From Classics to Present Day…These Ten Movies Make for a Spooky Halloween!
The evening is dark, the wind blows, a porch swing creaks…it’s a chilly fall night. The perfect time to build a fire and put in a spooky movie. Halloween has long been the season for such films…here are some if the best out there. I adore this genre and have chosen my all time favorites. I’m big on the classic tales that build suspense slowly… never giving away what lurks down a shadowy hallway.
So, lock the door, grab some popcorn… these are the films that grip you and don’t let go.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock… a master of suspense. I’ll open with Hitchcock because he makes my list twice. It’s been 45 years and still Norman Bates is known for running the creepiest motel in town. There’s a reason for the vacancies…and it’s not the economy! Check in to this movie…it’s one of the very best out there.
The Birds (1963)
Here, Hitchcock takes you on a drive up the California coast to Bodega Bay. Not all is well in this sleepy town. Tippy Hedren stars as a visitor making a weekend delivery of two love birds. Soon, she finds herself terrorized and no where is safe.
Directed by Tobe Hopper, Poltergeist is a movie that lingers with you. The neighborhood could be a new development anywhere, the family are great neighbors. It’s the idyllic, safe community but the terror lurks on the inside here…not on the nearly paved streets of this subdivision.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg and based on the book by Jay Anson. The Amityville Horror is set on Long Island. This beautiful house holds a murderous past. When the new buyers purchase the home, they soon realize that it’s not the bargain they thought.
It’s a wonder, with movies like these, that anyone still lives on Long Island at all! Set in Amity, Long island and directed by Steven Spielberg. Here is the classic that has kept us all out of the water. You can watch it again and again. This movie is for the ages and has set on the benchmark on suspense. I live on Lake Erie…and I look for sharks at the beach!
The Orphanage (2016)
This Spanish film, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, is also known as El Orfanato. In Spanish, with English subtitles, this is an amazing movie. A woman and her family return to a manor which previously was an orphanage. The suspense is riveting and this movie is all about the unknown. I recommend this to anyone looking for a smart psychological thriller that will keep you spellbound.
Okay…can you do a Halloween list and leave this off? This money maker opened the door for so many horror films to follow. Directed by John Carpenter. It’s scary, gruesome and makes you yell at the characters as if they are in your living room. It’s just a great film.
The Exorcist (1973)
This movie was adapted from the 1971 by William Blatty. Nominated for ten Academy Awards. It does not get scarier than this. Linda Blair stars as the young girl in this film that will keep you awake at night. The Exorcist well deserves it’s two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.
When A Stranger Calls (1979)
Maybe it’s because I earned my spending money as a babysitter in the early 1980’s. This film crept into my head every time I checked the children. Every time. Directed by Fred Watson. This movie, of a babysitter who receives some creepy calls, will keep you on the end of your seat.
The Haunting (1963)
Based on the amazing book “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson. This is my favorite ghoulish movie ever. Directed by Robert Wise and set in an old mansion. Things go bump in the night alright… and the visitors at Hill House are less than welcome. This movie is a classic and what scares you the very most is what you do not see. Not to be missed…this film is what makes you think you just heard a noise upstairs.