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23 Genuinely Scary Horror Movies You Have To Watch This Halloween

It's not really Halloween unless you watch a scary movie.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to give us their genuinely scary horror movie recommendations. Here are some of their suggestions...

1. It Follows (2015)


What it's about: A teenage girl picks up a curse that's passed on through sex. The only way to get rid of the curse is to have sex with somebody else.

"It Follows has been my new favourite ever since I went to see it and was on the verge of escaping the cinema in terror the whole time. It was the definition of edge of your seat!"

– Anu Neuvonen, Facebook

2. The Witch (2015)


What it's about: Set in the 1630s, a family are exiled to a new home next to a forest. Witchy things start to happen, leading to paranoia and the family turning on one another.

"If you ever want to shit your pants, I suggest you watch this movie. It's made in such a way that you genuinely are spooked."


3. The Orphanage (2007)

Warner Bros

What it's about: A woman buys the old orphanage she was raised in and converts it into a home for sick children. When her adopted son goes missing, she starts to hear voices of the spirits that are still there.

"The scariest movie I have ever seen in my life. It still gives me chills just thinking about it."

– Yehonala Kaleal, Facebook

4. The Strangers (2008)


What it's about: A couple are staying in a house in the middle of nowhere. They're not banking on having guests, which is why it's a shock when there's a knock at the door.

"My husband and I had to shut it off the first time watching it. It could totally happen."


5. High Tension (2003)


What it's about: Alex takes her friend out into the French countryside to visit her parents, but when her parents are killed by a psychotic truck driver, the horror really begins.

"It's still the best horror film I’ve seen to date. It’s creepy, unnerving, and will leave you saying 'What just happened'."


6. Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Warner Bros

What it's about: The rules you should never break at Halloween: Wear a costume, hand out treats, never blow out a jack o’lantern, and always check your candy. A small town are about to find out what happens when these rules are broken.

"Trick 'r Treat is a definite must for Halloween. It's creepy and scary, but there is a certain delight you get from watching Halloween folklore come to life in the modern world. You get jump scares, twists and turns, creepy children, and some gore to bring it all together. One of my favourites to watch right before Halloween to get in the spirit of the holiday."

– Katherine Mallory, Facebook

7. The Smiling Man (2015)

What it's about: A little girl is home alone and soon comes face to face with evil.

"YouTube short horror films are incredibly underrated. First, they’re scary as hell. And second, they can keep the attention of anyone who can’t sit through a full length movie. The Smiling Man still haunts me every time I think about it. It’s incredibly unsettling and just fucking creepy."

Stephanie Workman

8. Them (2006)

Mars Distribution

What it's about: A story based on actual events. A couple that lives in the middle of the woods are terrorised after receiving repeated phone calls.

"A few years ago a friend and I went to see Them, not realising that it's in French with subtitles. We almost walked out because we're too basic to watch a foreign movie, but decided to stay. It was one of the most frightening movies either of us had ever seen in our lives, and I have never been able to sit through it again since."

– Andrew Campbell, Facebook

9. Dead Silence (2007)

Universal Pictures

What it's about: When his wife dies, a man returns to their hometown determined to find answers. While searching, he uncovers the legend of Mary Shaw.

"Only horror movie to ever truly make me jump. It's a doll movie, but I promise its legend is one you’ve never heard of before. 'Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, she had no children, only dolls. And if you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream.'"


10. Hush (2016)


What it's about: A deaf writer, living alone in the middle of the woods, finds herself the victim of a masked man who’s determined to find his way in.

"Not as much a horror movie as it is a nerve-wracking thriller. It puts a spin on the classic slasher that will leave you locking your doors and windows after. Truly one of my most watched and loved scary movies."


11. Darkness Falls (2003)

Columbia Pictures

What it's about: Matilda Dixon was killed by the residents of Darkness Falls when they suspected her of murdering children in the 1800s. Now the current residents are left wondering if Matilda is really gone when a little boy starts having recurring dreams about her.

"I went to see it at the cinema and let me tell you, I stayed in the light of the street lights all the way home!"

– Nicola Cross, Facebook

12. The Descent (2005)


What it's about: A group of friends go on an underground expedition to explore caves, but soon realise they are not alone.

