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10 scary movies to watch this October

12:00 04 October 2015

Are these the scariest Halloween movies?

Are these the scariest Halloween movies?

Halloween is drawing closer - so get into the spirit with a movie-fest this month.
Here we list 10 must-see scary movies to watch in the run-up to Halloween.

The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock pictured on the set of PsychoThe Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock pictured on the set of Psycho

Which is your favourite? Is it on the list? If not, tell us using the comments section below.

World War Z

Released in 2013, this apocalyptic action horror film starring Brad Pitt is the highest grossing zombie film of all time.

The film premiered in London on June 2, 2013 ahead of its US launch in both 2D and 3D. The big-budget movie (which cost £190m to make) pulled in $540m at the box office.

World Warz follows retired UN investigator Gerry Lane (played by Pitt), his wife Karin, and their two daughters as manage to escape Philadelphia after a zombie outbreak.

The outbreak affects metropolitan areas around the world and anyone bitten by the creatures become zombies themselves.

Lane and his family take shelter with a Hispanic family in Newark while waiting for special evacuation the next day, thanks to Gerry’s friend UN Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umuntoni.

Brad Pitt in  World War ZBrad Pitt in World War Z

Their hosts choose not to accompany them when they flee the next day, and are subsequently bitten and changed by zombies. Their son, Tommy, manages to escape, and Gerry’s family takes him in.

The Descent

Released in 2005, this may not be a big-name film but it is listed as one of the top 10 British movies of all time by the BFI.

The movie, like predecessors Jaws and Alien, manages to terrify viewers before the true horror even really begins.

The BFI says: “Neil Marshall’s account of six ill-fated women who embark on the caving expedition from hell is just about as exciting as it comes. Even in advance of the monsters turning up, it’s an ordeal to watch these thrill-seekers make their way through the claustrophobic subterranean labyrinth, and therein lies Marshall’s masterstroke: to craft a horror film that is completely terrifying before the actual horror begins.”

The Ring

Naomi Watts stars as investigative reporter Rachel Keller, in The RingNaomi Watts stars as investigative reporter Rachel Keller, in The Ring

American supernatural psychological horror film The Ring was critically acclaimed for its reliance on dread and visuals over blood and gore.

A journalist investigates a mysterious video that caused her niece and many others to die of fright, only to find its deadly grip closing around herself as well.

Anyone who sees the video is said to die within seven days.....but has journalist Rachel Keller, played by Naomi Watts, found a way to break the cycle?

This terrifying film, released in 2002, is best not watched alone.

The Exorcist

This film is synonymous with the genre, and even those who haven’t seen it could give you a run down of the plot.

The ExorcistThe Exorcist

The Exorcist is often described as being the one of the most disturbing films to ever hit the big screen.

Released in 1973, the film centres around a teenage girl who is possessed by a mysterious entity.

In desperation, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Are you brave enough to watch the rest?

The Addams Family

Okay, so this doesn’t fall into the ‘hide-behind-the-sofa-cushion’ category but if you are looking for a more family-friendly Halloween then why not invite Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Wednesday, Pugsley, Cousin Itt, and Thing into your home.

This 1991 classic follows from the cartoon of the same name and is a must-see for juniors.

The Addams Family is more fun that fearsomeThe Addams Family is more fun that fearsome

The Shining

Jack Nicholson stars in this iconic horror film, which was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick.

The film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining, although there are some significant differences - which upset some fans of the book when it was originally released in 1980.

Film critics have applauded the film for its significant “influence on popular culture”.

The Shining was listed fifth in The Guardian’s top horror films of all time in 2010. Was it worthy of its ranking?

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense
 - Haley Joel OsmentThe Sixth Sense - Haley Joel Osment

It was the film that launched Haley Joel Osment’s career and spurned the unforgettable line “I see dead people.”

The Sixth Sense, released in 1999, is based on a boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they are dead.

His mother seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist, played by Bruce Willis.

The supernatural thriller won six Academy Award nominations and was highly praised by critics and film-goers alike for its unusual twist.


Our list would not be complete without this genre-defining thriller starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s low-budget black and white blockbuster was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Alfred HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock

And it is easy to understand why. Pyscho is widely-considered to be Hitchcock’s career-defining work, and is ranked among the best films of all time.

If you haven’t already seen this cult classic, now could be the time.


Low budget doesn’t always mean low grade - as Ethan Hawke proves in this 2012 release which cost just $3m to produce.

Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

And from there the drama begins....

The relatively low-budget offering returned a healthy $87.7 million at the box office proving that simple atmosphere and tension can win over big budget death scenes.

Actress Janet Leigh played the wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller Actress Janet Leigh played the wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Psycho" was credited with making generations of film fans think twice about stepping into a motel room shower

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

According to film review site Rotten Tomatoes, the old ones are the best. And in their countdown of the top Halloween movies of all time this 1920s horror offering is top.

They say it is arguably the first true horror film, and that is set a brilliantly high bar for the genre .

This classic silent horror film has vivid expressionistic imagery which remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.

Francis’ investigation of his friend’s murder leads him to suspect that the killer was a zombie-like sleepwalker under the hypnotic control of the diabolical Dr. Caligari but was he right? You will have to brave all 52 minutes to find out.


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