Directed by: John Carpenter
One of the most iconic and terrifying horror movie “slashers” is the main killer in this movie. Michael Myers (Will Sandin), a man put in an insane asylum for murdering his older sister, breaks free from his sanitarium and returns back to his hometown of Haddonfield. On Halloween, he starts stalking high school student Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis) in a blue jumpsuit and white facemask. It’s up to Laurie to stop this man who has begun stalking her and killing her friends, and save her own skin before he stabs her with his kitchen knife. Because this movie is a classic horror film, it isn’t hard to see why this was ranked number one on our list.
The Conjuring (2013)
Directed by: James Wan
This recent film is about a family that moves into an old farmhouse in the town of Harrisville, RI. During their time living in the house, multiple paranormal occurrences lead to death and possession of some of the family. To save their lives, the family calls a couple of paranormal investigators to help them with these upset demonic spirits. Then the family and paranormal investigators must find a way to stop these spiritual beings before anyone else is killed. Though this movie is recent, it got many votes as it has scared many of students and faculty.
Insidious I and II (2011, 2013)
Directed by: James Wan
Written by the same writer as “The Conjuring,” the “Insidious” movies have also scared many people. Both films focus on the Lambert family whose son Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins) has inherited an ability to cross into a paranormal world called “The Further.” However, during his first visit into this paranormal land, a demon had began to haunt the boy and kept him in acoma-like state, making his parents, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne), worry. After realizing it wasn’t a coma, they call for professional paranormal help and find that Josh has the same ability as his son and he has to go into “The Further” and save Dalton from the terror keeping him there. After saving Dalton, the Lamberts are then tormented by another demonic spirit that followed the father out of “The Further.”
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
In this classic horror movie, Marion Cane (Janet Leigh), a Phoenix, AZ secretary, steals $40,000 so she and her boyfriend can get married. After skipping town, Marion stops at the Bates Hotel on a stormy night and meets the manager, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). After a conversation with him, Marion is killed in the famous shower curtain scene. An investigation is called to find who murdered her as all fingers point to Mr. Bates.
Saw Series (2004 – 2010)
Directed by: James Wan, Darren Lynn Bousman, David Hackl, and Kevin Greutert
This movie franchise has given a new look at horror movie torture devices and how frightening they can be, providing a new facet to psychological and slasher horror movies. The main killer of these movies is John Kramer or as his puppet alias, Jigsaw. In these movies multiple people are taken off the streets by Kramer and put into deadly situations and torturous “tests” to see how far they will go to save their own life. This series of horror films has been known for being gross, gory, and not for the faint of heart as some characters have had to saw their feet off, cut open bodies to find items, cut into themselves, and more. Investigators in all movies have tried finding Kramer while he evades them waiting for his own demise by a frontal lobe tumor.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
Directed by: Andrew Douglas
In this film, Ronald DeFeo Jr. (Brendan Donaldson) murders his family in their house in Amityville, NY and says that the voices he heard made him kill them. A year later, a married couple moves into the same home, George (Ryan Reynolds) and Kathy Lutz (Melissa George) with their three children. Once moved in the family starts to have paranormal experiences as George soon becomes abusive from spiritual possession. George then begins trying to kill his wife and children, forcing them to attempt to flee the house and the spirits who are keeping them there.
The Birds (1963)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
This horror flick is about Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), a San Francisco socialite, who falls in love with Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), a pet shop owner who lives in Northern CA. As she goes to meet with him in his small town, various birds begin attacking citizens, getting more vicious as the film goes on. Eventually, the birds even begin to break the fourth wall by crashing into the movie screen, as if they are trying to attack the audience directly. With the increasing numbers of birds, Melanie and Mitch both have to find a way to survive without being attacked by these dangerous flying creatures.
Nosferatu the Vampyre(1979)
Directed by: Werner Herzog
This West German horror movie is a remake of the silent film “Nosferatu” from 1922 as well as Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” though with a few changes to the story and locations. Even with these minor changes to the story the film is still worth watching and the atmosphere is just as chilling and dark as the (1931) version of “Dracula” directed by Tod Browning and Karl Freund and the 1922 version of “Nosferatu” directed by F.W. Murnau.
Directed by: Ridley Scott
When the commercial towing spaceship “Nostromo”receives a transmission on its way to Earth, the seven man crew stop to see where the transmissions came from. Once found, the alien spacecraft the transmissions came from is boarded by the “Nostromo” crew. After one of the members is attacked by a squid like creature, they all flee back to the ship. Later on , the crew watches in terror as the attacked member has an alien lifeform pop out of his chest cavity and escape the facility. As the alien runs amuck on the ship, it matures quickly into a deadly creature with two mouths, acidic saliva, sharp claws, and a sharp spear-like tail. Now the crew must survive on their ship and kill the alien before they get to Earth.