"The Descent is terrifying. I was stupid enough to watch it on a plane, and I jumped around so much my seat-mate must have thought I was crazy. And that was after I'd already seen it once before."

– Beth Morgan, Facebook

13. As Above, So Below (2014)

Universal Pictures

What it's about: An archaeologist is obsessed with finding the philosopher’s stone, and so assembles a team to help her find it underneath Paris. However, the group are unaware that they’ve just entered their personal hell.

"Super scary movie. The concept of being so close to hell totally tripped me out for days."

– Christie Anderson, Facebook

14. Lake Mungo (2008)

Arclight Films

What it's about: A host of strange occurrences start happening to a family after their youngest daughter accidentally drowns while swimming in a lake.

"I’m a huuuuge horror fan, and not much aside from jump scares has ever really given me a major spook. That is, until Lake Mungo happened. It was so completely horrific that my heart was beating so hard I had to calm myself down. I had trouble getting to sleep that night, and that was absolutely a first for me. If you like horror movies that tell a truly disturbing tale, then definitely check out Lake Mungo."


15. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Orion Pictures

What it's about: Clarice is a student training at an FBI academy. When she is asked to interview an imprisoned psychopathic therapist to try and solve a current murder case, she meets Hannibal Lecter.

"The Silence of the Lambs scared me so much as a young teen I actually had to go to therapy for trauma. It took me six months to open up to my therapist because of the fact Hannibal Lecter was technically a therapist too."


16. May (2002)

Lions Gate Films

What it's about: When she’s rejected by multiple people, May starts to become violent in order to create her perfect friend from the parts of other people.

"My sister and I watched this movie a few years ago on Halloween. It’s about a girl who could never make friends so her best friend is a doll. She devises the way to create the “perfect” friend using human parts. Not only is it extremely awkward watching May try to make friends, but this movie will leave you on a whole new level of uncomfortable."


17. The Visit (2015)

Universal Pictures

What it's about: A brother and sister head into the countryside to stay with their grandparents, only to discover a disturbing secret about the pair.

"It creeped me out bad."


18. The Conjuring (2013)

Warner Bros

What it's about: Based on real events. Lorraine and Ed Warren are paranormal investigators asked to help the Perron family when they begin to experience paranormal activity in their new home. What they don’t know is the house’s disturbing history.

"It literally haunted me. I experienced the paranormal activity of an evil spirit witch for months after watching it. I couldn’t sleep with my feet out of the covers no matter how hot they were."


19. Event Horizon (1997)

Paramount Pictures

What it's about: Event Horizon is a spaceship that suddenly goes missing while out in space. When it reappears, a team is sent to search it, not realising what’s hiding in the corridors.

"Event Horizon is not at all what you would expect, but it's an absolutely unsettling film. It reaffirms my irrational fear of outer space."


20. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

United Artists

What it's about: A brother and sister are on a road trip back home from college when they encounter the sinister “Creeper”. The Creeper reappears every 23rd Spring for 23 days to feed, leaving the siblings racing to survive.

"I can watch it over and over and it still scares the pants off me. Guys, that van and that horn are the scariest characters in pretty much any movie ever!"

– Kathryn M Saunders, Facebook

21. Funny Games (1997)

Concorde-Castle Rock/Turner

What it's about: A pair of men hold a family hostage for their entertainment value.

Funny Games was a movie that I saw about 13 years ago and I still think about it to this day."

Jester and Sly

22. The Shining (1980)

Warner Bros

What it's about: A writer moves his family to a hotel and becomes a caretaker in the hope of curing his writer’s block. When his son starts having premonitions, Jack discovers a dark secret that turns him into a homicidal maniac.

"Every single time I watch it, it genuinely fucks me up. Just the creepy music and Jack Nicholson make for a shit-your-pants movie."


23. Halloween (1978)

Compass International Pictures

What it's about: A six-year-old is arrested and imprisoned after murdering his sister on Halloween night. 15 years later, Michael Myers escapes and heads back to his hometown to claim more victims.

"It’s hands-down a classic and still freaks me out 20 years after watching it the first time."


Note: submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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