I decided since October is my favorite month and I love horror movies I’d share a fun little movie list/challenge of 31 movies for you! Maybe you’ll get ambitious and try to knock one out each day. That’d be rad. These are my personal favorites. Some are popular, some not so much. I’m sure quite a few of them are streaming and readily available. The others you might have to do some searching for.
The Abandoned (2006)
This horror movie centers on an orphan who returns to her native country for a surprise inheritance and gets far more than she bargained for. She finds out she has a twin brother and a past that can not be escaped. This was part of the now defunct The After Dark Horror Film Fest.
April Fool’s Day (1986)
A group of friends getaway to a wealthy classmate’s private island but started getting picked off one by one. Again, a twist that was totally unexpected! I’ve only seen this once and it has stayed with me. I definitely need to check it out again.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
It isn’t enough that you were attacked by a werewolf and now turn into one yourself when the moon is full but you’re also being haunted by your dead best friend and all your victims? Something’s got to give! The humor that is so expertly sprinkled throughout sets this movie apart. The transformation in this movie is WILD. Rick Baker, the makeup artist on set, won an Oscar for it. If you have about three minutes and thirty seconds you can check out a pretty rad clip on Youtube where he talks about how he made it happen.
I love that this movie is so much more than what’s on the surface. And that’s about all I can say about the movie plot. I hadn’t even heard of this movie when a co-worker said he was going to be checking it out and I decided to tag along. Goosebumps. I had goosebumps. If you happen to see the Babadook book anywhere let your girl know ‘cause I’d love to have that.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
I get so much hate about this movie. Whatevs. I love it. I also really enjoy a lot of the filming techniques they used while making it. I do admit that Keanu Reeves as the surfer bro Jonathan Harker is more than a little distracting but Gary Oldman as Dracula is GOLD. Plus Winona Ryder, yo.
The Changeling (1980)
This movie is a slow burn. A ghost story starring George C. Scott as our main character that features some of the best movie atmosphere I have ever experienced.
The Conjuring (2013)
I was going to sit this one out but my friend convinced me to go. I’m so glad he did! I LOVE the cast of this movie- Lilly Taylor, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson. This movie is one of the creepiest I have ever seen. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat in the packed theater and everyone gasping at the same time. SO FUN!
An anthology of five stories directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King?! Yessss. My personal favorite is Father’s Day. I just realized Adrienne Barbeau makes two appearances on this list, one here and the other for The Fog.
Creepshow 2 (1987)
The second installment but this one is directed by Michael Gornick with Romero and King penning the screenplay. This one has three stories and is thirty minutes shorter. My favorite here is The Raft.
Crimson Peak (2015)
This gothic ghost story has become one of my favorite movies and definitely the Guillermo del Toro film that is easiest to re-watch.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
This is my favorite of the first three films Romero put out. I love that it is a time capsule, too. Holing up in a mall seems like the perfect plan until you come under attack by a group of bikers while you’re fighting off zombies, too.
Dead and Buried (1981)
I’m not really sure how I came across this movie but it became an instant favorite. A sheriff in a small coastal town tries to find out why so many tourists are being murdered when passing through.
Dead Silence (2007)
Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg star in this movie directed by James Wan. The story takes place in a small and dying town that has been haunted by the memory of an old town ventriloquist. Creepy.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Everyone and their mother knows about this movie but I couldn’t dare leave it off. Holy hell. There were three movies in this franchise but the first one is terrifying. I don’t believe in camping and I’m starting to believe I wouldn’t be down with staying in a remote cabin in the woods either. Bruce Campbell. Necronomicon. Deadites. I’m done here. Also, it doesn’t seem to be the popular opinion but I really dig the 2013 remake.
The Fog (1980)
Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis stars in this film as a hitchhiker who gets caught up in Antonio Bay, a town that is getting ready to celebrate their centennial. As most ghost stories go this one is a revenge tale- a leper captain and his crew come back to take what is theirs.
A religious father believes he can see “demons” and act out God’s will. Bill Paxton directs and stars in this film. Matthew McConaughey and Powers Booth are also in it. I have never understood why more people do not talk about this movie. It is so unexpected.
A group of young thieves retreats to the Parisian countryside to escape political turmoil only to find themselves captive to a neo-Nazi family. This is another film from the After Dark Horror Fest.
