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Alright, I’ll be festive and go with the Halloween shenanigans of today.

I like all kinds of movies, including a good Horror movie, but sadly that genre has more duds than truly scary ones. With that in mind, it was incredibly easy for me to compile this list of my 10 Favorite Horror Movies, because it takes a lot to scare or shock me and this group of movies are the handful of Horror Movies that elicited real reactions of horror from me.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!!

10. Drag Me To Hell

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This movie wasn’t SCARY per-say, but it definitely falls into that Horror category based on the voodoo-esque theme of the movie. The film follows an innocent farm-girl (Alison Lohman) who has started a new life in the big city as Banker. She has no choice but to make an executive decision about an elderly gyspsy (Lorna Raver), who in turn puts a curse on poor Christine and terror ensues. Because I have such a strange sense of humor, I found the gorey and shocking moments hilarious. Sometimes that’s my reaction to really well done terrorizing moments, and Sam Raimi did an excellent job with this movie. Though it doesn’t scare me, it is totally entertaining and I watch it pretty regularly.

9. The Omen

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This 70’s Classic is a classic for a few reasons. The idea of a demonic little boy torturing his mother so quietly and unassumingly is a chilling concept. The other reason is that the kid who was cast to play Devil-spawn Damien (Harvey Spencer Stevens) is perfect because at times you want to believe he’s a good kid underneath and most times you are scared to even look at him. The movie is also really well written, as mysteries unfold and the suspense builds. I often go years in between viewings, so I’m always intrigued and shocked at the details of the story.

8. Rosemary’s Baby

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I’ve seen this movie several times, and I always tend to react the same way. “How could he?” is one major reaction I have when watching this film about an actor who literally sells his wife to the devil to boost his career. Mia Farrow, playing the titular character, does an amazingly subtle job of being the doting wife, and takes the character in a new direction once she realizes what is what. The end scene is always chilling, like the very first time you see the movie. CLASSIC stuff!

7. Alien

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While most might dub this movie Sci-Fi, given the space travel and all that, the movie wins because it’s so suspenseful and scary. The now ICONIC character Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) watches her entire crew get picked off one by one by a beastly alien and eventually she’s stuck on this big dark spaceship with the mammoth monster. Ridley Scott is a genius, and the darkness of the cinematography just adds to the terror. We can’t forget about the classic shock-value scene when the alien is born! The rest of the “Alien” franchise went more in a Sci-Fi/Action direction, making this first one stand out because it’s so bone-chillingly terrifying.

6. The Blair Witch Project

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Kudos to Daniel Myrick and company for approaching the Horror genre in a totally original way, a way that would set the trend for future subpar horror films (*cough, “Paranormal Activity”). The film is shot on a very lo-fi camcorder to add to the idea that it’s real (something the advertising wanted the masses to believe), and it follows three Documentarians who go to a small town to investigate the Blair Witch myth. Lots of complaints came in that nothing really happened, but I remember watching this in the theater and getting chills with very small things. Like the placement of rocks, or a huge wind chill, those little things mean more in the context and worked for me. The crew eventually gets lost in the woods and the Blair Witch messes with their minds in small but significant ways, leading up the unfortunate end. I think the movie was great, I haven’t watched it in a while, but I was truly scared when watching it and I always appreciate something creative and new.

5. The Thing

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Even with the limited special effects of the time, this movie STILL grosses me out, and in a good way. The story of a crew stuck in the Antarctic with a shape-shifting, body-snatching, killer alien among them is so scary because you just never know who is who and what is what. Although it is sort of a pyschological scare, the effects are so well placed and the cast is really good at selling the fear and paranoia a situation like that would cause. Easily one of John Carpenter‘s finest moments.

4. Scream

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This 1996 flick resurrected the slasher film, and in such an intriguing and interesting way. The teenagers tormented in this small town by a mask wearing psycho killer were so cynical and immune to death and horror that they laughed at the clichés. Making the movie part comedy, but also amping up the actual horror because it always came so unexpectedly. Wes Craven did a great job, and the writing on this movie is so quick and witty and scary and gruesome. It’s amazing they were able to find the balance between the humor and horror, and that’s why it will go down as a 90’s Classic.

3. Poltergeist

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Like “Scream”, this movie combines a sense of comedy with the horrific idea of a family being haunted by evil spirits who have kidnapped their youngest child. I love the movie though because the Freeling family are set up to be so likable and down to earth, so we viewers relate to them before any of the ghostly shenanigans take place. Once they do start happening, the actors do a great job of reacting realistically (kudos to Oliver Robbins who seemed TRULY terrified during the Tree-incident). Ultimately it’s a very entertaining and fun movie, with some really terrifying effects and moments of shock.

2. The Shining

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I saw this movie last year in a theater, and when I tell you it scared me to my core… I’m not exaggerating. I was in the theater shivering and just overwhelmed with fear. The whole concept of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) with his wife and kid secluded in this huge hotel during the winter is frightening enough, add the fact that the kid can hear people’s inner thoughts and see and hear grotesque ghosts in the hotel. And add the fact that Daddy Torrance is getting crazier by the moment, you’ve got a story that is bound to give you nightmares. Stanley Kubrick‘s direction is what really makes this movie so frightening. The different techniques and directorial decisions he made pay off, because as a viewer you are NEVER at ease and constantly in suspense. It’s so creepy and sinister and … well see for yourself.

1. The Exorcist

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When I was 10, I was told this was the scariest movie ever made… and I thought I could handle it. Well, I couldn’t sleep for over a week because the movie just warped my fragile little mind, and I didn’t even watch the entire thing. Years later as an adult, I have to agree that this movie is THE scariest movie, and not just because of all the head-spinning, crucifix masturbation, and projectile vomit. The movie is really scary with the unspoken and unseen elements. I have to give credit to Linda Blair who completely sold the idea that she was an innocent little girl whose body had been taken over by the devil. And Ellen Burstyn gives a KNOCK OUT performance of the worried and frightened mother, who has no choice but to call in an Exorcist to remove the devil from her daughters body. I have yet to read the book, but I’ve heard it’s even scarier than this flick, so … it might take me a while to muster up the courage to read it.

There you have it.

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