15 Best Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween

Spooktober is here, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for a horror movie marathon! Horror movies have evolved over decades and reinvented itself many times to keep dishing out its intended effect. We now have sub genres under the horror movie category with great hits coming along over the years. In this article, we’re going to list down the best horror movies that have gained international recognition for its fresh and unique take on the genre. We’re also going to look at underrated gems that did not get global traction as well. From arthouse horror to psychological horror, we have it all on our list. To see if any of these movies on the list is just right for you, click on the names to check out the movie trailers. So, wrap yourself in a blanket and turn the lights off, here we go!


A popular true-crime writer lives in the house where gruesome murders took place over the years. The premise already sounds like a terrible idea. In fact, he moved his entire family into this infamous house to get inspiration and solve the crime. However, nobody found any link between the different murders that took place in this very same house.

Coincidentally, he finds a box filled with home movies in the attic. Each tape contains a recording of a family that lived in the house, who all ended up massacred. Except for the youngest of the family, who were always reported missing. As Ethan Hawke’s character dives deep into a pool of bad ideas, he starts discovering the madness that is the entity that is responsible for the gruesome murders.

What makes Sinister scary isn’t really the entity’s design itself. In fact, it looks a member of the band, Slipknot. What’s disturbing is the home videos that portray terrible ways these families were executed. And the disappearance of the youngest member of each of the family just adds more more to the mystery as well as serving as an important plot point towards the end of the movie. Like most good horror movies, there is no happy ending for this.


Mockumentary format slowly fell out of favor, especially since Paranormal Activity milked every last ounce of money out of it. So it was quite surprising that the Thai indie movie, Medium, chose this format at all. The mockumentary format works well since Medium is about a filmmaker team that documents the life of a Thai shaman. The shaman carries the spirit Ba Yan, a local goddess within her. Now if you know Thailand’s reputation for horror movies, you know this is going to be horror gold.

There is a line of succession in the shaman’s family, however, ever since her sister chose Christianity instead of the spirit, things started to turn bad for the family. It starts when the sister’s daughter, Mink who begins to exhibit strange and outrageous behavior in public and at home. She starts getting violent and everything culminates into an elaborate exorcism ritual in the middle of the jungle. Which ends up going wrong.

What makes Medium a great horror movie is that it captures the folklore vibe in a mockumentary format which offers a deep connection for the audience to the story. While the film starts slow, the slow burn descend into madness is a great payoff. There are instances where we forgot it was a mockumentary. Some of the moments were conveyed with great agony and desperation that it felt real. The Medium is not something you would want to watch alone. It leaves a lingering feeling of dread in the end.  

The Witch

The Witch brings new life to the arthouse horror movement, where horror movies are no more dependent on cheap jump scares and default specters. Instead, isolation, loneliness, and a well-crafted ambience is built through a slow-burning pace of the film.

The Witch revolves around a family banished from a Puritan community due to a religious dispute. The family is forced to live in solitude in an opening of a vast forest. Strange occurrences start taking place where the newborn family is kidnapped by a witch of the forest and sacrificed. More tragedy fell onto the family and distrust starts brewing amongst them. The final surviving member of the family makes a deal with the Devil and joins the coven.

The Witch builds up an atmosphere that is uncomfortable and bleak. With every encounter that the family faces against the witch, it seems that they’re unprepared to deal with and end up lashing out at each other. The solitude of the family in the forest makes the movie an anxiety-inducing experience.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project follows a group of film students set out to the forest to make a documentary about the mythical Blair Witch. As they encounter the locals in the area where the witch’s tale originated, many of the inhabitants warned them against delving too deep into the matter. But like any horror movie victims, they thought better of it.

They ended up going in the forest. When they woke up the next morning, they noticed an old graveyard, with seven cairns built nearby their camp. As the trio tries to get back to their car, they got lost deep into the woods. Waking up the next morning, the found new cairns built around their campsite and they started freaking out. Every night, they hear sounds of stick snapping getting closer. The horrifying experience continues daily, culminating to one of them getting possessed, and we could only guess what happened to the rest.