The Grudge (2004)
Yep. I’m including the American remake. Just thinking of that hissing/yowling kid still gives me the heebeegeebees. Like legit. Around the time I watched this movie my husband was working a lot of nights and we had an attic access in our bedroom. The. Worst. Sarah Michelle Gellar , Grace Zabriskie, Bill Pullman, and Clea Duvall are in this.
I have only seen this movie once. If you’re lucky it might still be streaming on Netflix. Even if it isn’t, it’s worth seeking out. The scares are expertly balanced with humor. A woman is forced to move back home with her mother and suspects her house to be haunted. Berk loves this one, check out his review!
A deaf author moves to a secluded home in the middle of the forest so she can work is hunted in her own home. Another one I’ve only seen once. A small cast that stars Kate Siegel (who also wrote the film) and John Gallagher Jr. This was streaming on Netflix. Berk reviewed this too!
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
A slasher where the murderer (clad in miner’s gear) comes back to haunt his town when they start planning a Valentine’s Day dance? Yes, please. The victim’s hearts get sent in chocolate boxes. This movie is just fun. Skip out on the remake. The original is solid gold- don’t waste ya time.
The Others (2001)
I will never forget seeing this in the theater. It caught me by complete surprise and has one of the best twists in a movie ever. The atmosphere and sets in this film are as chilling as they are beautiful.
The Ring (2002)
Holy hell. I feel old saying this but I remember seeing this in the theater. Not just once, but twice because I made Bill take me back because I covered my eyes the first time. Hahahahahhaha Naomi Watts, Amber Tamblyn (before she was writing bad poetry), and Daveigh Chase (quite a few years before she was the detestable-if-I-could-have-punched-her-character-through-the-television-screen-I-would-have Rhonda Volmer in Big Love) star in this. Even though the whole videotape thing dates it a little I still think this movie is fun.
I remember seeing this in my tiny, two-screen movie theater a million years ago. And being so surprised! This movie sucks you in right from the getgo. A slasher movie for people that love slasher movies, with a character that is an expert? Mkay.
Salem’s Lot (1979)
Since this is my list I’ll do what I want. This was originally released as a TV movie/miniseries. I don’t remember how I saw it as a child but the vampire in this film was burning into my memory forevooooooor. This is a movie I’ll pull out if I want to take a nap because it’s quiet and has a nice slow pace. And I do not mean that negatively at all! It does clock in at a little over three hours so not for the faint of heart!
The Shining (1980)
There is something so terrifying about the sense of isolation this film captures so well. Another slow burn. This one clocks in at 2 hours and 26 minutes. If you’ve listened to our Top 5 podcast you know this is one of my comfort films. I can wind down to this film. I know what’s going to happen but somehow I always see something new. Just a little clue that I’ve somehow missed on all the other viewings.
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Maybe you don’t know this about me but I’m a little superstitious and that’s all I’m going to say about that but it makes this movie a little more fun to me. New Orleans is the perfect setting, too! The cast is a little surprising: Kate Hudson, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Joy Bryant, and Gena Rowlands.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Everyone and their mother knows about the twist in this one but here we are. It kills me (pun intended) that all the slashers were tales of moral. In this one, if you aren’t an awful person you might make it out alive.
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s second appearance on my list and another movie that is made exponentially more terrifying by it’s isolation. I’ve never seen the original version of this film and I also skipped out on the 2011 remake. A team of explorers is stranded in Antarctica discovers a shapeshifting alien and don’t know which of the team can be trusted.
The Woman in Black (2012)
I came across this movie while browsing my local Hastings (RIP), watched it that night, and returned the next day to return the copy I rented. And purchased my very own. I have watched it so many times but can’t necessarily verbalize why. I love the dark and muted color story. I like Daniel Radcliffe in this role. And it’s a ghost story.
Wicked Little Things (2006)
I don’t know how this round/year of After Dark Horror Fest was so damn great but this is the third movie from it on this relatively short list. Chloe Grace Moretz stars in this movie. You know what is even scarier than zombies?! Zombie CHILDREN. Okay, you know I think anything is creepier when you add in children but there ya go. A mom and her two daughters move to a small mining, mountainside community to find that their home is inhabited.