Possessed Chicks and Lunatics: The Ultimate List Of Scary Movies For Halloween

Alright guys, I am going to be doing this list a little differently today. Normally, my lists are short, and my descriptions quite wordy. In this case, it will be the opposite  I know a great deal of you are getting ready for Halloween, and to celebrate that, I decided (and Paul requested, per a fan’s request) to put together a sort of “Ultimate Horror Movies” list for you guys.

I will be making recommendations based on certain unspoken guidelines people seem to have when it comes to the horror films they most prefer. And I can safely say that there will be a movie on here for every kind of horror fan. So give the list a shot. I promise to keep the amount of traumatizing entries to a bare minimum. There will also be links to some other “horror movie” articles at the end of the piece,so you can all check those out if you want to go even deeper down the rabbit hole. But be forewarned, vampire rabbits live in this hole. *Cue scary music…

For People Who Want To Laugh In Between All The Screaming:

Black Sheep: Have spoken highly of this film many times. Take Shawn of the Dead’s wit and charm, but replace the zombies with mutant sheep. sounds absurd, and is. But is absurdly awesome, too.

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil: My friend and fellow writer, Matt Donato, sums it up best right here. This might be as good as horror-comedy gets. A riff on the slasher/redneck genre of horror movies, it is an absolute blast from start to finish.

Detention: Alright, this one is horror, and it isn’t horror, but if you are a child of the 80’s or 90’s, and a fan of film in general, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. And the most horrifying thing of all? Dane Cook is actually GOOD in it!

This is CinderHella from Detention. See her, know her, love her.

For People Who Fear Dead Relatives And Floating Furniture:

Paranormal Activity 3: It shocks people that three is my favorite, but it is clear to see why. The story finally gets some answers. The little girl lead is awesome in it. The effects are creepy, and the ending is actually scary and disturbing, which all the other films in the series have failed to be thus far.

The Entity: Okay, so take everything that is scary about haunted house, and add a molesty ghost to the mix, and you have the reason this 1982 movie stuck with me, Plus, the final scene is a real doozy.

If ghost-rape isn’t your thing, you may want to skip The Entity.

Poltergeist:  Still, and always will be, the seminal haunted house flick. From killer clown dolls, to trees that eat you, this movie has it all, and is STILL scary as Hell (and the reason the PG13 rating exists).

For People Who Want To Watch Halloween Movies With A Topical, Halloween Theme, Like Halloween:

Halloween: Come on, really? I shouldn’t even need to say this. Just turn on AMC right now, one of the Halloween movies is on, I promise. Just DON’T watch the remakes. Rob Zombie sort of lost sight of what made the original work (off-screen kills, building tension, not feeling sympathy for the killer).

Trick R Treat: Some people hate this awesome, Brian Singer directed horror trilogy that centers around the theme of Halloween, but I, for one, loved it. I think all the stories are fun and creepy, and it has one of my favorite characters designs of any horror film in the last decade: Sam Hain.

I just think his “mask on” character design is pretty much perfect. Mask off was whack, though.

Night of the Demons: A party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night? Nah, nothing can go wrong there. This movie is pure 80’s cheese at its best. Also, keep your eye out for the lipstick scene. That never fails to blow my mind. Also, like in ALL these cases: do NOT see the remake.

For People Who Like Horror Films That Utterly Traumatize The Viewer:

Chained: Not even sure if this movie is available yet, but my God what a tapped ride it is. Vincent D’ Onofrio is mind blowing in this movie about a killer who keeps a child chained up in his house for sixteen years after he kills her Mother. Dark stuff, but amazing.

David Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer, directed the movie Chained. Dare I say, she is as awesomely messed up as her Dad.

Kill List: It’s The Wicker Man for the modern generation. And it is quite brutal at times. Make sure to look around at people’s reactions during the ending.

Dead Alive: Before Peter Jackson was obsessed with Hobbits, he was obsessed with making one of the bloodeist movies ever made. And man, did he pull it off. Also, it’s a blast.

For People Who Love When Dead People Eat Living People, And Variations On Said Theme:

Dawn of the Dead (Both): This will be one of the only times I recommend a film AND it’s remake, both on their own merits. My favorite zombie films, easily.

28 Days (Both): While not zombies, by the clinical term, these movies are the best things that happened to the genre since Romero himself.

Good job, Facebookers.  You forgot about Kony, and he went and became a zombie. Good luck trying to stop him now!

Dance of the Dead: A zombie movie taking place at the prom? Could be dumb, and some thought it was, but I thought it was a fun, undead-mamba. Wow, that sentence sucked.

For People Who Like Undead Bloodsuckers That DON’T Sparkle:

Fright Night (Both): This will be the second time I will recommend a movie and its remake, on their own merits. Watched both, back to back this week, and it is hard to pick a favorite. Sexy, silly, mindless fun.