Jaws ( 1975)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
A movie that made millions afraid to go back into the beaches, “Jaws” is one of the most well-known shark horror films, if not one of the most popular. On Amity Island, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), the chief of police, and the rest of the civilians begin to see multiple killings attributed to an abnormally large great white shark that begins to plague their area, making the water unsafe to swim in. Sheriff Brody, marine biologist Matt Hopper (Richard Dreyfuss), and professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) all take a boat out into the ocean to take care of Jaws once and for all.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Directed by: Sam Raimi
This classic gore fest is about five university students, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), Cheryl Williams (Ellen Sandweiss), Scotty (Hal Delrich), Shelly (Sarah York), and Linda (Betsy Baker), who go out to a cabin in the Tennessee Hills for their spring break. However, once they are there, Cheryll begins to have paranormal experiences. That same night, Ash and Scotty find the “Naturon Demonto,” otherwise known as “The Book of the Dead,” in the cabin’s cellar. Found with a recorder that held incantations on it, the naïve guys play the incantations and release hell on the group as evil spirits and demons begin to torment them. Now Ash must try to save his friends and himself from these evil demons
Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Directed by: Wes Craven
1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you. This famous horror film brought another one of the famous horror movie slashers to the big screen. High Schooler Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) begins having horrific dreams of a boiler room and a man with a glove sporting knives at the tips of the fingers stalking and trying to attack her. Tina soon discovers that some of her other high school friends are experiencing the same ordeal and are even dying in their sleep. She finds that the man in her dreams, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), has started his revenge on the children whose parents burned him alive. To save herself and her friends, Tina tells them to stay awake as she tries to figure out how to stop the clawed killer before he takes any more of their lives.
The Ring (2002)
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
“The Ring” starts with high school girls, Katie Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and Becca (Rachael Bella), having a sleepover when Katie tells Rebecca of a supposed cursed tape that when watched, the phone will ring and in seven days the viewer will die. She tells Rebecca she had watched it the past week, she goes upstairs and suddenly dies. In a domino effect, friends and family members begin watching copies of the tape wondering how it killed the girl as the watchers themselves die in the week after they watch the tape.
Final Destination Series (2000 – 2011)
Directed by: James Wong, David R. Ellis, Steven Quale
These movies don’t use slash killers, creatures, or demons, but instead use death itself as an entity of horror. As most of the protagonists escape an accident that more than likely should have killed them, but it is only a matter of time before each one is killed off in a brutal and bizarre way. The usage of death has made viewers more aware that they can die at any moment of any day. In the later films the teens begin putting the pieces together on what is happening, even though it doesn’t help them in the end.
Child’s Play (1988)
Directed by: Tom Holland
When single mother Karen Barclay (Cathrine Hicks) gets a “good guy doll” from the streets that her son Andy (Alex Vincent) wants for his birthday, they both find that she got more than just a doll. The supposedly dead serial killer, Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif), has possessed the doll and now calls himself by his new alias, Chucky. As Chucky begins killing others who get close to finding out who he is or just happens to be around Andy, it is up to Karen and Andy to get the police to believe them before Chucky possesses Andy’s body as well. Though the “Child’s Play” series began as a horror franchise it soon switched to a more comedic aspect in the later movies.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Directed by: Oren Peli
This movie features “found footage” to make the personal psyche of the viewer more disturbed and to make the audience believe that the events taking place are real as the movie shows the paranormal experiences of Micah (Micah Sloat) and Katie (Katie Featherston). The movie shows footage of a spirit haunting their house and manipulating items such as their bed sheets and on the planchette of an Ouija board. Since everything in the movie is shot using an amateur video camera, the paranormal attacks seem more realistic, especially during the night when Katie is possessed and stands watching Micah for hours without moving.
Directed by: Luis Llosa
In this creature flick, a National Geographic film crew takes a trip down to the Amazon jungle and gets stuck in a hostage situation with an insane hunter who has his eyes on the world’s biggest snake. Though it is a cheesy film, it can be terrifying for those who have a fear of snakes. The anaconda has very good animatronics and can be intimidating from time to time, especially when looking at its scary slit pupil eyes.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
In “Jennifer’s Body,” a demonically possessed high school cheerleader named Jennifer (Megan Fox) begins to kill all of the male students in the school. Now it is up to her friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) to stop her before she kills her own boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons). This movie is crawling with scary scenes and some funny dialogue.
Silent Hill (2006)
Directed by: Christophe Gans
The “Silent Hill” games are very atmospheric and dark, giving the player a horrific, but fun experience, and the movie doesn’t disappoint as well. When Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) begins sleep walking, her mother Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell), decides to take her to the location she sees in her dreams: Silent Hill. When a terrible accident occurs on their way to Silent Hill, Rose awakes to Sharon missing and begins to wander into the dream town of Silent Hill. While looking for her daughter, Rose discovers the horror and mysteries behind this town’s past.
The Purge (2013)
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Though this movie is last on the list, it still has a very disturbing concept. On one day of the year, all criminal and murderous acts are allowed to take place without any consequences. During this “purge,” one family must survive the night as people from around the neighborhood threaten them after they protect an injured man that the neighbors had begun hunting. Only time will tell if they will be able to survive the night.