Five Scary Halloween Must-Sees

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video
October 22nd, 2013

Five Scary Halloween Must-Sees

If there's one day a year that's perfect for sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and a terrifying movie, it's Halloween. The following five movies offer something for a range of taste levels, from hardcore horror fans to those who prefer to have a little fun while being scared. Even if nothing else gets you in the Halloween spirit, then one of these movies will surely do the trick.

1. "Don't Look Now" (1973)

For horror buffs who have already seen all the classics, "Don't Look Now" is an underrated thriller. Choosing this movie on Halloween night is likely to impress your guests with your obscure horror movie knowledge. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a couple who have lost a child in a tragic accident. Reeling from grief, the couple travels to Venice, where the wife encounters a pair of psychics. She grows obsessed with the promise of communicating beyond the grave. Meanwhile, her husband has started spotting a figure around Venice that reminds him of the couple's dead daughter.

"Don't Look Now" is slow-paced, yet features a masterful air of tension. The exploration of grief is challenging and the visuals are striking. Not just an art film, "DonÕt Look Now" also explodes into gore and terror near the end.

2. "Ju-on: The Grudge" (2002)

Savvy horror fans already know that Asian cinema has a monopoly on a certain brand of unsettling terror. "Ju-on: The Grudge" is a Japanese movie that surpasses its 2004 remake. An earnest social worker ends up pulled into a dark legacy when she visits an innocent-looking house. As it turns out, great evil once took place inside these walls. A strange croaking noise and a mysterious little boy build an atmosphere of dread.

"Ju-on" features a haunted house amped up to eleven. The vengeful spirits don't just haunt those who attempt to live in the cursed house. Anyone who so much as sets foot inside the structure ends up doomed to a relentless fate. For those who are in the mood for a haunted house flick, but want something a little different, "Ju-on" leaves viewers with lingering unease.

3. "Trick 'r Treat" (2007)

This compilation of four intertwining tales is a cinematic tribute to Halloween traditions. A creepy figure in a burlap mask haunts each of the tales, reminding viewers back home what might happen if they laugh in the face of Halloween rituals.

Though the film is mischievous and tongue-in-cheek, it also has enough jump scares, eerie moments, and gory deaths to satisfy Halloween thrill-seekers. Since the various stories are in vignette format, "Trick 'r Treat" is a good movie to watch while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters or during a Halloween get-together. At the same time, the movie is spooky enough to deserve your full attention. The stories offer something for every fan of Halloween. Some horror movies work just as well in summer as in October, but this is one film that gets you into the Halloween spirit.

4. "Drag Me to Hell" (2009)

Sam Raimi has a prolific amount of Halloween offerings, including his "Evil Dead" franchise. "Drag Me to Hell" is a fresher film from Raimi that features his signature blend of genuine scares, disgusting moments, and uneasy laughs. For fans of campy horror, "Drag Me to Hell" will make Halloween night a lot funnier, a lot grosser, and a lot scarier at the same time.

Christine is a young woman trying to make it as a loan officer. Thinking she has to toughen up if she wants to fight her way into a good career, Christine evicts an elderly woman from her home. This turns out to be a bad call. The woman now haunts Christine from beyond the grave, turning her life into a living hell. The end of the film, in particular, is wildly suspenseful and plenty scary.

5. "The Conjuring" (2013)

Finally, "The Conjuring" blends all the best elements of classic and contemporary horror. James Wan wisely realizes that a horror director doesn't need to remake the wheel. Except for the sleek proficiency of the special effects, "The Conjuring" could hail from almost any decade. Based on true events, the quintessential haunted house movie follows a large family that moves into a rambling Rhode Island farmhouse. It doesn't take long for strange occurrences to disrupt the family's peace.

The ominous atmosphere builds slowly, generating unbearable suspense. From disembodied hands clapping in the shadows to a young girl staring terrified into the darkness, the movie's spookiest moments are palpably tense. The subplot involves two paranormal investigators with a personal investment in getting to the bottom of the house's curse. "The Conjuring" is an instant horror classic, perfect to watch on October 31.