The Lost Boys: I think The Lost Boys is the best (teen) vampire movie ever made. Seriously, that is all.

Man, that final episode of 24 had a massive twist, huh? 

Thirst:  Park Chan Wook’s retelling of the vampire mythos might be the best (adult) take on the genre ever, just beating out Near Dark. Bloody, sexy, and twisted.  Like YOUR MOM! OHHHHHHHhhhhhhh.

For People Who Secretly Like To Read Their Horror While Watching It:

Martyrs: Martyrs just might be the best horror film of the last decade. Just be prepared to be disgusted, and to be faced with serious philosophical questions. This movie changed my idea of just how deep a horror film is allowed to get, and the very places it is allowed to go.

I Saw The Devil: No one can do “revenge” quite like South Korea, and this movie plunges the depths of just how dark a place the desire for revenge can take even the purest of us. Only horror in the “holy shit, that could really happen” sense. Oh, and the brutal, horrific violence. Yeah, that too.

If this movie doesn’t fill you with a growing sense of dread, no movie ever will.

Rec: This Spanish horror film is one of my absolute favorite of all time, and one of the best films in the genre, without a doubt. Just stop watching after part 2. Trust me.

For People Who Need Their Bad Guys To Be Monsters And Not Actual “Bad Guys”:

The Host: Is The Host as good as “big monster destroys city and eats people” movies ever made? Yes. Yes it is.  Funny at times, sad at times, but never less than badass.

Alien: I don’t care if putting this movie in space makes it sci-fi instead of horror, It is horrifying, regardless, and should be seen by all.

“Hey, you guys should see how I was formed in Prometheus. No, on second thought , you shouldn’t.”

The Descent: Perfect, in every way. Honestly. The Descent is the perfect storm of a horror film, working on EVERY LEVEL to form a perfect horror movie, start to finish.

For People Who Like To Wear Hockey Masks And Carry Machetes:

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon. A slasher film that knows its a slasher film, in a world where all slasher characters are real people. Bloody brilliant, on all levels.

High Tension: Outside of a wacky ending, this French horror film has one of the most ruthless and terrifying killers I have ever seen in a movie. Also, BRUTAL violence.

” We TOLD YOU your blood balloon would pop as soon as we hit a speedbump, Kate!”

Scream: You can never fail with the insta-classics, and this is one of those. Great twists abound in this meta-horror-experience. Ps) I was the killer the whole time!

For People Who Genuinely Enjoy Seeing Woman Possessed By More Evil Than Normal:

Evil Dead: Gory, insane, brutal, unforgiving, and awesome. Also, has anyone else seen how awesome the trailer is for the remake looks? Might be timely to watch this one now.

Demons: A bit like Night of the Demons, but with more Italian exploitation. God, I love Italian horror.

Whoopi Goldberg was working on the hard sell for her Ghost 2 script.

The Exorcist: No single film has ever scared or disturbed me more. Actually, don’t watch this. Anything but this.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose: This one messes me all up, because it is true. Was she insane, or were there demons? Listen for yourself and decide.

For People Who Hear Voices At Night So They Sleep With A Fan To Drown Out The Noises:

Jacob’s Ladder: The movie that would inspire the Silent Hill franchise is on this list for a good reason. One of my very favorites, and an unforgettable ending.

Session 9: This movie, which was filmed at, and is about, Danvers State Hospital (which I have explored), is a gem of a film, about mental breakdowns and the energy in places with bad history.

The final recording you hear in Session 9 is something I have never, ever forgotten.

Lost Highway: There is no director who can f*ck your mind quite as hard as David Lynch can. So many unforgettable vignettes in this movie, and all of them, haunting.

For People Who Love Big, Furry Beasts:

American Werewolf in London: Best.Transformation.Ever. Best werewolf movie, ever. Hands down.

Dog Soldiers: Just like The Descent, Neil Marshall knows horror. Dog Soldiers is an awesome spin on the werewolf story. One of the better werewolf movies in recent memory.

” I shall now lick that sweet, strawberry jelly off your face, good sir.”

For Your God-Fearing Friends:

The Gate: Love this movie so much, and talk about it more in depth here. Kids who open a portal to Hell in their back yard by playing a heavy metal album backwards? Yes, please!!

Hellraiser: Not all movies with Hell in the title are created equal. Go with the first one, and leave the others be. Creative, original, and unforgettable. Also, gory and kinky for the win.

Don’t get uncomfortable looking at this pic. she was choking a few seconds earlier. He is just helping clear out her airway.

House of the Devil: Not so brutal, but a fun, modern-flashback to 80’s horror that plays out like a love-letter to the horror genre.

