Watching scary movies, reading something creepy, or playing spooky video games gets you in the perfect mood to write something spine-tingling and chilling this Halloween. So, I’ve assembled a (small) collection of movies, TV shows, and video games to frighten and entertain you, but most importantly, inspire you! Hopefully, there’s something that captures your imagination, though I will say, my horror and scary movie repertoire is somewhat limited (especially books). So, I’d love to hear what your additions to my list might be!
When it comes to scary movies, I like mine psychological. Here is a quick, short yet not-so-sweet list of horror movies I think everyone should get around to watching.
IT (2017) – Director: Andrés Muschietti
This remake only came out recently and is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The movie is perfectly creepy, capturing the fear we can all remember feeling as a child even while scaring you as an adult. Pennywise the clown is an eponymous being, kinda like the boggart in the Harry Potter universe. He feeds on the fears of the children and all the movie-goers in the theatre. Skarsgard’s Pennywise is incredibly unnerving to watch, he seems to be everywhere watching. I think director Muschietti summarised him best when he said “the character has a childish and sweet demeanour, but there’s something very off about him. He can be sweet and cute, but he can be pretty disturbing”.
The Strangers (2008) – Director: Bryan Bertino
I haven’t seen this movie in years, but I remember it being one of the first scary movies I watched with my friends. It’s a classic and it fits the Halloween movie night vibe perfectly. The Strangers perfects building up the tension right from the start and slowly builds throughout the movie. You’ll be on the edge of your seat the whole time and be enjoying every second – well sort of.
Hush (2016) – Director: Mike Flanagan
Hush is a more recent discovery of mine, you can watch it on Netflix as I have done several times. The main character is deaf. She’s the victim of a serial killer home intruder who takes an interest in her. One of the things I love about this movie is that the main character does everything right. It’s terrifying and thrilling to watch the film and see her do everything right (read: everything I’m yelling at her to do) and still have her life hanging by a thread.
Orphan (2009) – Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Another movie I watched during my first forays into the horror genre. Orphan if you ask me, is a classic with notable horror actress Vera Farmiga playing the role of adoptive mother to Esther. One thing that always leaves me with a sense of disquiet is children in movies. You know the ones. Creepy, staring, saying weird things in their prepubescent high-pitched yet oddly calm voices. It makes you uncomfortable. This is one of those.
Spooky TV Shows
Television is one of my epic loves and I do enjoy watching copious amounts of tv in one sitting. So, I’ve broken down two creepy must-watches below. But, I think it’s important to include some honourable mentions first. American Horror Story is, of course, an obvious fit for a chill-inducing creeps, but I’d also recommend Van Helsing for some vampiric thrills and Teen Wolf for everything from werewolves to wendigoes.
Stranger Things (2016-present) – The Duffer Brothers
“When we encounter danger, our hearts start pounding. Our palms start to sweat. These are signs of the physical and emotional state we call fear.”
If you haven’t watched this yet you need to. It’s been described as a love letter to the eighties and the kids are incredibly engaging to watch, not to mention Winona Ryder. Packed full of great music, beautiful cars, everything eighties, and a whole bunch of creepy, Stranger Things is the perfect mildly disturbing series to binge watch. And trust me you will, every episode leaves you wanting more. The second season just released on Netflix so there is no better time to watch it than right now (which is literally what I’m doing as I write this post).
The Walking Dead (2010 – present) – Frank Darabont
The Walking Dead is perhaps a predictable addition to this list. But you really can’t go past zombies. Even if they only walk pretty slow.
Chilling Video Games
Personally, I watch a lot more video games than I actually play. This has two reasons – number one, my gaming skills are pretty poor, and number two, my brother plays a lot of playstation.
Outlast (2013) – Red Barrels Studio
I’ve watched a few YouTubers play this one and I may have dropped my phone on several occasions. It is full of jump scares and a strange storyline but if you’re looking to get scared, this one is very much for you!
Silent Hill (1999) – Konami, Team Silent
This one is a bit older than the other two on the list and I have never played it myself. But I did see the (very confusing) movie based on the game. The reason I’ve included it on my list is because of the nightmares it gave my older brother for several months after he watched other people play it. So apparently, it’s pretty scary. Proceed with caution.
Until Dawn (2015) – Supermassive Games
An interactive horror experience with a make-your-own ending. There is a butterfly effect of each decision the player makes as well as QTE’s throughout gameplay. The characters might even have some familiar faces and voices with the likes of Rami Malek and Hayden Panettiere in the cast. Each character has a unique personality and the relationships between characters are quite interesting. This game has some quality jumpscares in it and the OTE’s certainly add to the stress.
While I’ve seen my fair share of scary movies, I haven’t read as many scary books. However, I am starting my horror-book experience with Firestarter by Stephen King, a legend in the genre. So, what horror books would you recommend?