The movie went on to be the most popular found-footage genre of horror movies. The beauty of The Blair Witch Project is the realism portrayed in the found-footage format. It really felt like 3 students went into woods looking for the witch. And we never even get to see the Blair Witch.

The Descent

Imagine putting yourself into a claustrophobic situation, in an unknown terrain down below and in the dark. The Descent follows the nightmarish turn of events of everything that could go wrong in a cave. From getting trapped in the cave with no way out, to stumbling into a new species of creatures dwelling deep inside the bellies of the earth. And no, we’re not talking about a new species of moss here, folks. We’re talking about mutated cave folks that has developed a taste for human flesh.

The entire movie focuses on the group’s attempts to survive the relentless onslaught of these cave creatures. One by one, the group gets smaller as they fell victim to these creatures. In between the life and death situation, they managed to work things out, knowing that the cave will be their final resting place.

The Descent is an interesting horror movie where the general fear of tight and dark spaces is turned up. Being in the dark brings a whole new meaning after watching the show. If you’re looking for a unique horror movie, then The Descent might be something you would enjoy.

It Follows

It is the era of indie horror films. And they’ve been doing a great job despite the limited budget and modest CGI usage. It Follows uses a simple premise to great effect. A curse of sort is passed through sexual intercourse, where our main character starts seeing an entity. This entity will follow her from time to time. And if it ever gets her, it’s game over.

After a series of horrifying close encounters, the group decides to have a final showdown with the entity. The entity takes form of various disturbing looking characters. From a very tall man to a disheveled old woman, the entity is always following behind the main character, inching closer every time.

It Follows is a refreshing take on the horror genre. No complicated setups, just a curse that gets passed through sex. And the open-ended ending leaves us wandering the fate of the main character and those around her. The movie sets the impending danger that is always on the other side of the door or as someone walking behind you at all times. This leaves the audience feeling anxious for her, not knowing whether the background characters were humans or not.

The Babadook

Australian horror scene has been growing recently, such as Talk To Me, start paying attention to the movies coming out of that continent. The Babadook is 2014 psychological horror film which features a widow with her son that moves to Adelaide. Her son starts displaying erratic behaviour, where he built DIY weapons to combat an imaginary monster.

One night, he gets his mom to read a pop-up book called Mister Babadook. It’s about a creature that torment its victims after they find out about his existence. And thus, their troubles started. The mom started losing her patience towards her unruly son, and starts she blaming him for some of the mishaps that took place around her. She also starts seeing things and tried to dispose of the book. Finally, she accepts that they’ll never be able to get rid of it, and keeps it in the basement. We obviously skipped a lot in between, but it’s a great movie that you should go check out.

The Babadook is a simple portrayal of how one deals with grief. It never really goes away. While The Babadook doesn’t add too much in the portrayal of an evil entity, the fearful reaction of the actors in the movie is effective in giving it life.


This is the very movie that made the song Tiptoe Through The Tulips a tune that would sent chills down your spine. There’s a lot that this movie did in an age of declining horror movie flicks, and it did it so well that unsuspecting moviegoers weren’t expecting to watch something that would leave a permanent mark in their psyche.

First off, let’s talk about Insidious unique premise. It takes the haunted house concept, and instead of focusing on the location, it put more emphasis on the child which possesses a unique ability to leave his body into the astral plane. While this sounds like a fun way to spice up your sleep, it’s not so great when you have malevolent spirits looking at your body as a new vacant property. The good and effective use of jump scares is evident throughout the movie and it has us jolting in our seats with the sudden swelling of violins, or just the appearance of an entity after a brief moment of silence. You know exactly which scene we’re talking about.

Insidious did a good job of building a fresh premise and paired with good pacing and world building. They introduced a medium and “ghostbusters” into the mix to try and locate the child. They even brought out the repressed memories of the father who had the same abilities, but was almost a victim to another horrifying entity. And just to refresh your memory on how good the movie was in inducing horror, have a listen at the now terrifying tune.

