My Favorite Scary Movies – Have Some Cheap Halloween Fun!

Favorite Scary MoviesOne of the best (and cheapest) things I like to do around Halloween time is to rent a whole bunch of my favorite scary movies. I just love them! I’m always on the lookout for new ones that are well written, brilliantly performed, and … well … scary! While I can admit that a lot of the mainstream horror movies out there fall short of this mark, there have been a few that were exceptionally good.

IMDB ranks some of the most well known titles like PoltergeistThe ShiningThe Exorcist, and lots of other classic titles as the best scary movies of all time. But what about some of the more recent movies that have came out over the past decade? Aren’t there any newer ones that are any good?

Yes there are! And here is my list of somewhat recent movies that were pretty decent. So don’t break your money design and treat yourself to some cheap Halloween fun by checking out these titles:


My Favorite Scary Movies:


Trick ‘r Treat:
favorite scary movies

If you grew up loving those campy Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crept type of TV shows, then you’ll love this throw-back to that type of horror genre. This movie contains four interconnected stories that each related to a horrible little monster that torments people who “break the rules” on Halloween night. Despite this not being a very popular movie, it is definitely a diamond in the rough worth seeing!


favorite scary movies

If you just loved the death scenes of Saw and don’t really care about a movie having a good plot, then watch Piranha.  It is possibly one of the goriest movies I’ve ever seen.  It will just make you sick.  The movie is literally about a group of partying spring breakers who get attacked by a school of vicious prehistoric piranha.  That’s really it.  In fairness to the makers of the movie though, that’s exactly what they were going for.  This one is a real treat, but don’t eat anything while you watch it …


Drag Me to Hell:
favorite scary movies

If you like Sam Raimi movies (from the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness series – another couple of must see movies!), then you’ll love this big-budget release. The story is of a young female banker who denies helping an old gypsy woman try to save her house so that she can impress her boss for a promotion, and ultimately prove to her boyfriend that she is a success. Unfortunately, the gypsy retaliates by putting an incredibly horrible curse on her where a deadly demonic spirit will come for her soul in 3 days. This movie is full of a ton of great action sequences, suspense, and even a fantastic twist at the end!


Silent Hill:
favorite scary movies

I was impressed with this movie even before I found out it was based on a video game. If you want to see some freaky, freaky monsters, this one is for you. The movie is about a mother who decides to go to the town of Silent Hill in search for answers after her daughter becomes tormented by nightmares from a strange presence. Unfortunately, when she finds Silent Hill, she enters a horrible dimension where the nightmares of the town are a deadly reality! I don’t know which monster in this movie is scarier – the bound janitor, the arm-less figure, the group of murderous faceless nurses, or Red Triangle – the hooded figure with the giant sickle! This one will creep you out …



The Ring:
favorite scary movies

As incredibly popular as this movie was, I am always baffled by how many people still haven’t seen it. It is terrifying!!! The first 10 minutes alone are enough to convince you that this is going to be one hell of a movie! The story is about a young reporter who learns about a mysterious video tape that is linked to the violent death of her teenage niece. Whoever watches the tape will die in 7 days. Unfortunately, she and her son watch the tape, and they race against the clock to try to figure out how to avoid a avoid a very gruesome death! There is a great plot twist at the end of this one that you will love!


Saw I:
favorite scary movies

This is another mainstream movie I’m always surprised to learn that many people have never seen. Most people have seen one of the lesser-quality sequels such as Saw III or IV. But the first movie is by far the best! It’s clever, well put together, incredibly suspenseful, and has the best punch-you-in-the-face plot twist at the end! Plus it has some of the most horrific death scenes you’ve ever seen. Once you see the first movie, you’ll understand why they made so many sequels out of it and why so many people were fans of it.


House of a Thousand Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects:
favorite scary movies

This one is served best as a double feature from the demented mind of musician Rob Zombie. House of a Thousand Corpses is the story of four teenagers who foolishly go looking for an urban legend called Doctor Satan – only they find out its no myth! Not only is he real, they become his next victims. But not until they first endure the torture of his equally insane and deadly family. The Devil’s Rejects is the follow-up where a psychotic cop seeks to take revenge on the family for the death of his brother.  By the end of the movie, you’re not really sure who is more crazy – the cop or the family.  Both movies could really be summed up as a sequence of one horrific thing after another after another. They each take elements of classic horror movies and mash them into something even worse. I would highly advise that if you plan to watch one, rent the other and watch them back to back.


The Ninth Gate:
favorite scary movies

This Roman Polanski movie isn’t really a “monster movie” as much as it is a great suspense. A rare book dealer (played by Johnny Depp) is hired to investigate the authenticity of a book that was supposedly written by the Devil himself. The main character soon realizes that the book contains a much greater power, and that he is dealing with forces and evil he can’t possibly comprehend. The movie is a great puzzle with lots of symbolism and hidden messages. You may be confused the first time you watch it. But if you pay attention, you’ll figure it out.


