Greatest horror movies of all time to watch on Halloween

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It wouldn’t be Halloween without a good scary movie!

The most frightening time of the year means we should get some wonderful horror movies to watch and this year’s cinema releases haven’t let us down either.

In 2019 we have already seen the likes of doppelganger scare-fest Us, daylight chiller Midsommar, and horror sequel IT: Chapter Two.

But what are the greatest horror movies of all time?

There are so many kinds of good horrors, including horror-comedies, slasher movies, supernatural horror, or wonderful mixes of all the above.

So, who has or hasn’t made our top 10?

Here are ten of the greatest in the genre and if you disagree then let us know in the comments below!

10 greatest horror movies of all time for some Halloween viewing

Halloween (1978)

Enter Michael Myers (Image: Rex Features)

It kicked-started one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, but John Carpenter showed us just what a slasher movie could do with his original Halloween movie. The film introduced us to The Shape/Michael Myers, a dangerous serial killer who comes to pose a serious threat to plucky heroine Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (Image: Daily Record)

There’s probably never been a horror movie that ever causes so much furor upon its release, with cinemas giving out sick bags and reports of fainting viewers upon the release of The Exorcist. Director William Friedkin delivered the story of the apparently possessed Regan (Linda Blair) causing her mother (Ellen Burstyn) so much worry that she turns to the church for aid – sending in an expert (Max von Sydow) to perform an exorcism.

Alien (1979)

Alien bursting out of Kane's body in the film Alien in 1979
Alien bursting out of Kane’s body in the film Alien in 1979 (Image: Rex)

The crew of commercial starship Nostromo find themselves awoken from their cryo-sleep to attend to a distress signal from an alien vessel on the surface of a moon in deep space. However, once visiting the ship they unknowingly open their crew up to the dangers of a deadly extraterrestrial lifeform. Ridley Scott created an iconic sci-fi genre and made a heroine for the ages with Sigourney Weaver as the icy Ellen Ripley.

 

The Thing (1982)

Another John Carpenter classic, The Thing sees a group of American research scientists in remote Antarctica taking in a dog after it is pursued by a shooting helicopter. However, once inside, the dog begins to brutally attack the humans and animals in the facility and the scientists realise that the dog isn’t a dog at all, but a vicious otherworldly creature that could kill them all. Kurt Russell and Richard Dysart star in this tense, gory, and surprising watch.

Scream (1996)

Wes Craven film scream

Despite leading to a franchise with rather mixed results, the original Scream film from Wes Craven delivered a witty and self-aware slasher film that gave all the chills one would hope for and made a new horror icon in the process. Starring the likes of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and Skeet Ulrich, Scream is a crowd-pleasing horror that sparked so many copycat movies and it’s easy to see why.

The Shining (1980)

The twins in The Shining (Image: Warner Bros/Hawk Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Visionary director Stanley Kubrick took on the novel The Shining by author Stephen King, but delivered very much his own beast in the process. The hypnotic horror sees writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) take up a post caring for the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd). However, as Jack’s troubled psyche begins to unravel in the hotel, Danny experiences disturbing visions of the former living inhabitants of the hotel. Unique and otherworldly, The Shining is a cult classic for a reason.

 

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (Image: xxxxxxxxxxx)

Controversial director Roman Polanski won universal plaudits for his claustrophobic and unnerving adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. The film follows pregnant Rosemary Woodhouse (an iconic Mia Farrow) as she and her husband move into a new apartment building in New York City, but Rosemary begins to grow paranoid and believes an evil cult wishes to take her baby for their own nefarious purposes. The menacing film also won an Oscar for its supporting turn from Ruth Gordon as the Woodhouses’ villainous neighbour, Minnie Castevet.

Carrie (1976)

Sissy Spacek in Carrie (Image: REX)

Another Stephen King adaptation (and the first of his works), this supernatural horror from Brian De Palma showed the most twisted coming of age drama to come to the screen. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, an abused teenage girl who is mocked by peers at school and bullied by her religious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. However, Carrie develops telekinetic powers and soon the young girl is pushed way too far. The gory horror is best remembered for tapping into social anxiety and tragedy amidst the super-powered antics.

Psycho (1960)

Janet Leigh in Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock caused major waves upon the release of his film Psycho which threw out the standard movie rulebook and delivered shocking twists considered by many to be too depraved for their time. Despite initially focusing on the criminality of secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), Psycho took a chilling detour when she arrived at the Bates Motel and met its disturbing owner Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his “Mother”. With a terrifying score from Bernard Hermann and startling imagery, you won’t forget Psycho in a hurry. Importantly, it likely influenced most of the films on this list.

Get Out (2017)

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

The most recent film on this list found Academy Award success and is already regarded as a modern classic. Director Jordan Peele examined thought-provoking and satirical themes in the tale of young African-American man Chris (an excellent Daniel Kaluuya) who goes to stay with the family of his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). However, once staying with the picture-perfect family, Chris gets a lot more than he bargained for. Disarmingly scary and with shocks galore, Peele proved himself as a major new voice on the horror scene, which he only showed further with this year’s horror Us. Now, sink into the floor.

Think we missed any? Let us know your favourite horror movies all-time in the comments below.

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