I’m not sure why, but I love scary movies–especially psychological thrillers! Not the ones that scar you for life (or that are too reflective of this scary ass world) but the ones that make you think. The ones that scare you just enough that maybe you have to sleep with one eye open, but at least you got a giggle out of it. Here is a cool girl’s guide to the best scary movies (in my opinion) that are actually worth the watch this spooky season.
Not Too Scary, Scary Movies
These movies will help you dip your toes into the world of scary, whilst still allowing you to sleep at night.
The Scream franchise, although classics, are nowhere near as scary as some of the shows and movies coming out now, so are great ones to start off with. They embody the classic scary movie, where the main characters will hear a spooky noise, split up, and then the ditsy blonde girl will say some silly line that gets her attacked. The first and fourth movies of the franchise are easily the best, with the plot twists and Ghostface reveals being super strong and not overly predictable. You can skip the third movie, IMO, it sucked and was super random.
I loved this one! It takes the seemingly overdone theme of “the horrors of online dating” and flips it on its head. It is so well made and smart, with heaps of easter eggs and things that will make you take a second look and think ‘surely not’. The last half an hour, although super gory, left me with my jaw dropped and laughing in shock (laughing is my defence mechanism, don’t judge).
Inspired by a 90s true crime case, this film comments on themes of sexuality, female empowerment, as well as the dynamic of female best friends. This movie took a turn I was not ready for, but I honestly really loved it! The protagonist is a high-school cool girl who becomes possessed (bear with me) and goes to extreme measures to satiate her appetite. It also has Megan Fox in it, so enough said.
The Incredible, Talented Mr Ripley
SOO GOOOD! This has got to be one of my favourites! It has a young Jude Law, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, an Italy setting, creepy stalkers, and forbidden lovers–what more could you want? It does have some pretty gruesome murder scenes, so get those hands ready to cover your eyes.
Detective Hole tracks down a serial killer who, at every crime scene, leaves a snowman. It has heaps of twists and turns, with the sociopathic killer taunting the police at every corner.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Okay, this one is one of those silly/dumb movies, but I actually kind of loved it. It’s a fun take on the classic slasher scary movie, whilst still maintaining an element of fear through the use of gore.
Might Pee Your Pants Scary, But It’ll Be Worth It
Even as a lover of spooky films, I definitely needed to watch these with at least one other person. You know, just in case the baddie jumped out of the screen or something.
The Invisible Man
This film touches on one of my worst fears–seeing and believing something that others think you’re crazy for. The plot twist/reveal in this film keeps you guessing right up until the last second. It does have some pretty violent and graphic themes, but is such an interesting and original concept.
In order to protect her younger brother, Rebecca must confront her childhood fear… the dark! It is pretty spooky and not too ridiculous, as they put some realism into why some people might get the chills when the lights go out.
Follows a widowed mother who is haunted by the Babadook, the embodiment of her grief and depression, as she struggles to raise her young son. I watched this with a group of friends who were mocking it virtually the whole time, so I didn’t find it too scary, but it has been rated one of the spookiest movies of all time.
Follows a female protagonist who is deaf and goes to do some work in a cabin in the woods (why you would do that, I have no idea), but she is not alone. The sadistic killer loves to play games and provides lots of jump scares and truly frightening, taunting moments.
Follows three young thieves who decide to break into a blind man’s house and rob him as a seemingly easy target. It starts off as a scary ‘hold your breath’ type of movie, as the title suggests, then moves on to some real scary themes.
Prepare to Never Sleep Again Scary
The movies I would never watch again, not even if you paid me (well, actually, it probably depends on how much); you’ve been warned.
This movie FREAKED me out! I was so conflicted between the beautiful visuals of the film and the content of the scenes. It follows a group of college students who end up at a strange religious festival and get targeted one by one. You know when you finish a movie and you feel violated, and you have to sit in silence for like 10 minutes? This one will do it to you. I literally had to sleep with one eye open. *Warning* This movie deals with themes of suicide and intense, realistic violence.
Inspired by true events, this film is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. This movie follows the themes of crime, punishment, and greed, and how they can manifest into intense and real-life delusions. There was a lot of symbolism in this one that we had to google afterwards to fully understand what was going on, but the main themes we understood–that Stephen King is one spooky ass dude.
I am a lover of all things music, creative and crime! I’m a Criminology and Psychology student who loves to analyses the world and share how much music can change the world. I strive to educate individuals about the crime, discrimination and injustices the world is facing in a palatable and interesting way.