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Five (Actually) Scary Movies to Watch this Halloween

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

A great way to get into the Halloween spirit has always been horror movies. Unfortunately, if you’re a horror fan like me, you may often find yourself wishing for a movie that actually delivers on its promise of a good scare. To make the search a little easier, here’s a list of five horror films that’ll keep you sleeping with one eye open for days after.


Halloween (1978)


Source: Compass International


The original Halloween, directed by the legendary John Carpenter, follows Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) as she tries to survive Halloween, as escaped killer Michael Myers terrorizes his hometown. Though it sounds like your typical scary flick, Halloween is not one of outright horror. Instead, it creates a sense of creeping dread through a variety of techniques that leaves your heart feeling like it’s about to beat out of your chest. Combined with the iconic score, it’s almost too much to handle.


Hush (2016)


Source: Netflix


Directed by Mike Flanagan, Hush follows protagonist Maddie (Kate Siegel) as she tries to outwit her potential killer. This is one of those movies that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire film. The audience is privy to things that the main character isn’t aware of–due to her deafness–allowing your imagination to run wild with all the possible horrific outcomes.


The Strangers (2008)


Source: Rogue


One thing that always makes a horror film scarier is a basis in reality. Knowing this movie was inspired by real-life events makes it even harder to keep the growing dread at bay as you watch a couple get terrorized in their own home by people who could be your own neighbours. Directed by Bryan Bertino, The Strangers grabs hold of your deepest fears and isn’t afraid to play with them.


The Conjuring 2 (2016)


Source: Warner Bros. Pictures


The first Conjuring is a great movie, but the second one is by far the scarier. Not only are the evil forces the characters face more menacing, but the jump-scares feel earned, instead of a cheap parlour trick. James Wan’s return to the horror genre is not to be missed, especially since we get another glimpse into Ed and Lorraine Warren’s world as they head to England to battle an unknown supernatural entity haunting a family.


Sinister (2012)


Source: Summit Entertainment, Alliance Films, Momentum Pictures


Directed by Scott Derrickson, Sinister is one of those rare movies that successfully utilizes popular horror tropes. You’re drawn in by this family and the eerie and disturbing things that start happening after Ethan Hawke’s character finds a box of old home movies. The antagonist of the film is also definitely one of the more ghoulish out there, increasing the creep factor even more.


Each one of these movies holds up very well within the horror genre and will be sure to leave you peeking through your fingers more than once. So, grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and get ready to be scared!

Wilfrid Laurier University Alumna - BA Honours History & Minor in Sociology and Religion and Culture. York University B.Ed. Her Campus York U Campus Correspondent/ HSA Advisor/ Chapter Advisor.  When I'm not leading the team, advising, or writing you'll find me watching any and every reality T.V show or re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls. Semi-classy wine lady who thinks pineapple on pizza is a crime.