With Halloween quickly approaching, get ready to have your toes curl and your skin crawl. Everyone's scared by something different, but there are some horror movie classics that will give you goosebumps no matter what. From psychological thrillers to zombie cult classics, here are some of the top 13 scariest horror movies for you to watch this Halloween on Oct. 31, 2011!
13. A Nightmare on Elm St. (1984)
In the 1984 cult classic Freddie Krueger, a clawed clown, stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him by haunting their dreams. This Halloween classic is critically renown for rupturing the boundaries between the imaginary and the real and for its comments on the struggles of adolescents in America. A Nightmare on Elm St. will leave you sleeplessly counting sheep.
One, two, Freddy's coming for you. / Three, four, better lock your door. / Five, six, grab your crucifix. / Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. / Nine, ten, never sleep again.
12. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A young FBI agent (Jodie Foster) confides in a manipulative killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), to help catch another killer who skins his victims. This 1991 psychological thriller is considered a horror masterpiece and, despite only having little more than 16 minutes of screen time, Hannibal Lecter is one of the most terrifying horror film serial killers.
Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.
11. Ju-on (2002) (a.k.a. The Grudge)
The ju-on or curse is said to be created when a person dies with a deep and burning grudge. After a housewife is murdered, each person that lives or visits the haunted house is killed or disappears. This 2002 psychological horror film by Japanese director Takashi Shimizu will leave you stunned.
10. Peeping Tom (1960)
A young man films himself murdering women and re-watches the films for pleasure. Directed by Michael Powell, this 1960 British psychological thriller has attracted a large cult following and is considered a horrific film masterpiece, displaying the cruelty and horror of murder in film.
Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? It's fear.
9. Carrie (1976)
A 1976 America supernatural horror film based on the novel by Stephen King, Carrie tells the story of a socially outcast teenage girl whose telekinetic powers seem to flare up when she becomes angry or distressed. On prom night, Carrie is pushed too far.
It has nothing to do with Satan, Mama. It's me. Me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things.
8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
This 1968 American independent black-and-white zombie cult classic features a group of people who hide in an old farmhouse from ghouls hungry for living human flesh. Night of the Living Dead was one of the earliest films to graphically depict violent murders on screen and revolutionized the horror film genre.
Now get the hell down in the cellar. You can be the boss down there, but I'm boss up here!
7. Psycho (1960)
The 1960 American classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock depicts an encounter between a secretary hiding at a secluded motel and the motel's disturbed owner and manager who is heavily affected by his over-bearing mother. The pivotal shower scene in the film is one of the most recognizable scenes in film history. Don't miss out on this black-and-white classic this Halloween!
Hate the smell of dampness, don't you? It's such a, I don't know, creepy smell.
6. Alien (1979)
This 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott depicts a highly aggressive alien creature that kills the crew of a spaceship after it lands on a distant planet to investigate a suspected SOS. The scary movie has received critical praise for years for depicting a real and unique environment. Roger Ebert ranked it among the most influential of modern action pictures.
The pit is completely enclosed. And it's full of leathery objects, like eggs or something.
5. Halloween (1978)
This independent American horror film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter tells the story of a small Midwestern town where a six-year-old boy murders his 17-year-old sister on Halloween by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, he escapes a psychiatric hospital, returns to his hometown, and stalks and kills unsuspecting townspeople. The film is one of the most popular slasher films of all time, but has been criticized for its depiction of women and its social critique of family values.
It's Halloween, every one's entitled to one good scare.
4. The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter's The Thing is a 1982 science fiction horror film starring Kurt Russell. Scientists are stranded in an Antarctica research station when they uncover a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that assimilates other organisms and imitates them (a shape-shifter). Paranoia breaks out in the group when no one knows who may or may not be the thing.
I know I'm human. And if you were all these things, then you'd just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won.
3. The Shining (1980)
This 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Stephen King depicts Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a writer, who takes a job as a caretaker of an isolated hotel with his young son and wife. After he and his family move in, Jack becomes affected by the supernatural presence of the hotel and descends into madness, attempting to murder his wife and son. The horror film classic is prominent in American culture and images and scenes are frequently referenced.
Come play with us Danny ... Forever and ever and ever....
2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
A group of friends are stalked and hunted down by a cannibal killer with a chainsaw who can only afford to feed his family by eating what they kill in this 1974 American independent horror film directed and produced by Tobe Hopper. This horror film classic is considered one of the greatest and most controversial horror films of all time and had major influence on the genre.
Well, well, well. Look at we have here. We got ourselves a killer. Only this time, you killed the sheriff.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
In this 1973 American horror film directed by William Friedkin, a young girl is possessed by a demonic entity and her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her. The film has a huge cult following and is considered one of the best and scariest horror films of all time. The Exorcist is also highly controversial due to its alleged use of subliminal imagery and sound effects. Watch the film only if you dare.
Chris MacNeil: Oh no, that was no spasm. I got on the bed. The whole bed was thumping and rising off the floor and shaking. The whole thing, with me on it!
Dr. Klein: Mrs. MacNeil, the problem with your daughter is not her bed; it's her brain.
Honorable Mentions: Poltergeist (1982), Paranormal Activity (2007), The Ring (2002), Jaws (1975), Hostel (2005), The Amityville Horror (1979), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Blair Witch Project (1999), IT (1990), The Descent (2005), Suspiria (1977), Children of the Corn (1984)
Disagree with our list or have your own personal favorites? Tell us what we should be watching this Halloween in the comments below.