Horror And Thriller Movies To Get You Into Spooky Season

I know it’s only the middle of September, but it’s never too early to start getting excited for the spooky season! And with Halloween Tik Tok already booming, it has made me want to start celebrating early. The way that I’ve coped with this is by watching scary movies. Here I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites to get you into that spooky mood. 

Each movie is ranked from 1-10 (ten being the most) on how scary and gory they are. 




Based on the Stephen King book of the same name, Carrie is about an outcast at school who, after being the butt of a mean prank, realizes she has telekinetic powers. Feeling scared and alone, her uber-religious mother does nothing to console her. After getting invited to prom by her longtime crush, Carrie thinks things are finally looking up for her, but things soon take a turn for the worse. 

Scare Rank: 3

Gory Rank: 3 - a lot of violence and blood, but no graphic depictions of it



The Shining

This movie adaptation of the beloved Stephen King book has amassed a huge amount of fans, and for good reason. This psychological horror movie is a classic and one that is highly regarded by many horror fans to be one of the best horror movies of all time. However, it is a slow burn and takes a while for the movie to pick up. The Shining tells the story of Jack Torrance, a writer, who along with his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny, decide to be the caretakers of a hotel over the winter so Jack can work on his novel. But a snowstorm leaves them trapped and Jack’s sanity starts to deteriorate due to supernatural forces that inhabit the hotel. 

Scare Rank: 4 - not many jump scares but does build up suspense and leaves you creeped out

Gory Rank: 2



The Ring or Ringu (the original Japanese version) 

I watched this movie way before I probably should have, and this movie (along with all it’s sequels) still finds a way to freak me out even though I’ve seen it many times. Legend goes, if you watch this video you will receive a phone call telling you that you only have seven days to live. Not believing this legend, newspaper reporter Rachel watches the video after four teens all die one week after watching. Now Rachel has one week to unravel the mystery behind the video in order to try and stop it from killing her. 

Scare Rating: 7

Gory Rating: 1 



The Conjuring

This is another popular supernatural horror series, and is popular for a reason. The story, acting, directing, score, and scares are very well executed and it doesn't hand the audience information leaving the viewers to piece things together themselves. Based on the alleged real life events of paranormal investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, this movie recounts the time they are asked to come to the home of a secluded farmhouse after a supernatural presence is seen by the family’s daughter. The at first harmless manifestations soon turn malicious after discovering the dark history of the house. 

Scare Rank: 8.5

Gory Rank: 2



Green Room 

This movie isn’t as popular as most of the others on this list, but it deserves more recognition. The suspense, tension, and the slow realization that the characters are in trouble is very well executed. It follows a punk-rock band who are at the end of their unsuccessful tour, when they get a booking for a small bar. However, things are not all as they seem as the band gets trapped inside a back room after witnessing patrons of the bar kill someone. Now targets of the neo-Nazi patrons who don’t want to leave any witnesses, they have to try and escape with their lives. 

Scare Rank: 6

Gory Rank: 9 - very graphic depictions of violence



Train to Busan

This is my all-time favorite zombie movie. It doesn't have many clichés, the character development is amazing, and the zombies are realistic. This is what sets it apart from other zombie films: it has so much heart and makes you invested in each of the characters which makes each interaction with the zombies that much more suspenseful. This is about Seok-woo, a divorced workaholic father, who takes his daughter Su-an on a train to Busan to see her mother for her birthday. On the day of the train ride, a zombie apocalypse breaks out and Busan becomes the only safe city left in Korea. They, along with the other passengers of the train, are trapped inside trying to survive from the zombies before they can reach Busan. 

Scare Rank: 2

Gory Rank: 4 - typical goryness for a zombie movie




When this movie came out on Netflix, it claimed to be the scariest movie of all time, saying that only 1 in 100 people end up finishing the movie. I don’t know how accurate that statement is, and I do think that, while there are scarier movies on this list, this movie can get scary, especially seeing as this was inspired by true events. This movie starts when three friends use a ouija board during a solar eclipse to talk to dead loved ones, but instead they unleash a malevolent demon that latches onto one of the girls who unknowingly takes it home with her. 

Scare Rating: 6.75

Gory Rating: 2




I know that this was super popular when it came out in 2018, but it is honestly worth another watch if you’ve already seen it. There was so much that I picked up the second time that was lost to me on the first watch. If by some chance you haven’t watched this yet, I highly, highly recommend watching it immediately, especially if you haven’t been spoiled. It is about a family dealing with the aftermath of the matriarch of their family’s death, discovering dark secrets and trying to outrun their frightening fate that they’ve inherited. 

Scare Rating: 7 - very suspenseful, and will leave you thinking about it for days

Gory Rating: 3.5


I hope you have a good start to your spooky season! Sleep tight!


If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email [email protected].