And Some Lists For The Rest Of You:

Best Found Footage Horror

Best Home Invasion Movies

Amazing Horror Movies Not enough Of You Have Seen

Most Disturbing Documentaries Ever Made

Best “Torture Porn” Movies (And Why It Shouldn’t Be Called Torture Porn)

The One Horror Movie You Should NEVER, EVER Watch

Best Werewolf Movies (Based On Transformation Effect)

Five Horror Films So Bad, They Will Make You Stupider If You Watch Them

The Best Movies Featuring Killer Kids

The Five Creepiest Short Films I’ve Ever Seen (With Video)

Six Visually Experimental Horror Films

And lastly, my secret formula for how you would use elements from all of these films to build the perfect horror film.

Happy Halloween, freaks and geeks.


  • Bob

    You forgot Slither for horror comedy!

  • Sam

    Or if you want ALL of those things and don’t have 43 hours to spare, watch Cabin in the Woods.
    Also, quick side note, Bryan Singer produced Trick ‘R Treat Michael Dougherty directed.

  • Alex

    Awesome that you included Behind the Mask. Found it on Netflix instant streaming and instantly fell in love. Before Cabin in the Woods came out, it was by far my favorite meta horror movie.

  • Bud the Chud

    No mention of Event Horizon? That was a messed up scifi horror flick.

  • trashcanman

    No “The Howling”? “Nosferatu”? No Universal or Hammer classics whatsoever?! An epicer Halloween fail isn’t even possible. May as well have put Twilght on there. Also “Halloween 2” was more than good enough to makee it mandatory viewing on All Hallows. Too much “look at the movies you haven’t seen that I’ve seen!” on this list and not enough actual Halloween-appropriate flicks. Also, anyone who doesn’t like “Trick ‘r Treat” does not like Halloween or horror movies. Fact.

  • Every movie you guys mention is on one of the accompanying lists I linked.
    Literally, every single one.
    Have fun catching up, kids!
    I have some storm chasing to do….

  • dagny t

    The title of the movie is ’28 Days LATER’. ’28 Days’ is a film about a woman in rehab. ’28 Days Later’ is the film starring Cillian Murphy in an abandoned London.

  • smockan

    awesome list. however, “30 days of night” could in my opinion also be mentioned. 🙂

  • No, I was recommending the Sandra Bullock movie. Rehab is scary.

  • Mutant Turd

    I have a list of movies that I watch for Halloween and Christmas. My Halloween staples are Halloween 1, 2 and 3 (it has a company targeting and killing kids, how can you not love that plus it’s horribly awesome), Near Dark (which you totally should have had in your vampire sub-list), American Werewolf in London, Dog Soldiers, Trick ‘r Treat and one of my personal favorites, Cemetery Man (found that movie late at night on Cinemax, quickly became a personal classic).

  • Looka

    Here’s my unseless input – I’m 25, and I started watching horror movies VERY early, so by the time I was 15 I’ve seen pretty much all the good/classic/cult movies of the past..and in the last 10 years I’ve been catching on the new stuff.
    I haven’t seen 3 or 4 movies from this list (and the links..and the comments) here and I don’t think I’m missing much.

    Now…since I got through my fears (dark, spiders, monsters) a long, long time ago, I can honestly say I dont get scared or disgusted during any horror movie, I now wacth them only in hope of it having an awesome story, next to moments of horror – and the only movie that came very, very close in satisfying me is Martyrs – that movie is a great ride for me.

    There is only one movie that stands out in this or any other list and for me it’s the only movie I wish I never saw – A Serbian Film. Seriously, take my advice and NEVER watch that movie, it’s not as scary as the others, but it will destroy your soul and make you want to watch cartoons about sunshine and flowers and nice things, just so you can get some life back into you…but it won’t help, you will be scarred forever..

  • Todd X

    Has anyone seen the Spanish thriller/horror Tesis? A woman explores the origin of a snuff film where the victim is a woman she has not seen on campus in some time.

    Great list.

  • At Looka, there is a rather extensive article written by me about Serbian Film linked at the bottom: The most soul ruining movie I have ever seen.
    I agree.
    At Todd X, have had the film in my possession for some time and not watched it, (Tesis) but I will now.
    Thank you!

  • john v.

    Nice list. It would be a good list to hand somebody who likes horror but isn’t really familiar with the best of the genre.

    A Serbian Film, huh? I guess I’ll have to add that to the list. Irreversible, Martyrs and Pan’s Labyrinth ruined my day, and I don’t regret watching them, but I also don’t foresee myself getting excited to watch them again. If you are saying *this* is soul-crushing, I can’t imagine what to expect.

  • Don

    Holy eff man that’s a loooot of movies. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • MattV

    Who’s the girl in the top picture, with the rotation chainsaw? Where is that from?