Evil Dead

To give you a little back story, Evil Dead is a 2013 remake of the original, which is mixed with horror and dark humor. The 2013 however is a more darker and serious compared to the original. What this does is that it created a more terrifying and gruesome atmosphere.

We believe that Evil Dead is perhaps one of the most gruesome horror movies on this list, and if you have a weak stomach, you should probably skip watching this movie. While movie qualities suffer from the overreliance on CGI, Evil Dead stayed true to its gory roots and went on to execute strong practical effects. So if you feel some of the gore sequences in the movie to be a little extra moist, you know its practical effect magic taking place. The premise of the movies stays true to its original; an incantation is recited out of a dodgy-looking book and the rest is history.

Take our word for it when we say this movie is a gore fest. Alot of gruesome death scenes and loads of mutilation scenes. Evil Dead is an uncomfortable watch for most. If you’re a fan of the original and would like to see an updated look for the show, check it out. But do not expect Sam Raimi’s signature dark humor sprinkled in this version. All you’re going to get is high levels of gore and violence.


Most early alien shows are either portrayed as an awe inducing experience, or a generic existential horror for humanity. However the 1979 movie is a much more claustrophobic and a horrifying experience. Imagine being stuck on an unknown icy rock with an alien that is designed to be the perfect killing machine. The aliens known colloquially as xenomorphs, are relentless and will not stop till it has killed or used every humans as a breeding host.

The xenomorph’s design is unique and is designed by H.R. Giger, which portrays nighmarish and unforgettable visual element. I mean who can forget the the particularly deadly tongue of the xenomorphs? The movie also famously known for having one of the best female protagonist is film history. This is where Ellen Ripley kicks serious alien butt while being an unassuming member of her team. While most of her team are taken out or mutilated after being a breeding host, and even hostile androids, Ripley beat the odds and managed to survive the continuous onslaught.

Alien redefined the theme of aliens in the horror genre, and generated a franchise that spans decades now. From practical effects to using state-of-the art CGI for its time, Alien brought us a truly isolated and helpless horror, between humans going against and unstoppable killing machine. The unique design of the Xenomorphs and the nature of body horror which is the chestbuster just adds a layer of fear into the audience. Alien also marks the first time that we’ve seen a strong female lead that dominates the aliens and win our hearts.

The Thing

Here’s another alien horror flick that made a mark in the movie industry. If there’s one thing to pick as the best thing that the movie did, we’ll definitely go with the practical effects used to portray the gruesome and shape-shifting alien that is an out and about wreaking havoc.

Imagine being one of the few communities existing in the most remote continent in the world, Antartica. After the Norweigan base in the chilly continent goes cold, the Americans decided to check it out. All they found is death and destruction, and it seems an alien with the capability of perfectly immitating any creature it assimilates is on the prowl. Paranoia starts festering within the group as suspicious events started taking place.

While the alien threat is still a major plot point of The Thing, what makes this movie into a psychological horror is the paranoia and the distrusting environment among the characters. No one knows who to trust and audiences have to witness the sheer anxiety-inducing moments where innocent human characters come face-to-face with the creature. John Carpenter reminds us why he is one of the greats when it comes to building suspenseful pacing and tense atmosphere.

The Conjuring

Big old mansion? Check. A unsuspecting family moving into it? Check. A malicious entity wreaking havoc? Check-a-rooni. One thing that really get people excited for horror movies is when studios slap on the “Based on true events” label. The Conjuring takes on a journey with the famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren as they attempt to help the family.

A family moves into a large mansion where it seemed like a good deal. However, over time, the family is disturbed by the presence of multiple entities. After a series of horrifying hauntings, the family decides to call upon the ghostbusters duo into action. The duo discovers that the house once belonged to an accused witch who did terrible things when she was alive. The mother ends up getting fully possessed and starts behaving violently. She managed to overpower her possession and allowed the exorcism to take place successfully once reminded of her love for her children and family.

The Conjuring marks yet another fantastic take by director James Wan. From fresh horror set pieces to unique plot points, the film portrays how to use real life events and weave it into the storytelling. The jumpscares are effective, and the build-up towards it is a spine-tingling experience. We highly recommend you to check out Insidious and The Conjuring for the ultimate James Wan horror movie experience.

