it. Thanks.

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Love Jaws, its a favorite. But, I believe the scariest movie of all time is The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Very scary.....

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Carmen

      Also the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

      Thanks

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Thanks Tom, nothing like a good scary movie.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Loved your intro....I've been a fan of scary movies for ages...wonderful hub! Thanks! :)

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 8 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      A fine list indeed,thanks for sharing!!

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Thanks Godslittlechild for the comment and for joining me on my hub journey.

    • Godslittlechild profile image

      Godslittlechild 8 years ago

      A fine list of movies!

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      I'm not keen on spiders either and The Forgotten didn't receive the attention it deserved. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Below-average Joe profile image

      Below-average Joe 8 years ago

      Argh! Arachnophobia! I despise spiders! That movie sent me heading for the hills.

      Oh, & I loved "The Forgotten." Got bad reviews, but I've seen worse movies.

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Thanks for visiting.

    • luciani profile image

      luciani 8 years ago

      when i read your title "Scary Movies Scariest" that really makes me laugh.

      coz i think it is a movie :D

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image
      Author

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      You're welcome, thanks the compliment and for reading.

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 8 years ago from uk

      I loved your poetic description of halloween....'a sliver of moonlight to guide you through an enveloping low hung mist'... beautiful!

      And what a great selection of movies!! thanks for this...

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