Remember how excited you used to get about Halloween? You’d spend months planning out the best costume, you’d watch every Halloween TV special leading up to it, and on the big night you and your friends would go trick-r-treating until you couldn’t walk anymore. As you got older, you substituted trick-r-treating for parties instead. Your costumes eventually got less inventive. And then one year Halloween just became a night for the kids.
Well, it’s time to get back into the spirit. We’ve got a list of absolute classic horror movies to help put you back in the Halloween mood. One movie for each night leading up to October 31, and a special selection for the night itself. So find someone to enjoy a scare with, save some candy for yourself, and remind yourself why you loved this day so much.
6. The Shining (1980)
Everyone remembers “Here’s Johnny!” and “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, but do you really remember what a strange and unsettling movie The Shinning is? Jack Nicholson is predictably crazy as a man with a serious case of writer’s block and cabin fever. Every time you watch it, you notice one more creepy, completely bizarre thing that you totally forgot about. Seriously, what was with that guy in the bear costume?!
5. The Thing (1982)
A completely underrated horror masterpiece from John Carpenter. Like The Shining, this classic is set in a claustrophobic, snowy local as scientists in the Antarctic are stalk by an otherworldly creature that takes the form of whomever it kills. Feeding on Cold War fears, the film’s paranoid suspense works extremely well, as do the gruesome creature effects that hold up surprisingly well.
4. The Omen (1976)
Just another classic tale of a creepy little kid who may or may not be the Antichrist. The film found a very new and very effective way to avoid doing the classic knife-wielding killer, by instead making the villain a child. As much a psychological terror as it is a full-blown horror film. And it made parents really second guess naming their child Damien for quite a while.
3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The film that started the pop culture fascination with zombies which is still thriving today. Every zombie flick that came after owes quite a lot to this film and it’s creator, George Romero. This black and white, bare-bones story follows a group of strangers who hold up in a farmhouse when the dead begin to rise. Apart from being a solid horror film, it also features some astute social commentary, and boast Duane Jones as one of the first African-American film heroes.
2. The Exorcist (1973)
The only film on this list that has yet to be remade– a true testament to it’s near-perfect status. After a young girl is seemingly possessed by a demon, her mother seeks the help of two priests. Things do not go smoothly after that. Despite the lack of blood and gore, the film is still shocking by today’s standards. Not one to watch with your parents or your children.
1. Halloween (1978)
How could the number one choice be anything but this classic. Another entry from John Carpenter and world’s introduction to one of cinema’s most recognizable villains, Michael Myers. Still considered the epitome of the teen/slasher films, and turned Jaime Lee Curtis into a star. And what better way to spend Halloween by having a little nostalgic scare with the truest Halloween movie of all time?