Must-See Horror Films for Halloween

With All Hallows’ Eve creeping up on the calendar, there are several ways to celebrate the evening.

Whether trick-or-treating, handing out candy to costume-clad children or attending a Halloween party, one thing that will really put folks in the holiday spirit, of course if fright is the goal, is to watch a horror film.

After perusing movie-rating sites, it’s difficult to compile a condensed list of the greatest horror movies of all time. However, check out the lineup of horror films below that seem to top the charts and dedicate the night to some good, old-fashioned terror.

  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Director: Roman Polanski

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98 percent

A young wife, Rosemary Woodhouse (played by Mia Farrow), becomes pregnant under most unusual circumstances. She begins to feel that her growing, unborn baby is not human but possessed by something demonic. Without giving too much away, this film is classic and terrifying in a less subtle way than with guts and gore.


  • The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87 percent

A little girl named Regan, who is played by Linda Blair, begins to show especially strange behavior and throws bizarre fits. Her mother ends up calling in Father Karras, a young priest, who strongly believes that Regan has been possessed by the devil. An exorcist is requested, and this demon living inside of the little girl is no ordinary demon. Just do a google image search of the Exorcist and tell me you aren’t horrified.


  • Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian DePalma

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92 percent

Carrie White, a shy and bullied teenager who is played by Sissy Spacek, possesses telekinetic powers. After she has being made fun of at school, Carrie is then further humiliated by an awful prank at the school prom. Carrie lashes out at her fellow classmates with an unforgettably shocking display of violence. This film is a classic demonstration of things escalating quickly.


  • Halloween (1978)

Director: John Carpenter

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94 percent

Michael Myers, played by Tony Moran, murdered his sister on Halloween in 1963. He is then sent to a mental hospital. Fifteen years after the murder, Michael escapes from the institution and returns to his hometown to wreak horrifying havoc. One look at the masked Michael Myers is enough to send shivers down your spine.


  • The Shining (1980)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92 percent

Jack Torrance, played by the delightfully terrifying Jack Nicholson, takes a job as a caretaker for a hotel in the winter time. He moves his family, wife Wendy and son Danny, with him. After spending a lot of time in the hotel, Jack begins to develop strange behavior that does not end in happiness. After all, the famous “redrum” warning from Danny doesn’t spell “murder” backward for no reason.


  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94 percent

Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, is a FBI trainee assigned to investigate the murderous Buffalo Bill. In order to get more information on her subject, Clarice is asked to interview the cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by the always creepy Anthony Hopkins. This film is a psychological thriller not for the easily disturbed.


  • The Conjuring (2013)

Director: James Wan

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86 percent

This film tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga—paranormal researchers called to investigate a family plagued by a demonic presence that is tearing apart the family. While facing their own demons, Ed and Lorraine are simultaneously thrown into the most frightening case they have ever experienced.

While not all horror films beloved by students of Shepherd University appear on this list, a few of them shared their favorite horrific thrills.

“I like how they give the illusion that it could be real with the found footage aspect,” Andrew Oswinkle, a senior music education major, said of his favorite horror film Paranormal Activity.

“We held each other in the movie theater because we were so scared. It’s about the only one I can bear to watch,” Sarah Kirk, a senior art major, said of her favorite horror film Stay Alive.

“It seriously scarred me for life,” Patrick Zdziera, a junior networking and security major, said of his favorite horror film Stephen King’s It.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.