Donnie Darko:
favorite scary movies

By far one of my favorite scary movies. Again, not really a monster movie so much as it is a very good suspense movie. The story is a giant puzzle – a lot of people don’t really understand it the first time they watch it.   The story is about a troubled teenage boy named Donnie (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) who is visited by a demented bunny that tells him he only has 28 days left to save the world. This movie is incredibly astute, very dark, and even manages to blend a lot of good sarcasm and one-liners into the script! And as an added bonus, the soundtrack is full of some outstanding 80’s pop songs (since the movie takes place in the 1980’s). This is a must see! Bonus tip: The Director’s Cut has bonus footage that helps “explain” the story in case you don’t get it.


Readers – What are your favorite scary movies for Halloween? Got any other good suggestions for me to watch? I’m always looking for some good suggestions!


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Image Credit: Unknown


    • MMD says

      You haven’t seen ANY of these?? Boy oh boy, I think I just gave you an idea for the best Saturday night of your life! I suggest renting as many of these as possible and having a horror movie marathon. Popcorn and all (except during Piranha). You’ll be SO entertained!

    • MMD says

      In that case, John, I would really suggest you watch the last two movies: The Ninth Gate and Donnie Darko. They both are both excellent “puzzle” movies where you really have to pay attention to what’s going on to make any sense out of them. But they are well worth the watch!

  1. says

    I have only seen some of these. SAW was most memorable for me because I watched it with some friends. I also enjoy those lower budget movies like Paranormal Activity. It’s not always about the screaming and gore, the acting has to be believable too.
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    • MMD says

      How did I miss Paranormal Activity?? I love that series. Can’t wait to see Number 4! The SAW movies got pretty ridiculous after a while. But I do give them TONS of extra credit for keeping with the main story-line of the movie all throughout the whole series. Not a lot of sequels are able to accomplish this.

    • MMD says

      I know. I can’t believe I forgot Paranormal Activity. I loved that one as well.

      I’ve never heard of Tucker and Dale vs Evil before! I just read a review and it looks right up my alley; I’ll add it to my list of movies to see. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • MMD says

      You’re funny – you’re like my kids. If they watch something scary, they then have to watch something “happy” to get rid of the scary-ness from their heads (their words, not mine). That first Paranormal Activity movie is no joke! For being as low budget as it was (and never really showing you the monster), it was very frightening!

    • MMD says

      I was on the fence about if I should classify Donnie Darko as a scary movie or not. They do play it a lot in horror movie marathons and on Comcast’s FearNet.

      The original Nightmare on Elm Street was amazingly terrifying! Plus I believe that was Johnny Depp’s first movie if I’m not mistaken.

    • MMD says

      The Resident Evil movies have been real treat. I’m a huge sucker for anything zombie or comic bookish. YES! Go buy a pumpkin this weekend. It’s still a ton of fun to carve one and cook up the seeds.

  2. Jason Clayton | frugal habits says

    I haven’t seen the Shinning in so long, I would love to watch it again – what an awesome movie.

    Thanks for the great list, there are a few in there I’ve never seen and may have to pick up (although I’m not much of a horror movie fan). :)
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    • MMD says

      The Shinning was amazing; I have the DVD because I love it so much. But I was amazed at how much better and more detail there was in the book. If you haven’t read it, I would recommend doing so. Please do rent a few of these this weekend. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed; even if you don’t care for horror movies that much.

  3. Tackling Our Debt says

    In high school I loved scary movies. Now that I am older I can’t handle them as much.

    My two favorites from way back are:

    “I Saw What You Did (1965”

    “When a Stranger Calls is a 1979 psychological
    horror film – Have you checked the children?”

    Have you heard of either one of those?

    And I agree, the Shinning was good too.
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    • MMD says

      Didn’t they remake both of those movies? I’ve never seen the originals, but the titles seem very, very familiar. I love the Shinning – I’ve got the DVD!

  4. says

    We actually stayed overnight at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park where the Shining was filmed. It is supposed to really be haunted, but I never saw any ghosts. One old school movie I love is Children of the Corn. I also likes the first couple of Final Destination movies. I’ll have to check out that Johnny Depp one. Looks like a winner.
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    • MMD says

      THAT IS SO COOL! I remember an episode of ghost adventures where they stayed at that hotel too. Funny thing – whenever I go on a business trip, I try to find a hotel where the reviews claim it to be haunted. When I went to SC, I found one. As you guess, absolutely nothing happened …

      Children of the Corn is a good one. I did like the first Final Destination – especially that they included the actor from Candyman (also a great scary movie).

      Please do tell me what you think of the Ninth Gate. You’ll probably have to watch it more than once to take in everything. Once it started to make more sense, I loved it!

  5. says

    The only one I’ve seen out of this list is the Ring! We finally watched The Exorcist last year and on Saturday, I watched The Omen with some friends. Brian is not much of a scary movie person…
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    • MMD says

      Holy cow – you need to watch more movies from this list (so long as you are into them)! I would highly suggest renting them all and having a movie marathon, but they may be too much. At least watch the Rob Zombie movies – just be ready for anything!

    • MMD says

      Thanks Lea and welcome to the site. Your list is really complete! I’ve seen pretty much all those movies and really like them. It’s hard to find good scary movies these days, so I’m always open to more suggestions!


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