Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s never too late to find a good scare with the right movie. Here’s a small list of special movies that will hopefully horrify, scare, and disturb you the same way they did to me.
REC (2007) 
REC follows a reporter who is covering a night in the life of a firefighter for her nightly variety show. They get a distress call from an apartment building that ends up being ground zero for the worst nightmare in any zombie apocalypse you can think of.
This is one of those movies that captures horror and panic in a compelling way. Being the victim of an american remake (which I don’t recommend), it’s really no question that this is the true version that was meant to be shared with the world.
The acting is incredible. You won’t find any familiar faces, as this movie was made in Spain and has local actors, but it really lends to the believability of all the characters in the movie. You get invested in the search for answers, and tangibly feel the panic and fear when things go from bad to worse. Don’t drop your popcorn.
The Thing (1982) 
A strange lifeform infests itself within a group of men inside an arctic research base. This lifeform mimics any shape and form, and it’s up to the crew to find out who or what this thing is, and kill it before it’s too late.
The Thing is a classic. There were few who could compare to John Carpenter in his glory days. The film focuses on practical effects and a good story about survival in isolation.
The wild and insane ways the story leads and misleads you can really catch you off guard. The gore and makeup can get a bit campy if you think about it too much, but the fact that it’s real and reacts to its surroundings as it does definitely sells it.
The way this creature morphs and embodies itself can be incredibly twisted and bloody. It’s very uncomfortable to witness. Don’t watch this if you’re the squeamish type.
The Witch (2015) 
The story follows a girl as her family is exiled from a village in colonial times, and they must live and provide for themselves far into the woods on their own. There is evil in the wood.
It’s not an easy watch, as all the dialogue is spoken in Olde English, but the story is something your great grandmother would tell to scare and warn you from wandering into the woods alone. Watching this movie felt like a nightmare.
The first ten minutes leaves you with the worst dread. That’s all the time it takes to set the stage for rest of the film. It works beautifully.
What stood out the most is the incredible score by Mark Koven. He uses ambient chants and strings to a perfect discomforting effect. It’s something to behold, and to be very frightened of. Don’t listen to this  alone.
Don’t expect cheap jump scares or cheesy monsters, this is a fantastic film that will stay with you and remind you that witches are no joke.
Dawn of the Dead (2004) 
All hell breaks loose in the world as zombies become reality. The story centers around Ana as she tries to camp out with a group inside a shopping mall and come up with a plan to escape and survive.
Zombies have become somewhat overdone nowadays, but there are a few movies that used them in refreshing ways. Dawn of the Dead introduced the running zombie, and we could argue all day about the logic of it and why it’s wrong or right.
What I know is that it created a new type of fear for me with zombies. The desperation and panic you feel when someone or something is chasing you is primal. There’s no escaping that fact, but make that someone or something into a zombie? NOPE.
It Follows (2014) 
This ties in into the ‘being chased’ thing. A girl is unknowingly given a curse, and now she has to run from this entity that only she can see, and can mask itself to look like anyone.
I never felt so paranoid walking out of a theater. Music and paranoia plays hand in hand to establish set pieces that always leave you wondering if you’re safe or not. The characters play their roles right and nothing feels forced.
The movie is heavily inspired by eighties themes, but has its own unique style and take. One thing you notice is the complete lack of parents, which plays into the 80s trope.
If you invest yourself in the story, the movie works, and plays out in a great way. Don’t be surprised if you’ll want to look over your shoulder from time to time after watching this one.