Thursday Thirteen: Favorite Scary Movies

I scare very easily.

Ask anybody in my family and they'll tell you I'm the biggest chicken they know. But, despite my inability to not cover my face while watching a horror film, I'm headed out to the video store to get some scary movies for tomorrow night's Halloween festivities. I want to get "Something Wicked This Way Comes" but I have a feeling that might be too scary for my boys.

Anyway, since it's time for a little Thursday Thirteen action, here's some of my favorite scary movies, in no particular order:

Thirteen Favorite Scary Movies

1) Fright Night - Chris Sarandon made an incredible vampire in 1985's Fright Night. I grew up in a neighborhood with old houses and I was convinced most of them were haunted. Plus, there were always some weirdos living in the house on our right, so the premise of a vampire living next door was not all that far fetched. I even think I bit my brother's arm in the theater because I was so scared. Fright Night gets extra cool points because it has Roddy McDowell as a local scary movie host. He totally reminded me of Chicagoland's Son of Svengoolie.2) The Others: This 2001 film starring Nicole Kidman scared me/stressed me out so much that it gave me a headache. Nicole plays this woman who lives on the Isle of Jersey with her two children at the end of World War II. And then spooky things start to happen... which caused me to run out of the room a couple of times. It's got an eerie twist that you'll definitely love.3) Shadow of the Vampire: This year 2000 take on the making of the vampire film Nosferatu stars one of my favorite actors, John Malkovich, as well as esteemed actor Willem Dafoe. The whole premise is that the actor playing Nosferatu is not really an actor. Who is he? You'll have to watch to find out. I bought the DVD because it's such a good film, but I have never watched it. Parts of it scare me too much.

4) Horror of Dracula: I watched a lot of Hammer Productions horror films growing up. The very first Dracula film, 1958's Horror of Dracula, starring Peter Cushing and Christoper Lee really scared me as a child. No, I wasn't alive in 1958 but scary movies were on WFLD every Saturday night during the aforementioned Son of Svengoolie show. I'm not sure if this film would scare me now, but it definitely did back then.

5) Sleepy Hollow: I've probably seen this Tim Burton directed take on Washington Irving's classic story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" a dozen times since it's 1999 release. Christopher Walken is the Headless Horseman and the delicious Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane.

6) House of Usher: I've heard that when I was a little girl I met Vincent Price. I don't remember it but I love him in this 1960 film. In this version of the classic Poe story, "The Fall of the House of Usher", Price is absolutely frightening as Roderick Usher. Some of it is a little cheesy, but it's still scary.7) Poltergeist: After seeing this 1982 film, I was totally afraid to turn on the TV. I remember thinking something was going to snatch me through it. I know I'm not the only one who thought this because my husband just told me he always thought the same thing. Is that why we're married?8) The Evil Dead: My mom rented this 1981 cult horror classic back when I was in high school. I remember how in the first five minutes some college kids happen upon a cabin in the woods, and while they're standing outside knocking on the door, the porch swing moves and slams itself up against the side of the house. With that, even though nothing else had happened, I was done. I was so scared that I went upstairs to my room to read Jane Eyre. Yep, I left my mom all by herself. I heard her screaming though and that was enough for me.

8.1) The Grudge: Maybe I shouldn't count "Evil Dead" since I haven't really seen it. So, I'll put "The Grudge" in as number eight instead. My sister made me watch this 2004 film and I was scared for about three months afterwards. I'd jump at shadows, constantly convinced that something was going to emerge from them. Actually, I still get scared when I think about this movie. I won't be watching the Japanese original anytime soon.

9) The Exorcist: Who wasn't scared by this 1973 horror film? Seriously, seeing Linda Blair's head spin around was just the tip of the iceberg with this one. I'll bet this movie single-handedly made projectile vomiting and ouija boards go out of style.
10) Curse of the Demon: This 1957 British horror flick is one of my mom's favorites and it's quickly become one of my favorites too. Imagine if someone gives you a piece of paper with some writing on it. No problem, right? Well, except that it means you're going to be killed within three days by a demon, unless you can reverse the hex by giving the paper back to the person who gave it to you first. No blood or gore but it's really good!
11) From Hell: This 2001 take on the Jack the Ripper story is another film where I spent a lot of time covering my eyes. Even though it's got some delicious eye candy in the form of my favorite, Johnny Depp, it definitely has super scary and suspenseful moments! It's also a bit bloody at times, but what do you expect from a Jack the Ripper story?
12) Salem's Lot: Ok, technically it's not a "film" because it's a TV mini-series. BUT, this version of the classic Stephen King book of the same name scared the pants off me. I was terrified by the scene of the vampire boy scratching at the second-story window of his friend. Not that I thought somebody would be scratching at my window, but, again, when you grow up in an old, spooky house, you never know.

13) The Ninth Gate: I don't quite understand the ending, but this movie still really scared me. Johnny Depp (yes, I know...I'm a fan) stars as a rare book dealer hired by Frank Langella to determine the authenticity of a book called the Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows. But before you know it, my favorite scary film hottie gets in over his head with some devil worshipers and, quite possibly, goes over to the dark side himself.

So that's my 13 Favorite Scary Movies. I need to head to the video store now. What about you? What's your favorite scary movie?

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Tafari said…
The Ninth Gate
From Hell
Sleepy Hollow
Nigthmare On Elm Street 1-3
Candy Man 1
Child's Play
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
An American Haunting
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Rosemary's Baby
Haute Tension

Let me stop, I could go on & on!!!
Anonymous said…
There's so many here I haven't seen! I should have a marathon-but not until my fiance comes home from his roadtrip!
Anonymous said…

Also freaking scary:

THE RING ("seven days")
THE BAD SEED (1956; 1985)
Anonymous said…
The Others was one of my fave films ever.
Anonymous said…
Great list! I can't watch The Exorcist by myself EVER, but I love the movie. I also love the Grudge movies (both Japanese and American). I was very nervous and twitchy for a while after watching them, though. The Ring, too.
Liz Dwyer said…
You have some GOOD ones on your list. That Candyman movie was another one I only lasted about 10 minutes in. SO scary!

