It’s Time for Halloween: Turn Up the Fright with the Best Horror Films of All Time

It’s that time of year again–there’s a chill in the air, brightly colored autumn leaves are dancing in the breeze, and pumpkins are cropping up on every doorstep. Fall is a great time to spend the beautiful days outdoors, playing a game of football or embarking on a hike through the beautiful forest. The best way to finish up a fall day filled with awesome activities is by turning out all the lights, curling up on the couch with a giant bucket of buttery popcorn, and enjoying a scary good horror flick. Check out this list of some of the best horror flicks of all time:

• The Exorcist. Perhaps one of the most terrifying films ever created, The Exorcist is the horrifying story of a young girl possessed by a demon. It’s tough to determine which scene in this movie is the scariest–just be prepared to spend most of the night peeking over the edge of the blanket (and possibly getting up to turn on the lights). In addition to terrifying imagery (the projectile vomiting, the disturbing way Regan scuttles down the stairs in a crab walk, the shaking bed, the stabbing motions of the crucifix…), director William Friedkin utilizes music and sound to really amp up the uncomfortable, creepy atmosphere of the film. The sound of Regan’s voice when the demon is speaking, the snap, crackle, and pop of the tendons in her neck when her head does a 360, the “Tubular Bells”, and the chilling theme from The Exorcist is enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest film fanatics.

• Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock certainly knew how to get inside people’s heads and scare them in ways they never dreamed possible–he basically invented the “psychological horror” movie. After fantastic films like Rear Window and Vertigo, Hitchcock blessed movie buffs with his all-time best creation, Psycho. Like Hitchcock’s other films, Psycho didn’t rely on blood, guts, and gore to scare the living daylights out of viewers. Instead, the seemingly normal settings and calm pace of the film lull them into a false sense of security, even though they clearly know what’s coming. This security is slowly chipped away as bits and pieces of Norman’s increasing instability are revealed. In addition to Hitchcock’s unmatched creativity, Anthony Perkins’ talented performance made the film the horror classic that it is today. No one could have brought to life the festering psycho under Norman’s placid appearance better than Perkins

• The Shining. The Shining is one of Stephen King’s most popular stories and one of Stanley Kubrick’s most well-known films. The book and film don’t have much in common, as Kubrick drastically changed many elements for his film. However, the end result was a chilling horror flick that eats away at viewers’ sanity just a little bit at a time. The imagery in the film was certainly frightening (buckets of blood erupting from elevator doors, super creepy dead twin sisters, the corpse in the bathtub), but Jack Nicholson is ultimately responsible for scaring moviegoers out of their skulls. Nicholson’s amazing performance evokes pity, while at the same time completely terrifying the audience and making them wish Wendy would put down the dang bat and pick up something a bit more helpful. One thing is for sure–no one will ever forget the line “Here’s Johnny!”.

Halloween is filled with chills and thrills. This is the time of year to overindulge in candy, scare friends with some spooky pranks, and have an eerie good time. The best way to spend Halloween night is watching a pulse-pounding, spine-tingling, ghastly good movie full of terror. These are a few of the best horror films of all-time, boasting incredible characters, phenomenal acting, and some scenes that just might leave permanent scars.