Ten Horror Movies That Will Keep You Up This Halloween Night

From classics to modern thrillers, these ten movies are a must-watch for any horror lover.

  The Shining (1980)

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

This Stephen King horror story has been a cult classic for years, and for good reason.  The story follows a man (played by Jack Nicholson) who is hired to watch over a hotel for the winter, but gets more than he signed up for when he arrives.  He, his wife Wendy, and son Danny are trapped in a cursed hotel, haunted by the ghosts of previous owners.  This movie, which certainly deserves its R-rating, is probably not a good choice for family movie night, but its subtle horror, eerie soundtrack and riveting plotline make it a story that has withstood the test of time.

Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

A relatively new movie, Gehenna: Where Death Lives is guaranteed to stick with you for a long time.  After the disturbing opening sequence set many years earlier, the movie begins on a bright, unintimidating note, with a construction group scouting out a location for a new resort in Saipan.  It takes a turn for the worse when they come across an abandoned World War II bunker and decide to check inside.  Having angered the local tribe, the group finds themselves at the mercy of an ancient evil. Although the intense horror throughout the movie may make you want to quit early, the twist ending is worth the wait—but you have to watch it to find out.

  As Above, So Below (2014)

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

Like Gehenna, the plot of As Above, So Below revolves around a group of people trapped with an evil force they cannot control, but rather than a bunker, this story takes place in the catacombs of Paris.  When a group of friends finds themselves trapped in the catacombs on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone, they must fight for their lives against ghosts from their past.  This movie uses a first-person, found-footage format similar to The Blair Witch Project, which makes it an even more unsettling and personal watching experience.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Where to watch: HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

Another classic, The Silence of the Lambs, is a movie that many people have fallen in love with.  Not for the faint of heart, this movie features two serial killers, one who is locked up in a mental institution for being both a murderer and a cannibal, and one who is still at large, killing innocent women.  An FBI agent named Clarice Starling is assigned the job of talking to Hannibal Lecter, the killer behind bars, because he is believed to have information on the other killer, Buffalo Bill.  Things don’t go exactly as planned, and a complex, bloody mystery follows.  This is a good movie to watch if you truly love horror, but can be a little bit too much for some.

The Exorcist (1973)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

The Exorcist is often considered the first true horror movie, and rattled the nation with its terrifying plotline.  When Regen, a young girl, begins acting strangely, her mother tries to find medical help to no avail.  Eventually, a priest realizes that she is possessed by the devil, and he works alongside another priest to help Regen get rid of her peculiar condition.  Although not quite as horrifying as some other movies, The Exorcist marks the beginning of the modern age when it comes to horror movies, and is a cultural classic.

The Ring (2002)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

Based off a Japanese horror movie from 1998, The Ring is a truly terrifying and twisted story.  The movie’s plot hits the ground running with a disturbing sequence involving a girl watching a cursed video tape and dying under mysterious circumstances seven days later.  Rachel, the main character, teams up with her ex-husband Noah to investigate the mystery behind the unsettling images shown on the cursed tape, and together unravel the tragic backstory of a young girl named Samara.  Despite its PG-13 rating, this movie—and the video tape itself, which is shown throughout—are truly frightening, and is guaranteed to keep viewers up at night, wondering if they themselves have been cursed by Samara.

Rings (2017)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Hulu

Rings is a more modern sequel to The Ring, its counterpart.  Similar to the original, this movie centralizes around the same videotape, which had by this point attracted a subculture of people obsessed with discussing and investigating it.  The main character Julia is dating a boy called Holt who is fascinated by the curse and is working on unfolding the mystery.  When Julia finds out that Holt watched the video and will die in seven days, she decides to save his life by copying the tape and watching it herself.  Julia makes the shocking discovery of a second, similarly cryptic video hidden within the first, so she and Holt make it their mission to find out more about this hidden video within Julia’s remaining lifespan of seven days.  Rings, while interesting and scary, is not quite as jarring as The Ring – but it is still a good choice for fans of the original.

The Boy (2016)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Netflix

The Boy centers around a classic horror movie theme: dolls.  The movie begins with a woman named Greta who is hired as a nanny for a couple in an isolated area of England.  She is glad for the job, but when she arrives, she finds out that the couple’s “child” is actually a child-sized doll which they care for as if it were their son.  Though slightly unsettled, Greta accepts the job anyway, but when the doll begins to move on its own, she realizes that the job was a little more than she bargained for.  Although this movie’s plot is somewhat clichéd, it does have its charms, and it is a slightly tamer alternative for horror fans looking for a casual but creepy movie.

Seven (1995)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Netflix

More of a mystery than a thriller, Seven follows the journey of two detectives hot on the trail of a serial killer who murders people in grotesque ways based on each of the Seven Deadly Sins.  This movie is a must-watch for fans of psychological horror and gore –  or just for the famous cast.  Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman co-star as detectives David Mills and William Somerset, and the two well-known actors do an amazing job of making this movie a memorable experience for everyone who watches it.  The plot is exciting, and the movie relies on embedded horror rather than jump scares, but it is definitely not the movie for you if you are squeamish about gore.  All in all, Seven is a thrilling tale from beginning to end, and although it isn’t a traditional horror movie, it is certainly worth a watch.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Netflix

Known for its iconic line, “I see dead people,” The Sixth Sense is a horror classic that could even be suitable for a younger audience.  The movie follows Dr. Malcom Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child psychologist who has taken up the peculiar case of a young boy named Cole Sear after having a violent break-in to his home just months earlier.  Cole confides in him about his mysterious ability to see and interact with people who have died with unfinished business, and Crowe tries to uncover more about the case only to discover some unsettling truths that he had never seen coming.  Packed full of subtle horror and few grotesque images, this is a good starter movie for those who are interested in the genre.