LOL! I hear you. I'm up right now all alone, scaring myself to death watching "An American Haunting" on SciFi channel. I need to quit because it is really scaring me! I know it got terrible reviews but it's scary!

I haven't seen any of those other ones. I've heard The Ring is one of the scariest films to come out for a long time. I'm too scared to watch it.

The Others is so well done! It's a good movie, period, regardless of genre.

I've never even tried to watch The Exorcist alone. I can't imagine doing so. You're brave! After watching The Grudge I had a hard time going in the bathroom at my job, I was scared walking down hallways, and I'd freak out when I'd wake up and feel something crawling into bed with me... fortunately it was just my kids sneaking in! :)
Shiona said…
Love Johnny Depp. I loved the Others as well. I'm with you guys on the Exorcist and Poltergeist. That movie scares me to high heaven for some reason.
Great list.

The Others freaked me out!
The Exorcist is a classic. I cannot watch it alone.

Night of the Living Dead (the original) and 28 Days are good, scary zombie movies.

Rosemary's Baby was also a creepy movie. I like Mia Farrow's pixie though.

I also recommend The Orphanage. It was excellent! It should be out on DVD by now. If not look out for it.
Liz Dwyer said…
Johnny's been in a lot of scary movies, hasn't he? :) And all three of those are so scary to me. Whew!

Rosemary's Baby was definitely creepy. I almost added it but I couldn't figure out which other one to leave out. I'll look out for the Orphanage but I might have to wait till my sister comes to visit. She loves scary movies and doesn't get that scared in them and it makes me feel a little better.
Anonymous said…
You know it's a really good scary movie if you turn the sound down and your still scared!!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
BZ said…
Happy Halloween!! Have fun with the boys. I'll be taking pictures of my nieces tonight! They're too young to do the scary thing, yet. But, I can't wait 'til they're old enough to enjoy it! I love Vincent Price!
Lisa Johnson said…
I'm a Johnny Depp fan too, so always nice to see his work. I don't think I've seen "The Ninth Gate."

I get scared really easy though, so I just can't watch some of these. I do love vampire shows and movies though. "The Devil's Advocate" with Keaneau Reeves scared me for months.

Happy Halloween! : )
Kalisha/ Reneca said…
Great TT list of scary movies...I would say that The Others had me creeped out--plus I'm not good at following a twist in the plot and finding out the family were ghosts was a great twist.

Check out my TT...
1969 said…
You are definitely missing The Ring. One of my favorites.

Also, the original Omen? SCARY!!!!
Toni Campbell said…
Although I did love The Others, I will be the dissenter here and say that I gave up on scary movies. A couple of years ago while watching a film (don't remember which one), I realized that I held my breath the entire time! After that I decided that I don't like being scared and I was no longer going to pay to be so. Real life is scary enough!
Sundry said…
I agree with Cynimatic about The Orphanage and Devil's Backbone.

I'd add the super-creepy Session Nine to the list. It's scaring me just to think about it! It was filmed in an abandoned asylum and the DVD extras only add to the creepiness!
Anonymous said…
I was gonna ask you why didn't you think 'The Ring' was scary, but then I read in the comments that you haven't seen it. I just assume everyone has seen that movie. It is the one and only movie to mess me up to the extent it did. I swore never to watch it again, and I will NEVER see 'Ringu' (the original version). OMG, the ending.... I am not the same person I was when I sat down to watch that movie!

'The Others', however, was soooo on point. I haven't seen it in such a long time that I forgot it ever existed. That was a brilliant movie. I think I'm gonna put it on my Christmas list.

BTW, love the blog and your lists!
Liz Dwyer said…
Why turn the sound down when you can just totally leave the room, right??? LOL! Wish you were here last night to be scared with me!

Vincent Price was the MAN! My boys had such a good time last night. There is more candy here than should be legally allowed!

Hope you had a happy Halloween too! Definitely check out The Ninth Gate. It's based on a book and I should read it so that I can "get" the movie more. But, it has some genuinely scary moments and also pokes a bit of fun at folks who believe they can conjure up the devil. Devil's Advocate is a scary one too, for sure.

I'm not so good at following plot twists either but The Others wasn't too convoluted, thank goodness. Sometimes I'm left scratching my head with those. Hope you had a great Halloween!

The Omen was definitely scary! I think part of my fear of dogs comes from that film. As for The Ring, I was so scarred by The Grudge that I don't think I can do that one!

Yes, real life is truly scary enough, that's for sure. I don't watch scary movies too frequently because I worry that watching things with evil themes sort of puts them into your psyche, like watching a ghost story makes you attractive to evil spirits. I know a lot of folks think that's so crazy but you never know!

That sounds VERY scary. I'm sure the atmosphere in that asylum added to the scary nature of the film.

See, the way you reacted to The Ring is how I felt after watching The Grudge. I remember having to go into work on a Sunday after that and after I got off the elevator I couldn't walk down the hallway because it was sort of dark and I was SCARED!

So glad you like the blog though. Hope you come back to visit me again!
April said…
I'm a Hitchcock girl. The Birds, Rear Window...obviously many more, but those 2 are my faves.
Liz Dwyer said…
I love Rear Window! The Birds is super creepy, isn't it? I can't look at huge flocks of birds without thinking of it.

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