Whether you’re a horror fanatic or just a casual fan, everybody loves a good scare. These are some of my favorite horror movies that I make sure to re-watch every October.
5. Misery (1990)
Misery is alive, misery is alive!
Misery is probably the most underrated Stephen King screen adaptation out there and I am simply sick of it. The film is hilarious and horrifying, and almost as bipolar in nature as its very own main character. I love watching this movie with friends; we all find ourselves laughing one second and cringing the very next. This film demonstrates how extreme idolization mixed in with a healthy dose of insanity can bubble into something bigger and scarier than we ever thought possible. It reminds us to never judge a book by its cover.
4. Us (2019)
They think like us. They know where we are. They won’t stop until they kill us, or we kill them.
Jordan Peele is an amazing director and has been a part of creating many incredible films in and out of the horror genre, but Us is something special. On its surface, it’s a thrilling horror movie accessible to anyone simply looking for something to make them jump. Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in this movie is staggering. But it also has something for those of us who like to dig deeper into the themes and motifs in stories. If you’re like me and you do wish to dive into the deep abyss of theories and analysis of this movie, you will be scratching your head for weeks after first watching it. This movie will definitely haunt you.
3. Scream (1996)
Do you like scary movies?
This 90s high school slasher is giving exactly what we want and expect. It’s irreverent, meta and just plain fun. It snarkily makes fun of every horror trope, and then intentionally plays into the exact tropes it mocks. Scream is aware of the ridiculousness of its content, which makes it all the more enjoyable for the avid horror fan. Even if you don’t catch all the hidden winks and nods floating throughout the movie—it’s still funny and terrifying, and an absolute must-watch.
2. The Shining (1980)
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
If I could re-watch one movie from this list for the first time, it would be this one. It’s definitely nothing new, to sing this movie’s praises, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. I almost don’t have to say anything, as this movie largely speaks for itself. What I will say is this: this movie is iconic and classic and in my opinion defines what it means to be a heart-stopping thriller. It proves that at the end of the day you don’t need special effects or elaborate costumes to make a monster; all you need is a man and an axe.
1. The Witch (2015)
There’s evil in the wood.
This may seem like an odd choice when stacked up against relative giants in the horror sphere, but The Witch grabbed me when I first watched it and has had an iron grip on me since. If you are willing to give this movie your full attention and stick with it throughout the somewhat slow beginning, you will be rewarded tenfold. This film is suspenseful and incredibly unsettling. It burrows under your skin in a way that most others simply don’t. Anya Taylor-Joy is, of course, a standout—and she handles the subtle theme of anarchic feminine liberation that is often approached through movies about witches in an amazing way. You like colonial horror? You like stomach-clenching stories that make you scared to go near the woods at night? Watch The Witch.