Halloween is the perfect time to compile a list of the 10 scariest movies
With Halloween coming up, it felt like the perfect time to compile a list of my favorite scary movies. I’m an old school fan who prefers suspense to shock, and the bravery of ordinary people in supernatural situations. And, as you’ll notice from the list, I’m a sucker for a good haunted house tale.
However, I’m a moviejunkie, so I haven’t eliminated slasher movies entirely. I’ve updated the list over the years, although the movies that terrified me as a child are still listed, since they helped shape my film critic soul. Here is my list of movies that would make for a terrific fright night marathon. They are in alphabetical order.
Carrie (1976) Even when you know the big scare is coming, it still gets you doesn’t it? Brian DePalma’s classic stars Sissy Spacek as the teenager whose powers are unleashed at the school prom. With Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, and in a small role, John Travolta.
The Changling (1980) George C. Scott stars in this under-the-radar haunted house flick. Directed by Peter Medak.
Ghost Story (1981) Four elderly men have a secret they’ve kept buried that is about to be unleashed. With Fred Astaire, Melvin Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., John Houseman and Alice Krige before she became the Borg Queen.
Halloween (1978) John Carpenter’s revival of the slasher horror film still makes me jump. Carpenter also created and performed the creepy music. The film that made Jamie Lee Curtis a star also features Donald Pleasance and P.J. Soles. Writer Debra Hill named the town after her hometown, Haddonfield, N.J.; in the film it’s Haddonfield Ill. (The Tilton Theater is showing Halloween this Fri.-Sat. at 8:15 & 11pm and Sun. at 8:15pm)
The Haunting (1963) Don’t let that horrible remake a decade go keep you from checking out one of the best — and best acted — haunted house movies of all time, starring Claire Bloom and Julie Harris. Directed by Robert Wise.
The Innocents (1961) Deborah Kerr is a nanny who suspects her wards (Martin Stephens Pamela Franklin) are being stalked by ghosts, but perhaps she is just demented. Directed by Jack Clayton.
The Legend of Hell House (1973) The Innocents’ child star, Pamela Franklin, still has ghost problems a decade later in this terrifying haunted house tale that also stars Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt.
The Omen (1976) Again, don’t let the horrible remake keep you from checking out the original, which scared me more that The Exorcist. Stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw and Harvey Stephens as Damien. Directed by Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon).
The Others (2001) Nicole Kidman stars in this period piece that successfully plays tribute to The Innocents while providing its own delightful twist.
Poltergeist (1982) Ordinary parents (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson) face extraordinary and terrifying circumstances when their haunted house steals their little girl. Everybody into the pool! Directed by Tobe Hooper and written and produced by Steven Spielberg.
The Ring (2002) The best of the horror film adaptations from Japan. It makes you think of TV in a whole new light. Stars Naomi Watts; directed by Gore Verbinski.
28 Days Later (2002) The most terrifying bloody zombie movie ever because these zombies convert in a flash and are a lot quicker than traditional flesheaters. Stars Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson and Naomie Harris. Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotters).
What are your favorite scary movies? Use the comment forum to list them.
According to a local legend, a young girl inhabits the top floor of the inn, and guests have reported hearing the sounds of a ball bouncing in the upper floor.
This article is the first of four to be published this month on ‘haunted houses’ and ghosts in the Atlantic City region, written by Amanda Hopkins.
Without a doubt Ray Parker Jr. is best known for his hit song “Ghostbusters,” which was intended solely as the background score for the 1984 movie of the same name but remained at the top of the charts for several weeks when released as a single that year. It was a defining moment in Parker’s music career, but hardly the only one.