Grab some popcorn and prepare to be petrified with these full-on frightening flicks.
Fright Level: Avoiding all mountain hotels (and possibly identical twins) for the rest of my life.
Obviously Stephen King’s The Shining is a classic. The husband-turned-homicidal maniac who’s locked in a mountain hotel all winter is one of Jack Nicholson’s most classic roles. This movie is also perfect to watch during a snow storm … as long no axes are present.
Fright Level: Definitely sleeping with the light on tonight.
Two things the Australians do well: Deadly critters and scary movies. Essie Davis (who recently stole my heart on Game of Thrones) plays a widow who accuses her son of lying about a creature he claims entered their home through a children’s book. Creepy kid, mysterious monster, all the ingredients needed for a horrifying movie night in!
Cabin Fever (2002)
Fright Level: “OMG! STOP! I CAN’T WATCH!”
Boy Meets World heartthrob Rider Strong and his college buddies head into the woods for a fun weekend… because nothing terrifying ever happened in the woods, right? After a man contaminated with a weird disease shows up on their doorstep asking for help, their journey to hell begins.
Note: This movie contains one of the grossest scenes I’ve ever come across. (It involves a girl in a bath tub and you’ll know it when you see it.)
Fright Level: Can I open my eyes yet?
When a punk rock band accidentally witnesses a murder while playing a gig at a neo-Nazi bar, their tour comes to an end … as do most of their lives. Luckily, the bar has some pretty dark walls so it’s hard to tell when they get absolutely covered in blood.
Fright Level: Remind me never to enter a farmhouse again.
A true story about world renowned paranormal investigators who were called to help a family being terrorized by a dark presence, The Conjuring is a seriously spooky flick that will have you inspecting the inside of your closet before turning out the light. Thrilling and suspenseful with a throwback ghost vibe, it had me on the edge of my seat … when I wasn’t jumping in the air screaming, that is.
Fright Level: Was that a noise in the attic? We should move.
Normally, when you find a box of homemade movies documenting murders that go back decades, you drop the box and run away! FAR FAR AWAY. Not Ethan Hawke though… he sticks around to try and solve the mystery in an effort to regain his 15 minutes of fame. The soundtrack for this movie alone still freaks me out.
Tale of Two sisters
Fright Level: I did NOT see that coming!
Originally suggested to me by the guy at the video store (thanks cute video store guy!) this Korean flick starts out with two sisters spending time in a mental institution. After coming home to a cruel new stepmother, some freaky stuff starts to happen, leading to some surprising twists and a very shocking conclusion.
Fright Level: Again with the terrifying twins?
After a mother comes home bandaged from plastic surgery, her twin sons start noticing odd changes in her behavior and decide to investigate. What they find will definitely surprise you. WARNING: This is seriously not for the faint of heart. I honestly could not watch some of the scenes because they were so SO gory. View at your own risk!
Fright Level: I’m not crying, you’re crying!
This movie always tows the line between terrifying and heart-wrenching for me. After moving her family to her childhood home (an orphanage … get it?) a woman is sent into an emotional spiral when her son goes missing. Luckily, some creepy ghost kids are around to try and help find him.
Fright Level: The pen is mightier than the sword!
Reading R.L. Stein’s Werewolf in Fever Swamp sparked my fear of the full moon as a child, so naturally I was stoked when they came out with a Goosebumps movie. While it’s not the scariest flick on our list, it is a fun trip down memory lane!
Fright Level: Consider me spellbound.
Just me, or does everyone want to buy a black cat and name him Thackery? When the new kid in town accidentally resurrects three witches who had been tried in Salem, it’s up to him, his adorable sister, and immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror.
There are so many more scary movies I’d love to include, but we would be here for days. So just wanna throw these on your radar, in no particular order:
The Blair Witch Project
28 days later
Cabin in the Woods
10 Cloverfield Lane
Have a favorite scary flick that didn’t make the list? Tell me in the comments so we can check it out!