We watch movies for several reasons- to rejuvenate after a tired day, to cheer ourselves up on a particularly tough day, to motivate ourselves, or sometimes, simply to scare the living daylights out of us. The horror genre is on this day, extremely creative and variant. Speaking as a horror movie enthusiast, these movies make you want to watch them despite knowing you probably won’t sleep for the next week. Yet, we can’t resist the thrill that comes from spending two hours hugging yourself tight and trying to make a horror movie without running away scared.
Here’s a list of a few such movies, which aren’t just scary, but very, very creepy as well. Read on.
- The Shining
The Shining is undoubtedly one of the most bone-chilling movies of all time. With not many jumps scares and spirits and ghosts, this movie screws your head solely because of its messed up plot line. When the Torrance family of three (husband, wife, and son) move to a secluded hotel, the Overlook Hotel as caretakers in the winter, all seems normal. However, the psychic son’s psychic abilities, or his ‘shining’ tells him his father will face a fate similar to the previous caretaker, who had lost his mind in the large, mountain-locked hotel and killed his family. The kid’s alter ego gives several warnings to the family post experiencing horrifying, blood-soaked visions in the hotel. Soon, the unsuspecting wife discovers her son’s problems and what the hotel has done to his husband.
- Let Me In
This is the story of a seeming romance between two pre-teenagers. Twelve-year-old Owen is constantly bullied and tortured by his classmates. Furthermore, his divorced parents leave him neglected. Alone and tormented, he spends his days plotting revenge against his classmates and spends his evenings exploring the neighborhood and spying on the other residents of the apartment building he lives in. He only has one friend, a creepily self-obsessed young girl Abby, who lives with her single father. Frail and troubled, Abby and Owen form a unique bond. When Abby’s father disappears, she is terrified and left to fend for herself, which is when Owen offers to help her. However, she rebuffs all his efforts, which leads him to believe she has some horrifying secrets of her own.
- The Exorcist
We can all agree that children in horror movies make them 200 times eerier than those with adults. Twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil begins to exhibit strange behaviour (naturally) such as speaking unfamiliar tongues and levitating. Her actress mother seeks medical help, only to reach a dead end. Battling science and superstition and her daughter’s well being, she turns to a local priest who thinks she is possessed by the devil, who requests an exorcism to be performed on the little girl to cast the devil out. This movie is full of jump scares born out of suspense, extremely graphic imagery that will chill you to the bone and fantastic performance by the young actress playing the possessed child, including crawling down the stairs with twisted limbs. Definitely not a movie for the weak.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Sally learns that her grandfather’s grave in his old home has been severely vandalized, which makes her want to visit the place as soon as possible. She sets out with a group of friends and her paraplegic brother, Franklin, to investigate the same and set things right. As they visit the grandfather’s farmhouse on a whim, they discover much to their collective horrors, that the house next door is inhabited by a family of repugnant, crazed, murderous outcasts with a taste for human flesh. Soon the head of the psychotic family, who wields a chainsaw and wears a mask, made of human flesh starts hunting down and killing the group of friends one by one, and the group is left to resort to anything and everything to survive. A terrifying thing about this movie is that it is loosely based on the true story of Ed Gein, who was also the inspiration behind the famous thriller, Psycho.
This movie, again, is not the same old demons and spirits and possession story. This is a movie that will wreck your nerves, keep you on your toes and take away your sleep; such is the eerie factor of this movie. Psycho is a thriller by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. The story revolves around an office secretary, Marion Crane, who steals thousands of dollars from her boss to run away with her boyfriend. She encounters a horrible rainstorm on the way that leaves her exhausted. With the police on her chase, she takes unfamiliar, murky roads and winds up at the worst possible motel, where she meets Norman Bates, a young man with an unusual interest in taxidermy. Psycho weaves in its storyline, the elements of fear, desire, sexuality and the human psyche to make this movie a stellar success among horror and thriller enthusiasts.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
Almost all horror or thriller movies take away our sleep for fear of nightmares or the devil and what not. A Nightmare on Elm Street is one such movie that will take away your will to even shut your eyes for a second. A group of teenagers (Nancy, Dean, Quentin, Jesse, and Kris) living on Elm Street, all begin having nightmares with one central character in all of them- a horribly burnt, disfigured man wearing a battered sweater and a glove made of knives. Like in all nightmares, the children are terrorized by this man Freddy Kruger, and the only escape is to wake up. However, after one of the kids dies a violent death, the group realizes the nightmares are in fact, real and the only way to survive the horrific events in them and live is to stay awake. Although A Nightmare on Elm Street stars a bunch of kids, it could not have been terrifying had adults been the protagonists.
- The Conjuring
The Conjuring is a relatively recent supernatural horror movie that is woven into the 70’s and is possibly one of the most horrifying movies ever made in Hollywood. Carolyn and Roger, a couple with five daughters, move to a secluded farmhouse after Roger faces cuts in his job. They begin to experience strange incidences around the house which compels Carolyn to invite paranormal investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren into their home. The couple digs up the horrifying history of the farmhouse as a supernatural presence makes itself known in the house. Soon, harmless manifestations turn into deadly events, and the demon doctors are forced to intervene for the sake of the loving family. The graphics and underlying stories in this movie are what makes The Conjuring one of the top horror movies of all time.
- Lights Out
If you are someone who judges a movie based on its story more than anything else, Lights Out is a treat for you. Unlike other supernatural horror movies that rely on jump scares and the fear factor, this movie focuses on the story to create the horror settings. Young Rebecca has always been afraid of the dark, since she was a child, not knowing what really happens when the lights are out. When she left her home, she thought she had put her childhood fears behind her. In the present time, her brother Martin starts experiencing the same horrifying incidences that tormented her as a child. Soon, they realize that a dangerous supernatural entity with a deep, unexplained attachment to their mother has returned to their home to agonize the family. The build-up of this movie will keep you hooked throughout, as will the revelation of the suspense.
A shutter is considered to be one of the scariest movies of all time. Young Ben and Jane are newly married. They temporarily move to Japan on an extended honeymoon as Ben gets a prestigious photography assignment there. On their way to the location, in the dead of the night, their car hits a lone woman standing in the middle of the street, who seems to have appeared mysteriously. As the couple gain consciousness, they find her missing and presume her dead, or simply a figment of Jane’s imagination. They settle in and begin work but presently, eerie incidents occur that are sinister reminders of the accident. Ben begins to discover blurry ghostly images in the photographs he develops during the assignment he works on. Again, the graphics of this movie is what makes it a worthy watch. If you’re up for a scarier treat, watch the Thai version of the film with the same name.
- Evil Dead
If you enjoy gory graphics, violence, plot line and most of all, possessions, all blended together, you have to watch Evil Dead, which is considered by many to be one of the scariest possession-based movies in Hollywood history. A drug addict, Mia, is determined to quit the habit and lead a sober life. To help her in the process, Mia asks her brother David to accompany her to the woods in order to help her overcome the withdrawal. The siblings, along with David’s girlfriend Natalie, and their friends Olivia and Eric set for their family’s cabin in the forest. Therein, Eric finds in his hands a book called the Book of the Dead and begins to read out loud. Unknown to him and the company, his recitations awake an ancient demon to come awake. Things spiral worse than one can imagine when the demon possesses Mia.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, your safety blanket (and perhaps a loved one to grab on to) and tick the movies off this list one by one!