If there is one thing Halloween does well, besides getting women to willingly walk around half-naked, it’s taking us out of our mundane lives for a few weeks. A good scare gets all the right bodily juices flowing, especially if it involves a severed arm courtesy of an axe-wielding psychopath. With only a few more days left in the season, here are five must-see movies that will make you feel so alive that you won’t sleep for days…or else.
5) “Night of the Living Dead” (the original)
George Romero’s cult classic that taught the world to fear the dead for entirely new reasons. The zombie apocalypse has never been scarier than it was in the 60s, as a group of survivors barricade themselves in a deserted farmhouse with a horde of flesh-hungry undead just dying to get inside. Cut off from the world of the living, they must decide whether to hold up in the relative safety of the house or try to escape zombie infection by truck. One wrong move can lead to being torn to shreds, but as an audience, you can’t go wrong with this haunting film about traumatic stress, teamwork, and zombies.
4) “Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn”
Before he was telling Tobey Maguire how to shoot webs, Sam Raimi was scaring a whole generation with the Evil Dead series. “Dead By Daw”n is the sequel to the original “Evil Dead,” but this one is the manic ride you’ll want to share with all your squeamish friends. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is trapped in a lone cabin out in the middle of the woods with only his girlfriend and an evil spirit to keep him company. There’s no time to rest, as the spirit uses everything it can to get at Ash’s soul, from the dancing corpse of his girlfriend to his own right hand. Between the tears of laughter and fear, “Dead By Dawn” will have you asking for more at the cost of your eternal soul.
3) “Drag Me To Hell”
Sami Raimi returns to his roots in this 2009 scare fest. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is cursed by an elderly gipsy for denying the creepy hag a bank loan. Now she has three days to remove the curse or else the evil demon harassing Christine will drag her to hell for all eternity. With a better cast and budget than ever before, Raimi teaches us to fear everything that we can’t see and what we can’t hide from. Look away as many times as you like—this movie will haunt your mind long after the credits roll and when your friends leave you at the mercy of every shadow in your room.
2) “The Thing”
Introducing the No. 1 reason why you should never go to Antarctica. John Carpenter not only scares you in this 80s horror classic, but will have you sitting as far from your friends as possible. Watch as a scientific expedition goes awry when the team discovers that an alien is among them. Here’s the selling point: the alien can mutate and inhabit the body of anyone and anything it finds. It’s a movie that revolutionized blood and gore in film.” The Thing” will leave you emotionally, psychologically, and bodily drain. Guaranteed.
1) “The Exorcist”
A rite of passage for anyone who believes that they can handle the best scares cinema has to offer. Chances are you have heard of “The Exorcist” already. Better yet, you may have even been trying to avoid the film for all these years. Now is the perfect time to confront the nightmare. In this 1973 horror masterpiece, a demon is on the loose and set up shop in a young girl living in D.C. A priest is called in to remove the evil spirit, but will the power of his faith be enough to exorcise the demon? If you want to grow as a person, or die a little inside, this is the film that you have to see.
Unless you’re a chicken, that is.