Give me a good horror movie, and I’ll give you my heart! Throw in a cake, and I’m yours forever. Or something to that effect… Yes, I love horror movies – with a vengeance at that. Too bad the good horror movies are so few and far between these days…but that’s another blog post for another day. As Halloween is closing in on us, I thought it was only fitting to share a handfull of my favorite horror movies for Halloween with you.
I’ve called this post the 5 (+5) horror movies for Halloween for a reason. It just so happens that I have kind of an obscure taste in horror movies. And some of my favorites might be hard to come by. Or, they simply might be to obscure for most people to want to try them in the first place. Therefore, I’m giving you 5 + 5 favorites – in other words five blockbuster-ish horror movies and five indie horror movies, for the especially inclined.
I’m not saying this to somehow elevate my movie taste above others or anything. It’s just that when I showed a friend of mine, whose also a horror movie buff, the trailer to one of these indie horrors she was like: “Really? Is this any good at all?” And I was like: “Umm…yes. It’s one of my favorites! Whatever do you mean…”
Watch the trailers, but proceed with caution
A friendly advice, though: If you go around ‘shopping for horror movies’, as it were, watching trailers, quit watching as soon as you’ve established an interest. It’s a possibility that they’ll end up spoiling too much in the trailer, and we don’t want that. So, please don’t watch any of these trailers from beginning to end: trust me on this.
I think I ended up showing my friend the entire trailer of the movie in question, which was a really bad idea. Even I realized that, if I’d seen the complete trailer before seeing the movie, I’d probably end up not seeing the movie at all. So yes, do yourself a favor and hit the ‘stop button’ before the big spoilers (and trailer producers, if you read this: please stop spoiling the entire movie – it’s supposed to be a teaser, not a complete summary).
And, if your kind of horror movies aren’t ones including ghosts, then I guess this list isn’t for you. Ghosts, haunted houses and psychological thrillers are my horror game, so if you’re looking for slashers and gore, brace yourself for possible disappointment.
5 blockbuster horror movies for Halloween:
1. The Babadook
The Babadook is a classic horror movie that builds on monsters from our childhood. The babadook is basically the boogyman, coming alive from a story book and traumatizing a mother and her son.
I’m always a bit vary when wanting to watch new horror movies that receives plenty of press. Particularly ones that reap good reviews upon good reviews. The Babadook was one of those movies. I think we held out a while before watching it, and it was a friend of ours that said to us that it was indeed worth a watch. And it was. My skin still crawls when thinking about it, which is always a good thing as far as horror movies are concerned.
For more info: The Babadook at IMDb.com
2. The Messengers
The Messengers builds on the classic haunted house scenario where a family moves to the country side to take over an old house. In this movie, the family in question takes over a sunflower farm. While the work on their new farm is hard, strange things start to happen to make life even harder for our sunflower family.
The Messengers is one of those movies you don’t see coming. Chris and I, when watching it some 10 years ago, had to pause it and turn on the lights for awhile upon watching it. It was that intense. As such, it goes down in the history books as one of my forever horror favorites, as it were.
For more info: The Messengers at IMDb.com
3. The Woman in Black
Being an avid Harry Potter fan, watching this movie starring Daniel Radcliff was a given. Horror and ‘Harry Potter’? Bring it!
The Woman in Black is your classic haunted house story, telling the tale of a young solicitor traveling to a remote village on orders from his boss. The solicitor, Arthur Kipps, is haunted by internal ghosts of his own, having just recently lost his wife in childbirth some years prior. Upon arriving in the village and the house in question, the manor of Eel Marsh House, he’s advised to return to London. Committed to his work, Arthur stays, and quickly learns that the Eel Marsh House is haunted – by a woman in black.
For more info: The Woman in Black at IMDb.com
4. The Ring
I’m talking about the first of the American reiterations of the Japanese The Ring-series, featuring Naomi Watts here. If you haven’t seen the Japanese series, that one’s a good bet for Halloween as well. The American The Ring holds its own, even as a remake, and is a classic horror movie in my book. I mean, can you ever go wrong with a Japanese ghost thrown in the mix?
The Ring is about a journalist (Naomi Watts) that’s investigating a strange case of a mysterious videotape. The videotape in question seems to cause the death of anyone who watches it within a week. It seems like the typical urban legend that has blown out of proportions. But, the investigating takes our journalist on a journey she’ll never forget. And will she and her son make it out alive?
For more info: The Ring at IMDb.com
5. The Amityville Horror
The story of The Amityville Horror centers around (surprise, surprise!) a newlywed couple that moves their family of five into a large, old house. This particular house was, unbeknownst to them at the time, the site of a mass murder just a year prior. Their new life is suddenly overshadowed by a mysterious presence in the house, that seems to affect some of the family members’ psyche directly. The idyllic family life is not so idyllic any more. Will history repeat itself?
