It’s October, and that means Halloween will soon be upon us. Get in the spooky spirit with these classic horror films that have been dishing out the scares for decades.
It’s starting to cool down, the leaves are beginning to change, and fall is in the air. And there’s no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than with some classic horror films. We’ll be diving into films from the 1920s all the way to the 1990s! If you’re a serious horror fan, then it’s a safe bet you’ve seen most, if not all, of the movies on this list. If you’re not much of a horror fan, then this is a very good place to start.
So grab a cozy blanket, make some popcorn, and pop in one of these classic flicks! (And maybe keep the lights on.)
**It’s also important to note that a large chunk of the movies listed below are not appropriate for children under the age of 17. Parental discretion is advised.**
The silent horror film Nosferatu finds Count Orlok (Max Schreck) expressing interest in a new residence and the real estate agent’s wife. It was based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), and Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaptation. The court ruled to have all copies of the film be destroyed, but a few prints survived, and it is now the influential film it is today.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
In this silent horror film, young opera singer Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin) has a mysterious admirer who is intent on making her a lead performer. The masked man is the Phantom (Lon Chaney), a disfigured recluse who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. The Phantom of the Opera is an adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra.
The tale of the infamous vampire Count Dracula comes to life on screen with Bela Lugosi in the title role. Dracula follows the Count as he arrives in England and starts to prey on young women, soon becoming infatuated with Mina (Helen Chandler).
One of the most prominent horror movies of all time, Frankenstein follows the story of Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to create life by assembling body parts of the deceased. His monster (Boris Karloff) comes to life and wreaks havoc in villages. Based on Mary Shelley’s Gothic (1818) novel.
Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock’s landmark thriller, tells the story of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) as she escapes with $40,000 from her employer. She ends up at the Bates Motel, where she meets Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a man who has an odd interest in taxidermy and an unconventional relationship with his mother.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Zombies take over the screen in the classic film Night of the Living Dead. The movies tells the story of a group of people who hid out in an abandoned house when corpses begin to reanimate and have a hunger for the taste of human flesh.
The Exorcist (1973)
In one of the most profitable horror films ever made, The Exorcist is loosely based on actual events. When a girl (Linda Blair) is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests (Jason Miller and Max von Sydow) to perform an exorcism.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The film that started a franchise of eight films, comics, and video game adaptations, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a bloody, disturbing movie that was “inspired by a true story.” After two siblings visit their grandfather’s grave along with their friends, they are attacked by a group of psychopaths.
In this adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, Carrie, a young teenager doesn’t have any friends and is a bit of an outcast, then strange things begin to happen. Things for Carrie quickly take a dark turn.