Get Out

What is more horrifying than a story rooted in an actual problem, paired with some whacky science? Get Out is what we got from the creatively twisted mind of Jordan Peele. Get Out is a sociopolitcal commentary about the dynamics between white and black people in America. While the country has advanced in many ways, the old wounds of slavery festers in form of institutionalized racism perpetrated against the Blacks in many forms. And this horror movie takes a subtle jab in the entirety of the situation right now.

The protagonist, dating a white woman is invited to her family estate over the weekend to meet the family and spend some time getting to know each other. While everything looked normal, a weird pattern begins to emerge where most of the family’s workers are black and have a weird cadence to their speech and behavior. When one of the black employee has an outburst, the protagonist becomes wary of the situation. A sinister plot takes place within the grounds of the estate, where an old rich white persons swaps bodies with a black person and gain pseudo-immortality.

Get Out is an allegory to the divide between two races in America, and how black people have never really healed from slavery. Besides that, it portrays how black people are still viewed as commodity by rich white people as potential vessels without any remorse towards their wellbeing. Jordan Peele brings us a horrifying experience that reminds us that the true horror is out there and needs to be addressed to start the healing process.


A series of unfortunate and frankly, gruesome events befalls the family. Usually that’s how horror movies go before it dials everything to twelve. Hereditary is yet another arthouse movie by A24, a studio known for greenlighting esoteric and experiemental movies to the mainstream moviegoers. And when they hit horror gold, they hit it hard.

Unlike The Witch, Hereditary features a more rapidly developing events, paired with tangible mysteries that our characters are trying to figure out. Hereditary features one of the most gruesome scene early in the movie. It also features the popular scene, the possessed mother hanging on the wall. The best part of this is you barely see her on the screen, but you know something is wrong. Once you catch the glimpse, it becomes a blood curdling experience.

Hereditary takes a deep dive into the world of occult, featuring mysterious cults, a broken family that continues to fracture with each passing day. It features a horrifying truth, that the family is cursed and it cannot escape its fate of falling deep into the bosom of the cult and the past mistakes of your parents coming to haunt. A disturbing experience with very little relief for an ending.

Exorcism of Emily Rose

Horror movies based off religion can be an unnerving experience. While most horror revolves around angry spirits or disgruntle mythical creatures, horror movies revolving around the first malicious entity in human history gives out a deeper invocation of fear. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (pretty self-explanatory) is about a young woman who is possessed by multiple evil entities from Hell.

The story takes us on a journey in different perspectives. Emily Rose’s mental decline from being vulnerable to the evil entities, and Father Richard Moore, who is now convinced that Emily Rose is indeed possessed. The movie takes off in the aftermath of the exorcism ritual, where the priest is charged with negligent homicide of Emily Rose, during the exorcism ritual. As the story slowly unveils itself, the climax presents itself in a one versus six scenario where Father Richard Moore is faced with the 6 evil entities possessing Emily Rose.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is marketed as a movie based on a true event. While no one can confirm whether Emily Rose was indeed possessed and that possession is even a thing, actual evidences in the form of recording tapes features Emily Rose with a rather peculiar speaking voice in one of her possession. This gives the movie a foothold into reality, and builds upon it as it mixes real-life events and dramatization. It really gives off the “It’s all fake….or is it?” vibes.

Happy Watching

There you have it, folks. Horror movies to watch this Halloween in the dark (if you dare). We’ve covered various sub-genres of horror and we hope that this article has given you new ideas on what to watch this spooky season. What do you think of our list? Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite horror movie that we missed out on! And don’t forget to check out our other movie lists!



About Author

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like


Disney+ Hotstar Is Here: Interesting Shows to Watch

Disney+ Hotstar Available Now In Malaysia Disney+ Hotstar has finally landed in Malaysia. So now you know why you’ve been

Neon Noir: The Origin, The Evolution, The Films

The Evolution of Neon Noir The Neon Noir is an organic evolution of the film genre that stemmed from the