The Scary Movies You Don't Forget

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I've always been a fan of horror, though I'll admit that for the most part I'm very visual when it comes to spine tingling, hair raising terror. For a long time I really looked to movies to provide me with scares, though recently I've learned that a movie/book combo can be quite effective as well. Watch a movie that gives you goosebumps, get yourself warmed up and in the mood, and suddenly that copy of Jurassic Park you're rereading feels a lot scarier. 

So as a bit of a warm up to get you in the mood for all the terrifyingly terrific reads this week, let's start with a list of movies that kept me up at night. The movies that made me slam off the light in my room and then jump into bed like a  high jumper at The Olympics.

In no particular order...


The Fourth Kind Poster

I went to see The Fourth Kind in theaters, all by my lonesome self. My mom was away on a week-long business trip and this felt like part of my very Home Alone-esque celebration of freedom and independence. The movie has a lot of split-screen moments, utilizing that "found footage" effect that the Blair Witch made popular. Basically they put the "found footage" side by side with the actor's rendition of the scene, so whenever something scary was happening, it was happening X2! Let's just say I regretted my freedom and independence when I had to go to bed that night with my bedroom lights on.


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I'd never been a huge fan of horror franchises before I started watching all the Freddy Kreuger movies. My preference was to go on one scary journey that had a beginning, middle, and a preferably happy ending that would round out all the horror and help me sleep a little better. But something about Freddy was addictive. I watched everything in the franchise, knowing full well I'd be whimpering in bed and twitching at every noise. Falling asleep was a lot harder when you had a storyline in your head where all the bad things happened WHILE you were asleep. 

3) THE RING (2002)

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This movie plagued me for months man. You think you see the creepy ghost girl in the corners of your room, on the backs of your eyelids when you closed your eyes. A friend actually called me once in a convincingly creepy voice and whispered "Seveeen days". It made me not want to rent any movies from Blockbuster for a while.

4) THE OMEN (1976)

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Creepy children are creepy. I will always prefer the original to any remakes. But you really can't get any scarier than the antichrist. This movie is the kind where the actual scenes on screen may not give you the heebie jeebies, but it gets you thinking of the plot and you end up creating a self fueled fire of creepy thoughts later on.

5) HALLOWEEN (1978)

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The Halloween theme song is iconic. Around Halloween I'll hearing it playing at neighbor's houses. People have it as their ringtone. It goes to show how utterly terrifying we find humans in general, with the simple addition of a mask. This franchise is good slasher horror at its best.

6) THE EXORCIST (1973)

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I had to beg and plead for days before I was allowed to watch this movie for the first time. Let me tell you, I regretted all that effort for a while. I wasn't afraid for the safety of my own soul, certainly I'd know if I started to feel possessed. But the image of that girl's head doing a 360 turn and the green pea soup....that stays with you.


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Bless this movie okay. I was in such a horror funk in 2013 and this movie pulled me out of it. There was a great blend of "waiting for something to pop out" terror that keeps you tense, psychological horror, and generally disturbing visual effects. Annabelle was meh for me, and I have no interest in seeing The Conjuring 2....but the first one was brilliant.


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It's very rare for a movie to have some genuinely scary moments, while also breaking down the fourth wall and kind of making fun of itself. The Cabin in the Woods has that campy cult classic feel, and it's intentional and brilliant. I loved all the gory special effects, and I felt like I actually cared when characters died, which isn't always the purpose with movies like this.

9) SINISTER (2012)

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I will say it again. Creepy children are creepy. Anything scary happening to, around, or because of children, and I am guaranteed to be disturbed and prone to nightmares. The sequel to this fell short for me, but the original kept me on the end of my seat. It made me care about unraveling the storyline as much as I cared about the special effects.

10) SAW (2004)

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I stopped following the franchise after the third film. "Too much of a good thing" and all that. You started to feel that the storylines were connected by dollar bills instead of genuine plot points. But the original Saw remains one of my favorite horror movies of all time. The traps and games are disturbingly scary and memorable, and the way psychology and the human condition was weaved into every aspect of everything that happened, was brilliant to me. Survive a game, learn a life lesson. I'm a sucker for a film where you aren't quite sure which of the characters are truly the monsters.

YOUR TURN GUYS!! What movies kept you huddled under the bed sheets?