The 13 Best Horror Movies For Halloween That Will Scare You Witless

Halloween is upon us, and watching the best horror movies is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Some of the best horror movies aren't necessarily apropos for Halloween; The Witch is one of the best movies of the genre, but it's more unnerving and creepy than it is scary. Often, audiences are looking for movies that will leave them on the edge of their seat, or scare them out of their wits—this list provides just that.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Many critics and fans consider The Exorcist to be one of the best horror movies of all-time, but many find that The Exorcism of Emily Rose provides more scares throughout the duration of the film. The "demon possession" genre has been done to death, and often the movies aren't as scary as they are generic and cheesy; this title offers a unique premise, and it is definitely not cheesy.

28 Days Later

The undead are certainly a popular theme during this holiday, and 28 Days Later is one of the scariest zombie flicks ever made. What makes this terrifying tale so unique, unlike its predecessors, is that these zombies are very quick and could be described as the running dead.

The Shining

A haunted hotel in the middle of nowhere is perhaps the greatest setting for any Halloween or horror movie. This Stephen King classic is just as scary now as it was during its initial release.

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[Image by Warner Bros.]

The Ring

The Ring was one of the best horror movies to come out during the turn of the 21st century. Rather than relying on blood and violence to instill fear, it brilliantly uses creepy visuals to make your skin crawl.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Though the reboot wasn't bad, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre feels more like a snuff film than a Hollywood production. The fact that the film is older adds to the creepiness of the picture. One of the scariest things about the movie is that during the climax there is an absence of music; the sound of a chainsaw is the soundtrack.


The very idea of being trapped in space with a serpent-like alien is simply terrifying. The original was very innovative, but this sequel offers more suspense and thrills.


Though this is another Stephen King movie about a haunted hotel, this tale is definitely different. John Cusack delivers a brilliant performance alongside Samuel L. Jackson. With plenty of ghosts and haunting visuals, 1408 is perfect for Halloween.


The late Wes Craven was a master of creating scary movies, and Scream helped rejuvenate the horror industry. This title provides tense moments that will make audiences jump out of their seats, while paying homage and poking a little fun at the genre.

The Howling

Like zombies, werewolves are synonymous with Halloween. The Howling is one of the few good werewolf movies, and it is perfect for the creepy holiday.

The Conjuring

What good is a list of Halloween movies without a story about a haunted house? The Conjuring is considered one of the best modern horror movies, and it will certainly will put viewers on the edge of their seat.

It Follows

It's hard to make a film these days that is truly original, but It Follows did just that! This movie is as clever as it is terrifying, and it is sure to linger in the consciousness of viewers well after it is finished.

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[Image by Dimension Films]

The Thing

Monster movies are very popular during Halloween, and The Thing may just be the best monster movie ever made. John Carpenter's classic stands the test of time, and it is truly scary.


Perhaps no film is more suitable for Halloween than—well—Halloween. Another John Carpenter classic, this suspenseful and utterly scary movie stands the test of time. The late Roger Ebert described why this is one of the best Halloween movies of all-time.

"We see movies for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we want to be amused. Sometimes we want to escape. Sometimes we want to laugh, or cry, or see sunsets. And sometimes we want to be scared. I'd like to be clear about this. If you don't want to have a really terrifying experience, don't see Halloween."
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[Image by Compass International Pictures]


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For some, Halloween is an opportunity to dress in costume and trick-or-treat; for others, it's a perfect time to binge-watch some of the best horror movies ever made.

[Featured Image by Screen Gems]