The Amityville Horror made the list because I remember the unsettling vibe and the fair amount of good scares it gave me. If you like The Shining, The Amityville Horror is kind of up that street. It does a good job of holding its own as a good scary movie, presumably based on true events.
For more info: The Amityville Horror at IMDb.com
5 indie horror movies for Halloween:
1. House Swap
House Swap is your typical handheld found footage movie. An American couple swaps homes with a British couple, and stays in an old house in the British country side. After a while, strange things start to happen, and it feels like they’re not alone after all.
House Swap is the movie I was talking about, where presenting the whole trailer to my horror buff friend made her think twice about the quality of the movie. So, yeah. Watching it without watching the trailer at all is probably the safest bet.
I watched this movie despite the bad reviews on IMdb and I’m glad I did. I even liked it so much, I gave a review on IMDb to outweigh some of the bad ones. And it makes this list because I wish there were more movies like this out there. So bring out your popcorn and go watch!
For more info: House Swap at IMDb.com
2. The Last House on Cemetery Lane
The Last House on Cemetery Lane is another classic indie horror flick. The story of the movie centers around a screenwriter that sets out to rent a room at an old manor house in Wales. And you guessed right, strange things start to happen here too.
Ok, so this movie is a little quirky, it’s featuring a three minute long showcase of a song in the midst of the story, for example. But, it makes up for it with its eerie vibe, good story and good actors. And well, like most of the movies on this part of the list, it made it here possibly because of these quirks.
For more info: The Last House on Cemetery Lane on IMDb.com
3. I Am a Ghost
I Am a Ghost is a special horror movie in the manner that, as the title presumes, the main character is the ghost. The ghost, Emily, haunts her house and relives parts of her life over and over. As she’s haunting the house, wondering why she’s so lonely and can’t leave, she’s contacted by a clairvoyant that’s hired to cleanse the house. Together, they try to dig into Emily’s life in order to help her move on.
I’m not sure Chris was as ecstatic about this movie as I was (and still am), but I guess the quirky, misfit indie films are more my thing than they are his. But he enjoyed it as well. He usually does; he’s cool like that.
For more info: I Am a Ghost at IMDb.com
As if you wouldn’t have guessed it by now, Soulmate is also a movie about someone moving to an isolated cabin. This time, it’s Audrey who moves to a cabin a remote Welsh village after a failed suicide following her husband’s death. Dealing with trauma and grief, Audrey struggles. And soon, she begins to hear strange noises that suggests that she’s not alone.
As the title suggest, Soulmate is a kind-of love story. A quirky, dark and gloomy one at that, accompanied by an eerie “ghost story”-vibe. Like all the movies I’ve put on these two lists, I wish I could see it again for the first time.
For more info: Soulmate at IMDb.com
5. White Settlers
Like most of the other movies on this list, White Settlers also centers around a couple that moves into an old house in the country side. Ed and Sarah move from the hustle and bustle of London to a farmhouse at the Scottish Borders, to live the dream of a quiet, stress-free life. And that’s what they get. In the beginning. Terrorized by something in the night, their dream life quickly begin to shatter. They soon get the feeling they’re not welcome here. And it turns out someone is quite eager to show them exactly how little.
The movie has this sneaking, unsettling feeling that I like, while also featuring my favorite storyline. In addition to being a kind of narrow indie movie. That’s why it made the list. And, if you’re a The Walking Dead fan like me, you get the added bonus of the main actress being Pollyanna McIntosh.
For more info: White Settlers at IMDb.com
Ok, so these two lists kind of gave me away, didn’t they?
I’m obviously kind of predictable as far as my horror movie choices are concerned. Haunted houses, ghosts, people moving to remote places. And, it’s funny because, when it comes to movies in the slasher and gore category, I’m often the first to complain that “well, this was a movie I’ve seen a thousand times before…how original! *sigh*“
And then, when it comes to haunted house, ghost or home invasion movies, I don’t mind them all being spun around the same concept.
Hypocrite? Probably. But, we like what we like, don’t we?
Well, I do watch the slashers and the gores too, on occasion. They just don’t become all-time favorites, that’s all.
Ps.: Seeing as I like scary movies that much, it’s hard to narrow it down to five on each list. If you’re more into clown or typical Halloween horrors for your Halloween entertainment, I wholeheartedly recommend The Houses October Built and All Hallow’s Eve.
How about you? What’s your favorite horror movie(s)? And, did you see any interesting ones on my lists?